What’s Wrong With My Cake & How To Fix These Disasters

by Ayesha Hassaan
Common Baking Problems

Is your cake not baking the way you want it to bake? Has it not baked properly? Is it just a little bit too dry? You’ve come to the right place! You will get all your’s baking problems to answer.

What’s wrong with my cake? Some common baking problems fare here to be fixed! We’ve rounded up 10 common baking problems that arise when baking a cake. From raw middles to uneven tops, we’re here to help you, so you’ll have a successful bake every time!

Baking is one of the most satisfying hobbies. You whip up your cake mixture, pour it into a tin, watch your creation grow, you let it cool and get creative with decorating, and the best bit? You get to eat it after all your hard work! But, what happens when you come across a baking problem or disaster? Do you panic and start again or do you try and solve the problem before its too late?

We’ll show you how to fix all the common problems that occur when making a cake – and how to stop it happening next time!

And don’t worry, you’re not the only one to come across these baking problems. I’ve certainly burnt a few cakes or two over the years. It’s all about practicing and if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again or in this case, bake, bake again!

Why The Cake Is Too Hard?

Is the cake really hard and unable to eat? The batter must have had less liquid to balance the dry out and/or it is overbaked causing loss of moisture rendering it really hard.

There is another possibility while whipping the sugar and butter you didn’t beat it for proper time or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. You added too many dry ingredients in proportion to the wet ingredients. Or Thie cake is baked for a long time or at high temperature.

To make a cake soft, the cake has to be aerated. The density or toughness will be mostly due to gluten formation. To prevent this from happening, just make sure that you do not over mix after adding in the flour. You can also soak the cake with simple syrup before frosting. This also helps in retaining the moisture and softness of the cake.

Why There Is Crack On Cake?

Why your cake has a cracky surface? This is because you pour your cake batter in a small-sized pan. Cakes crack when the oven temperature is too high or, similarly, when the pan is placed on an incorrect rack.  In an oven that’s too hot, the outside of the cake cooks at a much faster rate than the inside. A crust forms early on, but like the inside of the cake continues to cook and rise this crack crusts. You might experience the same problem if the cake recipe has too much leavener that is the baking powder or baking soda, or if you’ve used a pan that’s too small.

So What Can You Do The Prevent This Problem?

  1. Make sure your oven is at the right temperature. Get a thermometer; make sure it’s accurate.
  2. Use the appropriate-sized pan.
  3. To encourage even cooking some bakers recommend adding another pan, filled only with water, to the oven along with your cake. The water will steam and cause the cake to cook more evenly.
  4. If your quick breads are cracking you can create a shallow furrow in the batter with a spoon before sending the loaf into the oven. You’ll end up with a more orderly line down the center of the loaf.
  5. Avoid opening and closing the oven during baking, as this can cause the temperature to fluctuate.

Why The Cake Is Uneven?

What’s wrong with my cake? For some strange reason my cake has risen on one side but not the other – any ideas?

What to do next time?

Next time you get baking to make sure you whisk your flour properly when you add it to your wet ingredients. If the flour doesn’t blend evenly it will make the cake bake uneven.

If all of your cakes turn out uneven, your oven may be the problem. Uneven heat may cause cakes to rise haphazardly. Try turning your cakes a few times while they bake to see if this helps.

An oven that is too hot can also cause uneven baking. Use an oven thermometer to check your oven’s accuracy. If it is 25 degrees higher than the setting, just lower your baking temperature by 25 degrees. If the temperature is off by more than 25 degrees, have your oven recalibrated.

It’s also possible that your oven is not level, and this is causing uneven baking. To check, fill a loaf pan with water, place it on the oven’s middle rack, and look to see if the water is even. If not, your range’s leveling legs may need to be adjusted.

Why My Cake Sink From Center?

What’s wrong with my cake? My cake started off at a good size and now it’s shrunk!

What to do next time? Always make sure your cake batter is not too cold when it goes into the oven. If you’re using lots of ingredients that have been stored in the fridge it’s best to allow them to reach room temperature before combining or before baking.

Over-mixing your cake mix can have an impact too so keep your electric hand whisk on a steady speed and stop whisking when combined. You need to check your oven temperature if your recipe does not accept oven temperature then your cake sink from the middle. After that, stop yourself from opening the oven door again and again. If you mix your recipe incorrectly or your pan size not accurate.

Why There Are Holes In My Cake?

Did you slice into a cake and find there are large holes inside of it or uneven bubbles? Holes in the cake are definitely a sign that something’s off in your recipe or in your method.  Overmixing a cake batter can lead to gluten formation, especially if your cake recipe includes water or milk (remember gluten forms when you mix flour and water, and work them together). Gluten in a cake would mean that as the baking powder does its job of forming carbon dioxide so that your cakes will rise, that gluten network will trap those air bubbles and instead of forming lots of tiny bubbles, you will end up with bigger bubbles that stretch out and develop as gas forms and water evaporates.

The other source of uneven holes in cakes could be the baking powder and the chemical leaveners you are using. If the baking powder (or soda) isn’t mixed evenly throughout the batter, there could be pockets of it in your batter, which would lead to patches where more carbon dioxide is released, leading to bigger bubbles.

HOW TO AVOID LARGE HOLES OR AIR POCKETS IN YOUR CAKES

Achieving an even crumb is simple, and yet it’s not (as you can see, I haven’t quite mastered it!).

  1. make cakes with a lower protein flour, like cake flour: This way, your cake batter will be slightly less sensitive to overmixing because there are less gluten-forming proteins around to worry about. That’s an easy fix.
  2. bang the cake pan after filling it with cake batter: You should swirl the pan on the counter, also tap/bang it down on the counter to make sure the batter falls into all the nooks and crannies of the pan.
  3. watch the temperature of your ingredients: make sure you are working with butter that is warm, but not too warm (it shouldn’t be on the verge of melting). Don’t work with eggs that are fridge-cold because that won’t help either. These two ingredients and their temperatures can literally break the emulsion and the evenness of the batter.
  4. triple sift the chemical leavener with the flour and salt
  5. revisit the quantity of chemical leavener necessary in the recipe: make sure you aren’t using too much leavener in your cakes
  6. contemplate adding a touch more liquid to the batter: thick batters are harder to spread in cake pans and a thick batter is more likely to trap air pockets as it is poured or dolloped into a cake pan, which can result in gaps in cake crumb. Consider thinning out your cake batter with a little milk to see if this helps improve the texture inside your layer cakes.

Why is My Cake Is Too Moist And Sticky?

What’s wrong with my cake? My cake is really sticky and moist I have no idea why!

What to do next time?

  • Be sure to measure out your butter carefully. there may be too many wet ingredients.
  • Make sure you whisk the mixture properly, maybe you didn’t properly whip the butter-sugar and eggs
  • Don’t leave your butter out on the side at room temperature for too long – it will start to sweat and become greasy and if you add that to a cake – well, you’re asking for trouble!
  • Keep your butter at a good temperature and follow the recipe.

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