How to create the best Cake Recipes

In this article we’ll learn how to create a great cake recipe using the Baker’s Formula.

The information in this article is the culmination of all our Cake Batter classes, but can also stand alone. If you’d like to follow the classes in order visit the Baking School/Science of Cake Batter page.

Four forks with pieces of cake at the end of each fork. Gray background.

Use the Baker’s Formula for making the best cakes

To make a perfectly moist and soft cake you’ll first need to understand the concept of the baker’s formula.

A successful cake recipe balances the ingredients that strengthen the cake structure (flour and eggs) with the ingredients that weaken and tenderize the cake structure (sugar and fat).

The Baker’s Formula is used to calculate the proper percentage of each ingredient for a successful recipe. The flour in the recipe is designated at 100% and all the other ingredients are designated relative to the flour. This is a very important point, so keep it in mind as we get deeper into it.

The ingredients for a pound cake arranged on a black background. Text Overlay indicates each ingredients roll in the recipe.

Lean Cakes vs. High Ratio Cakes

About Lean Cakes:

A pound cake recipe made with equal weights of flour, sugar, butter and eggs is a so-called “lean cake”. A “lean cake” has a very simple 1:1 formula balancing the structure-builders with the tenderizers.

The only liquid in the original recipe comes from the eggs (egg whites are 90% water).

About High Ratio Cakes:

While a lean cake is made with equal proportions of flour and sugar, a high ratio cake has a higher proportion of sugar to flour.

In order for a high ratio cake to have good structure we need to adjust some of the other ingredients to keep the cake formula balanced.

Liquid brings together the structure builders and the tenderizers in the batter. The liquid activates the gluten and swells the starch in the flour. The liquid also dissolves the sugar and helps disperse the fat throughout the batter and, of course, provides moisture.

If we use cake flour, with it’s finely ground starch that absorbs extra moisture, we can change the Baker’s Formula to allow for more liquid.

We can also use an emulsifier in the batter to help bind the liquid and fat in the batter. This allows for even more liquid in the recipe, and thus more sugar since you need liquid to dissolve sugar.

A cake made with cake flour and an emulsifying agent can now be higher than 1:1 (sugar:flour) without compromising the structure.

An overhead view of two slices of cake on a white plate and a slice cake on a wooden cake stand.

Adjust the Baker’s Percentages for A Better Pound Cake

I used the original quatre quarts pound cake recipe as the basis for all the cake batter classes because the simple 1:1:1:1 ratio makes it very easy to measure changes. So that is the recipe I will use to show you how to use the baker’s formula to improve a cake recipe.

The first step was to lighten the crumb a tiny bit, so I added a little baking powder to the recipe. A pinch of salt and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract were added to enhance the flavor.

Now that the cake was lighter I wanted to sweeten things up a bit. The Baker’s Formula for a high ratio cake allows for up to about 140% of the weight of sugar to flour. I found in my testing that I like pound cake with a ratio of 125% sugar to 100% flour. With this in mind I increased the sugar in the recipe from 8 oz to 10 oz.

I also wanted to add a little extra liquid for moistness, so I needed an emulsifier in the batter. Vegetable shortening will act as an emulsifier, but I prefer an all-butter cake for the unparalleled flavor.

Instead of using shortening in the batter, I used a few extra egg yolks because yolks are great emulsifiers and also add a little extra fat and flavor to the batter. I changed the 8 oz of eggs in the recipe to 3 whole eggs and 4 extra yolks.

Now that we have cake flour and emulsifying eggs yolks in the recipe we can add a little more liquid for additional moisture. I added whole milk as the liquid for a basic pound cake recipe.

The revised recipe makes the perfect melt-in-your-mouth buttery pound cake.

Adjust Baker’s Formula for A Lighter Vanilla Layer Cake

Of course the Baker’s Formula is not only useful for perfecting pound cake recipes. We can continue to test the limits of the structure builders and tenderizers to create a whole world of cake recipes.

I’ll give you another example. As I said, the perfect pound cake should have a dense, buttery texture that doesn’t need any icing at all. But a Vanilla Layer Cake is meant to be filled and iced with frosting. So a great Vanilla Layer Cake should be a little lighter and softer than a pound cake.

