Can't Fix Sad Streaks!

Decorating By Lfredden Updated 22 Apr 2013 , 10:09pm by Lfredden

Lfredden Posted 6 Apr 2013 , 10:53pm
post #1 of 20

AThis is the second time I've baked a 12" cake in my small apartment sized oven. I do a lot of baking and have never experienced this until now that im using a larger pan. The first time I had sad streaks throughout the cake and it also did not rise sufficiently. After reading all the threads I could find, I figured it was because I didn't have my eggs at room temperature (I know stupid, but I've gotten away with it with other recipes.. Also my brand new kitchen aid was running really fast and flinging my ingredients all over my kitchen so I didn't mix it as long as I should have.

Well since then I've figured out how to get along with my mixer, so I decided to have another go at it. I followed the recipe meticulously, I had all my ingredients at room temperature, my baking powder has not expired, and I used 2 flower nails in each of my two pans. I baked one in my regular oven and the other in my convection oven. The one in the oven still has the sad streaks albeit a little better than the last time and the one baked in the convection oven (microwave size) did better but still has some streaking. Both rose well in the middle but not as well on the sides. My oven may be running a little to hot, I'll have to get it checked but I think my convection oven is fine. I have made cupcakes using this recipe and they turned out fine.

I've attached a picture so you can see the problem. The cake on the left is the one from the oven and the one on the right is from the convection. The only thing I can think of at this point is that the pan is too large for the oven, or the oven is too wacky. Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I'm making a three tier wedding cake in June for a friend, and really need to figure this out! [IMG][/IMG]

19 replies
-K8memphis Posted 6 Apr 2013 , 11:16pm
post #2 of 20

the temperature of your eggs is not a factor imo


your cake is falling


it could be the oven temp or the recipe or a lot of factors--how it's mixed, etc.

lesucreaufour Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 12:21am
post #3 of 20

It's hard to get a nicely cooked 12in could use a baking nail to help the cake cook faster and more evenly. Also, half baking pan exist...the are half circle pans, so the cake cooks better and doesn't take as much time.


Hope that helps


wildflowercakes Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 12:46am
post #4 of 20

I'm stumped by what you are referring to as sad streaks. I have a convection oven, the directions in the owner's manual says it doesn't recommend using the convection for cakes so I've never tried it. I wonder if you are using the right amount of cake mix for your pan. Are you using a two inch or three inch deep pan?

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 12:53am
post #5 of 20

AI'm using a 3" pan but trying to get a 2" cake. I've baked up to 10" cakes in my convection with no problems. Actually, the convection turned out better than the gas oven. What I'm calling sad streaks are the horizontal lines towards the bottom of the cake.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 1:34am
post #6 of 20

If you scroll to the bottom of this site it discuses sad streaks and their causes:



Regarding sad streaks at the bottom of the cake it specifically says:



       Too much liquid

  • Insufficient baking powder
  • Insufficient sugar
  • Too soft a flour
  • Weak or insufficient egg



Are you scaling up the recipe to fit the larger pan? 

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 10:38am
post #7 of 20

AIt's the Toba Garrett High Yield recipe. When we used it in her class it worked fine. But the cakes did go in a deck oven. She does recommend using Softasilk flour, which I didn't use. I used Swans Down. Since The site says too soft a flour, can that be my problem?

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 12:51pm
post #8 of 20

i mean they are both cake flours-- i don't think that would be a factor


it looks like the one was baked at too high a temp just looking at the darker skin so the outside baked off and tightened up faster than the inside could expand fully so it collapsed


the lighter colored cake had more chance to let the leavening do it's thing so the streak is lesser


how are you incorporating the eggs?


does your mixture look well emulsified all the way through?


