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Posted: Tuesday October 13, 2009 8:24 PM
Well, I don't know what you did wrong, either. Sigh.
From the posts in this thread it it obvious that there can be a crumbly problem with any brand. I've had it happen more with DH than the others, but I think that is a coincidence. I don't think we can blame this entirely on the cake mix, since it seems to happen to any of them, and since others have good luck with this flavor and brand.
I have horrible luck with 3" deep pans. Some people swear by them. Are 3" pans what you usually use? Did you have any trouble getting them done evenly all the way through?
Did you cool the cakes in their pans on a cooling rack? What about after you took them out of the pan -- did you cool them on a rack or place them directly on a board? It is important to let air circulate all around the cooling cakes, in and out of the pan. Trapping too much steam can lead to problems, especially with a super-moist cake like the DH mixes.
Did you have to level the layers? If you did, did you get any sense at that time about the crumbly texture? I have a hard time thinking that the problem is related to the freezing or thawing, unless they weren't really as cool as you thought they were when you wrapped them.
The extra large eggs could have been a contributing factor. Who knows? Maybe when the cake is on the border of being too moist any little variation could send them over the edge.
Duncan Hines has some advice for large tiers, here:
This is only for white cakes, which (if memory serves) only call for 2 Tablespoons of oil. So basically it looks like they recommend cutting the oil in half. The other ingredients look to be the same. Does that sound right?
Adding a pudding mix and an additional egg (or maybe just using the extra large eggs) may also give you greater density.
I wish I could say, oh well, your mistake is obvious ... just stop doing x. But I sure can't see what "x" is!