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The Great White Cake Bake

Cooking_Monster's picture

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...will commence this weekend. HCPaul, since you mentioned that you prefered RLB's recipe to the one you posted I'm using it in place of, instead of in addition to yours. Hope that's OK.

The entrants so far are:

Flo Braker's White Butter Cake from the Simple Art of Perfect Baking

Rose Levy Beranbaum's White Velvet Cake from the Cake Bible

Nick Malgieri's Classic White Cake from How to Bake

and last, but not least, Marion Cunningham's Light White Cake from the Fanny Farmer Baking Book




make your votes and place your bets, and if you have a favorite recipe for white cake you'd like me to include send it to me quick!

Adele_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #1 of 102)

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CM- your nuts! (LOL)

H.C.Paul's picture

(post #58057, reply #2 of 102)

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CM, you are my hero!! Big O's and X's.
Make the switch, it's okay with me.

Ann_G's picture

(post #58057, reply #3 of 102)

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OH MY G.., I cannot believe you are doing this again. Sell it to Coooks! Your grrrrreeeeat.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #58057, reply #4 of 102)

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It's OK Adele, I already know that :-)
But it was a good topic Heather picked - a good white cake is one of the hardest things to make - and one I've never really taken a look at before.

Wolverine's picture

(post #58057, reply #5 of 102)

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Flo Bakers "Simple Art of Baking" - That white butter cake sounds interesting. You recommend the book?

Taking photos with a piece cut out so we can see them? ( I figure, if you are going this far....);-)

TIA for all your efforts, my friend!

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #58057, reply #6 of 102)

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Good morning Wolvie!
Yes, I do recommend Braker's book, and not just for her butter cakes (which are good, especially the banana cake), but primarily for her genoise recipes which, IMHO are the best I've ever tried.

Jean_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #7 of 102)

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I'm really looking forward to the results of this experiment! Thanks for taking it on. You will be posting the recipes, I hope.
BTW, I'd like to remind everyone that the original Fanny Farmer Cookbook is on-line at

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #8 of 102)

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I think Flo Braker's book is out of print, but as of last spring, Jessica's Biscuit still had copies. As a beginning baker, I like it better than the Cake Bible. Her instructions guide you through every step of the process. There was some debate a while back about which book had better recipes, but at this stage, I need the detailed instructions.

CLS's picture

(post #58057, reply #9 of 102)

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Flo Braker? Is that book called "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking"? Jessica's Biscuit has it on sale for $15.95.

Mean, is this the woman who came up with "our" chocolate chiffon? If so, I may have to get this book. Her chocolate chiffon is, IMO, the finest chocolate cake ever.

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #10 of 102)

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I just bought it last week at Borders, so I don't think it's "out of print." It was $20 for the soft cover. JB has it for $15.95 plus s&h of $4.50.

I like this book, I like the way she explains things, too, ML.

CLS's picture

(post #58057, reply #11 of 102)

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BTW, CM, you go! I am starting to gather data together for another experiment of my own. Shortbread cookies is next on my list. After the great butter cookie experiment (which is permanently gone from the archives), I feel the need to check out a few others. I also have to do one for sugar cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. I figure since I'm going to become a mom I need to brush up on my cookie baking skills. I also want to do a gingerbread bake-off before Thanksgiving.

Marie-Louise_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #12 of 102)

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Good thing I'm planning a lot of hard hikes on my vacation-otherwise it is going to be on to elastic-waisted pants! I was working my way through Alice Medrich's book but haven't made anything new in a while. I liked her shortbread (although some people hated it, as I recall), especially the chocolate version w/ cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper.

BTW-Amazon says "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking" is now out of print, so I would urge anyone who might want it to buy it sooner rather than later, while there's still stock on hand! If you're not sure you want it, search the SF Chronicle for her name-a lot of her recipes have been printed there, so you can check out her writing style.

H.C.Paul's picture

(post #58057, reply #13 of 102)

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I bought the Flo Baker book a couple of weeks ago. Haven't tried any of the recipes yet. Looks like I'm going to have to remedy that. Going to be hard to beat RBL's recipe IMHO

CLS's picture

(post #58057, reply #14 of 102)

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Cooking Monster, please make sure you evaluate for split-ability, and for soak-ability. Those are two things essential in a white cake, IMO.

cam14's picture

(post #58057, reply #15 of 102)

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CM, I am really interested in your experiment since I have never made a "white" cake" so am looking forward to trying one.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #58057, reply #16 of 102)

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I'm eagerly anticipating your shortbread results. I've yet to find a recipe for it I really like.

And let me know when you get to the chocolate chip cookies, I've got a recipe to put on your testing list.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #58057, reply #17 of 102)

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She does beat her on the geniose (not on the butter cakes though).

aussiechef's picture

(post #58057, reply #18 of 102)

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When you do your shortbread experiment, do include one that uses some ground rice. Great texture.

CLS's picture

(post #58057, reply #19 of 102)

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I will. I have already collected 3 or 4 recipes to try. One of them is really, really old. I got it from a lady at my church whose mother was from Scotland. I also have one from my mother-in-law who's parents were Scot/Canadian. I'll make a post just before I go to work on this experiment.

Jean_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #20 of 102)

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I found a used copy of The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker on the web for $6.95 (includes shipping). Yippee!!

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #21 of 102)

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Jean, you are such a bargain hunter! Great deal!

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #58057, reply #22 of 102)

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Cls, that would be Mary Bergin

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #58057, reply #23 of 102)

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Ok, where did you find it?

Jean_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #24 of 102)

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You have to join to participate, and be willing to use your credit card. I figured I'd not be out too much if it didn't work out. I'll let you know what shape the book is in when I get it.
It was the only one at that price and a paperback.

Ann_G's picture

(post #58057, reply #25 of 102)

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i I also have to do one for sugar cookies

CLS- I did test out 4 recipes for sugar cookies and have the results if ou are interested. Not quite as scientific as Cm as I just made up 4 different batches but i did note down my reactions to each and I have a clear favorite. I will look for them over the weekend.

cam14's picture

(post #58057, reply #26 of 102)

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Ann G, I too am interested in your results, please post.

cam14's picture

(post #58057, reply #27 of 102)

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Well, if you are needing chocolate chip cookie recipes I have one to offer. The butter cookies were great and now I'm looking forward to the sugar cookies.

Cooking_Monster's picture

(post #58057, reply #28 of 102)

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Will do my best (though the soakability will just be a guess from eyeballing the texture of the cakes - to be honest I almost never add syrup to butter cakes). Just off the top of my head I assume that all 4 will get high marks on both counts - due to all those egg whites and no yolks.

Jean_'s picture

(post #58057, reply #29 of 102)

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I made the white génoise from Nick M's How to Bake and served it with strawberries and ice cream this past summer....DH and our company snarfed it down, but I thought it was too sweet. Would reducing the amount of sugar screw up the chemistry? Just curious.

CLS's picture

(post #58057, reply #30 of 102)

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Oh, okay, good. Then I won't be getting that book then. Thanks, Mean.
i (I suppose I could have looked it up, but I'm dreadfully lazy these days...)