Cake Making Disasters: Why They Occur and How to Recover From Them

Cake Making Disasters: Why They Occur and How to Recover From Them

View more related buyers guides

Published by TOP4 Team

There’s a reason for all cake making failures. Here are ways to prevent them the next time you try baking and transform some baking disasters so you don’t waste them.


Plain Butter Cakes
1. Cake is coarse-textured
- Insufficient creaming of butter and sugar
- Oven not hot enough
- Too much raising agent
- Insufficient liquid, or insufficient mixing when adding liquid
2. Cake is heavy
- Oven not hot enough
- Too much flour, shortening or liquid
- Over-making
3. Cake has moist, sticky crust
- Too much sugar
- Insufficient beating to dissolve sugar
4. Cake is uneven in texture, has holes
- Heavy handed when folding in flour
- Insufficient mixing, the flour not evenly distributed
5. Cake falls in centre
- Too much raising agent, shortening or sugar
- Oven not hot enough
- Oven door opened during early baking and/or cake moved in oven
- Insufficient baking

Sponge Cakes
1. Cake is coarse or heavy in texture
- Insufficient beating of eggs, or insufficient eggs and sugar
- Insufficient blending of ingredients, or heavy handed blending
- Too much flour
- Incorrect oven temperature
2. Cake has sticky crust on top
- Too much sugar
- Insufficient beating and baking
3. Cake undersized, not risen sufficiently
- Insufficient beating of eggs and sugar
- Over-mixed
- Incorrect oven temperature
- Insufficient cooking
- Cakes removed too soon from tins
- Tins greased too generously on sides

Fruit Cakes
1. Cake dry in texture
- Not enough liquid, shortening or sugar
- Cake baked too long
- Too much raising agent
2. Hard crust outside, with damp, uncooked centre
- Too much liquid
- Oven too hot
3. Cake sank in the middle
- Too much raising agent
- Fruit not thoroughly dried
- Cake moved in oven too soon, before mixing has set
- Sometimes oven too hot
4. Excessive cracking across top
- Tin too small
- Oven too hot
- Too much raising agent
- Incorrect quantity of liquid
5. Cake insufficiently risen
- Tin too big for quantity of mixture
- Not enough liquid
- Oven too cool
- Mixture not creamed sufficiently
6. Cake crumbles when cut
- Not enough egg to bind ingredients in rich cakes, not enough liquid in plainer cakes
- Too much raising agent


- Break spoilt fresh cake into fine crumbs. Add a cupful of coconut and stiffly beaten egg white and use it as a tart topping. Pour the mixture over a pastry base covered with jam and bake the tart in a moderate oven until the topping is cooked, about 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.
- Crumb broken cakes to make delicious rum balls. Beat 120g cream cheese with ¼ cup sifted icing sugar. Add 2 tablespoons melted dark chocolate, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, ½ teaspoon rum, and the cake crumbs, enough to lightly fill 1½ cups. Refrigerate for two hours then form into balls. Roll in chocolate sprinkles.
- Level uneven sponge cakes by placing the thicker side of one over the thinner side of the other. After filling the layers, ice the sides and cover with nuts or chocolate sprinkles.
- Use sunken sponge cake as a baked Alaska base. Pile drained canned or fresh fruit in the middle, top with ice cream and cover with stiff meringue. Bake at 230°C for 1-2 minutes and serve immediately.
- Cut out the centre of a fruit cake which has sagged in the middle and make a ring cake. Ice and decorate with glace cherries. A dry fruit cake can be cut into serving-sized slices, wrapped in foil, and steamed to make a plum pudding-style dessert.
- Remove charred surfaces with the bottom of a fine wire coffee strainer rubbed over a burnt cake. When a cake gets a hump in the middle, an overheated oven could be the cause. Cut the hump off, turn the cake upside down and ice the base.

Mistakes can be corrected — and avoided. Don’t let mistakes hinder you from being a cake master. Learn from the experts. Visit the top cake and pastry shops in Australia.


#cake making
#cake and pastry shops
Sign in with Email
Top4 - Made in Australia with Love
Stay In Touch