Cakes are Synonymous with Softness
Cakes are softness personified! Whenever you think of a cake, your mouth waters recalling the sweetness and the cottony softness. A cake is good only if it is soft, sweet and perfectly flavoured. Often when beginners try their hand at cake baking at home, they end up making cakes that are not too soft. Either the cake turns gooey or it turns too hard, almost like a cookie. So what is the secret to baking a soft cake? Does it require any special recipe or is there any special trick that professional bakers do not want to share?
Well, baking a soft cake is no rocket science, but it does require the perfect technique, ingredients, skill and a lot of other things. You might make delicious dishes by just adding the ingredients by a rough estimate. Regular dishes often taste the same when there is a slight variation in the quantities. For example, your pizza sauce will turn out equally delicious if you take 3 tomatoes instead of 4 or vice versa. Some dishes and some ingredients are not overly dependent on the perfect quantities but the same does not hold true for cakes. A perfect cake is an amalgamation of perfect timing, perfect measurements, perfect temperature, perfect ingredients and perfect methods. A little here and there and your efforts may go down the drain. So if you want to bake a cake and bake it super soft, then here are some cool tips and tricks which can help you bake a sinfully soft and fluffy cake.
10 Tips to Make Your Cakes Soft
#Tip 1 - Ensure the Correct Temperatures
You need to ensure that you have the correct temperatures of each ingredient you are using in your cake. You might have not thought about this before. Generally, people only concentrate on the baking temperature. But your flour and eggs also should be at room temperature while preparing your cake batter. The butter should be warm so that it mixes easily. Using cold eggs might transfer the coolness to the batter, making it cold and not fit to make a soft cake.
#Tip 2 - Try Using Buttermilk as a Substitute
Did you know that you could use buttermilk in your cakes? Buttermilks have high acidic content due to which the cake becomes soft as the buttermilk breaks down the gluten in the flour. Buttermilks often work best along with a little baking soda, so if your recipe does not have baking soda, you can add a little bit along with buttermilk.
#Tip 3 - Fold Your Flour Properly
Now there are various theories to this. Some people believe that mixing the flour batter vigorously for some time helps you incorporate air in the batter, resulting in a super moist cake. But a proven method is not mixing the batter but folding it properly. You need to make figure 8 in motion while folding. For a soft cake, also be careful not to over-mix the batter as this will kill the air bubbles, resulting in a hard cake.
#Tip 4 - Use the Right Flour
You don’t need to buy cake flour to have the right flour for your cake. Most cakes require all-purpose flour which can be easily made at home. You can add a bit of corn starch to your all-purpose flour that helps to make the cake spongy. If you are buying an all-purpose flour from the market, it will already have corn starch and a bit of baking soda that makes your cakes super moist and spongy.
#Tip 5 - Do Not Omit the Sifting Process
Sifting the cake adds air and helps to make your cake super light and fluffy. A lot many times, you tend to omit this step thinking it to be unnecessary. But it is always advisable to sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder so as to mix the dry ingredients well and also to make your cake super spongy and fluffy.
#Tip 6 - Beat Eggs Slowly
Your cakes might turn out to be very heavy and hard if you beat the eggs in the wrong way. The correct method is to add 1/3rd of the egg into the butter and sugar mixture and beat them with an electronic mixer. Later, you can add the remaining eggs to the batter, until the mixture looks very slimy.
#Tip 7 - Use Sugar Syrup to Your Rescue
If you need to store your cake in the refrigerator or you plan to frost the cake, it might dry out and not remain very moist. But you can prevent this by adding a sugar syrup in the ready cake to make it soft and spongy. If you intend to add sugar syrup later, you can reduce the amount of sugar while preparing the batter. Once the cake is ready and cooled, pour or spray the sugar syrup over the cake slices before frosting it.
