What's wrong with my yellow cake?

I’ve tried 3 times to make a yellow cake and it never turns out right. These are the recipes I’ve tried:

  1. Gold Cake Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network
  2. Yellow Cake - From Karen’s Kitchen
  3. David’s Yellow Cake - All Recipes

The first cake was very dense. Almost like poundcake. As I was finishing it, the batter was quite thick. I could tell something wasn’t right.

The second cake wouldn’t get done in the middle. By the time I cooked it enough to be done in the middle, the edges were really dry.

The third cake was very eggy-tasting.

I follow recipes very carefully, have all my ingredients at room temperature, use the right kind of flour, and follow the mixing times as instructed. I’m not sure what I could be doing wrong. Those three recipes all come highly recommended.

I should note that I don’t have a problem baking chocolate-type cakes, pies, and any other desserts. It’s just yellow cakes that get the best of me.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have a recipe similar to Alton Brown’s - but it calls for 3 pans - not 2 for baking.
But it calls for sifting the flour 3 - 4 times and has 1 1/2 cups of sugar - not 1 1/4.

There are recipes for yellow cakes that call for 8 to 12 egg yolks - which can give the cake an eggy taste. Try cutting back on the egg yolks.

if anyone is interested:

If a homemade cake has a coarse texture, the following problems may have occurred:

  • Too much baking soda or baking powder may have been used.
  • Not enough liquid may have been used.
  • The butter and sugar may not have been beaten together long enough. If the recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar, or beating until light and fluffy, this should take at least three to four minutes of beating.
  • The oven temperature was too low.

If a homemade cake is too dry, the following problems may have occurred:

  • Too much flour or leavening (baking soda/baking powder) was used.
  • Not enough shortening or sugar was used.
  • The cake was over-baked - the oven temperature was too high and/or the baking time was too long.

If a homemade cake fell (the center of the cake sinks), the following problems may have occurred:

  • The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
  • The liquid was over or under measured.
  • The pan was too small - the batter was too deep.
  • The cake was moved or jarred before it was sufficiently baked.
  • Old or expired baking powder was used.
  • A wooden pick or cake tester was inserted into the cake before it was sufficiently set.

If a homemade cake has low volume or is too flat, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The liquid was over- or under-measured.
  • The batter was under-mixed or extremely over-mixed.
  • Too large a pan was used.
  • The oven temperature was too low or too high.

If a homemade cake has a peaked center, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The batter was over-mixed.
  • The oven temperature was too hot.

If a homemade cake shrinks excessively around the edges, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The baking pans were greased too heavily.
  • The baking pans were placed too close together in the oven.
  • There was too little batter in the baking pan.
  • The batter was extremely over-mixed.
  • There was too little liquid in the batter.
  • The cake was over-baked - either too long a time or at too high a temperature.

If a homemade cake is soggy, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The cake was moved or jarred before it was sufficiently baked.
  • The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
  • Old or expired baking powder was used.

If a homemade cake has a spotted crust, the batter was probably under-mixed.

If a homemade cake has a sticky top crust, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The cake was stored while still warm.
  • The liquid was over measured.
  • The cake was under-baked - the oven temperature was too low and/or the baking time was too short.
  • The air humidity was too high.

If a homemade cake has tunnels throughout the layer, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The oven temperature was too high.
  • The batter was under-mixed or extremely over-mixed.

If a homemade cake has uneven browning, the following problems may have occurred:

  • There was uneven heat circulation in the oven.
  • The baking pans were placed too close together in the oven.

If a homemade cake has uneven layers, the following problems may have occurred:

  • The oven rack was not level.
  • The cake pans were warped or bent.

you can try this one if you like -

2-1/2 c. cake flour
1-1/2 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. softened butter (1 stick)
1 liquid c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease and flour two 8" cake pans.

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.

Add softened butter and half of milk to the bowl. Beat on low until ingredients are combined. Add vanilla extract.

Add another 1/4 c. milk and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating between additions. Add remaining 1/4. c. milk. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed to aerate the batter. Scrape down the bowl and beat, as necessary.

Pour batter into the pans and bake 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the enter of the cake.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans before inverting onto a wire cake rack.(Flip the cake over twice so the flat side faces down. This will prevent the cake from cracking down the middle as it cools).Allow the cakes to cool completely before filling and frosting.