Cake Problem Solving Guide

Post on 10-Mar-2016

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Baking Cake

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  • Cake Problem Solving Guide

    By Bill Weekley, Certified Master Baker & Corporate Chef

    Problem Characteristic

    Possible Causes

    Possible Solutions

    Low Volume

    Over measurement of liquid

    Under mixing or extreme over mixing.

    Improper scaling weights/pan too large.

    Oven temperature too

    low.

    Use the proper amount of liquid. Use a scale to weigh the liquid.

    Read the directions thoroughly before starting. Use an electric timer that will turn off the mixer automatically if available.

    Follow the recommended scaling weights

    found on the label directions. If possible, use a scale to weigh the batter.

    Have oven temperature checked for

    accuracy.

    Fallen Cakes

    Under baking; oven temperature too low and/or too short a baking time.

    Over or under measurement of liquid.

    Too small a pan/batter

    too deep.

    Extreme over mixing.

    Oven temperature too hot.

    Jarring cake in the first 15 minutes of baking.

    Have oven temperature checked for accuracy. Follow label directions for proper baking time.

    Use proper amount of liquid. If possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Fill pans approximately full if scales are not available.

    Read the label directions thoroughly before starting.

    Have oven temperature checked for accuracy; follow directions for proper baking temperature.

    Be sure not to bump cakes while turning or

    loading ovens.

  • 2

    Sticky Top Crust

    Storing cake covered while still warm.

    Over (or under) measurement of liquid.

    Under baking; oven

    temperature too low and/or too short a baking time.

    High humidity.

    Be sure cake is thoroughly cooled prior to covering or placing into an enclosed cabinet. Allow cakes to stand uncovered hour before icing.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid when possible; use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Have oven temperature checked for

    accuracy. Follow directions for proper baking time.

    Place cakes in the freezer and ice while

    frozen to prevent sticky top crust.

    Tunneling

    Oven temperature too hot.

    Under or Over mixing.

    Bottom oven heat too high.

    Under measurement of

    liquid.

    Have oven temperature checked for accuracy. Follow directions for proper baking temperature. For layer cakes, double panning is recommended.

    Follow directions for mixing times and procedures. When possible, use an electric timer to turn off mixer automatically.

    Verify oven temperature. For layer cakes,

    double panning is recommended. Cake pan liners will also help in reducing bottom heat.

    Follow directions for proper amount of

    liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Shrinkage

    Too little batter in pan.

    Pans greased too

    heavily.

    Extreme over mixing. Too much liquid.

    Select proper pan size for the amount of batter indicated. Follow scaling directions and use a scale when possible for more accuracy.

    Do not grease cake pans too generously.

    When possible, use an electric timer to turn off mixer automatically.

    Follow directions for proper amount of

  • 3

    Over baking too long or

    too high bake temperature.

    liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Follow directions for proper bake times and temperatures.

    Gummy Over measurement of liquid.

    Under baking.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Have oven temperature checked for accuracy. Follow directions for proper baking time.

    Peaked Cakes

    Over mixing.

    Under measurement of liquid.

    Oven temperature too

    hot.

    Follow directions for mixing times and procedures. When possible, use an electric timer to turn off mixer automatically.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Have oven temperature checked for

    accuracy.

    Dry, Crumbly Cakes

    Under measurement of liquid.

    Over baking.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh liquid.

    Follow directions for proper bake time and temperature.

    Pale Top Crust

    Opening oven door too frequently.

    Oven temperature too low.

    Too deep a pan.

    Too much liquid.

    Open oven door only when necessary.

    Follow directions for proper oven temperature. Check oven temperature for accuracy.

    Select proper pan size for the amount of batter.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh the liquid.

  • 4

    Cracked Top Crust

    Over baking.

    Under measurement of liquid.

    Oven temperature too

    high.

    Follow directions for proper bake time and temperature.

    Follow directions for proper amount of liquid. When possible, use a scale to weigh the liquid.

    Follow directions for proper bake

    temperature. Check oven temperature for accuracy.

    Coarse Grain

    Under mixing/hand mixing.

    Follow package directions for mix times. Use electric timer that automatically turns off mixer.