Craftsy Cakes

Baking can be beautiful, and I believe homemade cakes are always better than store-bought ones. However, baking is also a science or a series of chemical reactions between ingredients that need to be just right to give you great results. But sometimes mistakes can happen, whether while adding ingredients or while baking. So here is a list of the most common baking problems and how to avoid them:

1. The cake is dry. That means you baked the cake for too long, so make sure that your oven temperature is correct and that you aren’t overbaking the cake. Another reason is that the wet ingredients in the cake are not enough, so it doesn’t have enough moisture. You may want to use simple syrup if that’s the case.

2. The cake is too dense. This can happen if the ingredients measurement is incorrect or the wet ingredients are not at room temperature before mixing, so they didn’t combine properly. Also, overmixing ingredients can create a dense batter that doesn’t get that same airy rise. 

Even though your cake is completely baked, sometimes you may find a dense or damp center. This wet ring in cakes can be caused by the cake settling after baking. A cake drops like this when the eggs, butter, and sugar are over creamed. To prevent this, cream these together on a medium speed for 2 – 3 minutes only.

3. Cracked top on the cake. A cake can get a cracked top if it bakes too quickly. Set your oven at the right temperature. You may want to invest in an oven thermometer to ensure your baking temps.

It can also be the result of an overfilled baking tin. Be sure that you use the same pan called for in the recipe.

Lastly, too much baking powder or baking soda can cause the cake to crack. Excess of these ingredients can cause the cake to rise too quickly and put a crack in the top.

4. Sunken center. That can be a product of too much baking powder. It can be tempting to add a little extra to your batter for a more significant rise, but the cake can’t always sustain all those bubbles and collapse in the middle.

It can also be caused by opening the oven door too early. When you open the door to peak, a rush of colder air comes in and can collapse your cake. To avoid this, try not to peek until the last ten minutes.

5. Uneven browning on the top. This is caused by hot spots within an oven or overcrowding. Whenever possible, try to bake in the center of your oven racks and if you know your oven has hot spots, give your pans a turn halfway through baking.

If you’ve missed it, I shared on the blog my best tips on how to bake a perfect cake and the things you should take care of each step of the way. You can practice these tips with any of the recipes posted here.

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