Hi there. I have a pound cake dilemma: my pound cakes come out with a very dense, gummy texture on the bottom of the pound cake. It tastes fine, but it’s gummy. I have done this both with the indicated directions and with beating a lot more than normal, figuring the cake structure needed strengthening. The top isn’t as high as it should be, and dips around 1/4 of the way into the pan and then flares out on the edges of the pan.
RBOEHME, Anna has asked you very important valid questions. Not all recipes that are published have been tried. If you would like help
post the recipe & it’s directions. This way we can see if the recipe is IN or OUT of balance. Till then, enjoy the rest of the day.
No ingredient substitutions for the eggs. I’m using the recipie in the Cake Bible with the double vanilla variation. The effect of this variation is to scald the milk in the vanilla pod and steep it in the hot milk. The milk did not get anywhere near boiling; there were only small bubbles around the edges. As for the flour, I’m using cake flour as indicated. I’m from the US, so the flour should react properly. The pans are, if memory serves, either 0.25 or 0.5 inches larger than the recipie calls for - I couldn’t easily find the exact sized pans. I think it was 0.25 each way. They are glass loaf pans, and I’m baking at 350 deg. F. The batter when into the pan immediately after beating, and then from there into the oven. To show the picture, I will resort to the dreaded ASCII art. The inner ring is the sunken portion, the xxxx is the risen top, and the outer edge indicating the pan is flared out again:
I’m sorry, I don’t have any experience using glass pans for this kind of cake. I always use metal pans (and, eeek, not one of Rose’s recipes, LOL!)
I do know that I’ve been happiest with recipes that call for an oven temp of 325, basically a low and slow approach.
Some dim and fuzzy part of my memory seems to want to remind me of how to adjust an oven temp when using a glass pan, I know I’ve read it somewhere before, but I’m coming up blank. (Can’t seem to find it in TCB, either, not that it isn’t there, just that I can’t find it.)
I can’t help thinking that the glass pan might be part of the issue. Maybe someone knowledgeable will chime in with more info.
Rose has this note in the recipe posted on the blog:
Be sure to use a wooden toothpick to test for doneness. The cake will spring back
when pressed lightly in the center even before it is done. If the cake is under baked, it
will have tough, gummy spots instead of a fine, tender crumb.
It sounds like your problem is arising during baking and not during mixing or from your ingredients.
Just to extend my comment about baking above, I’ve actually made the lemon poppy seed version in a pyrex loaf pan a couple of times and it turned out just fine. I think that yours isn’t baking correctly for some reason, which may have more to do with your oven temperature/ time than the pan. Does your oven seem accurate otherwise? Do other cakes finish within the recommended time range? From Rose’s note, it seems like it is actually underbaked or not baking evenly.
I’m unsure on my oven’s temperature accuracy. My oven thermometer can’t be easily read with the oven closed, so I’m mainly presuming on the temperature being right and relying on the toothpick / cake tester to indicate doneness. Other cakes fall on the high end of the reccommended time range before testing out properly.
RBOEHME, I have studied the recipe that you used. There are just 2, items that I am going to mention to you.
First, assuming that your oven temp. is correct with-in a reasonable amount as this one item most often is the reason for most baking failures.
First let me just say this, Sugar can be a cause of a baking failure. So let us get that out of the way now. If you have used the regular kind like DOMINO’S/CH brand or even a super-market brand such as Kroger, Albertson, Safeway, ete then you have no concern. I mention this concern because there are sugars that were milled with a very coarse bead…they come in 15- 25, pound bags at very large discounts sold at food wherehouses. This type of sugar doesn’t melt easily & causes cakes to sink & fail.
There is 2, other things I would like to mention to you for your consideration. First I do not believe a liquid is important in a pound cake recipe…however, if used 10 to 15% of the weight of the flour is acceptable. Notice the milk content is approx 28% of the weight of the flour. I would consider reducing this amount by 1/2. I must say this isn’t causing your soogy mess problem just contributing. My strong opinion is this… in a balanced cake recipe the butter & eggs should equal each other in weight with-in say 15%.
This recipe has 6.5 oz of butter. This coupled with the weight of the sugar cannot absorb the whole eggs. This causes this concoction to curdle & as a result the air in this batter is released. The way to handle this is to beat the eggs separately & then add the eggs into the mixer 1 TBLS at a time mixing for 25/30 seconds in-between each addition. so as the butter can absorb the eggs much easier. This is the condition that causes excessive wetness in a baked product. I hope this info helps you. I will mention one other thing, it has been said that when baking in glass the temp should be lowered by 25 degrees. Enjoy the rest of the day my friend.
Thanks for the interesting analysis, but I will have to respectfully disagree with you Freshkid. I’ve made this recipe several times, and it is one of the best explained and thought out recipes in the book, and the “mother” recipe for the other butter cakes. I’ve never had a problem with it. I think there is something else going on here that doesn’t require changing the recipe.