Ok so I've been a baking a little while now and when I first started my cakes were perfect, moist, and soft now I'm finding that my cakes are falling in the middle without me having to even open the oven. the cake around the middle is perfect and fluffy, what am I doing wrong? The cake batter is from scratch and I haven't changed anything in the recipe. Also I noticed that when I bake with a 3in deep pan the cake comes out sort of condensed like a cookie like consistency, not flat looks perfect but when it's cut its soft but not fluffy cake. Someone please help cause I am interested to know what I am doing wrong., I am using an electric oven on 350 and tried turning it up to 360 still the same results.
Are you baking in high altitude? I had that problem and started decreasing the sugar in my recipes, it worked! Also, the consistency can be from how you mix it as well. ie: mixing it too much, not enough, etc. I bake most of my cakes @ 325. It may take longer but they bake up nicer.
If you're baking in a 3 inch deep pan that is bigger than 6 inches across you need to have some type of heatcore. (Some people go up to an 8" without a heatcore, I don't)
I use an actual heat core which is a little bigger around than a 50cent piece. You grease and flour it and place in the center of the pan. (It must be weighted down) Some of the bakers here use a flower nail, I have not tried that, but I am sure one of them will pop in with some advise.
Using some type of heat core with the deeper pans goes a long way toward preventing a fall. As you mentioned, sometimes the cake looks fine, but when you cut it you find that gummy ribbon running through where the cake didn't bake through properly.
I only use 3" pans and use only bake strips and it works nice....
I had a similar problem...and then my Mom told me to get an oven thermometer to make sure my oven was cooking at the right temp. Well, it wasn't. It actually cooks about 25 degrees lower than it should. So, now I can get my cakes to cook through the middle...but they still don't rise properly. So, a new oven is on the list of things to do...but in the meantime I adjust the temp to make sure the cake is at least cooked!!
I had the same problem. My cakes came out beautiful and then all of the sudden they all started sinking in the middle. I called the company and they told me how to callibrate it over the phone. I did end up having to have someone come out and callibrate it for me but now it works like it is new again.
First time poster and responder.
just want to give a big thumbs up on the use of flower nails. I have used them since it was recommended to me in a Wilton cake class and have never had a problem.
If it's not your oven temperature, then maybe your leavening is old? Perhaps it's time to get some new baking powder....
I did one cake with a flour nail and one cake without, in a 2 inch pan but it was my 14 inch cake pan. The one without the nail sunk down and was gooey in the center. The one with the flower nail rose fine and cooked through all the way. I've never checked my oven or anything, I really should, but I do know that for my bigger cakes at least using the flower nail is a must.
Ditto on getting a thermometer. My oven bakes 28 degrees lower than it says so I adjust accordingly. Try a mix and see if it rises and bakes right. Then you will know it is your levening agent in the scratch or if it is something more oven-related for sure.
I had the same problem and after buying a oven thermometer, baking strips and flower nail my cakes are beautiful and need very little leveling. All every inexpensive tools.
I would vote that your baking powder/soda is past it's expiration date.
To test your baking powder: stir about 1/4 teaspoon of powder into 1/2 cup of very hot water. The soda should start to bubble and fizz if it's still good. If you get only a little or no reaction, toss it and buy more.
To test baking soda: stir about 1/4 teaspoon of powder to 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar. The soda should start to bubble and fizz if it's still good. If you get only a little or no reaction, toss it and buy more.
Making sure your oven is tip top is also important, so an oven thermometer is a great investment.
For sure check the oven temperature. I did that and found out that my (old) oven is about 50 degrees less than it should be.