6 Common Cake Baking Mistakes We’ve All Made | Whitecaps International School of Pastry

6 Common Cake Baking Mistakes We’ve All Made

Cake baking mistake

If your homemade cakes haven’t quite been living up to your expectations, this guide is here to help. We’ve compiled common cake baking mistakes, explaining what went wrong and how to get it right next time.

By following these tips, you’ll be baking delicious cakes consistently. You can also learn both the science and the art behind baking cakes from our Cake Engineering Program. 

Your Biggest Cake Baking Mistakes And How To Fix Them

1. Dry Cake? Here’s Why It Happened and How to Fix It

A dry cake is a baker’s nightmare, but don’t worry! Here are some common reasons why your cake might be dry and how to avoid them:

  • Overbaking: Cakes, especially vanilla, can dry out quickly in the oven. Instead of relying solely on baking time, test for doneness early with a toothpick. A few moist crumbs are okay; a perfectly clean toothpick might mean an overbaked cake.
  • Cake Mixing mistakes: Incorrect measurements can lead to dryness. Avoid scooping flour directly from the bag. Instead, spoon it lightly into your measuring cup and level it off for the right amount. Double-check the recipe to ensure you haven’t missed any liquid ingredients.
  • Incorrect temperature: Baking at a lower temperature for too long can dry out your cake. Don’t crank up the heat though, or you’ll risk an unevenly baked cake. Use an oven thermometer to confirm your oven’s accuracy and follow the recipe’s temperature recommendation.
  • Recipe issue: If you’ve followed the recipe precisely and this keeps happening, the recipe itself might be the culprit. Try a different recipe next time.

2. Soggy Cake Bottom? Here’s Why It Happens

A soggy cake bottom is a disappointment! Let’s explore what might be causing it.

  • Liquid amount: Double-check your measurements. Did you accidentally add too much liquid to the batter? Also, avoid pouring directly from containers; use measuring cups and spoons for precise amounts.

3. Why Did My Cake Collapse?

Have you ever peeked at your cake in the oven only to see it fall flat? Or maybe it looked fine at first, but then sank completely after you took it out? Don’t worry, there are a few reasons why this might happen.

  • Oven Door Peek-a-Boo: Resist the urge to constantly check your cake! Opening the oven door lets out heat and causes temperature fluctuations. This can mess with how your cake rises, and even cause air bubbles to pop, leading to a collapse. If you need to check for doneness, briefly open the door and avoid slamming it shut.
  • Leavening Mishap: Too much baking powder or baking soda can make your cake rise too quickly, then fall back down with a thud. Make sure you measure carefully and follow your recipe exactly.
  • Temperature Trouble: An oven that’s not at the right temperature can wreak havoc on your cake. If it’s too cool, your cake won’t rise properly. If it’s too hot, the outside might cook too quickly while the center stays raw, leading to a collapse later.
  • Underbaked Blues: We all love a moist cake, but taking it out of the oven too early can be a disaster. The center won’t be set and may collapse once you remove it from the heat. Use a toothpick to check for doneness – a few moist crumbs are okay, but raw batter means it needs more time.

4. Overdone Outside, Undercooked Inside

Ever pulled out a cake that looks perfectly golden brown, only to find a gooey center? This frustrating case happens when the outer edges bake too quickly, leaving the middle, raw.

The Culprit: A Hot Oven

If this keeps happening, your oven temperature might be the issue. Double-check you’re setting it to the recipe’s recommended temperature.

The Fix: Check Your Oven’s Accuracy

Consider investing in an oven thermometer. Ovens can fluctuate, and a thermometer helps ensure you’re baking at the correct temperature for even cooking. For more solutions, you can join our baking classes and avoid any mishaps.

5. Cake Stuck to the Pan?

A perfectly baked cake can turn into a disaster if it sticks to the pan. But this is easy to avoid with the right pan preparation!

greasing pan for baking

Pan prep:

Recipes often provide instructions, but for guaranteed cake release, we recommend going a step further. Here are your options:

  • Lining Up with Parchment: Parchment paper is a popular choice for lining cake pans. It creates a non-stick barrier for easy removal.
  • The Greasing and Flouring Method: This classic technique involves coating the pan with shortening or butter, followed by a dusting of flour.
  • Baking Spray: Baking sprays designed for baking can also be a great option. Look for sprays with flour for added insurance.

Choose the method that works best for you and enjoy perfectly released cakes every time!

6. Cake Turning Rubbery Inside?

Baked a cake that looks perfect on the outside, but when you cut into it, you find strange, rubbery streaks throughout the cake, or even a completely rubbery bottom?

Here’s what might be happening:

  • Mixing too much: When you mix cake batter for too long, or at a high speed, you develop too much gluten in the flour.
  • Gluten overload: This extra gluten creates a dense, rubbery texture instead of a light and airy crumb.

The Solution: Mix Smart, Not Hard

Over baked cakes

The key to avoiding these rubbery streaks is to mix your batter gently. Here’s how:

  • Mix until just combined: Once all the ingredients are incorporated, stop! Don’t get carried away mixing for a perfectly smooth batter. A few lumps are okay.
  • Lower the speed: Use a lower speed setting on your mixer to avoid overworking the gluten.

With these tips, you’ll be back to baking delicious, fluffy cakes in no time!

Baking can seem tricky, but by grasping some essential concepts and avoiding common missteps, you’ll be well on your way to baking success! However, if you want to level up and master your baking skills, you check-out our popular cake baking courses from Whitecaps.

 

Enjoy your baking journey! 🙂

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