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Grandma's advice didn't work

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
I'm new so I'm not real sure if this in the right area. I baked cakes when I was younger and had no problems getting a cake that had little to no dome to it and a nice moist consistency but it seams that every cake I make now has air pockets/channels that run through it and domes. I got the dome under control but I can't get rid of the channels/air pockets that are running through my cakes. I have no idea what I am doing wrong icon_sad.gif I bought a new mixer, changed pans, different cake recipes and always channels. Sometimes HUGE! The only thing I can think of is my stove since I moved. It doesn't seal shut firmly but could this cause my cakes to bake so well... GROSS?

Any help would be appreciated. My boyfriend's family would like a cake for their 4th of July celebration and well......... I would like it to look at least edible icon_biggrin.gif
post #2 of 62
Welcome to cc Sharebear213! Are you picking the pan of batter up and dropping it on the counter a few times? This will pop the bubbles that are on the surface. I think that's where they come from. I get them from time to time if I don't drop my pans. Maybe someone else here has another explanation.
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Don't just do it...Do it just!
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post #3 of 62
You could be overmixing your cake batter and/or over baking. Follow the mixing times for a mix and for your recipe if they are included. You can try reducing your oven temp, set timer for original baking time, test and if not done bake a few extra minutes. I had this same experience when I started baking again after a long spell of no baking. At first I set my timer when mixing and reduced the oven temp until I perfected my recipe and mixing/baking method. I did some research on line and found several articles on this topic before I discovered cakecentral. I also know that the Wilton website has an article and tips about troublshooting when you are having problems baking. HTH and welcome to cakecentral.

Reg
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You can't have hate in your heart when your eating cake.
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post #4 of 62
I agree with yummy thumbs_up.gif after you fill your pans drop them on the counter a few times and the bubbles will come to the surface.
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everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
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post #5 of 62
I believe the dropping of the pans also reduce the dome on top...but I always have a dome so I don't know icon_lol.gif
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #6 of 62
do you sift your dry ingredients?
post #7 of 62
Definitely agree with the dropping the pans on the counter. I refer to it as "bang the sh*t out of 'em!! icon_biggrin.gif

Also try the push-down method when the come out of the oven. This reduces your dome and makes the cake more dense looking .... a very pretty look!

Take a clean kitchen towel and lay it over the top of the freshly baked cake. Push down. Sometimes, on the larger cakes, I'll use a square cake plate or a square cake pan to push down on top of the towel just for even pressure. It's like it pushes out the air and compresses the cake in all the right places.

I'd never heard of this until CC, but like many of the tips I've gathered on here .... it works just like they say it will! thumbs_up.gif

Edited to add: Don't know if you're a scratch or mix baker, but if using a mix, sift it. Makes a WORLD of difference in the cake texture!
post #8 of 62
I find the Wilton Bake Even strips help tremendously with the rising issue. I will not bake a cake without them! When I fill my pans, I also lay a towel down on the counter and drop the pan on it at least 40 times to get all the bubbles out. Noisy as heck, but the results are worth it! I also sift, as Indydebi says, as well as adding 1 tsp. of baking powder because I use a doctored cake mix...
post #9 of 62
if scratch are you sifting at least 2x or better yet 3x to fully mix baking powder/soda very evenly throughout?

ditto to all the above:
don't over mix
slam the pan
baking strips
squash the dome
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #10 of 62
Doug,
sounds like a new hip hop song....

don't over mix
slam the pan
baking strips
squash the dome
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
See. There is no "Someday"!
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Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
See. There is no "Someday"!
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post #11 of 62
To answer the question about the channels and airpockets, it is definitely a result of overmixing, as the other posters have said.

This happens in a scratch recipe, and probably a doctored mix, becaue too much gluten has formed and as a result the gases will build up until there is enough pressure for them to release. As they release their way to the top, they will create the passage they took before the pressure is released. It is called tunneling.

I just read in the book How Baking Works that they way to prevent this is to not overmix, or use a softer flour. But my guess is that it is being overmixed.

You say you bought a new mixer. Could it be you are inadvertently using it at a higher speed than you did with your old mixer. That would contribute to overmixing. As for the dome, you can try bake even strips. I haven't tried those yet. I just bought them and I'm going to give it a go. In the meantime, I've just been leveling off the top and saving it for cake balls. But I'm going to give the push down trick a try too.

Good luck.
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I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
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post #12 of 62
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the great suggestions! I'm definitely going to try these out. I also never even thought that my new mixer may be a bit too powerful resulting in continued over mixing. Sounds like a perfect reason to make a "practice" cake icon_biggrin.gif

I tried banging the sh*t out of my pans (that was my grandmother's suggestion well not exactly like that icon_smile.gif ) got a little over zealous once and knocked some of the mortar right out of my back-splash when I thought I wasn't doing it hard enough..... ooopppps
post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohsmomma

Doug,
sounds like a new hip hop song....

don't over mix
slam the pan
baking strips
squash the dome



Aren't those the lyrics to Justin Biebers new song? Hehehe.
Melvira: Mistress of the dark... chocolate!

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Melvira: Mistress of the dark... chocolate!

Well that's just great. Peanut butter in my crack.
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post #14 of 62
You guys are hilarious!

Indydebi, are you a LEO? I am and we feel and sound just alike on alot of things.

Sharebear213, Wel damn, how hard were you banging the sh*t out of those pans?
Don't just do it...Do it just!
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Don't just do it...Do it just!
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post #15 of 62
[quote="yummy]Indydebi, are you a LEO? I am and we feel and sound just alike on alot of things.[/quote]

Capricorn with Scorpio ascending. Which means when I'm shopping, my Capricorn is telling me, "You dn't need it, it's not practical, it's not on sale, and it's NOT a name brand."

But the Scorpio in me is going, "OH COME ONNNNNNNNNN! GET ITTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!"

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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