Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Applesauce does make a cake moist, but also unpleasantly sticky. (When my daughter was in high school, we actually did an experiment for her science class that demonstrated this. ) I can't even imagine what diet coke will do, but I know that artificial sweeteners get bitter when heated. Shirley Corriher (Bakewise) says that oil makes cakes moist because it coats the proteins in the flour and prevents them from absorbing liquid in the batter and making gluten. So you could substitute some neutral oil for part of the butter in the recipe, or use a recipe that has oil as the fat instead of butter. Also, once you add the flour to the wet ingredients, don't over mix the batter. That will keep the cake from developing gluten and getting tough. I hope your cake turns out delicious.
This is the BEST detailed response I've found. Breaking the science of it down makes it easier to understand and branch off from there. This makes cooking fun and adventurous! Thank you!
N. 1 – don't over cook!
N. 2 – if, like me, the idea of using anything other than butter depresses you greatly, use extra! Extra butter will make a cake more dense, but if it is a rustic cake or low-flour, that won't matter. If you are looking for lightness & rise 50% more butter might be too much.
I find using vegetable oil makes a moist cake.
Maybe I spent too much time living in the midwest, but we added a box of instant pudding to our cake batters to make them moist and delish.
You can add a Tablespoon of corn syrup or Hersey's Chocolate syrup (which is basically just chocolate flavored corn syrup), that always seems to make a difference for my cakes. Honey might work too, it's high in fructose as well. I'm not sure why this works, but it's always worked for me (added chocolate syrup to a depression cake about 5 years ago and was amazed by the difference, have experimented since).
Otherwise replace some of the butter with oil.
Or do what people used to do and moisten your cake with syrup (with or without spirits) or melted jam or jelly between the layers and before frosting.
I love yogurt in my cake--adds tenderness and I think it adds moisture--so if the recipe calls for milk i'll substitute yogurt.
Awesome, thank you so much!!!
A little bit of mayonnaise
One of my favorite chocolate cakes has pudding and mayo (in addition to a few eggs). It's even better the next day.
cream of coconut (coco lopez) makes the cake VERY moist...so moist, it will "fall" in the center
I just made Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake and the main liquid was buttermilk - it was the moistest cake I have ever made so you may want to give that a try.
Make a yogurt cake, for example: http://koshercamembert...
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Buttermilk always works for me. I usually substitute some of the milk with buttermilk.
use clarified butter in preference to oil
I have been adding warm milk to my basic vanilla cakes- I findvthat the warmer the milk,
the moister the crumb.
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