Cakes Sinking In Center When Cooling

Baking By bouncingbeardies Updated 4 Jun 2010 , 6:54pm by sugarshack

bouncingbeardies Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:22pm
post #1 of 17

Lately, every cake and cupcake I make comes out of the oven looking great but within a couple minutes the center sinks. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?

16 replies
prterrell Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:22pm
post #2 of 17

This is a classic sign of an underbaked cake.

ohayr639 Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:30pm
post #3 of 17

What if it happens while still in the over?

prterrell Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:37pm
post #4 of 17

ohayr639 - a cake that sinks while it is still baking was either mixed impoproperly or has a problem with the leavening.

KayMc Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:55am
post #5 of 17

What do you mean by 'mixed improperly'? Do you mean mixed too much, or not mixed enough?

sweet_honesty Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:21am
post #6 of 17

I would hazard that it was not mixed enough. Probably didn't give enough of a mixing to develop the structure of the cake. This is especially true of dump and stir type cakes as opposed to cakes made by the creaming method.

prterrell Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:30am
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc

What do you mean by 'mixed improperly'? Do you mean mixed too much, or not mixed enough?




Depends on the recipe. Some cakes are more forgiving than others in the procedure in which you build the batter.

bouncingbeardies Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:37am
post #8 of 17

I'm at a loss if underbaking is the problem. The toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back when I touch it.

sweet_honesty Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:54am
post #9 of 17

I have had this happen to me before a few times. Underbaking was not my issue either. Sometimes the toothpick would as you said come out pretty clean and then whomp as soon as it came out it would form a crater.

The first time it happened it was with one of those one bowl recipes where you kinda just dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. I didn't mix enough and the gluten in the flour wasn't developed enough to support the structure of the cake and that one sank in the oven.

The second time it happened it was with a cake where you cream the butter and sugar together and I didn't use enough baking powder or flour ( I was experimenting) and it came up fine and as soon as I took it out of the oven I got the hugest crater.

I am not sure if either of these sounds remotely like your problem. I'm no expert but I hope this helps.

LindaF144a Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:29pm
post #10 of 17

I can't remember exactly which cake recipes, but I have read that some scratch cake recipes are developed to have the tops flatten when they come out of the oven. The Cake Bible comes to mind, but I have seen this as part of a description in other recipes also.

I don't know if flatten is the same as sunk in the middle. I had one cake recipe where it said to mix it for 4 minutes. If I remember correctly it was my one and only time trying a doctored cake mix. I fail miserably at those for some reason. I remember that uneasy feeling that 4 minutes was too long. Sure enough it came out terrible in looks, but great in taste. For the next try I only mixed it 2 minutes. I remember using the cake, so it must not have been too sunken.

So maybe the length of time your mix might be it too.

LindaF144a Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:30pm
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouncingbeardies

Lately, every cake and cupcake I make comes out of the oven looking great but within a couple minutes the center sinks. Any idea what I could be doing wrong?




cake mix, doctored, or scratch?

bouncingbeardies Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 4:17pm
post #12 of 17

I'm doing doctored cake mix. Usually I add a box of pudding, cup of sour cream, four eggs, one cup oil and 1/2 cup milk or other liquid. I beat it for a good 4-5 minutes once everything is incorporated. I'm just at a loss right now and getting frustrated! I have a big cake to do for this weekend and am getting nervous that it's going to have the same issues.

LindaF144a Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:13pm
post #13 of 17

Then my response will not help you. I can't help you with doctored cake mixes either, sorry.

bouncingbeardies Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:56am
post #14 of 17

Maybe it is overmixing causing it. I think I'll run a test tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

TexasSugar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 1:35pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bouncingbeardies

I'm doing doctored cake mix. Usually I add a box of pudding, cup of sour cream, four eggs, one cup oil and 1/2 cup milk or other liquid. I beat it for a good 4-5 minutes once everything is incorporated. I'm just at a loss right now and getting frustrated! I have a big cake to do for this weekend and am getting nervous that it's going to have the same issues.




That sounds like alot of oil for a cake mix, especially with the sour cream in there?

bouncingbeardies Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 6:11pm
post #16 of 17

I'm trying out a different recipe today that doesn't have that much oil, so maybe that is the problem. I have to say, the flavor, texture and moistness of the cakes has been wonderful, but cakes with a crater in the center do not work out all that well. Although, for use at home, I have just filled it with frosting to make the top look good!

sugarshack Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 6:54pm
post #17 of 17

sinking can be caused ( for doctroed mixes) by underbaking, opening oven too soon or too much, over or under mixing, or too high a fat/sugar content in the recipe....

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