Yes, I said it out loud! It’s a word that makes us cringe but what we imagine that our cakes would feel and taste like. I love to understand the science behind baking (yep - I am a nerd!) and what makes that super soft (aka ‘moist’) crumbly textured cake that makes us weak at the knees.
A few different factors can affect how your cake will taste and feel. If you are after a beautifully textured moist cake then try some of my tips.
I am often asked ‘why did my cake turn out dry?’. More often than not it was left in the oven too long. When I am trying a new recipe I will always bake the cake 15 minutes less than the recipe stipulates and then check on it in 5 minute increments.
Simple syrup is made by boiling equal parts water and sugar for a few minutes. It can be flavoured with alcohol or oils. It is then drizzled onto each layer of your cake before you assemble it. It adds a subtle sweetness but keeps your cake nice and soft. This is a great trick for naked cakes which don’t have the benefit of ganache to protect them from drying out.
The fats in a recipe (such as butter or oil) play an important role in retaining the moisture in a cake. If I am concerned about the cake turning out a little dry (usually because I am unsure of the recipe) I add a few tablespoons of oil to the cake batter. Usually it’s vegetable oil or canola oil or, depending on the cake flavour, even olive oil.
For similar reasons as adding fats, milk or dairy plays an important role in keeping your cake super soft. Depending on the recipe I might add up to ¼ cup milk to the recipe. This can be a little tricky because I don’t want to mess up the wet to dry ingredients ratio. You will need to experiment a little with this one.