Puzzle Cake Anyone?

Decorating By AKA_cupcakeshoppe Updated 8 Jun 2008 , 5:14am by AKA_cupcakeshoppe

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 2:46pm
post #1 of 11

I made a carrot cake. It turned out really dense and heavy. I don't know why but whenever i make a cake (i usually do cupcakes) they are quite heavy and not at all light, also the tops are so moist that when i wrap them in plastic bits of the top would stick to the plastic thus destroying the top of the cake.

this happened. and it keep sticking to my hand and i couldn't transfer it to the cake board. what i did was to tort the cake and then i placed one sliced layer on the board, and filled it. when it was time to put the other layer on top of it, the cake just deteriorated in my hands. so i cut it in quarters and placed it on top, kinda like a puzzle and crumb coated it really well.

the cake turned out great and everyone loved it but seriously i cannot handle the stress. so can someone please tell me what i'm doing wrong? why are my cakes so heavy and so moist? when i see people on TV assembling cakes, their cakes seem so light and fluffy. icon_sad.gif


10 replies
AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:40pm
post #2 of 11

anyone? no one?

alright then...

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 7:27pm
post #3 of 11

Carrot cake is denser and wetter than most cakes, but if your other cakes are turning out like that too then something weird is going on. Are you using mixes or baking from scratch? Can you post the recipe and let us see it? That might help give us an idea of whether the formula is balanced or not.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 3:46pm
post #4 of 11

i bake from scratch. i get this problem when i bake cakes, not with cupcakes though.

it happens when i make this (i make this cake a LOT because people love it)


and a white cake recipe from yummymummy (works well with cupcakes though)

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
4 egg whites (not beaten)
1 tsp. almond flavoring ( I'm sure lemon would be fine!)
2 cups cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk or
1/4 cup evaporated milk diluted w/ 1/4 cup water

and this is the carrot cake recipe


it also happened with this recipe


i would love to know what am doing wrong. i tried baking at a lower temp 338 (that as low as my oven will go), i have tried baking strips.

Please help. thanks!

costumeczar Posted 4 Jun 2008 , 5:14pm
post #5 of 11

My guess would be that something is wrong with your oven, not your recipes. Since you don't have the problem with cupcakes, but you have the same problem with cakes using the same recipe, it's not the batter.

Having said that, the recipes that you're posted are mainly oil-based, not butter, so they're probably going to be denser and heavier than a chiffon, for example.

Back to the oven issue...Since the cupcakes bake up fine, I'll bet that the temperature on the oven is cycling up and down more than you realize. That wouldn't affect cupcakes as much because they bake faster than a layer cake, but if a cake is baking and the temperature is fluctuating, that could mess with your final product.

Get an oven thermometer and see what happens when you turn the oven on. Leave the thermometer in the oven where you can see it with the door closed, then watch it to see if it changes. If it goes up and down then it's an oven problem. Try opening the door to see how much the temperature goes down, and how long it takes for it to get back to the right temp. Sometimes when you open the oven door the temperature can drop more than you know. When I bake I set the temp at 365, not 350. That way if I have to open the door the temp might go down, but it will stay closer to 350 overall.

You might also want to try some other recipes that don't have the oil in them, only butter. That might give you the texture that you're looking for.

sunnybono Posted 5 Jun 2008 , 2:26am
post #6 of 11

Ok...this may not be it at all, but I was thinking that you possibly could be over filling your pans with batter. Maybe just once be super specific checking the amounts recommended for the pan. I like the chart in the 2002 Wilton book. Over filling can definitely result in an underdone middle...I know I've done it.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 6 Jun 2008 , 3:35pm
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by sunnybono

Ok...this may not be it at all, but I was thinking that you possibly could be over filling your pans with batter. Maybe just once be super specific checking the amounts recommended for the pan. I like the chart in the 2002 Wilton book. Over filling can definitely result in an underdone middle...I know I've done it.

actually, if anything, i'm under filling my pans icon_sad.gif i have 3 inch pans and the batter barely reaches half of it.

costumeczar, i would lvoe to get an oven thermometer but i can't afford one right now. would you suggest i just up the temperature of the oven and just watch it? how am i supposed to know it's ready? i mean when i test it with the tester, it's done. i test it with my finger too and it "seems" done but after it cools, that's when the top part gets really moist and impossible to handle.

i watch cooking shows like martha and she so easily handles a layer of chocolate cake. i mean i have to lift it with two hands or put some plastic wrap over it just so it won't stick to my hands icon_sad.gif it's very frustrating.

costumeczar Posted 6 Jun 2008 , 4:43pm
post #8 of 11

That could just be the oil-based recipes that you're using, but it wouldn't explain the dense texture of the cakes themselves. You can get oven thermometers at the grocery store int he baking aisle, usually. They aren't too expensive, so you can probably find one that isn't too much.

You might also want to check your baking powder, to see if it's expired. That thought occurred to me that your baking powder might be expired...

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 7 Jun 2008 , 5:09am
post #9 of 11

checked my baking powder and it's still good.

i think it's really the oven temp. i suspected it before and you explained it really well with the cupcakes baking fine but not the cakes.

oven thermometers are not as common around here as it is there. not everyone owns an oven. in fact the only oven thermometer i found available is like 3 hours away. LOL

so you think using butter in place of the oil will kinda help with the moistness?

costumeczar Posted 7 Jun 2008 , 11:46pm
post #10 of 11

I just know that the recipes that I make that use oil and not butter are a little denser and tend to get the sticky tops like you're describing, so it might help. Try a couple of recipes that use butter and see if you see a difference.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 8 Jun 2008 , 5:14am
post #11 of 11

i will. thanks so much! i should probably melt the butter right?

am gonna try this the moment i buy a new tank of gas. it ran out. icon_sad.gif

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