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  • What are some of the common causes for cake failure?

    Below is a list of the most common causes of cake failure. Measuring carefully, using the pan specified in the recipe and making sure your oven is correctly calibrated can prevent many of the issues.

    Coarse Texture Too much leavening

    Too much shortening

    Shortening too soft

    Not enough liquid

    Insufficient creaming of fat and sugar

    Oven not hot enough

    Sponge and angel food cakes-cream of tartar omitted
    Heavy, Compact Texture Too much shortening

    Too much liquid

    Too many eggs

    Too much sugar

    Not enough leavening

    Too much flour

    Substituting honey for sugar

    Oven was not hot enough

    Extreme over beating

    Sponge or angel food cake-under beaten yolks or over beaten egg whites
    Tough Too much flour

    Too many eggs

    Not enough sugar

    Not enough shortening

    Batter over mixed

    Sponge or angel food-too much sugar or

    over beaten egg whites
    A Dry Cake Too much flour

    Not enough shortening or sugar

    Too much leavening

    Over beaten egg whites

    Over baked

    Too little fat
    Thick, Heavy Crust Too much flour

    Over baked

    Too hot an oven

    Not enough sugar or shortening
    Crusty, Sugary Crust Too much sugar

    Under creaming of butter and sugar

    Over baked
    Hump or Cracked Top Too much flour

    Too little liquid

    Too hot an oven

    Over beaten

    Batter not spread evenly

    Not enough fat

    Warped pans

    Pan too near top of oven

    Overfilled pans

    Sponge cakes-too much sugar in the batter
    A Soggy Layer or Streak on Bottom Under mixing of ingredients

    Too much liquid

    Eggs too big (most recipes are developed for large eggs)

    Butter too soft

    Too much sugar

    Too much leavening

    Not baked long enough

    Sponge cakes-too many eggs or under beaten yolks
    Moist, Sticky Crust Too much sugar

    Too much liquid

    Didn't bake long enough

    Oven wasn't hot enough

    Weather is humid
    Cake Falls Too much leavening

    Too much sugar

    Too much liquid

    Too much shortening

    Not enough flour

    Oven not hot enough

    Insufficient baking

    Pan too small - makes cake so thick that the center couldn't bake through

    Sponge or angel food cakes-over beaten egg whites
    Undersized Cake Too large a pan

    Too hot an oven

    Not enough leavening

    Moving cake during baking
    Tunnels Too many eggs

    Batter under mixed

    Air pockets in batter
    Batter Running Over Pan Too small a pan (Fill pans only1/2 full)

    Too slow an oven

    Too much sugar or shortening

    Too much leavening
    Breaks, Crumbles Batter under mixed

    Too much sugar

    Not enough eggs

    Eggs too small - use large eggs
    Lopsided Batter not spread evenly

    Uneven pan

    Uneven oven heat

    Under mixed

    Pan placed too near one oven wall

    Oven racks not level

    Opened oven door during baking