How to Make a Box Cake Dense For Carving? I enjoy making cakes from a boxed mix as they make baking convenient. The only problem is that, because their texture is a little crumbly, they tend to make carving a bit difficult.
I have found that making the cake dense can ensure you manipulate the cake to the desired shape without it falling apart. So how do you make the cake dense for carving?
How to Make a Box Cake Dense for Carving
To make a box cake dense for carving, add two more egg yolks on top of the number of eggs that are recommended in the recipe. You can also add a 1 oz package of pudding, and this can be any flavor you desire, or use milk instead of water for the mix.
How Do You Make a Cake Dense?
Substitute heavyweight ingredients for light ingredients. For instance, if the cake mix suggests using a cup of water, use plain or flavored yogurt, or milk. These ingredients contain fat that will contribute to the density of the cake.
I have noticed that the greater the percentage of fat my batter has, the denser my cake will be. As such, I prefer using buttermilk or whole milk.
Another trick is adding ingredients to my mixture on top of what the cake mix recipe suggests. This will help increase the density of the batter.
My go-to solution for this is adding a 1 oz package of pudding or two egg yolks to the cake batter.
The way you mix your ingredients also contributes to cake density. Set the hand mixer at a low speed and mix for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to a medium setting and mix for two minutes.
Longer than this will make the cake lighter. That is because the more you mix the batter, the more air you incorporate into it, hence resulting in a lighter cake.
Ideally, you should end up with a thick and consistent batter. If you notice clumps of flour in the mixture, keep mixing to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Lastly, do not pour a lot of cake batter into your baking tin. I would suggest no more than an inch in each baking tin. If you have additional pans, use them to make your work easier.
How Do You Carve Cakes Successfully?
With the right cake carving tips, you will successfully end up with the shape you desire.
You will have an easier time carving the cake if you freeze it first. Partial freezing hardens the cake, allowing you to carve intricate shapes without the cake falling apart. Remember to wrap the cake in plastic food wrapping before popping it into the fridge.
I usually freeze my cake for a couple of hours in terms of time. However, do not start carving the cake immediately after removing it from the fridge. Let it thaw or defrost a little, then get started.
You will also need a sharp pastry knife if you want the carving job to go easier. A blunt knife will not give you clean cuts and can cause some sections to unintentionally fall off.
What Happens When You Add an Extra Egg to Your Cake Mix?
Eggs contain emulsifiers, and this allows the batter to hold fat, extra sugar, and water well in a mixture. As a result, you end up with a moister and sweeter cake with a good structure.
Can Too Many Eggs Make a Cake Dense
Eggs are responsible for adding structure to a cake, which is what you are looking for when your end goal is carving. However, just like other ingredients, do not use too many as this could result in a baking disaster.
Too many eggs will either disrupt the balance of your cake or give it an eggy flavor, and no one wants that. If you find that you have added too many eggs, I suggest adding one tablespoon of flour at a time.
I can tell that my batter has too many eggs if it is too runny.
How Should You Add Eggs to the Cake Mix?
As much as eggs contribute to the density of the cake, how you add them will also contribute to the overall result. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Warm the Eggs in Warm Water
If your eggs are in the fridge, warm them first. Remember that all your ingredients need to be at room temperature. Warm ingredients are usually well incorporated into a mixture.
Beat Them Separately
Beat your eggs separately before adding them to the batter. This ensures you do not overmix your ingredients.
Plus, adding the eggs directly to the mixture forces you to mix the batter even more so that the eggs are well incorporated into the mixture.
Can I Use Butter Instead of Oil in Box Cake Mix?
Yes, you can. Even though most boxed cake mixes suggest using oil such as vegetables or canola, you can still use butter to achieve a firmer and denser texture.
One of the reasons boxed cake mixes suggest using oil is because it makes you work easier as you do not have to melt it. But melting butter only takes, at most, a minute.
It is worth it if I achieve a denser texture that makes my carving job easier. Plus, you will also be adding a buttery flavor to your cake.
How Much Butter Should I Use?
Here is a breakdown of the amount of butter to use when substituting it for oil.
- 1 cup of oil = 1 1/4 cup of melted butter
- 3/4 cup of oil = 1 cup of melted butter
- 1/2 cup of oil = 2/3 cup of melted butter
- 1/4 cup of oil = 1/3 cup of melted butter.
What Does Sour Cream Do to a Cake Mix?
Sour cream is among the fattest dairy products, and fat makes your cake denser and easier to carve. The additional fat content that comes with the sour cream makes it moister, richer, and denser.
Note that fat in any form, whether cream, butter, or lard, will lead to tender baked cakes.
Why Is My Box Cake Crumbly But Moist?
Most box cake mixtures recommend adding water. However, I have realized that the only thing that water does is add moisture to the mixture, and this will not give you the dense quality you are looking for, for carving.
To make your cake dense, add whole milk in place of water, and replace cooking oil with butter. Not only will you be adding flavor to the cake, but the extra fat will ensure your cake does not crumble when you cut into it.
Conclusion to How to Make Box Cake Dense for Carving
While a boxed cake brings convenience, it does not produce a dense cake, and this can make carving difficult. By adding a few ingredients as suggested, you will end up with a dense and flavorful cake that you can easily stack and carve.
Frequently Asked Questions to How to Make A Box Cake Dense for Carving
Is Dense Cake Good?
I enjoy dense cakes, whether I make them myself or at a friend’s house. I find them decadent and easy to stack and carve. Plus, they are heavy, making you feel full easily.
Does a Dense Cake Have a Longer Shelf Life?
Not exactly. Even though it may last longer than most cakes when at room temperature, expect it to last about 3 to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, wrap it in plastic and store it in the fridge.
Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)
Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.