Troubleshooting a cake disaster?  To help you, we’ve compiled a list of possible answers to things that can go wrong when baking a cake. When you go to the trouble of baking a special cake, you want it to be perfect. So study our troubleshooting guide before you bake so you can enjoy baking success.

Cake Troubleshooting

Cake Density Problem:

Cake is too dense and has a heavy texture.

Possible Answers:
Cake has too much flour incorporated.

You will need to measure more carefully.

Improper oven temperature.  Use an oven thermometer to check temperature.  Ovens can vary.
Pan may be too small.

Over beating egg whites.

Cake cracking Problem:

Domed or Cracked Top

Possible Answers:
Cake was removed from pan too soon after coming out of the oven.  Let cool a little longer.
Too much baking powder or baking soda was used.  Measure more carefully.
Not enough sugar was incorporated into the batter.
Too many eggs or too much liquid was added to batter.
Pan placed too close to top heating element in oven.
Batter was over mixed.

Cake Sinking Problem:

Cake has collapsed or sinks in the middle

Possible Answers:
Cake is not completely baked.
Oven temperature too high.
Opened the oven door too often while baking
Inadequate measuring of ingredients.

Crust Problem:

Sticky Crust

Possible Answers:
Too much Sugar added.
Did not bake long enough
Oven temperature too low

Overflowing Problem:

Batter flowed over pan.

Possible Answers:
Too much baking soda, baking powder, or beaten egg whites.
Pan too small

Cake Falling Problem:

Cake is falling apart

Possible Answers:
Too much baking powder/baking soda, sugar, or fat
Improper mixing
Oven temperature too low

Sticking to Pan Problem:

Cake is sticking to the pan

Possible Answers:
Be sure to grease the cake pan using shortening or butter that is UNSALTED. Salted shortening will make the cake stick to the pan. Try returning the cake to the oven for 3-4 minutes until the pan is hot. Then place the hot pan on top of a wet kitchen towel for about a minute. Or you can spin the cake pan on a stove burner for a few seconds to heat the bottom and try again.