In search of grocery store cake recipes or similar

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by HeatherP, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. HeatherP

    HeatherP New Member

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    I have been searching and searching and making cakes that are supposed to taste like they came from a grocery store and am always disappointed in the results. I have a great white cake recipe. I love it. No complaints. Chocolate however, now that's been a bugger to try and figure out. I know most grocery stores & bakeries use cake mix along with ingredients added. Does anybody know how they do this? Specifically for chocolate or marbled. Thank you!
     
    HeatherP, Apr 28, 2017
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  2. HeatherP

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I used to work in grocery store bakeries.

    I can tell you that the mixes they use are the same ones you can get in the boxes on the shelves.
    It all depends on what brand you like.

    For grocery stores, instead of small boxes of cake mix, they came in large 20-50 pound bags.
    You open it up, dump it in the industrial mixer along with your eggs and water and mix it.
    White, chocolate, yellow, german chocolate, or red velvet. Marble is nothing more than white cake and chocolate cake swirled together in the same pan.

    That was years ago.

    Now, grocery stores get their cakes in frozen, already baked. All they have to do is cut the sizes they need frost them and decorate them. These cakes are made in an assembly line fashion now....they aren't made there in the stores anymore. The only cakes I think they actually might still make in-store is Angel Food and Creme Cakes. Even pies come in frozen, and they bake them in the store. But cake layers are premanufactured and shipped frozen to the stores.

    Getting a "store bought" cake style for your home made cake will take some experimentation on your part. The one thing you have to remember is that you don't want to over mix it or get too much air in it. That will cause a lot of sponge like consistency or look to the cake when you cut into it. If you want that smooth texture, then you have to mix slowly and gently to avoid any air getting into your batter.
     
    ChesterV, Apr 30, 2017
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  3. HeatherP

    HeatherP New Member

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    Good tip for the not getting the air bubbles in! Did you ever see bakeries use milk, , sour cream, extra eggs, butter, etc. in the batter? I have never had a general cake mix ever turn out like a bakeries :(. There is something different for sure. Moister is one thing I have noticed. That and amount of cake. A box mix is so small compared to a bakeries in height. They must use a box and a half worth at least.
    Ok, so you if you were me, and you wanted to make a bakery cake, what brand would you use, how much cake mix, and then how much for eggs and water?

    Thanks for the help & tips!!
     
    HeatherP, May 1, 2017
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  4. HeatherP

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Well, it all depends on your taste.

    If you want to use a box mix, I would go with the higher grade brands like Krusteaz or Ghirardelli.

    Bakeries do use a bit more than what a box mix will make. I usually use 2 boxes for one 9x13 pan. And I use air pans for baking, so the cake rises evenly and doesn't dome in the middle.

    If you want a more dense cake, use a bit less water, and a bit more oil or melted butter in the batter.
    Fats, like oils and butters, are what makes cakes "moist". They really aren't moist, the fats have just adhered to the flour in the mix, keeping it from drying out. So, the more "moist" you want a cake, the more fat you need to add to it.

    Depending on the size of cake and the type of cake (white, yellow, choc, red velvet, carrot, etc...) will depend on the adjustments you need.

    Just as an example....

    If I were to make a wedding cake at home, I would use French Vanilla cake mix. I would cut out most of the water, add an extra egg, and use real butter instead of oil. This would make more of a solid, dense cake...sort of like a pound cake, but not as heavy. Wedding cakes need to have some solidity to them in order to hold the height and weight of the decor going on them, and especially if they are stacked. Using dowel rods is good, but they can still fail if the cake isn't dense enough to keep them from ripping through the cake.

    You can also adjust your fats in your cake batters.........using less oils and butter, adding sour cream or cream cheese can change the flavor and the consistency of the cake.

    An old trick that was popular in the 70's was adding a box of instant pudding mix to the batter. This gave the illusion of extra moistness and made the cake a bit more "solid".

    If you want to avoid the fats, then there are alternatives to use....like peanutbutter, avocado, apple sauce, banana, bean paste, tofu, etc.....