As a comparison, let’s look at the Baker’s Percentages for my Pound Cake Recipe vs. my Vanilla Butter Cake Recipe:

Pound Cake
Flour-8 oz100%
Fat-9 oz112%
Sugar-10 oz125%
Eggs-8 oz106%
Liquid-7.5 oz (w/eggs)
Vanilla Cake
Flour-9 oz100%
Fat-10.6 oz 116%
Sugar-12 oz133%
Eggs-6.6 oz73%
Liqui-12 oz (w/eggs)

Ok, that’s a lot of information. But lets look at the percentages. (Remember: all percentages are relative to the weight of flour in the recipe.)

By just looking at the percentages you can guess that the vanilla cake will be a little more tender (more sugar and fat), a little sweeter (more sugar) and a little more moist (more liquid) than the pound cake.

The vanilla cake recipe also has more leavening and I whip the whites before adding them to the batter. So the vanilla cake also has a more open and light crumb than the pound cake.

Whew!!! So, all those small changes to the basic formula created a lighter, sweeter and softer cake. That’s just what I want for a cake that will be filled and iced with buttercream.

The takeaway here is that every cake recipe in the universe is some variation on this formula. The type of fat or liquid can change, additional ingredients can be added, but it’s always about the balance between structure and softness.

It’s the variations that create the myriad of cake recipes that we can invent and perfect.

Other cake batter classes:

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    1. I’d need more information to about what you mean by “onion cake”. A cake flavored with onion? An upside down cake?

  1. I’d just like to say how much I appreciate your recipes you’ve posted here on your site. I stumbled upon your cake science a few years ago, having been a total failure in baking cakes in the past (sunk, yet burnt. Ew.) and seeing how you go through the experimental process was a true eye opener – I think it’s important to show not just how to do something, but how NOT to do something and why.

    Now whenever I present fairy cakes or a birthday cake using this pound cake recipe everyone gets super excited, it’s great! It’s always a good feeling when people who eat the cakes are surprised that it was me who baked them – they expect my wife to have been the baker. I’m not one to keep the source of my skills to myself and I always refer people to your website and book as much as I can.

    You say they’ll stay fresh for a few days. I made a big cake a few months ago and it was still edible two weeks later having been stored a room temperature (though a little dry). Absolutely amazing.

    Thank you so much for your generous gift of cake knowledge.

  2. If I were to replace sour cream with milk, would that substitution require me to adjust the recipe since milk doesn’t have the same properties as sour cream?

  3. This is such a great article and made me understand deeper science of cake making. Just wondering, if i am to make a cake with fruit puree, bits, juice or powder.. How do i adjust the recipe, from the milk or the flour or can i keep the milk and add the fruits in? This part is really confusing tq

    1. Fruit puree would be a liquid and would replace milk, for example. If it’s a very acidic fruit puree it might alter the texture a bit. Chunks of fruit can just be folded in. But if it’s a very liquid batter they might sink as the cake bakes. Fruit powder, such as pulverized freeze dried fruit could be added with the dry ingredients. Each of these additions and how to incorporate them will depend on the base recipe.

  4. Thank you so much for this valuable information! I’m curious as to how the addition of mini chocolate chips would affect the cake as well as baking it in round cake pans to make more of a layered “birthday” style cake.

  5. I am so happy i found your site. I love experimenting but results are not always edible! Knowing the science behind is fascinating and makes sense now. Thank you so much for your tireless patience in answering questions. I will certainly buy your book in on UK Amazon.
    If I may ask one please?
    I have lots of ripe bananas and wondered how to adjust the recipe to accommodate them and end up with a nice textured cake?
    Many thanks

  6. Hello Eileen!
    I just happened across you’re post after looking at ways to alter a cake recipe and this makes so. Much. Sense!

    One question – I’m from across the pond and we don’t have Cake Flour (not in supermarkets anyway) – do you know what flour combination I would use for either the pound or vanilla cake to make my own cake flour?

    Thank you! 🙂

    1. For each cup of cake flour you can use 3/4 cup of all purpose (plain) flour plus 2 tablespoons of corn starch.

    2. @Eileen Gray, Thank you! This is very helpful. Would it be better for me to make my own cake flour, OR could I use pastry flour? I have Bob’s Red Mill Pastry and they say it’s a universal cake/pastry – but I wanted your opinion.

      1. I haven’t tried the Bob’s Red Mill product. The two things I like about cake flour is the low protein content and the fact that it is bleached. Both contribute to a soft cake crumb.

  7. Hi Eileen, I wanted to sell cakes commercialy in a small scale. Can I use this receipe if the cake has to stay long.
    Thanks ,

    1. Are you asking how long this cake will stay fresh? If so, 1-2 days at room temperature or up to 3 months frozen. Never refrigerate the cake. The freezer is your friend for keeping cakes fresh.

