The other day while I was baking my lovely pink Valentine’s Pound Cake, I only got it right the second time.
I say the second time because the first time, half-way through my baking, I smelled burning and when I checked, my batter was boiling over like porridge, it was quite disturbing! Sometimes, even for a seasoned baker, baking doesn’t go very well or as planned. I’ve put together a few trouble-shooting tips to help you avoid a situation like mine, or if you have a situation like mine, how to figure out what happened. ^_^
1.) BATTER OVERFLOWS
This is what happened to my batter. Possible causes are:
– Excess baking powder or baking soda was used in the recipe. The solution to this would be to make sure the correct amount of raising agent is used as stated in the recipe. Also, if the recipe calls for self-rising flour, do not use any other raising agents in the recipe since the flour already contains them; or if using; use small quantities.
– Using a baking pan that is too small. The solution to this would be to use the correct baking pan stated in the recipe. If it’s a 9″ Round pan, make sure you use the same as stipulated or a different shape but still an equivalent size.
2.) CAKE SINKS IN THE CENTER
– Batter was over mixed. It is very important in every recipe, to mix the batter as instructed, not more – not less.
– Cake removed from the oven too soon can also cause sinking. The solution is to make sure you follow the correct baking times and when in doubt, just insert a tooth pick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, remove from the oven.
– Opening the oven door during baking. Make sure while you’re baking, you don’t peek, especially during the first 15 to 20 minutes of baking time.
3.) CAKE DOMES/PEAKS IN THE CENTER
– Oven too hot at the beginning of baking. Make sure you preheat your oven to the right temperature. Also if you can, purchase an oven thermometer for accurate measurement of the oven temperature.
– Too much baking powder or baking soda. Make sure you use the correct measurements of raising agent as stated in the recipe.
4.) CAKE STICKS TO SIDE OF PAN
– This happens if the pan is not sufficiently greased and floured. Make sure you always grease and flour the baking pan before use. You can also grease the pan and then put parchment/grease-proof paper before pouring in the batter as well.
– If the cake is turned out of the pan immediately after baking, it sticks to the side of the pan and will leave parts of it in the pan.This can be avoided if after baking, allow the cake to cool for at least 5 minutes in the pan before removing it.
– Cake cooled too long in the pan. To make sure cake doesn’t stick to the baking pan, make sure after you cool the cake in the pan for at least 5 minutes; remove it and place the cake on a cooling rack.
5.) CAKE IS DRY
– Too much flour was used. Make sure you measure the flour appropriately with a measuring cup and follow recipe measurements of flour accurately.
– Not enough liquid in the batter. To solve this problem, make sure you follow the recipe accurately and check to make sure you have the correct batter consistency for your cake recipe.
This tips will help you avoid disastrous situations while baking. Enjoy your home baking ^_^!