What the heck happened to my cake? 5 common cake baking problems

chocolate cranberry cake

Chocolate Cranberry Cake photo courtesy of Tim Pierce via Creative Commons

We’ve all had it happen. You pull out the mixing bowl and carefully measure out all your ingredients. You mix everything into a beautiful smooth batter and  pour it gently into your best cake pan. You slip it into the oven at the right temperature being careful to note the time so you don’t over bake. When it comes out of the oven, your excitement starts to build because your cake looks beautiful. After it cools you frost it with your mothers special butter cream frosting  and you get ready to dig in. You cut the cake and notice that something isn’t quite right. The inside of your cake looks a little odd. You take a bite and your heart sinks. Dry. Mohave desert dry. Need to drink some milk just to swallow it dry. Damn it. What went wrong?

Baking can be a very delicate thing and it doesn’t take much to ruin a cake. A little too much flour,  an incorrect oven temperature, or too many minutes of mixing and your cake may not turn out the way you expect. There’s alot of chemistry in baking so making a cake isn’t a good time to improvise to show your individuality.  These are 5 of the most common cake baking problems and what can cause them. Which of these things have happened to your cakes?

1. Cake is dry

a. Baked too long
b. Not enough fat or sugar
c. too much flour

2. Cake falls apart

 a. Opening door too often during baking
 b. Under mixing
 c. Oven wasn’t hot enough

3. Cake is too heavy

 a. Over mixing when adding liquid or flour
 b. Oven temp too low
 c. Too much fat, sugar, or liquid

4. Cake has a coarse texture

 a. too much baking powder or baking soda
 b. oven temp is too low
 c. not mixed enough

5. Batter overflows pan

 a. over mixed
 b. too much batter in pan

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