    Again, it all depends on taste and what you are going for. I would suggest experimenting. Get a cake mix, and divide it into 4 bowls. Divide your ingredients by 4......use sour cream in one batter, use real butter in one batter, use less water in one batter, etc......with whatever you want to experiment with.

    Make cupcakes out of these batters and see how they turn out and taste. If you find one you like better than the others, then you can use that recipe and adjust it to what style of cake you want.

    I know thats a lot of information, but I really can't give you a direct answer without knowing for certain what it is you are wanting.

    But I hope the info helps out.
     
    ChesterV, Jun 25, 2017
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  5. HeatherP

    Katiecake New Member

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    As per to get the "grocery store" quality. That has already been given tips on improving cake quality.

    But in my recent rediscovery into baking again, I have been into not only in my line of work, (Costco bakery) but baking my own cake goodies as well. In my opinion, to have a "made from home with love and care" quality would be quite the step up to a "grocery store" quality cake.

    In my workplace, the cakes are actually from scratch. Flour, sugar, baking powder, liquid eggs, vanilla extract and all.
    Granted, I'm not much on the bakers end of it, but always tend to watch my bakers when they get everything together to start the process and get powdered by flour dust. I'm currently overall bakery, tending to go from just simple production, to cake decorating, bakers end mainly for bread and the in-house cookies, or even at the bench (pouring cakes, cheesecakes, flan, etc..)
    In the line of the cakes from scratch, cheesecakes and flan are all super simple recipe, just in mass quantities.
    But in my own opinion, even though the cakes are made in house, it is still a mass produced, mass quantity, grocery store quality. I would prefer my homemade cakes to taste and feel like the love I put into it, sounds corny, but in the quality aspect of mass production, to small batch, is that homemade should feel a stronger quality than grocery store quality.

    I apologize if this sounds a bit harsh, but putting your standard to grocery store quality would be holding your own self back.
    In my own experimentation at home. First I started slowly with a recipe I found online. My start back up in baking cake was a Chinese sponge cake (Gai Don Go), I've baked several different recipes that I found until I had one that I had liked. Generally always following the instructions to their absolute. Then I thought about it and searched up different styles of cakes and how their processes differ. In this case is when you can incorporate making your own adjustments to see what you are truly capable of.

    Currently my favorite to make is the Chinese sponge cake variant, due to the large focus of my own endeavor to keep machinery as so far minimal when creating it, and the attention to detail it requires to hand beat eggs to stiff peaks. The hard work and dedication I put into it is so satisfying, especially when I know the outcome is from my own two hands, a bunch of ingredients, several whisks, rubber spatulas and all the care I put into the masterpiece.

    I am also looking into, by the general cake ratios, of creating and refining my own recipe. It has been in the works for about a month, with only refining it from my own base and judgement of the ingredients. Worked with it only twice due to being just about always busy with work, and maintaining my own lifestyle aside from baking as well. But eventually I will have a work of art that I can claim as my own.

    I hope that you can understand where I am coming from, in my stance that a home cake should not taste and be "grocery store" quality.

    Happy Baking!
     
    Katiecake, Jun 25, 2017
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  6. HeatherP

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I very much understand your perspective that baking is an artform. I too, embrace baking as an artform. However your assertion that hand beating the egg whites produces a superior cake is not supported by science.


    Egg whites are made up of protein molecules. The outside of the protein molecules repel the other molecules around them. But inside the molecules are atoms that will easily bond with other atoms if exposed.


    When you beat the egg white, the friction and force damages the protein molecules, causes them to uncoil. This is referred to as protein denaturation.


    The uncoiled molecules expose the atoms that then bond with other atoms around them. That bonding forms a network like structure. As you beat, air bubbles form and become trapped in the protein network.


    The smoothness and stability of the beaten egg whites is determined by the size and uniformity of the air bubbles that become trapped in the protein network.


    A mixer whisk rotates at a constant speed, with a constant force. The air bubbles that are produced and trapped in the protein network are very small and uniform in size. The constant speed of the whisk also more uniformly distributes the air bubbles. This overall uniformity of bubble size and distribution creates a more stable whipped egg white.


