Recently updated on August 20th, 2020
Common Baking Mistakes| Cake Baking Mistakes is a short and crisp guide as to what went wrong while baking a cake so that results are not perfect.
While baking a cake, we take utmost precautions, try to follow a tried n tested recipe and are very sure to get a good result. Yet something or the other happens and we fail to understand as to what happened exactly?
After all, what went wrong? What did I do wrong? This post an effort to answer all those queries only.
Though I have shared ‘16 Tips For Baking A Good Cake’ in detail earlier, this post is specifically for different types of problems that emerge while baking a cake.
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Cake Baking Mistakes Or Negligence?
While baking a cake we often wonder why ‘my cake cracked from the top whereas it came out perfectly last time?’ Or, that it was rising so well in the oven then why did it go flat when removed from the oven?
Cake baking mistakes like Cracked top or sunken cake or peaked cake or some other problem can arise anytime despite taking precautions and following a good recipe. These problems can be due to minor negligences and we keep wondering ‘after all what went wrong and where…’Isn’t it?
Also, have a look at some of the important yet overlooked topics while baking cake or bread. An understanding of these topics is really helpful, so go through these whenever convenient to you, but do not ignore.
- Difference Between Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Importance Of Preheating Oven
- Basics Of Bread Baking
- All about Yeast
- Importance of Sifting Flour
- Tips for making Perfect Whipped Cream
- Olive Oil Types and its Uses
Mistakes While Baking Cakes?
Though I bake CAKES but as I am neither a professional baker nor bake every other day, so sometimes even I face such problems. In that case, I first prefer to refer to this guide and trust me it helps me a lot.
This guide is actually a compilation of tips from some books, my diary, a few websites and not to miss my experience. As I am a self-learner, these books have been my teacher, my companion, my guide…everything ever since I started Baking long back. They escorted me when there was no Google and it wasn’t that easy to fix a problem, especially for learners.
Anyway, cutting my story short, let us come to the point and look for possible causes of what went wrong while baking a cake. For any specific problem, there can be single or multiple reasons.
If you read it at one go you might find it confusing. Therefore, I suggest, you refer to your specific problem and thus rectify it. Also, a quick brush-up is given at the end as to how to avoid ‘what went wrong in baking‘
Do remember the old idiom “Practice makes you perfect” So don’t lose heart if your cake does not come out right the first time. Think through the process with a cool mind and start again.
Now let us see some of the common cake baking mistakes and their possible causes. Do not miss the tips given at the end to resolve these issues.
Why Does My Cake Peaks from the Centre? (A Peaked Cake)
If your cake comes out like a domed shape, that is peaked from the centre then the possible reasons can be :
- Insufficient fat or Leavening: It means that you used less oil or butter
- Too much flour: Flour was taken more than that mentioned in the recipe
- Oven temperature too high: All ovens behave differently. Even at 180 degrees Celsius, different ovens are heated differently.
Why Does My Cake Sink From The Centre? (A Sunken Cake)
Many times it happens that while baking our cake rises beautifully and seeing it our happiness knows no bounds. But suddenly, once out of the oven, it sinks. At times it sinks so much that creates a dent in the centre of the cake.
If this happens, then this means either of the following:
- Too much liquid, baking powder or sugar
- Too little flour: Means flour was not measured properly
- Oven door slammed: If the oven is closed with a bang then it may disturb the temperature inside it and thus affect the baking process
- Cake moved during baking: If moved then this too disturbs the baking process.
- Taken out from the oven too soon: Means that it is under-baked and should have been baked for some more time.
- Batter being beaten for too long thus incorporating excess air in the batter.
Why Is My Cake Dry From Inside?
- Too much baking powder or flour, Or
- Not enough sugar, Or
- Not enough fat or liquid, Or
- Cake tin too big in size, Or
- Over Mixing of Batter, Or
- Too long in the oven as the oven temperature being too slow.
Why Do I have Cracks On My Cake? (A Badly Cracked Top)
- Oven Too hot, Or
- Cake tin too small, Or
- Too much flour, Or
- Not enough liquid.
Why My Cake is Dense and Not Spongy?
- Too little Baking Powder, Or
- Too much flour, Or
- Flour mixed in too vigorously, Or
- Mixture not creamed enough, Or
- Oven too slow, Or
- Ingredients either too cold or hot, that is not used at room temperature.
Why Nuts etc Are Not Evenly Distributed In My Cake? (Why they sink at the bottom?)
- Fruits added without mixed (coated) with flour, Or
- Fruits not dried properly, Or
- Cake mixture too thin.
Why My Cake Is Sticky From the Top?
- Covering the cake or storing it in an airtight container before completely cooled, Or
- Underbaked, either oven temperature very low or short baking time.
- Humid environment, either humid weather or a slightly steamy kitchen.
How to Fix-up this problem?
- Humid weather is something which cannot be controlled or rectified.
- But the cake with a sticky top can be rectified. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the cake to help absorb some of the moisture, Or
- Trim off sticky areas from the cake before frosting.
Why Is it Difficult to Release Cake from the Pan? (Cake gets Stuck at the Bottom)
- Baking tin not greased and floured before putting in the batter, Or
- Cake left in the tin for too long before trying to remove it, Or
- Cake not baked long enough means it is underbaked.
Why Do My Cakes Burn From the Top or Bottom?
- Uneven heat circulation, cake tin not kept in the centre of the oven, Or
- Not enough space between the sides of the oven and cake tin, Or
- Cake tins, if using 2 simultaneously, are kept too close to each other.
Why Does My Cake Have Large Holes In It?
- Cake tin not tapped to release air bubbles, before putting in the oven, Or
- Too hot oven, Or
- Over mixing the batter thus incorporating too much air into it, Or
- Too much baking powder.
Why Does My Cake Shrink?
- Cake tin too big, Or
- Cake tin greased too much, Or
- Over mixing the batter, Or
- Cake tins too close to each other, if baking 2 simultaneously, Or
- Over baking, Or
- Too much liquid.
Tips To Avoid ‘What Went Wrong While Baking Cakes’?
- Proper Measuring of ingredients: Measure ingredients accurately, using a weighing scale or proper measuring cups.
- Ingredients at room temperature: All ingredients, especially dairy products, should be at room temperature unless specified otherwise. So, always take out butter, curd etc from the refrigerator at least half an hour before you start baking your cake. This time may vary depending upon the climate, temperature in your kitchen, the temperature of your refrigerator and many such things.
- Always sift the flour as sifting aerates the flour. And when baking with whole wheat then this step is all the more important. Sift whole wheat flour at least 5 to 6 times for soft n spongy cakes.
- Ensure that your baking powder and baking soda are active and not expired. Both these white powders are totally different and have their own properties. Do not interchange one for the other. Read here to know THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA
- Use Cake tin of proper size.
- Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes.
- Do not beat the batter vigorously, always follow cut n fold method. Remember, it is only the curd, sugar, and butter mix that is beaten vigorously. Once the flour is added, never ever beat it vigorously. This is because by doing so gluten is developed which in turn makes out cake dense and chewy.
- Always preheat the oven before keeping the cake tin in it. PREHEATING IS REALLY IMPORTANT and this simple thing can make or ruin your baked goods.
- Follow instructions regarding oven temperature and timing.
- Always check for the doneness of the cake before removing from the oven.
- Always cool the cake completely on a wire rack before storing or frosting it.
I hope you have liked these write-up on cake baking mistakes and will surely make use of it while baking your next cake. I will be happy if you share your experience on Instagram and tag me #samirasrecipediary there.
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