What am I doing wrong? Lately every cake I make either falls completely and is not done or the above happens. Any help/ideas are appreciated. Thanks for any comments and suggestions.
Try adding less batter. The pan may say 5 cups, but you might actually need less.
What temperature are you baking at? Try 325 degrees and cook longer. That'll help it bake evenly. Also don't open the oven door too often. Peek through the glass and don't open until it's domed and looks solid. That will help prevent the middle falling.
Good luck and I hope that helped!
thanks MrsMabe. I will try your suggestion.
I never use the pan instructions for batter amounts and baking times... every recipe is different as to how much it will rise and how long it will bake. 2/3 full is a good general rule, but even sometimes that can be too much, depending on the cake. Sometimes there's a bit of trial and error involved when trying new recipes.
I had a similar problem yesterday. I was making the WASC wedding cake (chocolate version) using DH cake mixes. I just made the same recipe a week ago without any problem. This time, I made six different batches and each one sunk in the middle 2/3 of the way throught the baking. I tried to change everything (eggs, mixes, sour cream, etc.) still kept happening.
I figured it HAD to be my oven (even though I had just baked 10 other white cakes).
ANYWAY.... I had an appliance repairman check my oven today....it was baking at over 20 degrees hotter than I was setting it at. The sides of the cake were baking, but the center was not. I also used the bake even strips, a flower nail in the middle, checked the date of mixes, changed eggs = I eliminated every possible factor. I had to go to a family members house to bake since I was working on a wedding cake.
I did change one thing when I rebaked the larger (14 inch) cakes - instead of using a flower nail, I used the core that wilton sells = cakes baked (not as high as I would have liked), but they are okay.
Its an expensive process and of course happens at the worst time possilble
hope this helps - it may be your oven and not you
What pink said. I'm mostly a mix baker, but I will make the Hershey choc cake recipe once in awhile, and I've been playing with another scratch recipe (not much luck, but still working on it!), and I have noticed that mixes bake way different than scratch recipes.
Trial and error.
I never ever follow batter guides. Some cakes require less batter some needs more.