Oh oh - my cakes just came out of the oven and they didn't rise enough. Since I didn't add the baking soda, due to the "dutched-processed" cocoa, I didn't think how that would chemically react to the replaced apple-sauce, instead of the veg. oil. Does the apple-sauce have enough acid to react to the dutched-process cocoa?

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12 Comments

mrslarkin October 15, 2010
drbabs is right on. I'd rather have a sliver of something really really good, rather than a hunk of something mediocre.
 
drbabs October 15, 2010
Kim, MrsLarkin (a professional baker, btw) is totally right--I forgot about the acid in applesauce. If you want to try substituting fruit puree (some people use baby food prunes instead of applesauce) for oil in baked goods, try doing it with a quick bread first. Those recipes are generally more forgiving and if they come out a little moist, so what? For a cake, especially a chocolate cake, consider that chocolate cake is really a treat--do you really need to eliminate the fat? And if the cake is 8 or 10 servings, how much fat are you really getting anyway? Sometimes it's better to have a small amount of something really good than a lot of something that's supposedly healthy but not very tasty. (Just my humble opinion.)
 
KitchenKim October 14, 2010
The case of the unrising chocolate cake has been solved. The second I took the cake pans out of the oven, I knew the wrong chemical reactions took place...but thanks to all of you - my new trusted foodpickle friends - I will never make that particular "dutched-processed cocoa + applesauce" mistake again!
 

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mrslarkin October 14, 2010
There could be many reasons the cake didn't rise. I'm guessing the quantities you replaced were equal. Maybe the applesauce was too acidic (some are made with lemon juice or another acid) Maybe not enough or too much baking powder. Applesauce is very wet, so there's that, too. Here's a little bit of info I found: http://www.wisegeek.com/can-i-substitute-applesauce-in-baking.htm I've had to throw out many a recipe because of my experimentation. We've all been there, done that! Kudos for trying.
 
sfmiller October 14, 2010
Leaving aside considerations of flavor, applesauce is a quite acididic ingredient (its pH is about the same as buttermilk), so you probably would have been better off retaining the baking soda with the applesauce substitution. The acidic applesauce neutralized some of the basic component of the baking powder, hence less rise.
 
nutcakes October 14, 2010
You may have needed to add extra baking powder to make up for the rise you would have gotten if you used regular unsweetened cocoa instead of dutched. I don't know how much would be sufficient. All applesauce and no oil is going to be inferior. If you are a new baker, try recipes from people you trust, and don't substitute ingredients. Hope next time works out better.
 
TiggyBee October 14, 2010
KitchenKim, sorry about your cakes. I think the problem is the substituting of applesauce for oil. That can be a really tricky thing to navigate. Some recipes it works OK in and other times it can be a disaster, turning the end result into a heavy almost leaden product. Better luck tomorrow!!
 
KitchenKim October 14, 2010
drdabs - the next time I attempt to change a recipe I will consult my Food52 guru's before I crack the eggs :). Thanks
 
KitchenKim October 14, 2010
I just threw the chocolate cakes away - it had a slightly chewy texture on the first bite and then chocolate flavored apple-sauce mush on the inside - YUCK! I will try again tomorrow and use a different recipe:) Thanks for everyones imput and attempt to turn me into a baker:).
 
drbabs October 14, 2010
This is what makes baking frustrating--you make one change and it changes everything else. I'm definitely not a baking expert, but when my daughter was in high school, for her science project we baked cakes with all oil, all applesauce and half applesauce, half oil and she did a taste test. It came out like you figure it would--all oil was best followed by 1/2 and 1/2, followed by all applesauce. I'm pretty sure the all oil one rose the highest, too. Sorry, I'm not being much help here. Maybe if you posted the whole recipe and what you substituted we could help you figure this out.
 
KitchenKim October 14, 2010
I did add baking powder but no baking soda! Should I have not added the apple sauce?
 
drbabs October 14, 2010
Did you add baking powder?
 
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