Why Does My Cake Sink In The Middle?

cake sunk in the middle

It feels great to bake a cake at home. But nothing is more disappointing when the cake sinks or falls in the middle. You might have followed the recipe to the core and still have your cake sink in the middle. This is because of different reasons. 

Some of the reasons that your cake might sink in the middle are incorrect oven temperature, under baking the cake, or adding too much baking powder, measuring the ingredients wrong, or mixing them in the wrong order. Other reasons include overbeating the batter, incorrect moisture level, cooling the cake too quickly, or letting the cake batter rest for too long.

These were some of the reasons your cake might sink in the middle. If you keep these in mind, you can bake the perfect cake.

Reason Why My Cake Might Be Sinking In The Middle

cake sunk in the middle

There are a few reasons your cake might be sinking in the middle. If you know the cause, you might be able to avoid the problems and bake the perfect cake.

1. Incorrect Oven Temperature

When it comes to cake, it is very important to be sure of the right oven temperature. A cooler than necessary oven will undercook the cake. While a hotter than necessary will cook the edges faster and leave the middle part uncooked. Both these conditions will make your cake sink in the middle. 

2. Underbaking The Cake

baked cake with toothpick inserted

If your cake is underbaked, it will sink in the middle. The reason is that the centre is usually the part that is undercooked as the edges cook fast. When the edges are cooked and the centre is not, it will sink. So, make sure you bake the cake.

One way to make sure the cake is cooked is to do the toothpick test. Put a toothpick in the centre and the edges of the cake. If it comes out clean, that means that the cake is baked perfectly. If it has some batter on it, that means that the cake isn’t baked completely.

3. Adding Too Much Or Too Little Baking Powder

Baking powder is a leavening agent that helps the cake rise. But it really matters that you put the baking powder in the right amount, not too much and not too little. 

If you add too little of the baking powder, the cake won’t rise and it will end up sinking in the middle. If you add more baking powder than needed, the cake will rise too much and then, it will deflate. This will also lead to the cake sinking in the middle.

This is the same case when you add baking soda to the cake. Also, if you use expired baking powder, your cake will sink as it won’t make the cake rise. 

4. Incorrect Amount Of Ingredients

cake ingredients

It is a very sensitive matter to bake a cake. You have to be very precise with the amount and proportions of ingredients. If you put anything too much or too little, you’ll end up with a cake that’s sunk in the middle.

5. Mixing Ingredients In The Wrong Order

The cake recipe is very order specific. There is a stage where you have to add in an ingredient. If you don’t follow the order, the cake will not bake properly and might end up sinking in the middle. 

6. Overbeating The Batter At The Last Stage

beating the cake

If you are following a recipe to make a cake and it tells you not to overmix the cake or gently mix it, you should go by the book. This is a crucial part in making the batter. If you overmix the batter, your cake may not rise well. You should better avoid it. 

7. Too Much Or Too Little Moisture Levels In The Batter

It is important to be aware of the moisture level of the batter. The moisture level affects the cooking of the cake. If you have humid weather, you should be extra careful with your ingredients, especially the dry ones.

8. Cooling The Cake Too Quickly After Baking

It is important to let the cake cool down in stages. You should let it cool gradually. If you cool it quickly or abruptly, it will deflate and your cake might end up with a well in the middle. You should cool the cake by opening the door of the oven for some time. Then, take it out and transfer it to a cooling rack. Lastly, take it out of the pan and cool it for some more time. 

9. Letting The Cake Batter Rest For Too Long

It is best to start baking the cake as soon as you have made your batter. This makes the chances of your cake rising a lot higher. The longer you leave the batter to rest, the higher the chances become of the cake sinking. This is because it gives the ingredients a longer time to react with each other.

10. Opening The Oven Too Early

cake in the oven

If you open the door of the oven when the cake is not baked completely or even almost, there is a high chance it will sink. If the cake is cooked and risen, with only a few minutes left to get ready, it is not a problem. 

11. Closing The Oven Door Too Sharply

If you open the oven door while the cake is baking and then close it sharply, this may lead to your cake suddenly sinking in the middle. 

How To Prevent Cake From Sinking In The Middle 

Now that you know the reasons, I’ll tell you the solution to these problems. So, next time you bake a cake, it’ll be perfect. 

ProblemSolution
Incorrect oven temperatureCheck the temperature of an oven with a thermometer and check if it’s ideal for the cake.
Under baking the cakeInsert a toothpick in the cake to check if it’s baked completely. If it comes out clean, that means the cake is cooked completely.
Adding too much or too little baking powderMeasure the baking powder correctly. Also, check if it is still good to use.
Incorrect amount of ingredientsMeasure your ingredients carefully. Always double-check the recipe.
Mixing the ingredients in the wrong orderBe specific about the order of the ingredients
Overbeating the ingredientsAlways mix the dry and wet ingredients gently and make sure to not overmix.
Incorrect moisture levelsIf you are at a humid place, take care of the ingredients, especially the dry ones.
Cooling the cake cool too quicklyCool the cake in stages and not abruptly.
Letting the batter rest for too longBake the cake as soon as the batter is ready.
Opening the oven door too earlyMake sure the cake has risen and is about 85% cooked before you open the door.
Closing the oven door too sharplyAlways shut the oven door gently.

I hope this will fix your problems and you’ll bake a perfectly good cake.

How To Fix A Cake That’s Sunk In The Middle?

how to fix a sunken cake

If you have a cake that’s sunk in the middle, there are a few thing you can do to fix it. If it is only a little portion that’s sunk, you can always fix it with icing and decoration.

But if it is deep enough, then you can fill it up with icing. You can scrape out the middle portion, fill that part with a filling of your choice like chocolates, jam or whipped cream and top with the escaped cake. Then, you can cover the cake with icing. This will give the cake a nice shape and a delicious filling.

Conclusion

So, now you know why your cake is sinking in the middle and the ways that you can prevent that. I have also told you the simple yet efficient way to fix a sunken cake. I hope I have answered all your questions. I hope you bake a wonderful cake!

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