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What causes a cake to crack down the middle?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I just made two identical 12x18 sheet cakes. One came out fine, and one cracked down the middle when I flipped it over onto the cooling rack. I went over what I put in it, and the ingredients are correct. I can't figure this out!

I guess I will glue it back together with some icing!
post #2 of 9
Usually it's because of a hump in the middle. Or, it could have still been too hot (fragile), or stuck a little bit to the bottom of the pan as you turned it out. But buttercream fixes almost everything, no one will ever know. icon_biggrin.gif
post #3 of 9
This may sound crazy.. but..check your cooling rack and make sure all the metal bars are firmly attached. I had a cake a few weeks ago that I flipped on to a cooling rack and CRACK. come to find out one of the metal bars had snapped at one end from the frame and was sticking up slightly, and hit it just right (or more like wrong) when I turned the cake onto it.

I tossed and brought a new one.
laughter isn't the best medicine. It's the cure.
Grabbing my bowl of faux-'nache and running from the ganache police!!
link to Jello MMF recipe: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6934662-.html#6934662
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laughter isn't the best medicine. It's the cure.
Grabbing my bowl of faux-'nache and running from the ganache police!!
link to Jello MMF recipe: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6934662-.html#6934662
Reply
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriMc

and one cracked down the middle when I flipped it over onto the cooling rack.



Perhaps we need to stop using the term "flipped" as it implies a tossing or throwing action which is definitely NOT what hot fragile cake layers need. (And lately, there seem to be more than a few posts on cake layers cracking when removed from their pans.)

I know I've used the term, but turning out a cake layer is actually a controlled procedure...

You'll need three cooling racks to make turning out a layer cake easy and successful.

One to place over the top of the layer cake in the pan to immobilize the cake layer while turning both pan/rack upside down in one fluid motion; then set rack on counter and carefully remove pan.

Use another rack (to again stabilize the layer) as you turn/return the layer to its upright position (hump side up) on the 2nd cooling rack. (Try not to compress the racks as you turn so you don't smoosh your cake layer. Unless you want to compress the hump instead of cutting off later to level.)

As the first cookie sheet is busy cooling the 1st cake layer - you'll need two more to repeat the aforementioned process on the 2nd layer.

Cooling racks with higher legs are preferable, since they allow more air to circulate under the layers. But as Indydebi suggested, short legged racks can be placed on same size coffee cups/mugs to allow for more air circulation.

HTH
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Usually it's because of a hump in the middle. Or, it could have still been too hot (fragile), or stuck a little bit to the bottom of the pan as you turned it out. But buttercream fixes almost everything, no one will ever know. icon_biggrin.gif



Yep, it was the hump in the middle. I used a different cake recipe on these and I noticed they baked up way higher in the middle. The cracked one more so. I kind of had a suspicion that was it. Thanks for all the tips guys!
post #6 of 9
If you line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper (or wax paper), you'll minimize the risk of the cake cracking, as the paper kind of holds the cake together while you're working with it.

Now that you've diagnosed the problem, I gotta know --- Did you turn the cake back upright onto another rack to cool completely, as Jan described? If not, get in the habit. icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 9
I can't get over the amazing support, I have the same problem, you ladies are teaching so much, I'm getting a wonderful learning experience with you. God bless you. icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeLM

If you line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper (or wax paper), you'll minimize the risk of the cake cracking, as the paper kind of holds the cake together while you're working with it.

Now that you've diagnosed the problem, I gotta know --- Did you turn the cake back upright onto another rack to cool completely, as Jan described? If not, get in the habit. icon_smile.gif




I didn't see the responses until this morning, but yeah I had a sneaking suspicion that it was the hump causing it to crack, so I flipped it onto the other side and it never came completely apart. I just filled it in with icing this morning and you can't even tell. icon_biggrin.gif
post #9 of 9
I level every cake before it comes out of the pan. Here's step by step pictures:

http://tinyurl.com/pq9swv

thumbs_up.gif
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