Cake Troubleshooting

Hey Cakenistas! T

Hey Cakenistas! This information is straight out of my Culinary textbook that I received in school and is so helpful to me.

Problem: Butter Curdles During Mixing.

Cause: Ingredients too warm or cold.

Solution: Eggs must be room temp and added slowly.

Problem: Cake lacks Volume.

Cause: Fat wasn't creamed long enough before the liquids were added to the batter/ Incorrect fat used/ Flour too strong/ Old chemical leavener/ Egg foam under-whipped/ oven too hot.

Solution: Use correct ingredients/ Add a portion of flour then continue adding liquids/ Use a weaker flour/ Adjust oven temp/ Use fresh leavener (baking powder, baking soda, salt) / Use correct mixing method; Do not deflate eggs during folding (most cake methods use the creaming method unless making an egg white based cake).

Problem: Crust burst or cracked

Cause: Oven too hot/ Too much flour or too little liquid

Solution: Adjust oven temp./ Adjust formula; Scale accurately.

Problem: Cake shrinks after baking.

Cause: Weak internal structure/ Too much sugar or fat for the batter to support cake/ Not fully cooked.

Solution: Adjust Formula

Problem: Cake is dense or heavy

Cause: Too little leavening/ Too much fat or liquid/ Oven too cool/ Improper mixing *The longer a cake is mixed after the flour is added, the more the gluten develops, making a denser cake*

Solution: Test for doneness before removing from oven/ Cream fat or eggs properly/ Adjust oven temp/ *When adding flour, mix it just until it's incorporated unless a recipe states different.*

Problem: Texture is course with an open grain/ Poor flavor

Cause: Over mixing/ Oven too cool/ Poor ingredients/ Unclean pan

Solution: Adjust oven temp./ Alter mixing method/ Check flavor and aroma of ingredients/ Don't grease pans with rancid fats.

Problem: Uneven shape

Cause: Butter not incorporated evenly/ Batter spread unevenly/ Oven rack not level/ Uneven oven temp.

Solution: Incorporate fats complete/ Spread batter evenly/ Adjust oven racks/ Adjust oven temp.

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