Baking a cake can be a delightful and satisfying experience, but those who have entered the world of baking may have realised that it's not always smooth sailing in the kitchen. With a multitude of instances wherein the process may not exactly go the way you’ve planned it, even experienced bakers can face challenges that affect the outcome of their cakes. Whether you’re baking a vegan cake or a fresh cream cake, this article lists out some common challenges often faced, and tips what to do to prevent them.
An overflowing cake can occur when the batter is too much for the size of the cake pan or if the leavening agents, such as baking powder or baking soda, are too strong. As the cake rises during baking, it can spill over the edges of the pan, causing a mess in the oven and resulting in an unevenly baked cake.
To avoid this, follow the recipe's instructions carefully, including the recommended size of the cake pan. Be cautious when adding leavening agents, as too much can cause the cake to rise excessively. If your cake does overflow, place a baking sheet underneath the cake pan to catch any spills and prevent them from dripping to the bottom of the oven.
Coming out too dense
A cake that is too dense can be unappealing in both taste and texture, and may not rise properly. This can be due to various reasons; make sure to measure your butter or oil accurately to avoid a cake that is weighed down. Additionally, you should be careful about overmixing the batter, as doing so develops gluten in the flour and results in a tough and dense cake.
The right type of flour can make a difference in the texture of the cake. Cake flour, which has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, is often recommended for cakes as it gives a lighter and more tender crumb. Don't have cake flour on hand? Simply make a substitute by combining all-purpose flour with cornstarch in a specific ratio. If you’re planning a surprise birthday cake delivery for your loved one, keep these factors in mind to avoid a disappointing result.
A sunken cake
A sunken cake is usually caused by reasons such as underbaking. One of the best ways to prevent this is by doing the toothpick test. Insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake, and if it comes out clean, your cake is ready to be taken out of the oven. However, if it comes out with batter clinging to it, it's a sign that your cake needs a little more time. Leaving it in the oven for a few more minutes can ensure that your cake is thoroughly baked.
Repeatedly opening and slamming the door of your oven can also cause the layers to sink in the middle, especially when the centre of the cake has yet to set. Keep the oven door closed as much as possible during baking for a stable environment that helps the cake rise evenly, resulting in a beautifully baked cake with a level top.
It is also crucial to use the right amount of ingredients as mentioned in the recipe. This lets the batter hold itself together, lending a significant difference in the final outcome of your cake.
Learn more: 4 Qualities Of A Good Bakery
Baking a cake can be a delightful and rewarding experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re baking for yourself or loved ones, and you'll be able to have cakes that are not only visually stunning but also taste as good as they look.
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