#Tip 8 - Whisk Butter and Sugar Until You Get the Right Consistency
If you want to make your cakes soft, you need to whisk sugar and butter for long until the mixture becomes fluffy and pale yellow. This happens because of the incorporation of air. This process is known as creaming. It is an essential tip for making your cakes soft and all professional bakers do this step before adding the dry ingredients.
#Tip 9 - Frost the Cake Only When Cooled
If you do not let the cake set and cool before frosting, you might end up with a dry and hard cake. There is always a right time to do the frosting. After you remove the cake from the oven, you should place it on the cooling rack and let it cool for at least an hour before you begin frosting.
#Tip 10 - Use the Right Amount of Baking Powder
Baking powder is a leavening agent required to rise the cake properly. Too much of baking powder will not only taste terrible but will make the cake rise uncontrollably. Adding too little baking powder in the cake will make it crumbly and very hard.
3 Recipes of Ultra Soft Cakes
So now that you know some basic tips to make a soft cake, here we have listed some easy cake recipes which turn out amazingly soft. First, try your hand at these recipes to see if your cakes turn out soft or not and then you can tweak your recipes a bit to get soft and spongy cakes too.
#Recipe 1 - Super Soft Vanilla Cake
This very easy vanilla cake is as soft as a feather and also very easy to make.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and a little extra for greasing the pans
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes, plus more for coating pans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup 2 percent milk
- 2 large eggs
- Ensure that all the ingredients are in room temperature.
- Heat your oven to 350 F.
- Grease two cake pans of 9 inches each.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl of a standing mixer.
- Keep the mixer on the lowest speed, add the butter one cube at a time, and mix until the mixture develops a slightly grainy consistency.
- Now keeping the mixer on low, slowly add the vanilla essence and then start pouring in the milk.
- Next, add the eggs, one at a time and mix until the batter is fluffy. It should take approximately 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the greased pans and transfer them to the oven.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 10 minutes and cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
#Recipe 2 - Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake
This one below is the recipe of a basic chocolate cake, but the recipe is a little different than the regular chocolate sponge cake. This one comes out absolutely moist and spongy.
- 80g cake flour
- 20g cocoa powder
- 50g sugar
- 40g oil
- 50g milk
- 6g vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 66g egg yolk (4 large eggs)
- 130g egg whites(4 large)
- 50g sugar
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 7" cake pan
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and line the cake pan with parchment paper.
- Now take the flour and cocoa powder and sift them together so as to mix them well.
- Slowly start adding all the wet ingredients into the flour mixture – egg yolk, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla and oil. Mix until smooth.
- Next, whisk the egg white in a separate bowl and continue whisking until foamy. Then add sugar and lemon juice and again whisk until you get a stiff peak. You can use an electric mixer for this. Next, slowly fold the egg white into the egg yolk batter, which you had mixed earlier. Do not add all at once, egg the egg foam will deflate, add slowly or in three or four batches.
- Mix everything together well until smooth.
- pour the mixed batter into the greased pan and place it in a baking tray.
- Bake for 85 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the pan and let it cool on a rack.
#Recipe 3 - Extra Soft Pineapple Sponge Cake Recipe
Now this one is an award winning pineapple sponge cake recipe you must try.
- 10 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 7 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 20-ounce can crushed pineapple
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Farenheit and grease an 8-inch cake pan. You can also line it with a parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, kosher salt and lemon zest together. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, adjust the paddle and then cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy.
- Put the mixer back on low speed and then slowly add the eggs, one at a time, allowing the eggs to incorporate completely.
- Mix the crushed pineapple along with the vanilla and mix until all combined.
- Next, add the flour mixture slowly and mix until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and gently tap to release air bubbles if any.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool and then serve with plain or with freshly whipped cream.
Work with a Recipe
Baking is as much an art as it is a science. In order to achieve dependable results, we need to work with recipes and not use guesswork. Unlike in times past when we baked merely based on what comes into our heads. If a recipe must be changed during baking, take note of those changes. That way you know what to repeat or avoid the next time you are baking that type of cake.