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I have a cake recipe (ingredient list below) which makes a relatively light cake, very much like traditional cupcakes. However, I prefer a sturdier, denser cake. I tried replacing 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and was able to achieve the desired density. Unfortunately, it had an adverse effect on the flavor and color of the cake. I may try the same trick with spelt flour instead of the whole wheat, and see what happens. I've also been wondering if I could simply increase the amount of all-purpose flour and/or decrease the water, or possibly just reduce the baking soda and/or vinegar. Does anyone here have an opinion on what is the best method for increasing the density of a cake? Thanks!

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vinegar
Saturday, March 09 2013, 01:10 AM
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Mattie
Mattie
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Monday, March 11 2013, 10:39 AM - #Permalink
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Hi Buccaneer Bob, definitely decrease the baking powder. I'd first aim for 3/4 teaspoon instead of the 1 teaspoon that the recipe calls for. This will decrease leavening which will make the cake more dense.

1/2 cup vegetable oil seems like a lot for a cake with only 1 1/2 cups flour. Although reducing the oil would probably make the cake lighter which is the opposite direction you want to go, you may want to keep an eye on it. If things start to get soggy you might want to look into reducing it- I'm used to seeing 2 Tablespoons of oil here. Good luck!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Mattie
    Mattie
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    Tuesday, July 09 2013, 02:08 PM - #Permalink
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    So glad it worked out Buccaneer Bob! Regarding the oil and the sticking, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps the excessive oil inhibited binding to the point of where the cake would rather crumble instead of "let go" of the bundt cake mold.

    These days I usually prevent my cakes from sticking to their molds by placing a folded paper towel over an open bottle of canola oil before giving it a shake to get oil on the towel. Then I run the towel around the inside of the baking mold, dust flour over it then shake off the excess flour. The oil soaks up the flour and keeps the cake batter's proteins and starches from binding to the mold during baking. For especially moist cakes, I just give up and use a springform pan :D
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    Thursday, May 30 2013, 09:38 PM - #Permalink
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    Thanks for the suggestion. After some experimentation, I ended up reducing the baking soda to 3/4 tsp and the oil to 3 tbsp. I'm pretty happy with the consistency of the cake at this point.

    And thank you so much for pointing out the issue with the oil. Reducing it from 8 tbsp to 3 tbsp resulted in much better texture and flavor, and resolved a couple of problems I was having with this cake. One problem was turning the cake out of the pan; my pan makes 6 mini bundt cakes and they were sticking terribly. I was often lucky to get even one of the mini bundt cakes out of the pan without it breaking apart. I had experimented with a number of different methods of preparing the pan, but the cakes always stuck! However, the first batch of cakes that I baked after reducing the oil turned out of the pan with little effort! I guess cakes with a high oil content are more likely to stick to the pan?! I would have thought more oil would make the cake less likely to stick to the pan, but apparently not.

    The other problem solved by the oil reduction was decorating; when decorating the cake with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, the powdered sugar would "disappear" into the cake within about 12 hours. After reducing the oil, this is no longer a problem!

    Hooray! Thanks for your help!
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