Mikel79 Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 11:06pm
post #1 of

Hi cakers!

Why do my Chocolate cakes sink in the middle?

They are not under/over cooked. They are always moist and delicious. I use a doctored box mix from Sharon Zambito. Does not matter the flavor of the chocolate mix. There is always an oven temperature gage in the oven while baking. Temperature is always 325. Flower nails are used. Bake strips have been used and not used. Same results.

I mix both the Yellow and Chocolate the same way/time in the mixer. When cake tester comes out clean, the cake comes out.

I have baked a Yellow 8 and a Chocolate 8 together at the same time. The Yellow was perfect. Went to flip the Chocolate out and it already had a dip in the middle? The sink is both on top and bottom???

Suggestions/Tips are appreciated

Michael

28 replies
poohsmomma Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 11:25pm
post #2 of

Michael,
I've struggled with this for a long time. I've changed amounts of liquids, mix brands, even used flower nails. My WASC is fine; my chocolate sinks. I have found that if I forget the WASC type cake and just use pudding, oil and 4 eggs, I have a little better luck, but I like the WASC type cake better.

Would also appreciate help.

costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:41am
post #3 of

Usually cakes that sink in the middle have too much baking powder in them. If you're doctoring a cake mix, though, I don't think that's probably it...What are you adding to the mix when you doctor it up?

Mikel79 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:46am
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Usually cakes that sink in the middle have too much baking powder in them. If you're doctoring a cake mix, though, I don't think that's probably it...What are you adding to the mix when you doctor it up?




Pudding, Sour Cream, eggs and oil. water

??

costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:48am
post #5 of

Maybe there's too much liquid. Don't add any water and see what happens.

srkmilklady Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:48am
post #6 of

Michael...I think you have asked about a problem that a lot of us have...me included. icon_redface.gif I hate it when someone asks for a chocolate cake! I almost stand on my head ouch.gif trying to convince them to go with something else. But people love chocolate cake! I'd be happy to learn any secrets, or reasons why this happens too. icon_confused.gif

Sorry I couldn't help but am glad you started this thread and hopefully we will all learn something from someone out there!

costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:50am
post #7 of

Wait, are you adding more water than the box tells you to add? If you are then don't add the extra. If you're just putting in what it tells you to then try reducing it some but don't eliminate it entirely.

costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:59am
post #8 of

Or you could try baking one from scratch, which will taste better than a mix icon_smile.gif This isn't my recipe but it looks good http://sweetapolita.com/2010/11/rich-ruffled-chocolate-celebration-cake/

KayMc Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 1:11am
post #9 of

OK - there is a cure for this. Use the Hershey cake recipe on the tin of baking cocoa. BUT, substitute the milk in the recipe for the exact same amount of sour cream. I promise you- no sinking, perfect crumb, rich chocolately chocolate flavor. It's the best ever!!!!!

platinumlady Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 1:24am

I have had this problem with chocolate before ... & I use a doctored mix as well. I have found out that this happens when I over beat the Chocolate. It took a couple of tries to figure it out. But try to lower the amount of time you beat the cake or mix it at a lower speed & that should solve your problem. I know it sounds weird ... cause I can beat another flavor for the same amount of time & it comes out fine.

HTH

cheriej Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 1:25am

I've made the Hershey recipe and it never sinks. Maybe it is the pans? A good heavy gauge cake pan like Magic Line so that using baking strips the cake bakes evenly. Cakes sinking in the middle to me means that it is not baked in the middle as much as the outer sides of the cake. But that is just my opinion - I'm not an expert just guessing here. Or opening the oven to check too soon? Are you at a higher altitude maybe?

Mikel79 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 10:22am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheriej

I've made the Hershey recipe and it never sinks. Maybe it is the pans? A good heavy gauge cake pan like Magic Line so that using baking strips the cake bakes evenly. Cakes sinking in the middle to me means that it is not baked in the middle as much as the outer sides of the cake. But that is just my opinion - I'm not an expert just guessing here. Or opening the oven to check too soon? Are you at a higher altitude maybe?





I have Magic Line. Still happens.
Thank you for the input folks. Glad to hear that it is not just my cakes doing this!

Michael

KayMc Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:14pm

There was an entire thread here a couple of weeks ago about that Hershey recipe. It is a wonderful recipe, but it would have a huge crater every time I made it with milk. Once I switched over to replacing the milk with the sour cream, voila! No sinking, and much better crumb. It's my favorite, go-to chocolate cake recipe. Let us know how it works for you!

Sangriacupcake Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 12:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc

There was an entire thread here a couple of weeks ago about that Hershey recipe. It is a wonderful recipe, but it would have a huge crater every time I made it with milk. Once I switched over to replacing the milk with the sour cream, voila! No sinking, and much better crumb. It's my favorite, go-to chocolate cake recipe. Let us know how it works for you!




I use sour cream in this recipe, too....no sinking or deflating....beautiful texture....very moist. Works perfect every time.

Mikel79, you might want to give this recipe a try, even if you usually make doctored mixes. This is my go-to chocolate cake... it tastes soooooo much better than a mix!!!!!!! I made it a couple of weeks ago for a wedding, and people were lining up for seconds--I'm not kidding!

