Cake Sunk In The Middle, Plzzzzzzz Help

Decorating By ranbel Updated 25 Mar 2008 , 2:03pm by vdrsolo

ranbel Posted 22 Mar 2008 , 11:12pm
post #1 of 24

I just took my 14in cake out of the oven and it has sunk in the middle icon_cry.gif
What went wrong. I used 3 flower nails in the center...

I filled the pan (3in) about 2/3 full and baked it on 325

I wanted to get my baking done this weekend, since I work a full time job during the week. The cake is for next weekend...

Plzzzzzzzzzz help me

23 replies
Kitagrl Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 12:54am
post #2 of 24

Usually it means it wasn't quite done in the center....?

ranbel Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:36am
post #3 of 24

I used toothpics to check and they came out clean...

Do you think I had to much batter in the pan or possibly cooked it at to low of heat??

Should I try it without the flower nails in the center?

I used the pillsbury plus pudding mix, could that be the problem. Should I try dh.

ac2steachk Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 1:45am
post #4 of 24

I would try bake even strips around the sides along with the flower nail in the middle. I always bake on 325 and haven't had a problem, so I don't think your temp's to blame.

vdrsolo Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:16am
post #5 of 24

Definitely use bake even strips and flower nails, I would use more than 3 on a 14" pan, at least 5 to get some heat to the middle.

I used to own 3" pans, hated them..because it took so long to bake, ended up selling them and my Wilton 2" pans and invested my money into 2" Magic Line pans, love them....

Something else that can cause the cake to sink in the middle is actually checking it too early, ESPECIALLY with a toothpick. You can easily disrupt the baking process and cause the cake to deflate. I always check very quickly with the fingerpress method. If you lightly touch it, and it makes a squishy sound as you are pressing into the cake(can't really describe it), it's not done, even though it may spring back a little. Wait until it springs back without making a sound...gosh I hope that makes sense!!

You may also want to check your oven temp with a thermometer as well, it may be slightly off.

indydebi Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:25am
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdrsolo

I always check very quickly with the fingerpress method. If you lightly touch it, and it makes a squishy sound as you are pressing into the cake(can't really describe it), it's not done, even though it may spring back a little. Wait until it springs back without making a sound...gosh I hope that makes sense!!




Hey, I'm a finger-press person, too! It's hard to describe. If I gently push and it leaves a dent (that takes a few seconds to come back up), then it's not done. If I press and it feels firm, it's done. "firm" is no dent or if there is some 'give' to the cake top, it bounces back immediately. Can't remember the last time I used a toothpick to test a cake.

ssunshine564 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:28am
post #7 of 24

I agree with Kitagrl, it probably wasn't done in the middle. I feel your pain, I to work a full time job and try to get my baking done the weekend before so that I don't have to stay up till 11 or 12 during the week.

tracey1970 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:31am
post #8 of 24

i've also had a toothpick come out clean and had a cake fall. It wasn't cooked 100% in the middle.

jukesbox Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 2:46am
post #9 of 24

I had the same problem last week. It was the "Darn Good Chocolate Cake" recipe from the Cake Doctor book. I checked it with the cake tester and it came out clean. I had tried the same recipe before and it turned out beautifully. The only thing I did differently was instead of DH I used a store brand cake mix. I am wondering if my problem was the cake mix.

The whole thing was kind of funny actually. I had just take the cake (1/2 sheet) out of the oven and was working on decorating another cake waiting for the other to cool. My husband asked me what happened to my cake. I turned around and it was the most pitiful looking thing I had ever seen. That had never happened to me before. My first thought was "oh my gosh!, all those wasted, expensive ingredients".

ranbel Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:01am
post #10 of 24

So, you don't think it has anything to do with the pillsbury brand with pudding mix....do you think it might be to heavy??

Do you think I am ok with filliny my pan 2/3 full or should I cut it back some ??

Thanks you guys, I am going to re attempt to bake tomarrow

JanH Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 3:01am
post #11 of 24

The 3" pans, especially in the larger sizes do seem to take forever to bake. icon_sad.gif

Using 3 flower nails is good, but the addition of bake even strips helps the sides not overbake while the center is finishing up.

Here are two handy cake troubleshooting charts:

http://tinyurl.com/2p5bdu

http://tinyurl.com/32qoqe

Wilton cake preparation and servings charts:
(Give batter requirements by pan size, as well as recommended baking temps. and time - and more.)

http://www.wilton.com/cake/cakeprep/baking/times/index.cfm

Wilton cake making and decorating help links:
(Everything from making to decorating with either buttercream or fondant.)

http://www.wilton.com/wedding/makecake/index.cfm

Rose Levy Beranbaum advises against the use of 3" pans for wedding cakes because the amount of leavening needs to be reduced (in order to strengthen the batter structure). And cautions that even doing that the cake's texture will not be as good as normal (and the centers often fall).

Here's the article:

http://tinyurl.com/2pc8p7


Since you can't decrease the leavening in a cake mix...perhaps using a doctored mix recipe which increases the amount of dry ingredients would work.

Maybe the WASC cake:

http://tinyurl.com/2cu8s4

HTH

kiwigirly Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 8:13am
post #12 of 24

I use the Wilton heating core and find it great for the larger cakes and sheet cakes, just have to make sure to grease it well inside and out.

