Help--My Cakes Keep Cracking!!!

Decorating By christine1103 Updated 16 Jul 2009 , 7:32pm by mgwebb68

christine1103 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:31am
post #1 of 19

I've been making cakes for a few years now...not as a business just here and there as a hobby for family birthdays and every time I make my cakes I wind up with cakes that crack down the middle and practically fall apart. Sometimes it's so bad I have to re make the cake because it just can't be salvaged. Here are the facts:
* making enhanced cake recipe (extra flour, sugar, sour cream, eggs, butter)
* following baking directions to the higher end of time limit and often have to leave them in longer because they are still too soft
* I use the flower pin in the center of the pan to get even cooking throughout
* after I take it out of the oven, I let it rest and cool a bit before putting it on the cooling rack
* it happens regardless of cake/pan size (although never really happened in the 4in cake pan)

Does anyone know why this might be happening and have any hints for me?
--Am I not making it thick enough? (although sometimes it almost overflows)
--should I increase the heat for my oven? (maybe it isn't accurate)
--should I cook it longer?

This is so frustrating!!!
Thanks for your help....I just had to throw out a cake I made last night....at least I have until Saturday until I need the cake.
Christine

18 replies
TexasSugar Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:13am
post #2 of 19

When does it crack? When it is on the cooling rack? Does your cakes have humps on the top?

If so, when you put the hump upside down, it is not giving the cake a flat surface to lay on, and the sides will end up weighing down and it will cause the middle to split.

christine1103 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:24am
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

When does it crack? When it is on the cooling rack? Does your cakes have humps on the top?

If so, when you put the hump upside down, it is not giving the cake a flat surface to lay on, and the sides will end up weighing down and it will cause the middle to split.




Sometimes they have humps.....how do you put them on the rack without it being humpside down? Or should I carve off the top of the cake before I take it out of the pan?

christine1103 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:25am
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

When does it crack? When it is on the cooling rack? Does your cakes have humps on the top?

If so, when you put the hump upside down, it is not giving the cake a flat surface to lay on, and the sides will end up weighing down and it will cause the middle to split.




Sometimes they have humps.....how do you put them on the rack without it being humpside down? Or should I carve off the top of the cake before I take it out of the pan?

saap1204 Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:39am
post #5 of 19

I have heard of trimming the top of the cake off while still in the pan to level it before flipping it onto the cooling rack. I flip mine onto the cooling rack and then put another cooling rack over it and flip again so that the bottom of the cake is resting on the cooling rack. I have find it quite helpful to have three cooling racks--one set for 9" and smaller cakes and a larger set for cakes over 10".

HTH

ncox Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:40am
post #6 of 19

You can level the cake before you invert it onto the cooling rack, although it sounds to me that you are putting too much batter in your pans if the 'hump' is so big that it causes the cake to split while cooling. Try inverting the cake on a cooling rack then put another rack on the bottom of the cake and turn it back over so that the 'hump' is right side up while it finishes cooling. HTH!

tonimarie Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:52am
post #7 of 19

I level my cakes right while they are in the pan, then they come out perfectly level......you'll end up with scraps, but then you can taste test the cake icon_wink.gif

goof9j Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:00am
post #8 of 19

I had the same thing happen to me. I didn't have it on the hump, but I think what I did was take it out of the pan too soon, it was still too warm.
So the next one I did, I left it in the pan longer, and that seemed to work.
I can also understand the "hump" issue. It is so annoying to bake a great cake and to turn around it see it crackiing right before your eyes!!!!!

goof9j Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:00am
post #9 of 19

I had the same thing happen to me. I didn't have it on the hump, but I think what I did was take it out of the pan too soon, it was still too warm.
So the next one I did, I left it in the pan longer, and that seemed to work.
I can also understand the "hump" issue. It is so annoying to bake a great cake and to turn around it see it crackiing right before your eyes!!!!!

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:26am
post #10 of 19

Flip it over onto a second cooling rack so the hump is up, or trim it off before you take it out of the pan.

ninatat Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 3:55am
post #11 of 19

hi all how do you trim it while it's in the pan, are your cakes that high: thanks

tonimarie Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:09pm
post #12 of 19

I like to put enough batter in so that it rises above the pan, then I use a long serrated knife; lay it against the pan and just slice off the excess. Another thing I do (found this on you tube, and for the life of me can't find it again icon_cry.gif ) but anyway take the cake out of the oven, lay a clean kitchen towel across cake, and then push down on the cake until it is level with the top~ this also works great especially if I didn't quite put enough batter in the pan icon_smile.gif

hollyh Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 5:48pm
post #13 of 19

I was having an issue with a 14" square cake cracking when I took it out of the pan. I cooled it in the pan and then covered the pan, froze the cake in the pan and removed from the freezer when it was completely frozen. Then I just flipped it out and there was no breaking. Just a nice frozen cake!

2SchnauzerLady Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 5:59pm
post #14 of 19

You can use bake even strips, that way you will have a more level top surface and less to trim off.

minicuppie Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 6:29pm
post #15 of 19

You may be mixing too long or on too high of mixer setting...this will create a lot of air (fluffy texture). Too much air will weaken structure and cause cracks. Just a thought.

poohsmomma Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 6:48pm
post #16 of 19

Like tonimarie, I like to put in enough batter so the edges of the cake are at the top of the pan. This gives me a nice tall cake.
I also use a long serrated knife to trim off the excess before I turn the cake out. I cover the cooling rack with waxed paper, turn the cake out, cover the entire cake completely with waxed paper all tucked in around the sides and bottom. When it's cool, I freeze it.
Never had one crack yet (Knock on wood!)

Mike1394 Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 6:59pm
post #17 of 19

Check your oven temp. Bake at 325-350. I would say either you don't have enough pan release, or your over baking.

Mike

bellejoey Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 7:26pm
post #18 of 19

When a cake cracks it means that either you have added to much flour, or too little liquid. Your oven temp is probably to hot as well. Adjust the oven temp. icon_smile.gif

mgwebb68 Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 7:32pm
post #19 of 19

I use a trick I learned here (not sure from who, I've learned so many, but whoever you are THANK YOU!) When my cake is done I take a cardboard cake round, place it on top of the hot cake still in the pan, and put a can of veggies on it for about 5 minutes.

Take the can off, remove the cake round, put a cooling rack on top, flip it out, put another cooling rack on and flip it back over. No bumps, no cracks, no need to level.

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