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Old 03-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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Baking Question

I just made a Pistachio Cake over the weekend. Recipe called for 1 cup of oil. (I Googled, a lot of them do.) Boxed cake mix( Duncan Hines), 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, and a box of instant pudding.
My desire is to bake a flat 9 x 13 cake. Following advice from Googling, I baked this at 325 deg. for 23 + 11 minutes. Came out done. Not even pulling away from the wall.
And of course, I got a pregnant cake. I waited 10 minutes to "poke" it with pistachio pudding. During that time, the cake deflated flat and pulled away from the cake pan (severely). I also noticed the cake was very soft and greasy.
After poking, I cooled it some more then a Cool Whip/Pistachio Pudding frosting. This thing went in, less than a day. It tasted excellent.

Now...Was the 1 cup of oil due to the pudding mix?
Could I have used half oil, half apple sauce?
Did I bake this right?
Any other suggestions on getting a flat 9 x 13 cake?
Any comments?
I'm experimenting trying to get a flat cake now, because I have a big project later on, I hope to do, once all the little things are perfected.

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Old 03-21-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milford View Post
I just made a Pistachio Cake over the weekend. Recipe called for 1 cup of oil. (I Googled, a lot of them do.) Boxed cake mix( Duncan Hines), 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, and a box of instant pudding.
My desire is to bake a flat 9 x 13 cake. Following advice from Googling, I baked this at 325 deg. for 23 + 11 minutes. Came out done. Not even pulling away from the wall.
And of course, I got a pregnant cake. I waited 10 minutes to "poke" it with pistachio pudding. During that time, the cake deflated flat and pulled away from the cake pan (severely). I also noticed the cake was very soft and greasy.
After poking, I cooled it some more then a Cool Whip/Pistachio Pudding frosting. This thing went in, less than a day. It tasted excellent.

Now...Was the 1 cup of oil due to the pudding mix?
Could I have used half oil, half apple sauce?
Did I bake this right?
Any other suggestions on getting a flat 9 x 13 cake?
Any comments?
I'm experimenting trying to get a flat cake now, because I have a big project later on, I hope to do, once all the little things are perfected.
To get a flat cake, regardless of the shape or size, when you are putting in the batter, using the back of a big spoon, push some of the batter aside so that there is a dent in the batter. Do it in a circular motion. The center will rise and be even with the rest of the cake. Good Luck!
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:05 AM   #3
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To get a flat cake, pour the batter in the prepared cake pan, bang it several times on the counter to get any air bubbles out (some even swirl a butter knife thru it to break up any bubbles and then bang) wrap a very damp dish towel(s) around the outside of the cake pan and place in oven. They do make strips you can buy to wet and wrap around cake pans, which are more convenient and easier than towels if you want. It still won't be perfectly flat but I never have to trim off more than a very thin layer when I do this.

I think 1 cup of oil was way too much. Did you read any of the reviews on the cake you made to see what other people had to say when they made it? I've often found that's a helpful way to see if there are any recipe mistakes.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
To get a flat cake, pour the batter in the prepared cake pan, bang it several times on the counter to get any air bubbles out (some even swirl a butter knife thru it to break up any bubbles and then bang) wrap a very damp dish towel(s) around the outside of the cake pan and place in oven. They do make strips you can buy to wet and wrap around cake pans, which are more convenient and easier than towels if you want. It still won't be perfectly flat but I never have to trim off more than a very thin layer when I do this.

I think 1 cup of oil was way too much. Did you read any of the reviews on the cake you made to see what other people had to say when they made it? I've often found that's a helpful way to see if there are any recipe mistakes.
Not one comment about the oil. The cake is also known as Watergate Cake. A lot of these recipes also call for 1 cup oil or butter.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:29 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by milford View Post
Not one comment about the oil. The cake is also known as Watergate Cake. A lot of these recipes also call for 1 cup oil or butter.
Well, the one from Allrecipes.com does have at least 1 comment about the oil being too much, as well as possibly 1 too many eggs. Looking at some of the reviews though I've noticed that the vast majority of them are several years old. I wonder if the volume/weights of the pudding and cake mix may be less than when these recipes were originally formulated and that is causing a problem.

Looking back now, it's been a couple of years since I made my mother's recipe for Lemon Jello cake that she got when I was a kid (40+ years ago) and the texture wasn't quite right which is one of the reasons I haven't made it since (besides the fact that DH will only 1 eat piece of it and then he's done so I either eat it all myself or throw part of it out). Anyway, I wonder if the cake mix/jello sizes are different than back when? I bet they are given how manufacturer's sneakily downsize (sugar was the latest one I've noticed, price didn't go down, but weight did).
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Old 03-21-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milford View Post
I just made a Pistachio Cake over the weekend. Recipe called for 1 cup of oil. (I Googled, a lot of them do.) Boxed cake mix( Duncan Hines), 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, and a box of instant pudding.
My desire is to bake a flat 9 x 13 cake. Following advice from Googling, I baked this at 325 deg. for 23 + 11 minutes. Came out done. Not even pulling away from the wall.
And of course, I got a pregnant cake. I waited 10 minutes to "poke" it with pistachio pudding. During that time, the cake deflated flat and pulled away from the cake pan (severely). I also noticed the cake was very soft and greasy.
After poking, I cooled it some more then a Cool Whip/Pistachio Pudding frosting. This thing went in, less than a day. It tasted excellent.

Now...Was the 1 cup of oil due to the pudding mix?
Could I have used half oil, half apple sauce?
Did I bake this right?
Any other suggestions on getting a flat 9 x 13 cake?
Any comments?
I'm experimenting trying to get a flat cake now, because I have a big project later on, I hope to do, once all the little things are perfected.
Did you use the size and shape of cake tin/pan? Too small a tin will make the cake peak in baking.

If you absolutely HAVE to use packet cake mix you should stick slavishly to the instructions on said packet as the makers will have tested it to destruction in order for the customer to get a consistent result.
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