Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Making mudcakes was a breeze for me, always came out perfectly, after I took about 6 months to prefect my technique.

But now, all of a sudden, I've run into a problem - they rise beautifully until 3/4 of the cooking time, then they sink, lower in the middle than the original height of the cake batter.

 What could it be?  Paper lining too slippery? Too much bi carb soda?   Different brand of flour?  The last two times I didn't even open the oven to check if it needed a covering to prevent scorching on top.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciate as I have 5 mudcake to make in the next 10 days and have already ruined 2.

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Why would you need to open your oven Kylee during baking???  And scorching?  Never heard of that happening in a cake unless your temperature was too high. If you open your oven during baking, you do run the risk of your cake falling in the middle, but you say you didn't. 

Are you using the same recipe you have always used? Wouldn't be your paper lining,  & shouldn't be your flour.  I have used different brands of flour, always have good results.  Did you change the size of your pan?  Your oven temperature? 

Perhaps if you posted your recipe,  there might be a clue. Want to be able to help figure out your dilemma.   :o)

I am using the planet cake mudcake recipe - the same one I have always used.  I found initially that because of the long bake time (1 and 1/2 hours for an 18cm cake at 160 degrees celcius, they were scorching on the outside and not cooked in the middle.  Tried everything and what has been working for the past year or so until now was to put a damp cotton towel under the cake and around the outside of the pan and to cover with aluminium foil about 15 to 20 minutes before the end.  I have made round, square and rectangular ranging in size from 10cm round to 25 cm round and even a 35cm x 28 cm sheet cake.   It was working great... until now.

June Kowalczyk said:

Why would you need to open your oven Kylee during baking???  And scorching?  Never heard of that happening in a cake unless your temperature was too high. If you open your oven during baking, you do run the risk of your cake falling in the middle, but you say you didn't. 

Are you using the same recipe you have always used? Wouldn't be your paper lining,  & shouldn't be your flour.  I have used different brands of flour, always have good results.  Did you change the size of your pan?  Your oven temperature? 

Perhaps if you posted your recipe,  there might be a clue. Want to be able to help figure out your dilemma.   :o)

Kylee, the only things I can think of are -

your oven temperature is too high, which causes the cake to rise too rapidly.  It can't hold it and sinks again.  I assume you are using the same oven you have always used, but maybe something has gone wrong with the thermostat.  Might be worth investing in an oven thermometer to check it, or try reducing your setting very slightly.

Could you be beating the batter for too long?  Too much air can cause it to collapse.

I am beginning to think along the same lines as you Katy. Oven temperature. Ovens can be working correctly one day, then suddenly one day you have trouble. I am actually waiting for a call back from Samsung for service for mine. Noticed oven hasn't been cooking correctly. It is under warranty, so why not get it looked at. I know temp is too high as even my inexpensive oven thermometer tells me so. I bake a heavy pound cake for 1 1/2 hrs., but temp is always low, 325 d. That is around the temp you are using, so perhaps you do need to check the temp with a thermometer. Mine wasn't expensive. And Iit did show me my oven was cooking to hot. Worth it if that can help solve the problem. The only other is Katy's mention of beating your batter too long.
Hope we have given you some insights into your problem Kylee. :o)

Well, after a lunch of a huge piece of sunken mudcake (still tasted pretty good)  - I tried again.  I actually increased the temperature by about 10 degrees celcius and came out with a cake that had only sunk a tiny bit by the end.  I agree with both of you.  I think my oven has gone crazy and is not maintaining temp.  It has never been a fantastic oven, even when it was new.  Will try your suggestions and get an oven thermometer and try reducing the temp this time.  Thanks so much for your help.  Esp you June, I always see you on here trying to help everyone out!  Make sure you take care of yourself too.  Thanks again, Kylee

Just got the latest mudcake out of the oven.  It was an 18cm round cake baked at 150 degrees celcius for 1 1/2 hours.  It sank in the middle, not as bad as before, but worse than when I had increased the temperature to 170 degree celcius.  There is in the middle however a circle of about 5cm diameter of crust.  If I trim it I should still be able to use it.

Maybe the sugar is not dissolving well and the weight of the crust is causing it to sink.  I have changed to a cheaper brand of caster sugar.  I am going to try melting the sugar with the chocolate and butter and see how that goes.  Any thoughts?

Oh thanks Kylee for the kind words.   I have to spend less time on here and practice more caking!!!!  Hee Hee

But do like to help. Remember when I started caking and had no where to turn for answers.

I have 3 Craftsy courses I bought.... so gotta get crackin and watch & learn.    :o) 

Well, I made a square 20cm cake today.  It didn't sink, but I still got a smaller square of crust in the centre even though I melted the sugar with the butter and chocolate.  Any ideas what is causing this?


Kylee   Read the link I posted below. I ck on her blog all the time & I have her cookbook "The Cake Bible".
Very helpful.    :o)

Why Does the Cake Dip in the Center? | Real Baking with Rose Levy ...

Well done - I was at a complete loss here.  Hence my silence lol!

Well Katy

Rose's blog is quite good.  If answer isn't there, you can pose a question to her, and she will answer.   :o)

Thanks everyone so much for your help.  I am still experimenting. Hopefully I'll get there in the end.

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