It happens to the best of us… You’ll think you have done everything right but the cake doesn’t turn out like the picture in the recipe. Let’s troubleshoot together as we look at the most common issues that arise while making cakes.
Here you’ll learn why your cake failed and what to do differently next time.
TOP 10 REASONS YOUR CAKE FAILED
1. Your cake sunk in the middle
Opening the door of the oven too much before the cake has set is a major reason. Your batter may also have been sitting out too long before baking. Always make sure the batter goes into an already pre-heated oven as soon as you are done mixing.
2. Soggy cake in the middle
This is a problem that I personally have experienced first hand. But no worries this one is an easy one to fix. Often times a cake will look golden brown on top, but inside the batter is still raw.
Cover the cake in aluminium foil to prevent further browning and continue to bake until a toothpick comes out clean.
3. The top is cracked and domed
A cracked cake points to a few problems with your bake. A cake can get a cracked top if it bakes too quickly. Be sure that your oven is set at the right temperature.
Secondly, a cracked top can also be the result of an overfilled baking tin. Be sure to use the exact pan that’s called for in a recipe.
Lastly, too much baking powder can cause the cake to crack. It causes the cake to rise too quickly and puts a crack on the top.
4. The cake looks unevenly browned
While you’ll likely cover your cake with a layer of some decadent frosting, uneven browning can be caused by some few problems. If you find that your cakes are brown on one side more than the other, you are likely dealing with an issue with your oven. Uneven baking can be caused by hotspots within an oven or overcrowding.
When possible, try to bake in the center of your oven racks unless specified otherwise in a recipe.
5. Your cake is dry
Most of the time, dry cake can come as a result of two things; using too much flour or using too little eggs and/ or margarine. Be sure to be measuring your flour correctly. Investing in a digital kitchen scale will save you all the hassle.
If you have already baked a dry cake and you’re wondering what to do with it, I have just the thing for you. You could always crumble the cake, add some buttercream and make some cake pops!
6. Your cake did not rise
If your cake did not rise you will likely end up with a flat cake. There are a number of reasons that could lead to such an issue:
You forgot to add baking powder/ leavening agent or you used an expired one. An expired leavener is going to give you a flat cake/ pastry.
Your pan is too big so the mixture can’t rise enough to fill it. Always be sure to bake in the pan specified.
You overmixed the batter. Only whisk until your ingredients are combined not an longer.
7. Your cake is too dense
A dense cake is usually caused by adding too much liquid, sugar or leavening agent. To avoid this, make sure you follow recipe measurements to the T.
You’ll also want to make sure your oven is hot enough. A cake that bakes too slowly may collapse, giving you that undesirable dense texture.
8. Your cake overflowed
This is probably the messiest of all cake fails. First, never fill a pan all the way to the top with batter. A baking pan should only be 2/3 of the way full so it has enough room to rise.
9. Your cake stuck to the pan
As a baker, The moment of truth usually comes to trying to get the finished product out of the pan. If you find that your cake is stuck to the pan, simply run a butter knife around the edges of the cake and give the pan a pat around the edges and on the bottom.
To prevent this from happening in the future, be sure to properly grease your pan or line it with parchment paper to ensure no sticking will occur.
10. Your cake is burnt
To avoid burnt cake in the future, make sure your oven is at the right temperature while baking. Higher baking temperatures, more than a recipe called for may cause burning. Also, if you notice the cake is browning too fast and the center is still soggy, cover your cake with aluminium foil and let it continue baking.
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