I have been baking layer cakes for years, however, my cake layers are never very tall. I've gone through every possible reason why they might not be rising high enough (i.e. switching out my chemical leaveners for fresher ones, eggs at room temperature, sifting the flour) and am positively stumped. The kicker came last week when I baked the Sour Cream Fudge Chocolate cake from Cook's Illustrated, and was left with layers less than 1" high, for a frosted cake that resembled a torte and not the country fair blue ribbon cake I was hoping for.
So, I am trying to get back to square one. I have the newest Joy of Cooking, plus the Cook's Illustrated baking book, but I want the most reliable, best-tasting and high-rising cake cook book out there. I have heard mixed things about The Cake Bible, notably that the recipes are hit or miss. My preference is for American-style, big cakes with lots of buttercream or butter frosting, not smaller, European-style cakes with ganache, etc. Please help with your recommendations. Everyone at my home and office would appreciate it, as I have a reputation as "The Baker." Thanks in advance for your suggestions.