      1. Hi Eileen,
        Thank you for this post. I understand the idea of the baker’s percentage, but I don’t quite understand how the modified recipes are considered balanced. Can you please elaborate on this?

        1. The point of modifying the recipes is to move the texture of the cake towards your ideal texture. If you want a more tender and softer cake you add more sugar and/or fat. If you want a cake with a more resilient crumb (like sponge cake) you add more eggs, etc. If you read through the entire cake series you’ll see that I start from what is a perfectly “balanced” cake. That is, a cake made with equal amounts of butter-sugar-flour-eggs (pound cake). The trick is to adjust the recipe to taste without throwing the ingredients so far out of balance that the cake fails.

  8. What an amazing set of posts. I’ve always wondered about the difference between the Victoria sponge (basically pound cake) that we all bake in the UK and all the variants of American pound cakes and vanilla cakes.
    Your scientific approach to each ingredient was fascinating and so thorough. You must have been sick of pound cake by the end.

    1. Lol, I was a little sick of baking the same recipe over and over. Most of the time it was one or two bites and then into the trash or into the freezer to share.

  9. Hello Ellen, I must say this is very good and I enjoyed it and great deal. It added to my knowledge,thank you so much
    I wanted to ask how to know the difference between a cake flour and an all purpose flour.

  10. Hello Eileen,
    I have read through your way of perfecting a cake and it was soooo helpful!! Me and my cousin are looking into starting a home bakery delivery service kind of thing (somewhere in the future that is since we’re only 15 at the moment) and this website has great input for cake recipes we will use this recipe as our base for selling cakes in the future (with your permission for us to steel and adapt it)! Thanks soooo much again!!

    1. Sure, go ahead and use my recipe as a starting point. Every recipe is the world is a variation or adaptation of another recipe. Good luck with your business.

  11. Hi I tried the vanilla butter cake, followed the instructions to the letter but after taking the cake out of the oven it collapsed. Have tried again in another oven and put an extra oven thermometer in to check temp, this time it collapsed in the oven!. I bake cakes all the time and never have this problem. I was really looking forward to trying some of your recipes but have rather been put off now. Any ideas about what could be going wrong.

    1. What do you mean my “collapsed”. Did the cake pull back a bit from the sides but if you cut it open the crumb seems fine? That can happen, especially if the cake is over-baked a bit. The vanilla butter cake recipe is the one I used in my wedding cake business for 10 years. So I’ve baked that cake, literally, thousands of times in every size from cupcakes to 14″ rounds. So I know it’s a good recipe. I can’t say for sure what happened from your description. Generally, if a cake over-rises and then falls it’s a problem with the leavening. Do you use self-rising flour by any chance?

      1. No I didn’t use SF flour I contacted you about the flour and used plain with corn starch. It didn’t just pull away from the sides it sunk completely and had a sad layer. This also happened to the one which collapsed in the oven. I took a picture of it if it’s possible to send?

  12. Hi !

    Wow this post is so amazing ! Well the whole website is amazing !!

    I have several tricky question, I don’t know if you can help me

    1. what should be the liquid proportion to flour ? should it be 1 part liquid (excluding egg) for 1 part flour ?

    2. How to calculate “double purpose ingrédient”. Example , if I use oil as fat, should I calculate in the liquid too or I calculate just as a fat ? Example if I use cream as a liquide, should I calculate in the fat too or I calculate just as a liquid ?

    3. In the table comparing the percentage I don’t uderstand how the liquid is calculated. So first table it said 7,5 oz liquide with eggs. But eggs its said 8 oz and the only other liquid I see its milk 2 oz. So I don’t uderstand the 7,5 oz ? In the second table is 12 oz liquid with eggs. But for the eggs it say 6,6 oz and sour cream 8 oz. So I don’t understand the 12 oz ?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. 1. The liquid should be measured in proportion to the sugar. For a high ratio cake the liquid can equal or exceed the weight of the sugar. That means there is enough liquid to dissolve the sugar in the batter and to react with the starch in the flour. There is not a set amount of liquid that you need to have in the cake. Using an emulsifier (yolks) and cake flour allows more moisture in the batter which allows for more sugar in the batter. That’s why modern high ratio cakes are sweeter and moister than the traditional cakes made with equal weights of flour-sugar-butter-eggs.
      2. Double purpose ingredients should count both. For example, eggs add fat, protein and moisture. All three should be considered in formula.
      3. The 7.5 oz of liquid includes the amount of water in the milk (milk also has fat, protein, etc) and the amount of water in the eggs. The 12 oz of liquid in the vanilla cake is made up of the liquid in the eggs and the sour cream (again sour cream is made up of fat, protein and liquid).
      I hope this answers your questions. Again, the formula is a guide and there isn’t one “perfect” cake formula. The cake formula is not a set of “rules” really so much as a way of explaining how a cakes texture is affected by the variation of ingredients. You can push the limits with any of the ingredients to get the texture you’re after. In fact, in my white cake post I acknowledge that the cake will “settle” as it comes out of the oven because it is a very tender cake. I’m fine with that because I like the final texture of the cake. There is no such thing as “correct” or “perfect” cake recipe. That’s where the “art” (and fun!) of baking comes in.

