Sinking Cakes

Baking By Momofsns Updated 7 Aug 2015 , 3:49pm by MacsMom

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Momofsns Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 3:23am
post #1 of 6

I'm not a professional baker. I've tried 3 different chocolate cake recipes but they all sink in the middle. 

Could anyone please give me a chocolate cake recipe that doesn't sink?  I'd really appreciate it. My daughter's first birthday is coming up and I'd love to make her first cake.

I'm looking for a recipe for two 8" round pans.


5 replies
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MarisParis Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 3:36am
post #2 of 6

It sounds like maybe the cake isn't baked completely through?  Or maybe the oven door was opened too soon before the cake was finished.  And a great recipe for vanilla or chocolate cake is the WASC recipe - google it!    Good luck!!

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Norcalhiker Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 5:18am
post #3 of 6

Baking can be complicated and challenging.  But with practice and knowledge it can successful and very rewarding.  

Marisparis is correct that an underdone cake can cause a collapse.

Other common causes of cake collapse are:

Too much liquid to flour (eggs count as liquid)

Too much of one or more tenderizers: 
Tenderizers are sugar, leavenings, egg yolks, emulsifiers (fats), and chocolate. 

Other causes include over mixing and/or too low oven temperature. 

Flour and egg whites are the two main ingredients that bring structure to a cake. If there is too high ratio of tenderizers to flour & egg, the cake will collapse. 

Assuming you are using a standard butter cake recipe, look at the ratios.  Ratios are determined by weight--not volume. 

Four 100% (flour is always 100%)
Sugar 100% (in high ratio cakes, =/> than flour)
Fat 45%
Eggs 40%

Leavenings are a bit tricky, but a pretty standard measure is 4 grams (1 tsp) per 120 grams (1 cup flour)

Measuring by weight is the most accurate, so achieves the most reliable results.  But if you don't own a scale, check King Arthur Flour website for how to correctly measure by volume; also check out their weight charts.

King Arthur Flour is a great source for recipes as well.  If you use one of their recipes and have problems, you can call their baker's hotline for help.  

Hope me this helps...I think it's wonderful that you are committed to baking your daughter's first cake.  Our most cherished memories are made at the table.

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Shockolata Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 1:37pm
post #4 of 6

Cakes collapse if you open the oven too soon. You need to give it time and check it with your senses, not just the clock. The cooked cake will smell nice, look risen and golden brown, will not wobble when you shake the pan, will spring back if you press lightly on top... BUT none of these is going to work if you open the oven too soon and test it too soon. The cold shock will make the cake drop and you might even end up with a hole in the middle like I did the other day when my oven broke down. One thing to consider when baking is what kind of pan you are using. The matt silver coloured pans cook cakes nicely and fast. The shiny thick silver pans will take much longer to cook a cake. A silicon pan will need turning so that the cake cooks evenly (my experience), non stick dark pans seem to need more time to bake the same quantity of cake batter. Don't be disheartened. Do like I do: write down the process, temperature, time and results so next time you can do better.  It is a great sense of accomplishment each time you overcome a hurdle!

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bbrumett Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 6

If you live in a hot and humid climate (like me) it could be the flour. All of the sudden my cakes were sinking in the middle and I hadn't changed anything with my recipes. So I did a little research and started keeping my flour in the fridge. Voila! Thats all it was. I haven't had an issue with sinking in the middle since. 

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MacsMom Posted 7 Aug 2015 , 3:49pm
post #6 of 6

In my experience, my cakes have sunk because of too much sugar. You might try reducing the amount of sugar and adding an extra egg white - or even using all egg whites since too much fat (yolks) can also can sinking.

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