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Cake with middle sunken

Last post Dec 02, 2008 10:00 PM by bkbk . 10 replies.


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  • Cake with middle sunken

    Can someone please tell me why my cake is drooping in the middle when I make this recipe.  The ingredients are as follows:

     1 box cake mix (white or lemon flavor)

    2 -  3oz box jello (any flavor, lime or strawberry)

    3/4 cups orange juice

    5 eggs

    1 1/2 cup veg oil

    Bake 350 for 30 - 40 minutes.

    I have used a 9x13 pan and three 9 inch round pans.  I have found that it only droops when I use the 9 x 13 pan.

    It still turns out very tasty even when it droops.  Someone please help me!

    Thanks,

    Robin

     

     

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    Bumping up. I'm not the world's best baker but there are so many h ere who qualify. I'll be watching for answers.

    I always blame it on my oven.

    By the way when this happens to me, I make trifle. We eat a lot of trifle.

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    'A true friend is someone who knows you're a good egg even if you're a little cracked.'
  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    I'm a baker, it's my favorite thing to do and i'm pretty good at it, but things still happen to me too and i've been baking for 50 years. LOL There are many things that can cause this to happen, and I personally think it's opening the oven before the product is done. When you open the oven door ,one degree of heat is lost for every second the door is open is what i've read or heard and lowering the temp at a crucial time might make it fall in the middle. I never open the oven door more than five minutes before the recommended time ( unless it smells like it's burning LOL) and I make sure two criteria are met  to tell me when the cake is done. the first is shrinking away from the side of the pan, and the second is when a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out clean ( without any batter showing on it) This lady has just about covered all the bases on why cakes fall. I hope it helps in some way.

     

     Now now, there are good "From Scratch" cake recipes out there and cake mix cakes can fall just as much as "From Scratch", haha! Don't be scaring people off baking from scratch. Some cakes fall because they were not completely cooked, that is usually the case. Some fall because there is too much grease on the pan, likely why commercial bakers only grease the bottom of the pans for most cakes, because cakes support themselves on the sides of the pan while they are in the rising process. Some cakes, particularly ones with sour cream or chocolate cakes and some very rich cake batters have a natural tendency to sink a bit and this is just the nature of those recipes. Some cakes do fall because they were over beaten and the air inside kind of collapses. Some fall because the temperature of the oven is too high causing the cake to rise too rapidly. If you open the door to check on the cake before the first 20 minutes or so of baking, this can cause the cake to fall as can closing the oven door too sharply in the early stages of baking. Some fall because they were set to cool in a drafty place, others because they are really delicate and they were placed on the cooling rack too sharply. Some cakes fall because it just plain isn't a good recipe, there is too much leavening action taking place, too many beaten eggs with too much baking soda or baking powder. But generally as was previously stated, most cakes do fall because though the outer edges were cooked, the centre was not fully cooked and this causes a major sinking in the centre. I do not use heating cores or bake even strips and I don't have a problem cooking cakes, but generally they are recommended for larger cakes, cakes larger than 10 inches in diameter. Following the recommended batter amounts guideline is also a good idea. It is not totally accurate as different batters rise to different heights, but it is a good general place to start. Baking anything of this size, Wilton generally recommends using a temperature of 325F, not 350F. This is to help prevent the sides from becoming too hard while the centre is still not completely cooked. You must check for cake doneness, I check that the sides have pulled away and also insert a toothpick in the centre and check that it comes out clean. I do not find the metal cake testers are accurate. For deeper cakes I test with a wooden skewer or shishkabob skewer. It would be helpful to see the recipe you used that created the problem, along with the temperature that you cooked it at and for how long. You might wish to invest in an oven thermometer to see if your temperature is accurate or if your oven possibly needs to be calibrated. Also and this is very important, some recipes are from the U.K. Or places where everything is meant to be weighed out, not measured the way we do with measuring cups for flour and such. This is also true of commercial recipes. This makes a huge difference because the amounts are so different. Even though there are 8 ounces of flour in a dry level measuring cup, if a recipes means for you to actually weigh out 8 ounces of flour, well this is a totally different amount. A good example is icing (powdered) sugar. For example in a pound of icing sugar, well a pound is 16 ounces by weight, correct? But in two cups of dry measured icing sugar there is also 16 ounces, by the volume. However by dry measure there are actually approximately 4 cups of icing sugar in a pound by weight of icing sugar. Volume displacement and weight are two different methods of measuring. You must know what kind of a recipe you are dealing with. Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    HEEELLPPP! My cake has fallen and it can't get up!!! SorryEmbarrassed- couldn't resist Devil 

     

    Mom (77) says the oven was disturbed (door opened too soon, vibration from a leadfoot near the oven could do it too, if the recipe is delicate enough).  She's been baking breads and cakes and such since she was 8...  Either that, or something was past it's "due date."

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    Robin - I don't have lots of experience like Deonia.  (Thanks, Deonia, for all of the very good information in your post here!)  However, I did make a pistacchio cake a month ago.  I made it in my angel food stainless steel pan, and when I took it out after 45 minutes, before I could even reach for a toothpick to test with, the bottom sunk way in.  I threw the whole thing away.  When a toothpick was used to test, it did not come up clean, so cake wasn't done enough.

    After fretting about the wasted cake for a week, I did the same recipe with the same cake pan, baking temperature, and all of the same ingredients.  That time, I gave it 55 minutes.  It came out perfect!  Maybe your cake in the 9 by 13 wasn't done enough. 

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    OOPS - error correction: not "the bottom sunk way in".  Instead, this should say "the middle sunk way in". 

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    I'm not an expert baker, but I think the recipe has too much oil, for one thing,  Also,  I would give it a try with 1 cup oil, use 3 eggs, and 1 box of the gelatin.  4 eggs would be fine when you make it in layer pans.  You might try putting a flower nail in the middle, as well.  Let us know if you try again.  Opallu

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    Hi from a newby--My mom was having the same problem with an old scratch recipe that she had used for years--We finally figured out that she was buying larger eggs than normal(jumbo instead of large because they were only a few pennies more) & the difference in the amount of liquid was enough to make her cakes fall---Perhaps check the size of your eggs??? & be sure to use a liquid measuring cup for liquids--not a regular dry measure cup--Love reading all the posts on these sites-great recipes--Good Luck--Cpuppy

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    I agree with Opal.  I would only use 3/4 c. to 1 c. of oil and only 1 box of gelatin for this cake. 3 eggs should be plenty, also. My aunt gave me a recipe for her cake one time, and I had the same problem you have - it fell in the middle every time I made it.  The recipe called for 1 1/2 c. oil, so I reduced it to 3/4 cup and then I made a beautiful cake.  Of course, there are those times when things seem to go wrong, no matter what. :(

    Carolyn

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    Deonia - you seem to be a good one to ask!

    My friend asked me how you avoid getting that bump in the middle of a cake.  I said I didn't know, I just use my biggest knife and trim the cake then using the top as the bottom so that I have a smooth, crumbfree surface to ice...but after I saw your answer to the lady about the sunken middle, I thought that maybe you'd have the answer to this one for me.  Thank you  

     

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  • Re: Cake with middle sunken

    I have no problem with cakes except my carrot cake recipe which has a cup and half of oil.  It always sinks in the middle. Doesn't seem to affect the taste.

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