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Help!!! My chocolate cakes keep sinking in the middle!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have two really great chocolate cake recipes. Every time I make them, the cakes fall in the middle. I have tried a ton of different strategies like: flower nails, heating cores, oven shields, baking at a lower temp., etc... I can't figure out what I am doing wrong.

I do live at somewhat of a high altitude, but I don't know if this is a contributing factor to my sinking cakes. If so, what can I do to keep them from sinking?

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

(0:
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #2 of 18
I was having this problem as well. I reduced the liquid by a bit and it has helped. I use the WASC chocolate version.
post #3 of 18
Could it be the cooking time? I took a cake out a bit earlier than normal last night as I had to go out and it starting sinking in the middle straight away.
post #4 of 18
It could be too much sugar, that was my problem with my chocolate cake recipe.
post #5 of 18
I was having the same problem a few years ago and posted the same question on CC.
I was told to add an extra egg. So now I use 4 eggs with my DH mixes.
My chocolate cake:
DH Devils Food CM
Small box instant Choc pudding
1 cup water
1/2 cup veg oil
1/4 cup Hersheys Choc syrup
4 eggs
Hope this helps.
Diane
post #6 of 18
What recipe are you using? I've read that you can't substitute natural cocoa with dutch processed. They are two different things. If you do, there is a equation for it. You can try googling it.
Also, is your baking powder still good?
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your suggestions! If it is too much sugar, then how much less should I use?

The recipe that I used tonight is the Dark Chocolate cake recipe that I found here on CC. It is a scratch cake, and I would really like to perfect it because it is delicious, and I am entering a cake contest in a few weeks and the recipe has to be from scratch.

I always have more success with my doctored cake recipes, but this time I have to bake from scratch.

Yes, all of my ingredients are brand new. I went an bought all new stuff, just to be sure.

As for the cooking time, I leave it in until it starts pulling away from the edges. Sometimes the edges start looking really dry, and I don't want my edges to be hard and my middle to be undercooked.

Sometimes these darn cakes can be so fussy! (0:
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivaWeava

Thanks for all of your suggestions! If it is too much sugar, then how much less should I use?

The recipe that I used tonight is the Dark Chocolate cake recipe that I found here on CC. It is a scratch cake, and I would really like to perfect it because it is delicious, and I am entering a cake contest in a few weeks and the recipe has to be from scratch.

I always have more success with my doctored cake recipes, but this time I have to bake from scratch.

Yes, all of my ingredients are brand new. I went an bought all new stuff, just to be sure.

As for the cooking time, I leave it in until it starts pulling away from the edges. Sometimes the edges start looking really dry, and I don't want my edges to be hard and my middle to be undercooked.

Sometimes these darn cakes can be so fussy! (0:



Wow! I am tired! Sorry for the redundancy and typos! I meant "and" bought...
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
Reply
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #9 of 18
Check this thread out, it has a lot of info. for scratch chocolate bakers
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=691694&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=30
post #10 of 18
someone posted a while back that they accidentally left out the sugar from their chocolate batter and added it at the end, only to find the cake didnt sink. I have done this everytime since and it really works!!
The sugar is the very last thing I add when mixing and the cake doesn't sink. thumbs_up.gif I use a doctored chocolate mix recipe, so I don't know about scratch in this case.
Sorry I wish I could remember who to credit for the idea...
post #11 of 18
ditto to both the link that fresita posted and what beckyw321 posted.

And post your recipes too, we can help you adjust the sugar if that is what it is. And by high altitude, how high is high?
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
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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 18
Thread Starter 
Here is the first recipe:

Dark Chocolate Cake
Ingredients

* 2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Instructions

1. 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F 2. Grease and flour two 9in pans or one 13×9in pan
2. 3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients
3. 4. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes
4. 5. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into pans
5. 6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
6. 7. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Here is the second recipe:

Darn Good Chocolate Cake
Ingredients

* vegetable oil or spray for your pan
flour for dusting your pan
1 package of Devils food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 package of Devils Food or chocolate fudge instant pudding mix (3.9 oz)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water (I use milk, others have even used hershey syrup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (some people sub softened or melted butter)
4 large eggs (if making as a sheet, Id reduce to 3 eggs)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chips

Instructions

1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 325. Mist and flour your pans.
2. Place cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water (or milk instead), oil and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides. Increase mixer to medium and beat 1 1/2-2 minutes. (really, only beat it until it is combined). The batter should look thick and well combined. Fold in the chips, making sure they are well distributed throughout the batter.
3.
4. Pour the batter into the pans and smooth with a rubber spatula.
5.
6. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly touched and it starts to pull away from the pan about 28-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
7.
8. If you want the chips to stay suspended in the cake, you could also toss them with a little flour before putting them in. Ive never had to do that, but other people have said that their chips sink. If you want the chips to melt, use the minis.
9.
10. I prefer using Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake, and the dark chocolate fudge instant pudding mix.
11.
12. If you are making layers, I would use 3 eggs instead of 4. I think 4 will make it too heavy and it will probably sink in the center. I did that with a 13×9x2 and it sunk in the whole middle. (It was still delicious, just not pretty). Of course, you can always fill it in with more frosting!!!
13.
14. If you want a delicious chocolate frosting too, I posted the Chocolate Syrup frosting on the recipes section of the website and it is out of this world!!! This is from the Cake Mix Doctor Cupcake Cookbook. It was someones personal recipe that won a contest, and then Anne Byrn included it in her latest cupcake cookbook. You will NOT be disappointed.
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
The altitude here ranges from 4500 Feet to close to 10000 Feet. I am probably somewhere near the lower elevation.
"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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"Do what you do so well, that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." ~Walt Disney
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post #15 of 18
I can't help with the second recipe as I don't have any experience with doctored cake mixes.

On the first one, the sugar amount looks fine. But I would take the advice of a previous poster and hold out the sugar and add it in the end. I remember the conversation about the person who discovered this helped her cake from falling and how well it worked for her. HTH

I have no experience wi high altitude baking. Have you tried an Internet search to see if you can find your answer there?
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
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