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Why do my cakes deflate when I take them out of the oven?

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Maisie

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I am careful not to open the door when the cake is rising. But when the time is up and I take the cake out it just goes poof... and shrinks. Not a huge amount but enough for me to think there might be something I should be or shouldn''t be doing!
 

KatM

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Sep 24, 2007
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I found this at MetroKitchen

My cakes look fine when I take them out of the oven. But then while they are cooling the middle sinks in a bit. Is there a solution?
There are a couple of reasons for fallen cakes that you can keep in mind.

1. If you are at a high altitude, you need to adjust the temperature for baking and possibly alter some measurements.

2.Check the temperature of your oven. The wrong temperature can cause the cake to rise too far and collapse on itself.

3. Make sure the cake is cooked through. It may look done, but you need to insert a skewer in the middle and have it come out clean to be sure the middle is done. If the cake is undercooked in the middle, it will cave in.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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I''m not an expert baker, I''m sure one of our resident pastry chefs will chime in though.

In my experience, the first thing to look to with a fallen cake is your baking powder. People don''t realize that it loses it''s potency over time and with BP being sold in such large quantities, most of the time I''m not through the jar when the expiration date passes.

Another thing could just be the general makeup of the cake, some relax naturally as they cool because the eggs puff up when they''re cooking (think of a cheesecake as an example).
 

Maisie

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Right so I am running through the points...

My baking powder is new
The cake was definitely cooked. I checked with a skewer
Oven temp was correct


I can only assume its because I am not a very good cook. I have a terrible time trying to get fruit scones to rise.
 

Mrs Mitchell

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Maisie, you probably aren''t doing anything major wrong. I bake a lot and I''m fairly confident, but this happens to me sometimes too. Worst failure I ever had was a three tier wedding cake- every single tier had to be made twice. When it comes to sponge type cakes, sometimes the gods just frown on your efforts, however careful or experienced a baker you are.

Things that help -
double check the oven temp, with an oven thermometer rather than relying on the setting on the oven itself (if you haven''t already)
don''t beat too much air into the mixture and don''t over-work it once it has the flour in
use the correct size of egg in the recipe
make sure you have the right diameter tin
use equipment at room temperature, avoid anything really cold coming into contact with the batter
if the recipe has butter or liquid in it, don''t use it ice cold.
measure as accurately as possible, with digital scales if poss, I don''t have much success with measuring cups

Dense cakes with a lot of fruit in them that don''t need to rise as much can be a good way of restoring your faith, too.

Random things like air temperature and humidity can annoy the more temperamental batter recipes, and even an old faithful recipe will turn out slightly different some days.

Don''t give up, find a basic recipe that works best for you and then you can change it round with different icing, flavourings etc. If you''d like my old faithfull standby sponge cake recipe, give me a shout on fb and I''ll copy it for you.

Is Freke around? She''s the real PS baking expert.

Good luck!

Jen
 

Rachel9

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Hi, 'I kind' of like baking [hate the mess] but my sister can whip some yummy wedding cakes
all the recipes she has shared with me have the leavening, liquid and flour in red....She says too much of the first two or too little flour can make the best cake collapse.
Over time I have learned that slamming the oven door is as bad as rushing out cakes of the oven too soon
 

oobiecoo

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My cakes don''t deflate but the edges always end up lower than the top and I have to cut the top off to make it even. A lady who makes custom cakes said I should put the cake pan in a larger pan with water in it to bake. The moisture helps make it even all around. I know its not your exact problem but it might be worth a try!
 

kama_s

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Sometimes overmixing the batter also makes cakes to deflate.
 

Maisie

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Hey thanks for the helpful advice! I really appreciate it and I will try all of it!

My oven is on its way out. I have had it for years and I think it might be time for a new one. Especially since I have developed a keen interest in cooking. I wouldn''t have thought to have an oven thermometer. I will have to get one.

I also used medium eggs when the recipe said large. I didn''t think it would make a difference


I think I slammed the door


I will definitely try the water thing Oobie.

Maybe I am a bit over zealous with the mixing.

I am so glad I posted!
 

TravelingGal

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No advice, but I can say everything deflated for me once they took my bun out.
 

Maisie

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Date: 2/4/2010 2:46:46 PM
Author: TravelingGal
No advice, but I can say everything deflated for me once they took my bun out.
Haha!!!
 

purrfectpear

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I have the opposite problem like Oobie. My cakes all have domed tops (but then they''re out of the Duncan Hines box).
 

pennquaker09

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Date: 2/4/2010 6:18:22 PM
Author: purrfectpear
I have the opposite problem like Oobie. My cakes all have domed tops (but then they''re out of the Duncan Hines box).
You should switch to Pillsbury. Betty Crocker is good also. Duncan Hines changed their formula a couple of years ago and now it''s horrible. Or I guess I should say the last time I used DH it was horrible. I''ve been baking from scratch for about 2 years now.