  13. Hello Eileen,
    These lessons are exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! I am curious, how do you decide how many egg yolks to add as emulsifiers? Is there some kind of formula for that?

    1. Hi Rasa, I don’t have a formula, I tend to test and tweak until I get a result that I’m happy with.

      1. I absolutely felt in love with your blog!!! Congrats on your great passion for baking! It is a little hard to find such a science lover who puts a lot of effort on explaining things like you post!!
        Talking about % in these recipes, did you analize the amount of water in fat (butter in this case)? If the answer is no, why not ? Wouldn’t consistency change if you change the source of fat? (For example: oil instead of butter)
        Thank you!

        1. No I didn’t include the water from the butter, which would be a little more than an ounce. The most important point about the liquid is that using emulsifiers allows more liquid in the batter. Using oil instead of butter will change the flavor and texture of the cake batter. You can see some tests of different fats in cake batter in this post. I believe that difference is mostly due to the fact that oil is liquid at room temp and butter is solid. Also, the flavor and mouth feel is different.

  14. Hi, came across your blog whilst doing some research for a baking class.
    My query/issue is how to work out what size pan can be used as an alternative. Or if i am making my own recipe how do i figure out what size pan i would need?
    Apologies for asking a dumb question, but ive been paasionate about baking but uptill now i have only followed recipes and never had the confidence to make my own up. Now i am teaching baking to a few freinds i am really keen to learn more.

    Thank you so much for you time and patience


    1. I ran this comment through a translator and it seems you had trouble with the vanilla cake. It’s hard from your comment to know how to help. Sorry.

  16. Hi Eileen,
    What role does sour cream play in the recipe?
    Can I substitute sour cream with whole milk/ coconut milk ?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Emma, Sour cream has fat and liquid. Yes you can replace the sour cream with whole milk, coconut milk or buttermilk. I just adapted my vanilla cake recipe to a spice cake and switched out the sour cream and used buttermilk with good results. Milk will have a little more liquid than sour cream, but this recipe can handle a little more liquid.

  17. Hi Eileen,
    I have always love to learn the fundamental of baking, esp cakes & tarts. This blog is just exactly what I have been looking for.

    Much respect & appreciation on your years of experiment to share these knowledge for everyone.


  18. HI there.

    Thank you for writing such an informative article!
    I’m a bit confused with your egg weights in the formula’s vs the recipes.

    You mention in the vanilla butter cake (high ratio) recipe, that the eggs are 9oz in the percentage breakdown.
    But I keep doing the math, and I always come up short.
    6 egg yolks (roughly 0.6oz each) is 3.6oz.
    3 large egg whites (roughly 1oz each), is 3oz.
    so 6.6oz? I’m confused where the 9oz comes from.

    In the pound cake breakdown, you mention the liquids are 6oz, but the eggs are 8oz? But the liquids contain the eggs, so how are the liquids less than the eggs?

    I’m just a bit confused,
    Thanks for your help!!

    1. Hi Junior. Actually, the 9 oz weight for the eggs in the vanilla cake was a typo. Thanks for catching it! I think I must’ve either copied it from the pound cake list or mistakenly counted the 6 yolks as whole eggs. I’ve edited the list.

      As far as the liquid — The reason there is less liquid than eggs is because the eggs are not all water. They also have fat, protein, etc. Whole eggs are about 75% water, whites are about 87% water and yolks are about 50% water. So the 3 whole eggs (5.19 oz total weight) would have about 4.5 oz water in them (5.19 oz x .75 = 4.5oz). The 4 yolks have a total of 1 oz. So 4.5oz + 1.5oz = 6 oz total liquid in the eggs. There’s also some water in the milk for a total of about 7.5 oz liquid in the entire recipe (I updated that number too).


