Shrinking Cakes

Decorating By scarlett873 Updated 22 Jul 2005 , 6:17am by crp7

scarlett873 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 3:43pm
post #1 of 15

I'm still trying to learn the best tips and tricks to try when it comes to baking a cake. I have a question and I'm hoping that someone can help me answer it!

How do you keep your cakes from "shrinking" when baking? It never cakes all pull away from the edges of the pan. I don't have to take a knife or anything to loosen them from the sides of the pan. And it's making me crazy!

Not only do the sides pull away from the edges of the pan, the edges of the cake are usually hard to cut through. Not so hard that when serving it, it falls apart or anything, but when trying to level, which I always have to do, I have to be overly careful to keep from ripping the heck out of the cake!

I normally use the Wilton Cake Release when baking my cakes and I grease the bottom of the pan as well as the sides. Should I not grease the sides?

Thanks for any help anyone may be able to give me!

14 replies
briansbaker Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 3:52pm
post #2 of 15

Mine do this when I leave them in longer than required. You should put a timer on your cakes. See what is the best temp. for it and best time. Lots of oven's temp. vary. I used an electic oven a couple of weeks ago at my cousins house. NEVER AGAIN!! I swear that changed my whole routine. Good Luck!

Misdawn Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 3:59pm
post #3 of 15

I've noticed that some of my cakes do this when I have too much oil in the batter.

Sugar Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 4:00pm
post #4 of 15

You have a few options
1. Try some new recipes
2. Cook it less
3. Get an oven thermometer (Kitchenaid makes a nice one under $15.00)

scarlett873 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 4:02pm
post #5 of 15

What temperature should a cake be when done?

TinaRe Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 4:13pm
post #6 of 15

My oven is a bit off so when i use a cake mix and doctor it up it tells you to do the oven at 350. Well by trial and error, lots of error, I cook it at 325 and by doing that you need to make your cook time a bit longer too. This has worked famously for me! And my cakes stay so moist! Hope that helps.

MariaLovesCakes Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 4:26pm
post #7 of 15

Try baking at 325 Farenheit instead of 350, if that's the temp that you are baking at.

The 325 temp is gentler. It gives you a softer crust and lighter.

aunt-judy Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:21pm
post #8 of 15

icon_confused.gif how odd. i love the fact that my cakes pull away from the sides of the pan -- that's how i know they're done and that they're not going to stick to the pan when i remove them. the cakes baked in my lovely square-cornered, straight-sided 13x9 pan pull away with marvelous little square corners and straight sides.

yes, it can be a bit of pain when leveling or torting to deal with slighty harder edges, but that can be avoided by wrapping up your cake while still warm (and freezing it if you take that route) which traps much of the steam heat that the warm cake is emitting, and this will help soften the crustier edges. icon_smile.gif

SweetCreations Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:27pm
post #9 of 15

You know I maybe wrong but it could be you have too much cake release on the pans.
Have you ever thought about trying bakers joy? & seeing if you have the same problem?
& cooking at a lower oven temp. and longer cooking time this may do the trick.
let us know how things turned out!
~Sweet~ =0)

thecakemaker Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:29pm
post #10 of 15

It sounds like the cake is slightly overdone or the sides wouldn't be hard to cut through. I bake my cakes at 325 and they are usually done just as they are beginning to pull away from the side of the pan.


MariaLovesCakes Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:36pm
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by scarlett873

What temperature should a cake be when done?

What size pan are you using, how long are you baking and at what temp?

Maybe you are baking too long.

cakegal Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 6:06pm
post #12 of 15

Mine do this sometimes as well... I don't know why... I bake my cakes the same way everytime....just sometimes when they are cooling the cakes shrink from the sides.....they're still moist and good tasting...
the sandcastle I made for my son in law, those cakes shrunk on the smaller cakes...the larger ones didn't shrink...go figure...

scarlett873 Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 6:41pm
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by MariaLovesCakes

Originally Posted by scarlett873

What temperature should a cake be when done?

What size pan are you using, how long are you baking and at what temp?

Maybe you are baking too long.

I haven't made the cake yet...doing that tonight actually! I need to bake a 16in square cake (white cake) and a 12in square cake (also white cake). Any of the websites/books I've looked at all suggest baking them at 350 for 35-40 min for the 12in and at 325 for 50-55 minutes (Wilton) or the 12in at 350 for 40-45 minutes and the 16in at 350 for 45-50 minutes (Country Kitchen suggestions). I'm just using a standard box mix with champagne instead of water.

Thank you for all of your suggestions and help!!

sugarbritches Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 2:08am
post #14 of 15

The only time I have had this problem was when I put pudding mix in the batter, the sides weren't hard however. I only get hard sides when the cake is over-baked.

crp7 Posted 22 Jul 2005 , 6:17am
post #15 of 15

Hmmm, interesting. I was just getting ready to post about my cakes doing something similar. I have been trying some new doctored mixes. I have also recently started using cake release. The cakes bake up higher than the edge of the pan and settle back down when they start to cool. I hardly have to trim at all but I have am left with a hard lip around the top edge of the cake. If I level below that line then my cakes are really short. I tried putting on a collar as suggested in the tutorials but the parchment paper leaned in at the top where there was not any support so the sides of my cake are crooked.

Like you my cakes have been tasting better but that one thing really bothers me.


Quote by @%username% on %date%