it needs to not look separated -- it needs to look smooth and silky

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 6:30pm
post #9 of 20

AThanks for your help. The mixture looked beautiful and smooth, it didn't look curdled I whisked the eggs well then whisked them in with the buttermilk and vanilla. Then added to the batter in four stages.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 6:37pm
post #10 of 20

that's one way


i would suggest creaming the butter, add the sugar cream really well--add unwhisked eggs and beat at about 5 till it's beautiful


then add the powders & liquids in stages


i make some chocolate cake recipes where the eggs go in like that with the liquids but since this isn't working for you maybe try the creaming method


or get a new recipe altogether

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 7:33pm
post #11 of 20

AThanks, that's a thought. The high yield recipe I'm using doesn't cream the butter with the sugar first. In class she said she does that because creaming the butter and sugar first takes too much time. that doesn't matter too much to me as long as the cake turns out well. Maybe I'll try it one more time doing it the traditional way and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, are there any high yield yellow cake scratch recipes you can recommend? And I'll also get my oven checked.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 7:36pm
post #12 of 20

i don't know exactly what a high yield recipe is


but i will pm you a very sturdy recipe that multiplies and divides well

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 7:52pm
post #13 of 20

ACool, thanks!

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 8:02pm
post #14 of 20

This site discusses the very problem you're having with the very recipe you're using:


With the reverse creaming (or biscuit) method it is very important to incorporate the fat into the flour to fully coat the flour with the fat before adding the liquids.  My own reverse creamed recipe calls for mixing fat and flour to a cornmeal looking state (like one would for a biscuit dough--hence biscuit method) before adding the liquids and mixing for a full two minutes before adding the eggs (mine is just whites and does not ask for them to be whisked before adding to the batter) and beating for another two minutes. 


I will also say that I always preheat my oven to 350, put in the pans, then turn it down to 335.  This gives the cake a blast of heat at the start, and makes up for heat loss from opening the door (which can be considerable, especially with a smaller oven).  I've never used the bake even strips with reverse creamed cakes as they seem to always rise perfectly level and straight up even if the pan is over filled, but I've never done larger than a ten inch layer with that recipe either. 

Lfredden Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 8:26pm
post #15 of 20

AThanks everyone. One more thought, is it possible to get a bad batch of baking powder? It's not expired, and I bought it in January. But now that I think of it, some of the things I've baked have sank a little flat after taking it out of the oven. It happened with cupcakes and a chiffon cake that i made. At the time I didn't mind since I wasn't making it for anything very important.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 10:02pm
post #16 of 20

Entirely possible. 


The last site I gave you  also makes the observation that with the larger pans you may have to adjust your amount of baking powder downward.  I don't pretend to understand the science, but it has something to do with surface tensions and collapse points etc.

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 10:13pm
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch 

Entirely possible. 


The last site I gave you  also makes the observation that with the larger pans you may have to adjust your amount of baking powder downward.  I don't pretend to understand the science, but it has something to do with surface tensions and collapse points etc.



i've heard that before and i'm content to not be smart enough to figure it out--all i can say is that i never had a problem just straight up multiplying recipes and i have pastry chef peeps and baker friends who have done the same all their careers

cakeyouverymuch Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 10:55pm
post #18 of 20

I guess it's going to depend on the recipe, and on how much the baker is willing to invest in time and product to get a good result.  That particular recipe seems to suffer issues at larger sizes as it comes up again and again on the professional sites as a failure at larger sizes, so it might need tweaking for baking powder at larger sizes. 

Lfredden Posted 20 Apr 2013 , 11:03pm
post #19 of 20

AUpdate. Okay, so I tried again today. Oven has been checked, new baking powder and Softasilk flour were used. This time I got a good result from the one baked in the oven and not the one baked in the convection oven. The only thing I did differently is I put the pan that I poured first into the convection oven and the pan I poured last into the gas oven. So I guess it must be my mixer. I always get the worst results with the pan that is poured first. Should I have mixed it longer? Two weeks ago I got slightly better results when I mixed it a little longer than I did today. This is a very large volume recipe, maybe my 5 qt mixer just can't handle it? I do think it runs a lot faster than it should, maybe I should return it, I bought it last fall. Any suggestions are much appreciated, I'm totally discouraged now.

Lfredden Posted 22 Apr 2013 , 10:09pm
post #20 of 20

AOne more thought. I have a brand new kitchenaid mixer that I believe runs too fast. The stir speed runs more like at speed 6. I mixed it for the recommended time in the recipe. If it is running too fast, can over mixing be causing the problem?

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