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Volume III
January, 2012

Newsletter Home / Refrigerator Door

Cake Cracking Fixes

I am making a cake and it's cracking on the sides. I had to make 2 cakes because the first one fell apart so much I wasn't able to fix it just by putting icing on it. how can I keep the cake from cracking so badly?

Hi Melanie,

I'm sorry you're having baking troubles. Here are some tips to keep your future cakes from cracking up.

1) Too much baking soda or baking powder will cause the cake to rise too quickly (yes. . . cracks). Be sure to measure accurately.

2) Don't overmix the batter. Follow the directions regarding mixing. Overmixing traps air in the batter, which has to escape during the baking process through, you guessed it, cracks! After filling your pans, tap them on the counter 8-10 times to release trapped air before baking.

3) Grease and flour your baking pans. For extra ease in removing the cake from the pan, line it with waxed or parchment paper and grease and flour the paper. It works wonders . . . easy to get the cake out and easy to clean up! Simply pull the paper from the cake after cooling for 10-15 minutes.

4) An overly hot oven causes the cake to rise too quickly, cracking the top. If you don't own an oven thermometer, invest in one to ensure that your appliance is heating up to the correct temperature.

5) My Mom used to say, "Don't open the oven! I'm baking a cake!" She was right. Everytime you open the oven to peek in, you release hot air and cause a shift in the baking temperature, which causes cracks. So don't peek!

6) Cakes can crack after baking as well. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Only after the initial cooling period do you want to remove it from the pan. Carefully run a thin knife or spatula around the edge of the cake. During the baking and cooling, it should have shrunk away from the sides. Place your cooling rack or plate atop the cake, and flip the cake (pan and all) onto the rack. Let it fall out on its own as it cools down completely. Remove the waxed paper, if used, before the cake cools completely.

6) For more tips on baking successful cakes, see the link below:

Cake Basics

Hope this helps,

Desiri Wightman, R.D.
Registered Dietitian

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