There's A Crater In My Cake!

Decorating By SweetLisa Updated 16 Oct 2008 , 5:58am by SweetLisa

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SweetLisa Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 1:06am
post #1 of 11

Okay, I'm pretty much a newbie and would appreciate your expertise here: I'm in the Wilton 1 class and making the cake for my second class. My instructor said to use a mix, bake it in an 8" x 3" round pan at 325 for 50-60 minutes. At 50 minutes, a toothpick came out clean, it was a nice golden brown, and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, so I thought it was done and pulled it out of the oven. I was using the bake-even strips to avoid having a "dome", but noticed that instead, the sides were nice and high, but I had a slight crater in the middle of the cake. When I took it out of the pan after 10 minutes, the crater was more pronounced, and now I pretty much have a major sinkhole in my cake, even upside down! icon_redface.gif After reading some other forum threads, I've ruled out another possible cause: temp too low; I have a thermometer in there and my oven is pretty much right on. I did alter the mix slightly, if that might be the cause: I substituted skim milk for the water, used EggBeaters instead of the eggs, and added 1 tsp. of vanilla. Could any of these be the cause, or does anyone have any other ideas? (It was a Duncan Hines classic yellow mix.) Also, should I just start over, or can I level it and/or do some "creative" filling in with my buttercream? The cake is for class only. Thank you so much!


10 replies
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SweetLisa Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 2:00am
post #2 of 11

Update: I just flipped the cake over on the cooling rack, and there was a soggy mess of underbaked cake laying there on the rack about 3-4 inches across, so it wasn't baked long enough, despite passing all the usual tests. Does this happen more easily with 3" pans?
I thought for a millisecond about taking a picture of my sad little cake, but I don't want my first posted picture to be a disaster picture! icon_cry.gif

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mcdonald Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 2:06am
post #3 of 11

I have never baked with 3" pans.. afraid to for exactly what you are going through.... sorry for all the troubles you are having.Iwould think with a 3 inch you might want the temp a little lower... 300 maybe?? I don't know for sure....

Do you have to take a cake or can you do a dummy?? I would hate for you to have to do it all over again.

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SweetLisa Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 2:13am
post #4 of 11

The instructor wants us to bring a cake in, already frosted but otherwise not decorated. I'm getting ready to do another cake, but at least it's a mix, not so difficult. I think I'll ditch the bake-even strips on this round and see if that helps. Thank you for your advice!

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KoryAK Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 4:50am
post #5 of 11

Hell, just frost the darn thing icon_smile.gif I just wouldn't plan on eating it after (well, maybe the edges)

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SweetLisa Posted 13 Oct 2008 , 6:11am
post #6 of 11

I really thought about filling in the hole with a ton of frosting, because the cake is just for my decorating class, but it was pretty easy to just throw another one in the oven. The second one turned out MUCH better. I didn't use the bake-even strips, and with baking it just 5 minutes longer, it turned out craters, and no dome either; pretty much level! I may try the strips again in the future, but only if I use a 2" pan. BTW, my DH and I snacked on the edges of the disaster cake...not bad! icon_smile.gif

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vicky Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 4:03am
post #7 of 11

Why does the instructor want you to use a 3" pan? I'm not sure about using egg substitute in cake mix. I have used milk in cake instead of water, but I don't think the egg substitute has the necessary components needed to make the cake rise. I wouldn't lower the cake lower than 325. Why don't you try it again using eggs and let us know how it turns out. Good luck. icon_smile.gif

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SweetLisa Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 5:25am
post #8 of 11

I believe she recommended the 3" pan because that's what she always uses when she bakes; it's quicker because you're only prepping, filling and cleaning one pan, and you just torte it to put your filling in.
When I made the second cake, I used real eggs, water, and canola oil, just what the directions suggested, but I didn't use the bake-even strips. The cake came out perfect, without a "dome" or a crater, so it's a good way to go, but I won't use the bake-even strips in the future with the 3 inch pan. The eggs may have made a difference, but I suspect the problem was more with the strips.
Thank you for your suggestion! icon_smile.gif

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vicky Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 12:18pm
post #9 of 11

I'm glad it worked out for you. I can't stand the strips but I don't think that was the cause. I would point to the egg substitute. It's all a trial and error and what I do is go to these sites and ask questions, and try recipes. You'll find one that works for you the best. IT takes practice, practice, patient!! icon_smile.gif Good luck.

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weddingcake1 Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 12:39pm
post #10 of 11

I use the bake even strips and I love them but I only bake with the 2" pans don't like the 3" , sometimes 1 will be a little moist on the side but I think that was because I put to many cakes in my oven and it did not let the heat even out. I had 3 in there at once, dah learn has I go. Cake baking and decorating is a learn has you go process. And it will get easier. I have figured out alot of things in 5 yrs of doing this. icon_smile.gif

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SweetLisa Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 5:58am
post #11 of 11

Thank you both very much for your encouragement! I went to my second Wilton 1 class last night, and had to tell myself that everyone has to start at the beginning, and that I can't expect to make perfect cakes from the start. At least the ugly cakes still taste great! icon_biggrin.gif
I will keep your advice about the egg substitute in mind, Vicky. For now, I will use regular eggs, since adding 2 or 3 per cake really isn't that much per serving.

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