    You cannot achieve that level of uniformity when you beat by hand. When you beat egg whites by hand your speed constantly changes; you stop,and start. The force applied varies with each stroke. The air bubbles produced by hand vary in size and density. Some areas will have more air bubbles than others. The lack of uniformity creates instability.


    A stronger stable egg white will withstand the mixing better when folded it into the batter. And egg white stability in turn produces a better rise, which creates that light, airy texture. So machine beating is the better method.


    You can improve the stability of the eggs whites more by using a chilled fresh egg. The farmer's market in my town has a couple of farmers who sell fresh eggs. They are expensive, $8 per dozen. A fresh egg takes longer to whip, but it produces a stronger protein network, especially when it's chilled. But if you use eggs purchased from the grocery store, then you definitely want the egg to be about 70°.


    Also using a copper bowl increases the strength of the protein network. KitchenAid doesn't make a copper bowl for their mixers, but there are companies that make copper bowls that will fit under a KitchenAid mixer. Eggs have a molecule called conalbumin. When copper is present, it reacts with the copper to strengthen the protein network.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 25, 2017
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  7. HeatherP

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about your post for some days now. Several times I started to respond, then pulled back. The topic of creating a scratch cake to resemble a store-bought cake is at its essence the scratch vs box mix debate. And that is such a passionate topic among cake bakers as proponents on each side of the debate have very strong opinions on this subject.

    I wanted to make sure that my own preferences (which is scratch) did not influence my response. So I hope this is an objective response as I believe the spirit of this forum is to promote and embrace the joy of baking in all it's forms.


    So your question at hand is how to make a home baked chocolate cake more like a store-bought cake, in particular a chocolate marble cake.


    The cake qualities that you are striving for our achieved through emulsifiers, type of flour, and mixing method.


    EMULSIFIERS

    BOX MIX

    Since box cake mix contains the emulsifiers, box mix bakers strife to improve the flavor and increase batter yield as events cake require more batter. Modifying boxed mix for flavor usually entails replacing a large potion of the fat with an ingredient that has both fat and flavor, like yogurt or sour cream. Shawna McGreevy has cake recipes listed on her site. Her approach is an example how most box mix bakers alter their recipes.

    http://mcgreevycakes.com/cake-recipes/

    SCRATCH CAKES

    High ratio shortening. Replace the butter and/or oil with high ratio shortening. Commercially produced cakes rarely use butter for 3 reasons: 1) high ratio shortening is a superior emulsifier; 2) butter cakes have a shorter life shelf; 3) butter is more expensive.

    High ratio shortening is specially formulated with emulsifiers. Retail shortenings, such as Crisco, do not contain the emulsifiers, thus will not produce the same results. High ratio shortening is sold to the trade, so its packaged in 50 lb tubs. However, a few bakery supply companies repackage bulk high ratio shortening for the retail market.

    The preferred brand among commercial bakeries is Sweetex. Stratas Foods, the manufacturer of Sweetex, prohibits use of their trademark/copyright name on the labels of the repackaged shortening. So if you decide to purchase Sweetex in the smaller repackaged quantities, it is best to contact the supplier to confirm the brand of high ratio shortening.

    Stratas Foods makes a liquid form of a high ratio shortening for cake batter. But I have never seen it repackaged for the retail market.

    Check your local cake decorating suppliers or purchase online. Links to a couple of sources below.

    https://www.craftsy.com/cake-decora...b92a83b69ea0&gclid=CMKO37PU39QCFUJufgod1lEOmw


    http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=37616&trng=fgle&gclid=CIrd2czT39QCFQqRfgod8OUD2g

    Stratus Foods has a devil's food chocolate cake recipe using their high ratio shortening. I have never tried this recipe so I cannot vouch for it. But it is a place to start experimenting if you decide to try high ratio shortening. You will need to scale this recipe using baker's percentages as it's for mass production.

    https://www.stratasfoods.com/our-recipes/posts/devils-food-mayo-cake


    Lecithin: lecithin is an amino acid produced from soy or eggs. It not only emulsifies, but extends shelf life. In granular form it is widely available in health food stores and vitamin stores as people use it as a supplement. King Arthur Flour sells it in small repackaged quantities. They instruct 1 to 2 tablespoons per 3 cups of flour. I think that is quite vague. I would recommend a ratio of 20% to 25% by weight to the flour.