  19. Hi, how many cup cakes would the vanilla butter cake make? How can this recipe be changed to make a chocolate cake? Thank you!

  20. Can I adapt the vanilla butter cake to a pistachio cardamom cake simply by adding ground pistachio when I’m folding in the egg whites and cardamom to the dry ingredients

    1. Yes to the cardamom. Depending how much pistachio you’re adding you might want to replace some of the flour with the ground pistachios. Nuts have a lot of protein and if you just add a lot of nuts without changing anything else the cake might end up dense. For example, you can reduce the flour to 1 1/2 cups and add a 1/2 cup of ground pistachios.

      1. Hi Eileen
        Turned out beautifully with the Pistachio and Cardamom, and I topped it with a Rose water Swiss meringue buttercream. Divine! Thanks for your web site, it has taught me so much about good baking skills.

  21. Hi Eileen,

    I am a cake decorator and I was in love with your vanilla butter cake recipe. It is wonderfully moist and has that homemade taste and texture I love so much. I will archive that one !! Yesterday, however, I made the pound cake. All ingredients were measured precisely and I had high hopes. At 50 minutes, I noticed the top and perimeter of top was slightly darker than I like so I removed from the oven. I used a Fat Daddio 9×5 loaf pan. The pound cake was very dry. Perhaps I baked it too long. My oven is definitely calibrated because I have a 2nd thermometer to be sure. I don’t know what when wrong and I’m afraid to try it again. Really was a bummer!!

    1. Hi Francine, I can’t say exactly what went wrong. Was the cake baked in the middle? Perhaps it was in the oven a little too long. The times listed in a recipe are always just an estimate. The actual baking time will vary based on the temperature of the batter, the material of the cake pan, etc. I baked this cake, literally, hundreds of times and the crust can get fairly brown, but the interior shouldn’t be “very dry”.

  22. Hi, Eileen, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    I would like to know, how do you determine the liquid percentage of your formula comparation?
    Do you analyze the water content of each ingredient?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Rafael. Yes, you would figure the amount of water in, for example, the milk and the egg whites.

  23. Hello Eileen.
    Thanks for your recipe, I use it to sell my cakes and everyone loves it.
    I wanted to know how long before I can make the cake without filling it. Because sometimes I have to make many orders.
    Thank you

    1. If you want to work ahead I would suggest freezing the cake. If you double wrap it in plastic you can work several weeks ahead. Just defrost in the wrapping them proceed to fill the cake. Even if you only work a day or two ahead I would freeze rather than refrigerate the cake. The refrigerator make the cake go stale faster.

  24. Eileen,

    I have appreciated reading through your cake series. I bake often and I try to develop my own recipes and it’s been fairly successful for the most part. Once I realized that I needed to adjust liquids, flour, sugar and leaveners for elevation, I started having consistent success. However, I am in the middle of developing a Twinkie recipe and it’s stumping me. My issue is finding a recipe that will keep the inside tender enough to move out of the way of the cream filling while staying intact. Annoying, right? I’ve tried manipulating a reverse creaming recipe by folding in whipped egg whites in at the end but it still seems a little dense after cooling. I’m using organic, European slow churn style butter and I’ve tried using buttermilk and yogurt thinking the acid might help with leavening and tenderness. I’m just not getting the results I need.

    The cakes are of course quite tender when warm but once they cool, that darn cake doesn’t want to accommodate the filling. All my testers have requested more cream filling and I happen to agree. I’ve developed a SMBC/marshmallow combo that is pretty tasty! My next plan was to work with a chiffon and sub invert sugar syrup for some of the granulated sugar to keep it moist and more tender. I am not using cake flour because I’m trying to source locally. I am using AP flour and I fully understand it has shortcomings for what I’m attempting to do. It’s just one of the rules of some of the farmers markets I want to attend so I really don’t have a choice. I have to source what I can locally and in Montana, we happen to grow wheat!

    Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. I’m having fun experimenting but it would be nice to finally have a recipe that I can consistently reproduce and even convert to chocolate etc… I realize it’s a high bar but I’m creative and willing to keep trying!

    Thank you for your lessons, they have been giving me all kinds of new ideas to try!

