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Old 03-13-2011, 11:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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My cakes are sinking, help!

Hi there, new member from the UK and wanted to ask a question about my cakes.

I've never had this problem before, and I'm not sure as to whether it's my oven's fault or it's something I'm doing, but recently every time I make a cake it sinks significently in the middle, even cupcakes!

I've tried altering quantities of ingredients, using a hand whisk, food mixer or doing it by hand. I've altered oven settings and I've tried to ensure my tin to quantity ratio is appropriate, however it keeps happening.

I've tried under mixing my batter, that didn't help, it's just a real frustration and it's only happened recently, does anyone have any tips to avoid this or what to do should my cake mix sink?




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Old 03-13-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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1. Too much aeration. This may be caused by:
(a) Too much sugar used in the recipe. This can be detected by excessive crust color and a sticky seam running in the shape of a
(b) Too much baking powder. Difficult to detect because it can be confused with (c).
(c) Overbeating of fat/sugar/egg batter prior to adding flour.
2. Undercooked. This can easily be detected by the presence of a wet seam just below the surface of the top crust.
3. Knocking in oven prior to cakes being set. If during cooking when all the ingredients are in a fluid state, a cake gets a knock or disturbance (such as a draft of cold air) some collapse may take place which will result in the center of the cake caving in.
4. Too much liquid. This is easy to detect because, firstly the sides will tend to cave in as well as the top, and if the cake is cut a seam will be discovered immediately above the bottom crust. Cakes containing too much liquid do not show this fault until they are removed from the oven. During baking, the excess moisture is in the form of steam and actually contributes to the aeration of the cake. On cooling, this steam condenses into water which sinks to the bottom of the cake, collapsing the texture by so doing.


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Old 03-13-2011, 11:47 AM   #3
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Ah do you know what, i've just started beating the eggs before adding to the fat, which would make sense as to why it's sinking. I'll make sure I'm more gentle, gosh it is such an artform!
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 03-13-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Check the accuracy of your oven with a good oven thermometer. Too low a temperature can cause sinking in the center - too high can cause the cake to be overdone on the bottom and sides, and underdone in the center.

Also, check your baking powder and baking soda. The expiration date is meaningless - sometimes they can lose their potency way before the date. Here's how to test them:

To test baking powder's effectiveness: mix 1 tsp (5 grams) baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately and vigorously. The fresher the baking powder, the more active the bubbles. If no reaction occurs or if the bubbles are weak, the baking powder is not strong enough to raise whatever you are planning to bake.

Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

To test baking soda's effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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Do you live in a high altitude area? Otherwise I would guess your oven temperature is'nt staying consistent. Some ovens, the temperature will fluxuate while baking.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by simonbaker View Post
Do you live in a high altitude area? Otherwise I would guess your oven temperature is'nt staying consistent. Some ovens, the temperature will fluxuate while baking.
I tried boiling a kettle on top of Snowden (the mountain not Lord Snowden) it took ages.
Good Morning from North Wales Chops, this is a very good site with lots of Monsta Monsta bakers and cooks it makes a very pleasant change from the warfare on Auntie Beeb's site

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