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Causes of Cake Failure

Causes of cake failure can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint but, this page will give you a headstart into finding out what went wrong. Usually, the cake can be saved but, if not, chalk it up to a learning experience. The next time your cake will turn out better when you know what happened.

Coarse Texture

  • Not enough liquid
  • Too much leavening
  • Insufficient creaming
  • Insufficient mixing with increased amount of shortening or butter and sugar
  • Oven too slow (not hot enough)

Heavy, Compact Texture

  • Too much shortening, butter or sugar
  • Oven too slow
  • Overbeating

Dry Cake

  • Too much flour or leavening
  • Not enough shortening, butter or sugar
  • Overbeating egg whites
  • Overbaking

Thick, Heavy Crust

  • Too much flour
  • Baking too long
  • Oven too hot
  • Not enough sugar, shortening or butter

Humping or Cracking on Top

  • Too much flour
  • Oven too hot

Soggy Layer

  • Undermixing of the ingredients
  • Too much sugar or baking powder

Moist or Sticky Crust

  • Too much sugar

Cake Falling

  • Too much leavening
  • Too much shortening, butter or sugar
  • Oven too slow
  • Cake not baked long enough
  • Moving the cake pan during baking

Undersized Cake

  • Pan is too large

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