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Old 02-01-2009, 01:27 PM   #1
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Help - Why doesn't my cake rise enough - Suggestions, anyone ?

Hello All;
I made a new cake today called a "Orange Dream Cake" from the Taste of Home Mom's best Meals 2007 issue and for some reason, each of the two 8" layers don't seem to rise as much as I'd expect. Each layer is about 1/4" thick.

Here is the recipe ...

2/3 cups butter, softened
1-1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tsp. grated Orange Peel
1 Tsp. Grated Lemon Peel
2 Eggs
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

I have a few questions -

Should this cake rise more than it did ?

If so, what could be some reasons why it didn't ?

Is there any way I can modify this recipe and/or procedure to make it rise more without changing the flavor ?

I've made numerous cakes before and have never had a problem so I'm thinking that the procedure is incorrect, or something was inadvertently omitted from the recipe.

I wanted to take this cake in for a function at work tomorrow but don't want to take it in if it doesn't rise any more. If I get some good recommendations, I'll try to make it again this afternoon or evening. Thank you very much.

HERE'S A LINK TO THE ACTUAL RECIPE AS WELL AS WHAT IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE ... http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Orange-Dream-Cake

Tim

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Old 02-01-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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I'm not much of a baker, but I know that there are use by dates on baking powder, etc. You may want to check yours. It may be old and just not doing it's job anymore. FYI, I just checked mine, and the date was Jan.2008. It's outta here.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thanks, Lyndalou;
I got another identical tip on cheftalk.com so I checked my can of baking powder and it had a date of April 2002 on the bottom of the can. Oops ... guess I'm going to the store right now to pick up a fresh can and then I'll try to make the cake again. Thanks for the tip.

Tim
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:38 PM   #4
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That was going to be my suggestion too. Just the same, I'm glad you posted the date as I've always wonder if baking powder, which is just a bunch of chemicals mixed together, really does get old -- and now I know! I mean, -inch thick layers! Wow!
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:08 PM   #5
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I always test my baking powder and baking soda regularly, regardless if they're way before the expiration date. I once bought baking powder with the expiration date about two years away, tested it the day I bought it, and it was flat!

Here's how to test them:

BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA TESTS

BAKING POWDER
To test baking powder's effectiveness: mix 1 tsp (5 grams) baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately and vigorously. The fresher the baking powder, the more active the bubbles. If no reaction occurs or if the bubbles are weak, the baking powder is not strong enough to raise whatever you are planning to bake.

Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

BAKING SODA
To test baking soda's effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for the very useful information!
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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That is very useful. Baking powder and soda doesn't last long enough here to go out of date but this is good to know just in case. I've added this to my kitchen tips and tricks portion of my own cookbook.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erinny View Post
That is very useful. Baking powder and soda doesn't last long enough here to go out of date but this is good to know just in case. I've added this to my kitchen tips and tricks portion of my own cookbook.
Good point, but I always check the expiration date when I buy new stuff. It seems that the markets have a lot more past-date stuff on the shelves these days.
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