Hi everyone, i have a problem with one particular cake recipe that always sinks when baking. It is a moist chocolate cake. I use a fan forced oven and i usually open the door to check on it about an hour after it has gone in (it cooks for about an hour and a half) Could that be the problem?
I don't have the same type oven so I don't know if that is the issue but I have a couple of suggestions anyway. I've had cakes sink for 2 reasons -
1. Altered the recipe by switching out water for fruit juice or drink mixers - too much total sugar
2. Cake underdone when I removed it from the oven. If it isn't fully baked in the center when you remove it from the oven try to lower your oven temp by 5-10deg. You'll have to bake it for a little longer though.
One thing I'd suggest to try first. Since you know it will take 1-1/2hrs to bake, don't open the oven door until it is nearly finished. There's no need to check it at an hour if you know it isn't ready. I know, its hard to resist opening the oven and checking on it. :-)
Oh wow, Deah, I never thought about too much sugar causing that not to cook through....hmmmm I'll remember that tip. I also agree about keeping your oven door closed. You release so much heat by doing that and it's almost like the cake has to start all over again getting the heat back into the cake. I was also going to suggest Kasey, that you could put a metal decorators flower nail in the center of your cake before you bake it. It will help to conduct the heat all through the cake as it is baking. Once the cake is done, you just flip your cake out onto waxed paper or parchment paper after it has cooled a little and pull the nail right out. Flat head of the nail goes against the pan with the pointed end sticking up. It really does work. =O)
I have a convection oven too Kasey, but I NEVER use the fan/convection to bake. It speeds the baking process, which you don't want when you are baking. I find my cakes bake the best at 325 d, on just plain bake cycle. I never open my oven door until my timer goes, or there is a scant 5-10 min left to go. Everytime you open your oven door, the temperature drops, that plays havoc with the baking process. As Linda says above, I use a flower nail in my cake pan if it is a large pan, or a dense cake. The bigger the pan, the more rose nails. If it is a 12" pan I use 4 rose nails. This helps distribute heat properly so your cake can cook evenly.
Yes Linda, the more sugar you use, the denser your cake will be, the longer it has to cook. If your cake requires a longer cooking time you need to lower your temperature. 325 is ideal, but I have cooked cakes as low as 300 d. Just took a long time. Slow & steady heat is what you want. Believe it or not, there is a science to baking. Know some, but I learned a lot from my book: The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Bernabaum
I would also suggest a flower nail in the center and/or baking strips around the outside of the pan.
Thankyou so much for the replies! I used a different shaped pan this time, so wasnt quite sure if it would take the same amount of time. I think i will definately try the flower nail thing though. Ill will also resist the urge to check the cake t o early :)
Thanks again ladies :)
Hi Kasey,I had a same problem on my initial cakes.After I dug it ,I figured out that I have to add little more flour on my batter .After I add flour, my cake was okay.Try it one time.