More baking blunders: What went wrong with your cake and how to fix it

Jan 30, 2021
Don't let a baking disaster get the better of you! Source: Getty.

Last week, Starts at 60 shared an in-depth list of some of the most common baking blunders and what you can do to fix them. But that was just the tip of the iceberg!

Baking can be a fickle hobby and there’s plenty that can go wrong with a homemade cake. So rather than take a few uneducated stabs in the dark when something goes awry, take a look at these tips from German baking company Dr.Oetker and see how you can avoid a kitchen mishap in future!

Why is my cake dry?

One of the quickest ways to end up with a dry and crumbly cake is to cook it in an oven that’s too hot. Don’t be tempted to bake your cake at a higher temperature in the hopes of enjoying it faster. Instead, stick to the recommended cooking temperature for make sure you remove it from the oven as soon as it’s done.

Using eggs that are too small can also cause your cake to turn out drier than you’d like. If the recipe calls for medium or large eggs, make sure you do as your told, as anything less could mean there’s not enough wetness in the batter to keep your cake moist.

If your cake does turn out dry though, there are ways to redeem it. Once cool, use a skewer to poke holes in the top and drizzle a little syrup over the cake to fill the holes with syrupy goodness.

Why is my cake raw in the middle?

One of the most common reasons cakes end up raw is because you’ve used the wrong can tin size. Anything too small, or too shallow, can cause your cake to cook unevenly, leaving you with a disaster on your hands.

If the cooking time is up but your cake is still raw in the middle, lower the oven temperature and cover the cake with foil to avoid burning on the top and sides. Put your cake back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so and then use a skewer to check the middle and see if it’s cooked. Repeat this process until your cake is done.

Why is my cake greasy?

It’s a common problem that leaves many novice bakers confused: a course, greasy cake that doesn’t rise properly. This typically occurs when you haven’t let your butter warm to room temperature before adding to the mixture. The easiest, and fool-proof, way to avoid this problem is to always use softened, room temperature butter when bakings.

Why do my cakes shrink after baking?

Have you ever peeked into the oven only to see that what was once a big, beautiful cake has now shrunken to half its original size? While there’s no real way to fix it other than just accepting the new smaller-sized cake for what it is, there are several ways to avoid it.

Your mixture might have been too cold when it started baking, which is why it’s always good to let chilled ingredients (like eggs and butter) to warm to room temperature before you start making the batter. You may have also over-mixed which can be fixed by ensuring you only mix until you can’t see the last ingredient you added in.

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What's your biggest baking disaster? What's your secret tip for fixing cakes?

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