Delicate-Lee Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 9:01am
post #13 of 24

this may sound stupid... but why do you use a flower nail in the middle of the cake? what does this do?

lindy01 Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 10:17am
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicate-Lee

this may sound stupid... but why do you use a flower nail in the middle of the cake? what does this do?




i'm also wondering why use use these too? why not a heating core? i just brought one last week, after waiting for 4 hours for a 12inch wedding cake to bake in the oven. didnt go to bed til at least midnight!! icon_cry.gif

ranbel Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 12:04pm
post #15 of 24

The flower nails, upside down act as a heating core.

Any views on the pillsbury pudding mix vs. other brands. Does anyone have problems with this brand???

I have been using this brand and don't have any problems with is rising in a smaller size 1oin and below....

JanH Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 4:25pm
post #16 of 24

DH doesn't have the added pudding (sugar) in the mix.

Overbeating, or excess sugar and/or fat or leavening will cause a cake to rise and then fall upon cooling. icon_sad.gif

(Cooking is an art; baking is a science.)

lomikesa Posted 23 Mar 2008 , 6:22pm
post #17 of 24

Overbeating, or excess sugar and/or fat or leavening will cause a cake to rise and then fall upon cooling. icon_sad.gif

I agree, the times I have overbeated a cake, because I was distracted by the phone, DH or kids this has happen. When I do cake mixes I mixed all the ingriedent slowly and once everything is incorporated I only beat for 2 min. exactly in 5, I pour the batter into the cale pan and wait a couple of minutes for air bubbles to come out (sometimes I shake the pan a little to force the bubbles out). Also a couple of times I put a little bit more oil than the required 1/4 cup and this happened also.

Lomikesa

ranbel Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 12:55am
post #18 of 24

Just got finished with my 14in cake. I used the DH cake mix and instead of baking a 3in cake I baked 2 - 2" cakes. Used my 3in pans but cut the mixes in half and baked 2..thought this would definately be the safest thing to do, since I don't have a lot of time to take a chace on it sinking again.

Each one turned out perfect.

Thank you all for your great advice.

marjiw Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 1:13am
post #19 of 24

I have been having problems with a scratch white cake that I have always used. Lately it has been falling in the middle too. I am not sure what the problem is but I thought if I posted the recipe that maybe one of you wise bakers can help me!! It tastes really good when it turns out right but lately it has been a headache!!!

I do double this recipe since it tastes even better when it is doubled so you know it is twice the amount in the recipe . I think when I double I am doing something wrong somewhere.....

2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 q/2 tsp van.
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs

I mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Then I drop in the shortening and the first quantity of milk plus the vanilla. I mix at med speed until well blended and the add the remainder of milk and eggs (I have tried doing the eggs one at a time too) Then I beat for 2 minutes.

I always use bake even strips. Sometimes this cake will rise so much it spills over the side and also falls in the middle. It falls even when it does not rise too high.

Can anyone advise me on it?

thanks

vdrsolo Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 1:24pm
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by marjiw

I have been having problems with a scratch white cake that I have always used. Lately it has been falling in the middle too. I am not sure what the problem is but I thought if I posted the recipe that maybe one of you wise bakers can help me!! It tastes really good when it turns out right but lately it has been a headache!!!

I do double this recipe since it tastes even better when it is doubled so you know it is twice the amount in the recipe . I think when I double I am doing something wrong somewhere.....

2 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 q/2 tsp van.
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs

I mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Then I drop in the shortening and the first quantity of milk plus the vanilla. I mix at med speed until well blended and the add the remainder of milk and eggs (I have tried doing the eggs one at a time too) Then I beat for 2 minutes.

I always use bake even strips. Sometimes this cake will rise so much it spills over the side and also falls in the middle. It falls even when it does not rise too high.

Can anyone advise me on it?

thanks




I can't help you on your recipe, but my advice would be to decrease the amount of batter you put into the pan. If it it literally spilling over the sides, it's too much. Are you using flower nails or heating cores in the middle?? If not, definitely try that.

How are you testing for doneness?? Finger press, toothpick?? As I stated in an earlier post, testing too early with a toothpick can disrupt the baking (has to do with the gas bubbles and popping them inside the cake), and can actually deflate the cake. I only use the finger press method.

One other thing, at least in the recipes that I use...The cake will actually rise higher than it's final point when it's done.

wgoat5 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 10:59am
post #21 of 24

A 10" 3" pan for me will bake for at least a hour.... that is with a flower nail icon_smile.gif ... also I like the batter to rise above the pan.

It took me using a special thermonitor (Sp...don't know why I spell this word all the time and this morning I can't get it right) for baking to figure out for myself the right touch of the cake for the right temp.


icon_biggrin.gif Have a wonderful day CC!!! icon_biggrin.gif

mbh724 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 12:57pm
post #22 of 24

With the larger 3" deep pans, I really think you need to use a heat core. A 14 in, 3" deep pan holds a lot of batter. I don't think the flower nails are enough.

marjiw Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 1:48pm
post #23 of 24

I do use a toothpick but can tell when it is not ready. I like for it to rise above the pan but sometimes it just rises a whole bunch. I will try the flower nails and use a lower temperature to see if that helps. I guess a lot is trial and error and learning!!! icon_smile.gif

vdrsolo Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:03pm
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by marjiw

I do use a toothpick but can tell when it is not ready. I like for it to rise above the pan but sometimes it just rises a whole bunch. I will try the flower nails and use a lower temperature to see if that helps. I guess a lot is trial and error and learning!!! icon_smile.gif




My cake does rise above the pan, but not too the point of literally spilling over the oven, just enough to where it goes over the rim some, probably about a 1/2" total.

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