Please help! I have found that I really enjoy cake decorating but I can't bake a cake! Only 1 in 5 of my cakes rise and I have no idea why......!!
I really want to get into decorating cakes and the kids loved the cakes I did for their recent birthdays. It just took so many attempts at the baking it cost a small fortune in ingredients!
Please help as I am trying to do a snowman cake for christmas but am getting soooo frustrated that I may have two disappointed children. Time is ticking away!!
are you using a cake mix, or from scratch? If you are going from scratch, maybe check to see if your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. If you are using a cake mix, are you maybe mixing it too much? Do you put it in the oven immediately after you mix it?
I'm doing it from scratch and as I have just started all my ingredients are new. I have put the oven on to pre - heat, whisked, and done everything 'by the book'. I have just taken one out the oven and when I peered through the door it seemed to be rising nicely. However, 10 minutes later when the timer went off, it had slumped with dimple like thing on the top. It looks more like a biscuit! They taste nice, so I am going to have to bake another and put it on top to do my snowman I think.
Its driving me crazy though! So disheartening......
Did you test with a skewer or cocktail stick to see if the cake was done, before taking it out? You need to stick something in the cake (even a sharp knife) in the centre, leave it for a couple of seconds, and pull it out. If there is still wet cake mixture on it, leave it in the oven and check again after another 2 or 3 minutes. If just a couple of crumbs, or no crumbs, are stuck to your implement, the cake is done.
Also, all the cakes I make "sink" some when they come out of the oven, and then continue to settle over the next day. Its just the air created from the baking powder to rise the cake being released.
However, none have come out to be the height of a biscuit, which makes me think the cake wasn't done before you took it out (we have ruled out possible aged baking powder since you are using new ingredients). Even if the recipe says 25 minutes baking time, each oven/house/baker is different, and the 25 minutes should be taken as a guideline.
Don't give up!
Perhaps you could type your recipe on here, in case there is something wrong with it that we could help you with?
Its 6oz butter, caster suger and self raising, 1tsp baking powder and three eggs.....
Yes I checked with a skewer. It seemed cooked. I wondered if I had possibly over cooked it? Would that make it slump? I also seived the flour from a height as I remember my nan saying to when I was a child! Hahaha!
Thanks for your encouragement. I really enjoy decortaing, and am determined now to get the cakes I need baked tonight ready for the fun part tomorrow
OK. For this kind of recipe you need to beat the (soft, room temperature but not melted) butter and sugar together until the mix is much whiter than you started with. The sugar crystals need to break through the butter. In an electric mixer, this could take about 5 minutes, a few more for a handheld mixer and even longer (and armache) if you are doing it with a hand whisk. Anyhow, make sure your butter and sugar is pretty white.
Add your eggs in one at a time, whisking fast to make sure each egg is fully incorporated before you add another. If the mixture starts to look funny, like curdled, don't worry too much, it will sort itself out in the next step.
Next, STIR in your flour which you say you already sieve from a height (which is good!), and to which you should have added your baking powder.
Do not beat the flour into the mix, just stir till its incorporated, thats it (otherwise the cake can come out too hard).
Does this sound like how you have been mixing the cake?
Yes, if you overcook it, the cake will definitely have the appearance of a biscuit. You can also tell if you overcook it since the cake will pull away from the side of the cake tin a lot - a little (like 1-2mm) is normal.
Another good way to check if your cake is approaching "doneness" is by the smell of it. You will start to smell the cake in your kitchen when it is nearly ready. If you can't smell it, don't even think about opening the oven door!
Ah BRILLIANT thanks I have been whisking in my flour, and yes the cake is quite far from the tin when I take it out the oven!! You may have just sorted my problem! I shall let you know tomorrow
Thanksyou so much! xx