The Secret of Perfect Cake

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WTF Perfect Your Cake: Stave off Staling and Foolproof Frosting

Make that cake last longer than just a day or two because you put a lot of work into it! But what is the perfect ingredient? Spoiler alert – it depends on your recipe. Scott and Janie compare and contrast our most popular pantry helpers for cake and frosting to select our personal favorites. And since it’s almost Janie’s birtday, we decided to test using one of our favorite recipes – the Milk Bar Birthday Cake… on this week’s WTF.

Recipe Link:
Milk Bar Birthday Cake- Alchemized

References and Other Links you Might Like!
WTF – Polysorbate 80
WTF – Sucrose Esters
WTF – Liquid Sunflower Lecithin
WTF – Powdered Sunflower Lecithin
WTF – Soy Lecithin
WTF – Shelf Life Extension
WTF – Glycerol Monostearate vs Mono & Diglyceride Flakes

About ‘We Transform Food’
We Transform Food is a weekly series from Modernist Pantry exploring cool ingredients and gadgets that can help any chef transform food into more memorable experiences.


  • Patricia Lane-Bell
    January 12, 2022 3:44 pm

    It will be interesting to see how these stabilizers work my lemon cake recipe

  • Molly Wiggins
    January 12, 2022 4:24 pm

    I want to try using the sunflower lecithin in my vanilla cake recipe because I too like a dense cake. However, evenness/consistency is such a boon if you’re making a frosted layer cake that it could be worth trying the SSL too. I wonder if there’s a ratio using both to achieve a greater moisture content and consistency, but the qualities might be mutually exclusive. Fun video!

    • You could absolutely try using both ingredients, as they may complement each other

  • Jessica Knopf
    January 12, 2022 7:15 pm

    Excited to try the liquid sunflower lecithin in my basic, dairy-free Vanilla cake as it’s even harder to prevent staling in dairy-free baked goods.

  • I’ll have to try this with my favorite cake- angel food! It always gets stale faster than I can eat it.

  • I’m excited to try them with my raspberry vanilla cream cake and my salted caramel rum cake

  • Chocolate Molten Lava !

  • My wife loves the texture of store box cake mix, but not the flavor, I am guessing that some of these emulsifiers will let me get closer to the texture she’s after.

  • My favorite cake is carrot cake.

  • Thank you for using polysorbate 80..always too scared to buy the sample size since my production is very low. Favorite cake..GERMAN CHOCOLATE

  • Margaret Burke
    January 13, 2022 12:13 pm

    My all-time favorite cake is Maida Heatter’s September 7th cake (her own birthday cake). Two very thin layers of dark chocolate genoise, filled with a TON of sweetened whipped cream, frosted with another ton of chocolate whipped cream.

  • Jenifer Aragon
    January 14, 2022 3:34 pm

    I am hoping this will give my white cake that melt-in-your mouth quality that I get from boxed white cake. Worth a try!

  • Debra Mallernee
    January 17, 2022 4:20 pm

    I can’t wait to try these in my favorite cake golden vanilla!

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