Home Baked Cakes and Muffins
Home-Made vs Ready-Mix
Purchasing packaged "just-add-water" Cake mixes is great - when you're rushed. But... you miss out on a lot of flavor and of course, all the excitement of baking a cake from scratch! "Will my cake rise?", "Did I mix it too long?", "OOps, why did it fall?" or "Should it REALLY look like that?"
In any case, home baked cakes, in my opinion, always TASTE so much better. Plus you know what's in them because you put it there!
Chemicals are becoming a large area of concern. Alergies abound. You can eliminate many of the chemicals simply by doing the baking yourself.
It's been my experience that homemade cakes are generally "heavier". I assume it is dependent on the type of flour used, the freshness of the ingredients, sea level, and lots of "I don't know why's"!
However, I do know that when I lived in one area of the country and moved to another, the texture of my baking changed—even when using the same ingredients!
Something changed and I've been left to assume that it had to be water, sea level, climate, etc.
So don't get discouraged if something isn't as flakey or light as the recipe claims it should be. As you gain experience, your baking results will improve as well.
Whenever possible, substitute your ingredients to suit your taste and life-style. Lard or butter can be substituted with Applesauce in many recipes, giving your cake a slilghtly different texture but cutting the fat content. It's been my experience that cakes are moister. I've also baked many cakes without eggs or with the egg whites only, and the results have still been very good, while cutting the cholesterol.
Experiment with different exchanges. If the cake doesn't rise, odds are it will still taste delicious! Ice it and create a square instead. Or, by using a long piece of sewing thread, cut the cake width-wise through the center and add jelly or fruit and sugar-free pudding, jello or whipped cream. Chill well and you've got a wonderful dessert!
Never, NEVER be afraid to try something different or add something new. Let your taste buds soar!
Use your "Creativity" — start a New Family Recipe that can be handed down to your children and grandchildren!! How do you think these recipes were originally created, except by trial and error!