KayMc Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 1:22pm

Sangriacupcake is right! This recipe is so good, and it's a dump cake: very easy to make! You will never use a chocolate cake mix again after eating this cake.

KATHIESKREATIONS Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 1:49pm

I have to admit, I have not had my chocolate cakes sink in the middle & I have never tried the Hershey cake recipe, but I am just going to have to give it a try after all the reviews. icon_smile.gif

ddaigle Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 2:06pm

Chocolate is actually my prettiest baked cake. I use DH Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix and use the WASC version without the oil. I sub my water out with brewed coffee. I use Magic Line and bake at 325.

ladij153 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 2:16pm

I have a scratch recipe that I've been using for about 25 yrs and I have yet to have it sink. I've lived in several places with various ovens, used different brands of cake pans and mixed at various speeds and times....

KayMc what is a dump cake?

Thanks all!

cheriej Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:13pm

When cake tester comes out clean, the cake comes out.


I have noticed that when I test a chocolate cake too soon before it is done it may deflate slightly in the middle. Maybe if you know generally within 5 min of when it is done that will solve it. Others that have this problem have just added some baking powder.

Sangriacupcake Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladij153


KayMc what is a dump cake?




I hope it's ok for me to answer for KayMc....
She means it's a "one-bowl toss in the ingredients and mix" type of cakes....no creaming, folding, etc. It's not a finicky batter at all.

KayMc Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:39pm

Thanks Sangriacupcakes. Ya beat me to it!

ladij153 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 4:44pm

Thanks Sangriacupcakes and KayMc.....never heard that term before...

warchild Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 5:18pm

I've never had a chocolate cake sink, scratch or doctored, but I've had more than a few scratch vanilla cakes sink over the years! tapedshut.gif

I bake at 350 for most cakes, never tried 300. I wonder if that might be a part of your problem, starting your cake on too low a heat?

My doctored chocolate cake I use DH deep chocolate or dark chocolate mix, 3/4 cup self rising cake & pasty flour, a scant 3/4 cup superfine sugar, 4 large eggs, 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp almond extract (sometimes I'll omit the almond) a scant 1/3 cup oil, a heaping tablespoon Hersheys chocolate syrup, and 1 cup chocolate milk. I'll add more chocolate milk if the batter looks too thick. I never use water for the liquid in doctored mixes. I use buttermilk, milk, chocolate milk, or chocolate milk mixed with Kahula, or Baileys, or other liqueurs for adult cakes.

Hershey's Black Magic cake is one of my favourite chocolate scratch cakes. Pretty well all Hershey chocolate cakes are good though.

Mikel79 Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 11:13pm

I am going to have to go out and buy a can of Hershey powder to get that recp. everyone is raving about.

I will give it a try!

Thank you everyone for all the input on this topic

Michael

Sangriacupcake Posted 17 Jun 2011 , 11:27pm

Don't forget to substitute sour cream for the milk listed in the recipe...the cake is much more stable that way. Good luck...I think you'll like it! And let us know how it works out. icon_smile.gif

MaryMaking Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 8:40pm

I have had problems with the Hershey Chocolate cake recipe sinking as well, but since it is the best tasting chocolate cake I have tried I don't want to switch. I have tried sour cream and it does mane the cake more stable, but I find that it changes the taste a little.

bandcbakes Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 4:59am

I have had the same problem also every time that I bake choc cake, all of my others turn out fine. I have tried 5 different recipes to no avail. Like you I would cringe every time someone ordered choc.! I finally tried an eggless choc cake, it is nice and dark, firm but moist! I got the recipe when it was first posted here on cc a couple of months ago. But please note that I had to email the person that posted it because she forgot to list sugar! She may have corrected it by now. Sharon

FlourPots Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 5:23am

Sorry to sound repetitive, but I also use the Hershey recipe (now) after recently trying it with 6 different cocoas...

Regular Hershey's, Hershey's Special Dark, Ghiardelli, Scharffenberger, and 2 from King Arthur - Double Dutch Dark Cocoa & Bensdorp Dutch Process...

The two Hershey's were my least favorite...the hands-down winner was the Bensdorp...
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bensdorp-dutch-process-cocoa-16-oz

The taste and texture was superb.
By the way...every single trial cake baked up perfectly, no sinking at all.

scp1127 Posted 8 Mar 2012 , 11:33am

Something I found in my geeky science research is that the % chocolate plays a roll in the sinking. You can find a recipe on the web that is stable for the author, but unless she gives the exact % she used, the recipe can sink. Even 10% will cause it. So if someone uses a 45% or 50%, and you get Ghirardelli 60%, there can be problems. I found out the hard way when I made my regular chocolate cake (not my basic Hershey's). I ran out of 70% but had plenty of 60%, so I subbed. I had to make the cake three times and couldn't figure it out. The third sunk a little, but not detectable by anyonr but me. I thought it was my oven swing variance. But research revealed the effects of changing the chocolate.

For the Hershey's, it is not stable as written. The leaveners should be 1 tsp each and it will not sink.

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