    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/granular-lecithin-8-oz


    FLOUR

    High ratio cake flour. The type of flour plays a major role in the finished product. A low protein, bleached, soft white wheat flour will produce the moistest, lightest, softest crumb. This type of flour is marketed as cake flour. Stella Parks wrote an article for Serious Eats explaining why bleached cake flour performs differently than unbleached flour (link below).

    However, the retail cake flour in grocery stores it is not the same type of cake flour used in commercial baking. The commercial high ratio cake flour is more likely to be both bleached and heat treated. It's also very finely ground. This creates a flour that produces a cake with increased structural strength, without compromising the soft, delicate crumb by countering the effects of the sugar. It also produces a moister cake as the treatments increases flour absorbency rates.

    The recipe I referenced above from the Stratas' website is most likely based on commercial cake flour. So if you use it, your results will not be exactly like theirs.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/05/why-no-unbleached-cake-flour.html#comments-299469


    METHOD
    High ratio method. The use of high ratio shortening and flour require a different mixing method. Rather than creaming butter and sugar, commercially produced cakes are mixed in two steps:

    1. dry ingredients are mixed, then butter/shortening is mixed into dry ingredients.

    2. Wet ingredients are mixed, then added to dry ingredients in 3 additions.


    Use of high ratio ingredients and mixing method works best when it two ratio rules are followed:

    1. Sugar is equal to or slightly more than flour by weight.

    2. Liquid, including weight of eggs, is equal to flour by weight


    Without commercial grade high ratio shortening and flour you will not achieve the same result as a commercially produced cake. But you can come close.

    Since high ratio cake flour and shortening are not readily available, home bakers have come up with some variations on high ratio method. If you Google height ratio mixing method you'll see there are several different approaches.

    Joe Pastry, a professional baker, has a high ratio chocolate cake recipe and mixing method that he modified for the home baker.

    http://joepastry.com/2013/high-ratio-chocolate-cake-recipe/


    CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE

    To make a marble cake, your batters will need to be:

    1. close to the same consistency

    2. bake at the same temperature, for the same time, for the same size pan

    So if one batter is very heavy and thick and the other very light weight, it's not a good match. If one batter bakes at 325 and the other at 350, that's not a good match. If one batter requires 30 minutes to bake and the other requires 50 minutes to bake, that not a good match.

    Since chocolate and vanilla cakes are formulated with different ingredients, different weights of flour, and require different levels of fat and hydration, it is not advisable to produce and divide a vanilla cake recipe, then add cocoa powder to one portion.

    Rather, develop separate vanilla and chocolate recipe that is to your taste and use them to create a marble cake. While marble is a technique, not a recipe, the batters still need to be comparable in texture and weight to be compatible.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 28, 2017
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  8. HeatherP

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Just thought of one other thing regarding emulsifiers. The emulsifiers used in box cake mix are sold to commercial bakeries. The restaurant supply store I used to go to in Souther California repackaged it in smaller quantities and just labeled it as "emulsifier".

    King Arthur sells it as "cake enhancer"

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/cake-enhancer-10-oz


    Aui Fine Foods sells to the public, but only in standard packaging

    https://secure.auifinefoods.com/jilk-cake-emulsifier-0230010000

    I know I saw it online here very recently in a repackaged smaller quantity, but I can't remember what website I saw it on. But it's definitely available to the home baker if you want to experiment with the commercial emulsifiers.

    One kitchenware shop where I currently live also repackages it for retail sale, so you may want to check your local cake decorating shops and specialty kitchenware stores.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 28, 2017
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