Holes In The Cake

Baking By josilind Updated 2 Jun 2015 , 12:21am by SquirrellyCakes

josilind Posted 22 May 2015 , 9:52pm
post #1 of 17

I know I have seen many threads on this but I am not seeing a thread for my issue, I am having HOLES. I HAVE NEVER had holes. I have used Duncan Hines for YEARS and the past month I am getting holes. I time  my mixing time, so I am not over mixing, I tap the bottom of the pan on the countertop , I use the flat part of my hand and it seems as if it creates MORE bubbles. I take the knife and drag it through the batter , and when I am done, here comes more bubbles. I have a thermometer inside the oven , so the it reads for the temp I am suppose to have....I  don't understand.  Can sitting the batter out at room temp for about 35 minutes  while other cakes are baking allow air bubbles to get trapped in the batter...????

I usually fill the holes with Icing when I ice over the cake, but I am so baffled about what is happening and I am worried about not catching ALL the holes to fill and theeeeeen, I am thinking that is just BAD on my name to have cakes rolling out with holes in them.

 help....I don't know what else to do. 

 

16 replies
SquirrellyCakes Posted 22 May 2015 , 10:28pm
post #2 of 17

I don't think leaving the pan on the counter is an issue although I have only ever left them for about 20 minutes.

What do you add to the mix? Water or milk, do you doctor it?

I never mix for the time on the box, I only mix until combined on a medium speed.

Is it with all flavours?

When you say you fill the holes I am guessing you are torting the cakes and the holes are inside.

I don't see the holes as something that would ruin your reputation unless they are also under or over cooked.

josilind Posted 22 May 2015 , 10:52pm
post #3 of 17

Thank yooooou for responding !!  I notice it with the French Vanilla. I do not doctor it up . I use it exactly as stated on the box. water, eggs, oil...yes, after torting it , I can see the holes , some big enough for my finger to go right through. Then after flipping it out , I can sometimes see a few holes on the sides... but yes, I fill them in after cooling with icing.

 I was also wondering if DuncanH changed their mix or what have you. I did switch over from Betty Crocker because they had changed their recipe and they had started coming up short on the cups of batter to the mix (use to get 5 cups to a box, now BC only renders 4 or a little over) but I remember this happening with BC 2 years ago.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 23 May 2015 , 12:02am
post #4 of 17

I always use milk instead of water and haven't had the problem. I will pick up a box of the mix on the weekend and give it a try with water.

If you didn't change the size of your eggs or the power of your mixer, your results shouldn't have changed.

I will get back to you on this once I try the mix. Likely by Sunday.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 May 2015 , 12:57pm
post #5 of 17

I haven't forgotten you, just a bit delayed on the execution.  Cakes are in the oven - I am making 2, 8 inch rounds at 350.  I followed the mix instructions exactly and split the 5 1/4 cups of batter equally between pans.  I didn't leave them on the counter for any length of time.  I did thump the filled pans on the counter a couple of times as I always have done.  I did observe a few bubbles on top of the batter. I used the paddle to  mix on low for 30 seconds as per the box. Additionally,  I did use the paddle and mixed on 6 on my Kitchen Aid for the 2 minutes as per the box.  I have levelled then and so far I just see the normal little holes we see in cake.  I will post again tonight once it is filled and iced and cut.  Hopefully I will be able to figure out how to attach pictures.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 26 May 2015 , 2:10am
post #6 of 17

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to attach a photo or even get a link to attach. I took pictures of the cake to show that it only had the normal tiny holes that you always get.

So I am wondering if you are beating on too high a speed. If you are using a powerful stand mixer, you don't need to put it at high speed. Medium will suffice. The 2 minutes called for is more time than it needs but I followed that and it was fine. Use a paddle, not the wire whisk if you have a Kitchen Aid style mixer.

The only other issue may be how long it is on the counter before you bake the cake. In the past I have made cakemix cakes that sat on the counter for 45 minutes without issues.

In a couple of days, I will experiment with another French Vanilla mix but I will let the batter sit on the counter for 45 minutes first.

One question for you.  Is the mix dated before the best before date?


SquirrellyCakes Posted 26 May 2015 , 9:10am
post #7 of 17

Whoops, that should read, "I will let the batter sit on the counter for 35 minutes".

SquirrellyCakes Posted 31 May 2015 , 12:29am
post #8 of 17

Ok, have another cake experiment in the oven after sitting it on the counter for 35 minutes.  Will update results tomorrow night.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 1:02pm
post #9 of 17

I wish I could figure out how to attach pictures but I am "High tech challenged".

I made the cake mix again as per package instructions.  I mixed on a speed of 6 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, using the paddle attachment.  I filled a bundt pan and let the filled pan sit on the counter at room temperature for 35 minutes.

I did have a couple of linear holes in the cake this time.  However, they really were not very large, just larger than normal. Maybe 1/16 of an inch by 1/4 inch and only two or three holes total.

So yes, likely there is some connection between the filled pan sitting at room temperature for that long.  But in my experiment, it really didn't have much effect.  I am wondering if you are beating at too high a speed and perhaps using the whisk attachment?

Have to say though, I did have something odd happen with this cake. The morning after baking the cake the night before, instead of frosting the cake, I decided to drizzle a glaze on the cake.  I made the same drizzle I always make - powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a bit of milk.  I drizzled a substantial amount on the cake.  By supper time, there was hardly any glaze on the covered cake.  It isn't because the cake was warm because I had made it the night before.  I have put this glaze on many cakes before and never had this happen.

