"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Desserts, Sweets & Cookies & Candy > Cakes & Cupcakes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-28-2008, 01:40 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Dry, fallen cakes... please help!

Hi! Newbie here with a baking problem that's driving me crazy!

I've tried baking cakes from scratch, but they always come out dry with concave tops. Store brought prepackaged mixes aren't as dry, but they still fall once they're out of the oven. A few times, they don't even rise.

My last attempt at baking was a chocolate cake. Here's the receipe:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla.

I substituted 3 1/2 ounces nutella for the chocolate, since I like the flavor better and used exact measures of the other ingredients. THe receipe also called for 1 1/4 cups water added alternately with dry mixture to the butter, eggs, and sugar.
The receipe called for the cakes (two 9 inchers) to cook at 350 for 30-35 minutes. I checked the cakes at the given time and they had risen, but the toothpick came out gooey for both. Left cakes in and checked them every ten minutes until the toothpick came out clean. At the second check, both had fallen. :( The flavor of both cakes is good, but they are very crumbly and dry.
Anyone have any tips? I've tried some things, like turning the oven up 25 degrees, but I get the same result.

Any help would be great! Thanks,
dragonfall1221

__________________

__________________
dragonfall1221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 10:51 AM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Raton,NM, USA
Posts: 4,573
Do you live at a high elevation ? Sounds like that may be the problem. What is your altitude?
__________________

__________________
"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child
jpmcgrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Collier County, Fl.
Posts: 4,198
2 things come to mind.
1) if it's falling in on it's self, sounds like you are banging things around, or perhaps opening the oven door while it's baking. Years ago my mother would announce when she way making a cake to prevent us from stomping around the house so the cake wouldn't fall.
2) if it's dry, try cooking alittle less, or lowering the temp a bit. Test your oven for proper calabration.
__________________
quicksilver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pdswife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Washington
Posts: 20,308
Send a message via AIM to pdswife Send a message via MSN to pdswife Send a message via Yahoo to pdswife
Hi, welcome to our little group! Enjoy!!
__________________
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
pdswife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 11:02 AM   #5
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,256
Make sure your oven temperature is accurate.

The Nutella sub may be to blame, as the chocolate may be needed for its acid to activate the baking soda, but that's just a guess.

I'd suggest choosing another recipe and making no subs at all and seeing if that works better. That said, you might want to try cake flour, as it will give you a finer crumb.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 06:20 PM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
Do you live at a high elevation ? Sounds like that may be the problem. What is your altitude?

I'm at 1455 feet (443 meters) which I'm guessint is average elevation (on the atlas it's in the yellow category)
Thanks for replying!!!
__________________
dragonfall1221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
2 things come to mind.
1) if it's falling in on it's self, sounds like you are banging things around, or perhaps opening the oven door while it's baking. Years ago my mother would announce when she way making a cake to prevent us from stomping around the house so the cake wouldn't fall.
2) if it's dry, try cooking alittle less, or lowering the temp a bit. Test your oven for proper calabration.
I only opened the over door at the time it was supposed to be done. I use the oven light to check any other time. I did was dishes while the cakes were in, but I sat them in the rack, so no cabinets slamming, but I will take that into consideration the next time I try. Cooking the cakes less than the assigned times leaves the middle undone 9 times out of ten. :(

Thanks for replying!!!!!
__________________
dragonfall1221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Make sure your oven temperature is accurate.

The Nutella sub may be to blame, as the chocolate may be needed for its acid to activate the baking soda, but that's just a guess.

I'd suggest choosing another recipe and making no subs at all and seeing if that works better. That said, you might want to try cake flour, as it will give you a finer crumb.
I've tried the recipe before with unsweetened bakers chocolate, but it still came out dry, though it managed not to fall. Maybe it's the quality of the chocolate I used?
Will buy cake flour before my next try and post the results.

Thanks for trying to help!
__________________
dragonfall1221 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2008, 09:51 PM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Raton,NM, USA
Posts: 4,573
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfall1221 View Post
I'm at 1455 feet (443 meters) which I'm guessint is average elevation (on the atlas it's in the yellow category)
Thanks for replying!!!
OK, The elevation is not the problem I live at 7500' where these same problems can happen as well
__________________
"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child
jpmcgrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2008, 12:15 AM   #10
Head Chef
 
MexicoKaren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico
Posts: 1,914
I think you need to go out and get an oven thermometer, as others have suggested. Sounds like your thermostat may be unstable. Is your baking soda/powder absolutely fresh? Jenny is right - follow the recipe exactly. Nutella is yummy, but is not the same consistency as baking chocolate. Stick with us - the fine people here will figure it out for you and you will eventually bake a perfect cake!
__________________

__________________
Saludos, Karen
MexicoKaren is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.