Cake Sunk In The Middle? Find Out Why

By Caroline Dashurst

Baking is a rewarding experience, but can be a challenge for the newbie. But what fun when it all goes to plan! Here are some of the mistakes that commonly end up in a bad cake.

It's all very well for those who always seem to 'know' what to add, but for some of us, measuring things is absolutely essential. For example, adding too much baking soda will produce a coarse cake. Similarly, too little liquid will do the same thing. Not adding enough liquid will also result in a dry cake. You will get used to how much, but it takes a little practice as too much liquid may make your cake sink in the middle. Dryness can also be because of leaving the cake in the oven too long or if the oven is overly hot.

If you don't mix your cake enough, those lumps, when cooked will not look or feel very pleasant in the mouth. The surface of your creation may look odd as well.

Getting your oven temperature right is also important. Putting your cake into a cold oven can prove disastrous! Taking the cake out too soon can result in it sinking in the middle, so don't open the oven until around 2/3rds of the way through the cooking time, as the cold air will really affect it.

Make sure you grease the pan properly. If you don't you may not be able to see when it's cooked, as a common way to do this is by checking if it has shrunk away from the sides of the pan. You must not take the cake out of the pan too quickly either. Some cakes need to stay in the tin much longer than say a sponge will.

Try not to bake when there is a chance of a lot of doors banging, as excessive vibrations during the first half of baking can cause the cake to sink as well. This is particularly so with light cakes.

The above does not guarantee everything will be perfect, but may answer a few questions and give a few pointers. Don't give up, like everything else, it takes practice to create those masterpieces!

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