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Old 12-13-2006, 06:16 PM   #1
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Cake had texture of cornbread

Made my first cake yesterday. I don't have a mixer, so I did everything by hand, which was slightly taxing. The flavor was fine, but the texture of the cake came out different than i was anticipating; it ended up like cornbread. I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour, because I couldn't find any cake flour anywheres. I thought maybe that could be the problem? Or maybe I didn't use enough baking powder? I have no clue, but if anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the recipe I was following:

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
Note: 2 separate batches of this batter are required in this recipe (do not double)

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Old 12-13-2006, 06:30 PM   #2
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If you used 2 1/2 cups of AP flour in place of the cake flour, you would have needed more liquid. The AP flour absorbs more liquid than cake flour.

You can substitute All Purpose for Cake Flour.

In a pinch, you can approximate cake flour by using ⅞ cup of all purpose flour and ⅛ cup cornstarch.

However, if you're looking for tender pastry that’s nice and flaky, you may be disappointed.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:09 PM   #3
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Ah yes, I just read about the cornstarch in a cookbook my mom gave me. So in the case of this recipe, in an attempt at the cornstarch sub, I would just add 1/2 C of cornstarch to the existing amount of flour I used, or should I use less flour?
Thanks!

BTW I was going for like white wedding cake type of texture, if that helps.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:49 PM   #4
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i'm not too sure what you mean by "like cornbread". was it too crumbly? lots of tunnels? just too dense? dry? over beating is a very likely cause of some texture problems, and since you mention that it was "taxing", this might be the case. also, ap flour is a mixture of hard and soft wheats and will develop more gluten than cake flour.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:19 PM   #5
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I don't think the flour will make that much difference. I have often--routinely--made cakes with AP flour. Your sub with cornstarch is closer to 1/4C (just a bit more) to make the 2 1/2C cake flour.
I think it is possible the texture of this cake may be a coarse crumb--not necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #6
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About 1/3 cup of corn starch and enough AP flour to make the original measure of 2 1/2 cups.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:27 PM   #7
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philso, everything you said is exactly how I would describe it. It is certainly possible that the texture is supposed to be like this, but I was looking for something a lot....smoother? Thanks for all the replies

After doing a little more searching on the internet (epicurious), I think what I was trying to accomplish was some sort of pound cake or layer cake, as far as the texture and crumbleness of the cake.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:22 PM   #8
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Hmm. I kind of like the texture of cornbread... I the flavour was fine you say?
I think I'll have to try this... and now that it's on my mind... I'm gonna ask for a cornbread recipe!

Thanks :P
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:46 PM   #9
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I love cornbread. In fact, I had just made red beans and rice, and that's what made me think that it had a cornbread-like texture.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:19 AM   #10
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Well, I was able to obtain the type of denseness I was looking for with this recipe. After sitting out for awhile it tasted a bit dry; I was wondering if anyone wanted to take a look at that recipe and maybe give me some advice or point me in the direction of a cake of similar denseness that might retain some more moisture. Again, thanks for all the help, this site is so awesome.
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