Butter AND oil?! Do you really need both?

Ok, I'll ask again.... This recipe calls for butter and oil. The amount of fat seems like a lot for a cake. Do you really need to use both? Can the oil be eliminated or can some of cherry puree be substituted for the oil?

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Fresh Cherry Bundt Cake
Recipe question for: Fresh Cherry Bundt Cake

4 Comments

Miss K. August 5, 2019
Thank you ladies! I do sincerely appreciate this information. I had almost decided NOT to try this recipe....However, since I have tomorrow off- I'll give it a shot.
I still have to adjust it for altitude as well.🙃
 
Stephanie B. August 6, 2019
If you remember, let me know what you think of it! I made it when it was first posted and it turned out badly, and I'm confident that it was not user error. My and some others comments lead to the recipe getting edited to improve the texture of the cake, but I haven't tried it since. I liked the flavor of the cake and the glaze so I'm curious to see if the changes to the recipe improved the cake.
 
Lori T. August 5, 2019
As Emma said, oil and butter bring different strengths to the cake party. Oil has a neutral taste, and although we believe it adds moisture- that's not really so much true. What it does is coat the proteins in your flour to prevent gluten formation, and it coats it with the molecules of oil. What you interpret as moist is in reality oil, rather than a true liquid type moisture. Butter on the other hand is a combo of fat and water, so it brings both to the batter. It comes in handy to help create a fluffy texture, because butter can help hold on the the bubbles whipped into the sugar and eggs. Oil can't do that. If you were to use all oil in this recipe, you would end up with a very dense cake, and it would taste very oily. That's what oil cakes are really, you just interpret it as moist. However, oil can't hold on to water at all. The liquid is also important for your leavening agent, to help distribute it evenly and for it to work effectively. The only real moisture in the batter will have to come from your eggs, the bit of extract, and whatever leaches from the small amount of roughly chopped cherries. That's not actually a lot of moisture, when you think about it. That's where the oil is coming in. Your cake will not actually have a lot of moisture to start with, so you need something to make your mouth feel like there is- or you will feel like you are eating cotton. The short answer here is that you really do need both to make the cake work. A bundt cake is supposed to be more closely related to a velvety pound cake in texture, rather than a fluffy yellow cake type texture. So the combo is what is most likely to give you that.
 
Emma L. August 5, 2019
Hi Karen! I wouldn't recommend swapping out some of the oil and replacing it with cherry puree—the two act very differently in the batter. And I actually really like cakes with both butter and oil! Both add fat, obviously, but the butter brings awesome flavor and the oil adds moisture and extends shelf-life. It's like getting the best of both worlds.
 
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