Additionally, I used to add a box of pudding (preferably, Jello brand), baking soda, an extra egg (or egg whites), and at least 1/2 cup of oil to the cake mix. Not always, but most of the time. One thing I always do is substitute milk for water. I never used water in my cake mixes. It it calls for butter, unsalted butter works best. I prefer Land O Lakes.

Generally, it''s good to bake at a lower temperature. If it says 350, lower the temp to 325. Honestly, I always bake my cakes at 325. Ditto for cupcakes.

All ingredients should be at room temperature (around 70 degrees, if I recall correctly).

Professional cake pans perform better. Magic Line, Fat Daddio''s are both recommended.
Cake pans 10" or larger need a heating core. If you have a flower nail, it can be used. Otherwise, buy a heating core.

I can''t think of anything else . . .
 

Mrs Mitchell

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I wouldn't worry about the dome top thing, I think that can be fixed!

I took sugarcraft and baking classes from an awesome lady in Glasgow http://www.toptiercakes.com/ and her basic recipe always did this - she sliced off the dome with a serrated blade knife, using a spirit level to make sure it's totally flat, then flipped it over so the cut bit is on the bottom before icing it.

I made a three-tier version of this for my wedding and we had to trim every cake, but it looked absolutely fine! http://www.toptiercakes.com/index.php?module=photoalbum&PHPWS_Album_id=4&PHPWS_Photo_op=view&PHPWS_Photo_id=337

They did a three week course in those days, I notice on the website that's it's just a day now.


Maisie, get baking! Once you get the knack, you can make amazing things for all sorts of occasions. The big plus for me at the moment is that I am a super neurotic control freak when it comes to what my daughter eats. If I send her to parties with the most amazing looking cake, at least I know there's something there that has no crap in it that still looks like a major treat.
 

FrekeChild

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Maisie! There are SOOOOOOOOO many things it could be. Can you post the recipe so I can take a look?

To start the list of "could be"s (I think many of these have been listed already):
-not enough egg
-not enough flour
-too much liquid
-too much fat
-too much sugar
-too high of a temperature
-too low of a temperature
-not mixed long enough
-mixed too much (not likely)
-oven sucks
-oven isn't calibrated
-too much leavener
-not enough leavener
-crap pan
-better quality pan than was used in making of recipe
-cake deflated because of sudden temperature change from oven to room temp
-recipe just sucks (incorrect proportions, typos, etc)
-weather (humidity, temperature)
-altitude
-area the recipe was created is different from where you live (ex: here in New Mexico we have dry weather--flour is drier than elsewhere, high altitude-have to add more flour/egg/raise the oven temp, etc. In New York state, it's humid, at sea level, etc.)
-recipe left out a step
-recipe was created in a different season

Etc.

OR, could be any combination of the above and/or others I'm too tired to think of at the moment.


ETA: Feel free to ask any questions of me any time you want! Here or elsewhere!
 

Erin

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My brother moved to Vail a couple years ago and he says it''s really funny to go to a get together where people bring food or to fundraising bake sales because everything *and I mean everything* is sunk in the middle because there''s no way around the sunken center at high altitudes. Haha. I guess people just accept that''s how it is. I think it''s pretty funny myself.
 

FrekeChild

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Date: 2/5/2010 12:47:10 PM
Author: Starset Princess
My brother moved to Vail a couple years ago and he says it's really funny to go to a get together where people bring food or to fundraising bake sales because everything *and I mean everything* is sunk in the middle because there's no way around the sunken center at high altitudes. Haha. I guess people just accept that's how it is. I think it's pretty funny myself.
They probably don't know what they are doing. Albuquerque and Denver are almost at the same altitude (5,200+), and there are lots of things you can do to have baked goods not fall. I've never had a problem--if I have something that's not right though, I know the steps to take to fix it. Vail is a bit higher, but still...same principles apply.

There is a high altitude test kitchen here in ABQ (don't remember the company but it's Betty Crocker or one of those) and they are the ones that put "for high altitude: add two tablespoons of flour and raise the baking temperature to 375*" or whateva.
 

Maisie

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Whats a heating core? Information overload lol! Liz I will send you the recipe by email so you can help me out!
 
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