    1. Hi Holly, glad you’re enjoying the series. I think moving towards a chiffon style cake is a great idea. It was a more spongy, open crumb. How you tried using a combination of ap flour and cornstarch to soften the crumb? Use 3/4 cup of ap flour plus 2 Tablespoons of corn starch for each cup of flour in the recipe. Good luck Post a photo if you crack the code.

  25. Please forgive me for writing a book in your comment section. I absolutely love your posts that get into the science of baking. I’m a HUGE nerd and am consistently unsatisfied with nearly every cake I bake. I’ve spent the last few weeks reading up on all this stuff. I’m putting spreadsheets together to collect recipes and calculate numbers for each. Many of the rules are simple enough, but there are a few things that aren’t clear to me and I was wondering if you’d be willing to provide some insight?

    First, how do you determine how much liquid a cake needs? I know that there must be enough liquid to dissolve all of the sugar, but many recipes have MUCH more than that. In my list of 36 white cakes, the baker’s percentage of liquid ranges from 100% to 213%. Comparing liquid to sugar, they range from 94% to 167%. Your own white cake recipe comes in at 147% and 109%, respectively.

    Second, for layer-type cakes (not pound cakes), is there a guideline of how much fat should be used, compared to flour? Again, I see huge variations here between recipes ranging from 35% to 90% Your white cake recipe is actually the chart-topper at 90%. Does having too much fat in a cake make it crumbly? I’ve made the 35% cake before, and it was probably the worst, driest cake ever to come out of my oven. So obviously there is such a thing as too little fat.

    It’s really interesting to me how these recipes are just all over the place, ratio-wise. One other trend I noticed is that the majority of recipes exceed 100% of sugar to flour. Modern tastes must be for sweeter, high-ratio cakes. Apparently I dislike the firmer texture of “eggy” cakes where they outweigh the fat. I am actually excited to try your white cake recipe, because it seems to fit my preference for a sweeter (sugar is 135% of flour), less eggy (fat is 115% of eggs) cake. Although the numbers seem to indicate a higher probability of collapse due to too many tenderizing ingredients and not enough structure.

    1. Please don’t apologize, Michael, I appreciate your passion! First to address the fact that modern cakes mostly have more sugar than flour. As I noted in my recipe testing, I personally found a slightly higher percent of sugar to flour improves the cake texture and flavor. So I agree with you there. Instead of addressing each of the other questions I refer you back to the last line of this post, “It’s the variations that create the myriad of cake recipes that we can invent and perfect.” As I always say “baking is an art and a science.” The cake formula explains the science of the how the ingredients work, but the art of baking is figuring out how to manipulate those ingredients and the technique to get the best results. The cake formula is not a set of “rules” really so much as a way of explaining how a cakes texture is affected by the variation of ingredients. You can push the limits with any of the ingredients to get the texture you’re after. In fact, in my white cake post I acknowledge that the cake will “settle” as it comes out of the oven because it is a tender cake. I’m fine with that because I like the final texture of the cake. There is no such thing as “correct” or “perfect” cake recipe. That’s where the “art” (and fun!) of baking comes in.

  26. Eileen,

    Is it possible to make a lemon pound cake (that has the same taste and texture as Starbucks lemon loaf) by replacing the vanilla with lemon oil and/or lemon juice
    in your Perfect Pound Cake Recipe?

    1. Hi Ruth. I’ve never tasted Starbucks lemon loaf so I can’t say for sure what the texture is, etc. But you can certainly turn my pound cake recipe into a lemon cake by adding lemon flavor. I like to use fresh lemon zest (that’s where the oil is) and a little lemon extract. The juice of the lemon has more acidity than lemon flavor. But I do like to use the juice to make either a syrup or a glaze for the cake to give it a puckery finish.

  27. Hello Ellen,

    I found this place on Pinterest and have been enjoying this very much. I was wondering about banana cake. Would you use the reverse mixing method or the regular method for a banana cake? Also how about the egg white method for this as well?
    Thank You

    1. It depends if the banana cake uses butter or oil as the fat in the recipe. I’d really have to see the recipe to say. Do you have a recipe already or are you looking to create one?

  28. Hello Eileen,
    I came to your site to comment on the BreadBakers event but got lost in the lovely post on the basics of baking cake. For the last one hour, I have been intently reading the posts on baking. Your posts are so helpful, giving technical aspects of baking. Can’t thank you enough, Eileen.

    1. Oh, thanks so much Namita! You have no idea how happy that makes me. Sometimes we spend all the time researching and writing this stuff and don’t know if it’s helping! You’ve made my day!