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Cake help!

This is what I get for too much multi-tasking. Baking a cake while doing 5 other things, I added baking soda instead of baking powder (1/2 tsp.) Realizing this mistake, I added the baking powder at the end, mixing it into the already-poured cake batter. I have someone coming over this afternoon. Is this cake going to be edible? Do I need to pitch it and start over? Have limited time, would love anyone's advice! Thanks.

asked by Dani almost 2 years ago
5 answers 751 views
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ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

It might depend upon what kind of cake it is, but I wouldn't count on it being edible.

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

Oh, Daniela, I feel your pain as I've done exactly the same thing myself. As June says, it depends on the cake and will probably affect the texture and height more than the taste. (At least you didn't leave the leavener out entirely. I've done that, and the cake was inedible.) Let us know what happens, OK?

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

OK, I've done a little more research, and here's the issue: if you only use baking soda, an alkaline substance (that can be soapy tasting) is left behind. However, if there's any acid in the batter (citrus, buttermilk, yogurt), you're OK with just baking soda because the acid neutralizes the alkali. The issue with height and texture is that if you have too much leavener, the gas bubbles in the batter get really big, float to the top, and pop. You end up with a flat heavy cake. (Credit Shirley Corriher (Cookwise and Bakewise) for the scientific explanation.)

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added almost 2 years ago

thanks so much drbabs! i panicked about time, chucked the batter, and started over. hate to waste food...but didn't have the time today to wait for the results of my unintended experiment ;) won't be making this mistake again!

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drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added almost 2 years ago

I hope not, but I've actually done it more than once--usually with recipes I know really well (so I'm not constantly checking an ingredients list to make sure I have everything out)! Quite frustrating. I recently left melted butter out of a tray of banana muffins. They tasted good, but the texture was horrible and rubbery. I almost threw them away. Funny thing is, I made them for house guests who had had a big bunch of over ripe bananas from a long car trip. They LOVED the muffins--she never puts any fat in baked goods so it's what they're accustomed to. They devoured them. Go figure.