 

carolinecakes Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 2:27pm
post #10 of 17

Sorry to hi- jack this thread. You have to upload the pictures to your gallery first. Top of the page , you will see Gallery, click on that, you will see "Add a photo", then upload your pics from your computer. Once the pic is in your gallery you can copy and paste into a link. HTH

carolinecakes Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 2:28pm
post #11 of 17

Edit: into a forum post.

josilind Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 17

 Sooo sorry for responding late...

I CANNOT TELL YOU how awesome YOU ARE  to go and do an experiment to try and help me out with these dad blasted holes. Not only have you taken time out to do this, you have sparked someone to tell US BOTH how to upload a pic..LOL!!!...

ok so I only leave my batter at from 35-40 minutes at a time.  in between baking other cakes. I have started sifting the mix before mixing it and I am thinking that it is working BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD TO DO THAT BEFORE....I was told back in the day to never sift box mix.

I do have a standing hand mixer. I usually start it off at one and mix for about the 30 seconds or so , then I turn it up to 3 and mix for an additional 2 minutes. BUT since I have started with these holes , I only increase the speed to 2 now.. I guess it is helping.

What is so strange is that I am having to do all these changes when I have been doing the same thing for a little over 10 years. 

 

Quote by @SquirrellyCakes on 4 hours ago

I wish I could figure out how to attach pictures but I am "High tech challenged".

I made the cake mix again as per package instructions.  I mixed on a speed of 6 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, using the paddle attachment.  I filled a bundt pan and let the filled pan sit on the counter at room temperature for 35 minutes.

I did have a couple of linear holes in the cake this time.  However, they really were not very large, just larger than normal. Maybe 1/16 of an inch by 1/4 inch and only two or three holes total.

So yes, likely there is some connection between the filled pan sitting at room temperature for that long.  But in my experiment, it really didn't have much effect.  I am wondering if you are beating at too high a speed and perhaps using the whisk attachment?

Have to say though, I did have something odd happen with this cake. The morning after baking the cake the night before, instead of frosting the cake, I decided to drizzle a glaze on the cake.  I made the same drizzle I always make - powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a bit of milk.  I drizzled a substantial amount on the cake.  By supper time, there was hardly any glaze on the covered cake.  It isn't because the cake was warm because I had made it the night before.  I have put this glaze on many cakes before and never had this happen.

 

 

josilind Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 8:38pm
post #13 of 17

oh and I will check the dates too. I am curious to know now that you mentioned that too

SquirrellyCakes Posted 1 Jun 2015 , 11:30pm
post #14 of 17


Quote by @carolinecakes on 8 hours ago

Sorry to hi- jack this thread. You have to upload the pictures to your gallery first. Top of the page , you will see Gallery, click on that, you will see "Add a photo", then upload your pics from your computer. Once the pic is in your gallery you can copy and paste into a link. HTH

Thanks carolinecakes. I think the problem is that I am using my smart phone and it doesn't allow me to see the gallery options. Now I am on the computer but I cannot access my smart phone pictures.  As you can see, haha, I am clueless with technology.  So my solution was to upload the photos of the cakes to my Pinterest account and post a link. Hope this helps. https://www.pinterest.com/squirrellycakes/



 


josilind Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 12:02am
post #15 of 17

I saw the pics...ok , there is a difference with sitting them out past 30 minutes. Thank you so much for doing that I didn't even think to do anything like that.  All I saw where HOLES and I would be tired after work and getting FRUSTRATED  with the whole process!!! I appreciate you.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 12:04am
post #16 of 17

It looks like the link to pinterest works.  Sorry?, you said you have a "standing hand mixer?  Did you mean a stand mixer or a hand mixer?

No, you shouldn't have to sift a mix. 

Normally a past the " best use before date", only means the cake doesn't rise as well unless you add additional leavening agent.

It is always possible that there has been a change to the mix making it less adaptable to being prepared and left on the counter for that period of time.  

In my experience, normally leaving it on the counter for longer periods of time causes it to rise in the pan.  Also often gives you a cake that doesn't require much levelling afterwards.  I often do this with cupcakes but for about 25 minutes.  But in the past I have done the same as you with no issues.

My room temperature is always 20 celsius/70 fahrenheit.  You don't want to leave batter on the counter if your room is really hot.

You can see in the pictures on pinterest, the first cake has the normal size holes.  The second cake has a couple of larger holes but they still are not very big. Oh, one thing I am thinking that may factor into it- put the batter in the pan, do your usual two or three thumps on the counter and then leave it alone until it goes in the oven.  You don't want to thump it again or cut through with a knife after it has sat and risen somewhat on the counter as this can cause issues.  Letting the batter sit for that length of time is a bit like proofing bread.  You are enabling the leavening agents to activate just as letting bread dough sit enables the yeast to make bread rise.  So with bread you punch it down and let it rise again. But with cake you don't want to stop the rising by thumping or cutting through the air bubbles and disturbing the rise. 

SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 12:21am
post #17 of 17

josilind, I bet you were frustrated.  It is so annoying when something that always worked before stops working.

We had a similar problem several years ago with a cake mix extender recipe that some of us had used for several years. I had recommended it to a cake site user and it was a horrible flop.  So I tested it out several times in several ways and took photos and sure enough it no longer worked.  So Duncan Hines had changed the make up of the mix. And possibly the amount of mix in the box too.

One more thing, I don't make cake mixes very often but when I do, instead of water I use whole milk. I wonder if that option which makes a more structurally strong cake because of the fat and dairy, would alleviate the holes somewhat.  Might be worth a try.

Oh and, you are very welcome. It is always interesting to try to understand what causes a problem.

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