Baking might seem simple, but one mistake will ruin the flavor and aroma of the recipe. Similarly, people who bake cake often complain, “why doesn’t my cake taste like cornbread?” In case your cake doesn’t get the right flavors either, we are sharing the reasons and what can be done to prevent it.
Why Does Cake Taste Like Cornbread?
1. Residual Cornmeal
When it comes down to baking the cake, people generally buy fresh and new ingredients because it helps get the best flavor. However, if you end up buying the flour, which has even the residual amount of cornmeal, the entire cake will taste and smell like cornmeal. For this reason, whenever you buy the flour for the cake, make sure to buy flour from the reputed grocery store and choose a good brand. This will ensure that you are getting the best quality flour, and the cake will come out as you want it to.
2. Flour’s Age
There is a reason why every bakery expert suggests you use fresh flour. That’s because old ingredients can give off weird scents, and cornmeal is one of them. So, if you used old flour to bake the cake, it could be a reason behind the bad taste. Moreover, when you don’t store the flour properly, it can pick flavors from other ingredients in the cabinet. To illustrate, if you are using flour that was stored along with cornmeal powder, it might be a reason behind cornmeal-like taste.
3. Unbleached Or Bleached Flour
Whenever someone bakes a cake, it’s needless to say that self-rising flour is the ultimate choice. However, whether you choose unbleached flour or bleached flour can directly influence the flavor. According to culinary experts, it is better to use bleached self-rising flour because the unbleached flour is known to create cornbread flavor. On the other hand, if you want to stick to unbleached flour for health reasons, it’s better to choose King Arthur’s cake flour.
4. Baking Powder
If you are someone who likes to use unbleached flour, sorry to break it to you, but it isn’t available in the self-rising form. In that case, you can simply add salt and baking powder, and your cake will rise just fine. The best thing about this method is that the cake will rise perfectly, and there won’t be any cornbread flavor, so it’s a win-win!
Cakes are ingredient-sensitive recipes which means if you don’t add the right ingredient, it will lead to weird aromas and tastes. For instance, if you substitute the sugar or sweetened syrups, they can negatively impact the cake’s flavor. Keep in mind that substitutes might be good, but they can change the flavor and texture of the cake. So, if your cake tastes like cornbread, see if you used the right ingredients or not.
We have already mentioned that baking a cake is a sensitive matter, and you cannot simply experiment with the ingredients’ measurement. For this reason, you need to start using the right measuring utensils and don’t go overboard (or don’t be stingy). For instance, if you add too much flour with additives, it can create the cornbread flavor. So, stick to the recipe and measuring cups if you want to make perfect cakes.
7. Expired Ingredients
When people say that baking powder and baking soda have a specific shelf life, they aren’t lying. We are saying this because using expired baking powder and baking soda might be the reason behind cornbread flavor and flat texture. So, whenever you have to bake the cake, buy the fresh baking ingredients.
8. Are You Using Baking Powder?
Cakes are incomplete without baking powder, but people often add the wrong ingredients (we don’t blame you, the bottles look too similar). So, make sure to check the product labels and add the right ones. We are saying this because people often add corn starch, thinking it’s baking powder, and don’t even realize it.
9. Beat Properly
You cannot overbeat the cake’s batter, and you cannot under-beat the batter. Keep in mind that when you over-mix the ingredients after adding cake flour, it will lead to coarse texture and will result in cornbread flavor. So, keep a light hand and beat properly (please don’t go overboard!).