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No matter how good a baker we think we are, we can all agree that at some point in time, we have had one type of baking disaster or another. The good thing about these disasters or mishaps is that they help us evolve as bakers, and we grow from them. :D

I have listed a few of the most common types, the reasons why they happen and tips to prevent them from happening again.

These are frequently asked baking questions.

Questions (Medium).jpg

1. Why do I have a dipped sunken centre in my cake or total collapse?

If you have a dip in the centre of your cake or it has sunk or collapsed, then this may have been caused by possibly some of the following reasons.​
  • Opening the oven door too soon whilst baking allows cold air to penetrate the batter.
  • The temperature of your oven is too hot or too cool.
  • The cake has not had a chance to bake for long enough.
  • Insufficient amounts of ingredients, out of date ingredients or wet flour.
  • Over beating your mixture and adding too much air can also cause your cake to sink as too much air can cause the cake to collapse.

Tip - Do not open the oven door; however, if you need to, leave it as long as possible and preferably until the mix resembles some form of cake before opening the door. Check the temperature with an oven thermometer, check your ingredients.​

2. Why do my cupcakes have a soggy bottom?

  • If you leave your cupcakes in the tin to cool, they will sweat and end up with a soggy bottom.

Tip - To prevent this from happening, remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack for cooling.​

3. Why does my cake peak?

  • Cakes and cupcakes will peak very quickly if the temperature of the oven is set too high or perhaps because too much raising agents such as baking powder or bicarbonate of soda have been added to your batter/mix. Other reasons may be your cake is too near the top of the oven. Your tin is too small to cope with the amount of batter in it, or there is insufficient liquid in it.

Tip - Turn the temperature down by about 10-15°C, as you can always cook cakes for longer on a lower temperature and check to ensure you are adding the correct amount of agent (measuring spoons would help with this). Move your cake down a shelf and also check your recipe.​

4. Why is my cake heavy and dense?

  • This may be caused by insufficient creaming or perhaps because you are over beating your batter/mix. Other reasons may be an out of date raising agent or folding in your flour too vigorously, popping all the air bubbles in the batter.

Tip - Try not to overbeat your mix and do everything moderately and lightly.​

5. Why is my cake sliding when I have added the filling?

  • If you have placed too much filling in the middle of your cake, it will result in a sliding effect and cause problems when trying to cover.

Tip - When filling your cakes, place the jam or buttercream in the middle of your cake but do not smear right to the edge. If you place a good amount of filling in the centre, you can press down on the top layer, which will cause the jam/buttercream to spread out to the edge and should act as an adhesive to hold the layers in place before covering.​

6. What happens when you rush through your baking?

  • I usually find that rush baking generally ends up in a lot of stress and usually a disaster of some form or another.

Tip - If you are going to bake, always try to ensure you have enough time to create your desired cake bakes and enjoy the process. N.B. You get out what you put in.​
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Ah, right, so you use kitchen roll; I know people use newspaper and tin foil or a wet tea towel and string. Either that or they use the branded ones. So it's great to see that you're using something different, which obviously works for you.

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