What went wrong with my cake?

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We’ve been through it, the cake that we baked didn’t turn out to be as pretty as the cake in the cook book. This is a normal process, as the saying goes – practice makes perfect. But we need to know what went wrong, so that we can avoid the same mistakes in the future. The following information could be useful.

  • Curdled batter – this can be avoided if we break one egg at a time, allowing enough time for each egg to be thoroghly incorporated into the batter. Another reason might be that we are beating at a speed which is too high.

  • Cake overflowed in pan – obviously the pan is too small to begin with, or you put too much leavening.

  • Tough and heavy texture – this is the result of too much liquid, shortening or the batter was under or overbeaten.

  • Sunken middle - this is the saddest thing that could happen to any chef. The fault could be that the batter was overbeaten, too much sugar, liquid or baking powder. Or maybe the oven door was open within the first 15 minutes of baking. Even when you closed the oven door to forceful, it can lead to a sunken middle. (But not to worry too much, you can serve it upside down, or fill the sunken part with lots of icing to camouflage the whole thing;-) )

  • Cracked centre – One reason could be due to the oven being too hot. So always make sure that the oven is at the recommended temperature. The wrong type of flour could also lead to cracked centre, especially when you use a high-gluten flour instead of the recommended softer flour. You know why the books always say that we should mix the dry ingredients at the lowest speed? To avoid cracked centre. Overbeating will cause the cake to be tough resulting in the crack.

  • Cake did not rise as expected – oven not hot enough, too much liquid or fat and if you are using a pan which is too big.

  • Dry crumb – too much baking powder and too long baking period.

  • Too crumbly – the batter is being underbeaten and you put in too much shortening.

  • Holes in the cake – the reasons might be due to using too many eggs, too little sugar, poor mixing and an oven which is too hot.


skin says:

Hi! I’m wondering it is any different between superfine flour, all-purpose flour and cake flour? can sp flour and all-purpose flour bake a cake?

I’d just trying bake cupcakes yesterday.. at first my cupcakes grown overflown the cup..then it sucken down.. could help me? Thank you so much! I’m really appreciate you help :)