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Very useful note about baking




I found this online at http://www.prestoflour.com/Portals/TheArtOfBaking/portal.aspx?tabid=21#FAQ14

Assuming you are working with a well-balanced formula, when a cake falls, peaks and cracks, or has poor texture, the first thing to consider is the oven temperature. The next is the proportion of ingredients (how they are weighed or measured). Incorrect substitutions without adjustments are often the problem; jumbo eggs instead of large, all purpose flour instead of cake flour without making necessary adjustment, old baking powder.

Assuming you are following directions precisely and has accurately weighed or measured the ingredients, the most common cake problems and causes are:


Burnt on bottom with undercooked batter
Cause:
  • Inadequate air circulation in oven

Burns on sides
Cause:
  • Uneven heat in oven
  • Oven too full
  • Oven too hot
  • Baked too near sides of oven

Coarse grain
Cause:
  • Too much leavening
  • Insufficient creaming
  • Use of liquid shortening
  • Use of ordinary flour
  • Oven temperature too low
  • Batter under mixed
  • Too much baking powder

Cracked or peaked cake
Cause:
  • Oven too hot
  • Batter over mixed

Crust is cracked
Cause:
  • Too much sugar
  • Damp flour

Crust is sticky
Cause:
  • Too much sugar
  • Insufficient baking
  • Damp flour

Crust is tough
Cause:
  • Not enough shortening
  • Not enough sugar
  • Too much flour
  • Oven too hot
  • Cake baked too long

Crust too hard
Cause:
  • Oven too hot
  • Cake baked too long

Crust too light in color
Cause:
  • Oven not hot enough
  • Not enough sugar
  • Not enough leavening
  • Not enough shortening

Crust is soggy or doughy
Cause:
  • Cake let steam while cooling

Does not rise, compact texture
Cause:
  • Old or too little baking powder
  • Cold eggs
  • Cold butter

Dry
Cause:
  • Too much flour
  • Too much leavening
  • Not enough shortening
  • Not enough liquid
  • Not enough sugar
  • Over beaten egg whites
  • Over baked or baked too long or at too low temperature
  • Pan too big
Falls
Cause:
  • Too much shortening
  • Too much baking powder or soda over leavens mixture
  • Too much sugar
  • Batter under mixed
  • Insufficient baking
  • Oven temperature too low
Falls apart when taken out of pan
Cause:
  • Too much shortening
  • Too much leavening
  • Too much sugar

Heavy and compact
Cause:
  • Over beating batter
  • Too much shortening
  • Not enough sugar
  • Too much liquid
  • Under beaten yolks
  • Incorrect baking temperature

Humps or cracks on top
Cause:
  • Oven too hot at first
  • Too much flour
  • Not enough liquid

Rises higher on one side than the other
Cause:
  • Uneven heat in oven
  • Oven grate not level
  • Batter spread unevenly in pan

Runs over top of pan
Cause:
  • Too much batter in pan
  • Oven not hot enough
  • Too much leavening
  • Too much shortening or sugar

Soggy layer or streak at bottom
Cause:
  • Under mixing of ingredients
  • Shortening too soft
  • Not enough leavening
  • Lower part of oven not hot enough
  • Under beaten yolks
  • Too much liquid
  • Damp flour

Sticks to pan
Cause:
  • Pan not properly prepared
  • Cake left in pan too long
  • Too much sugar

Too light, crumbly and dry
Cause:
  • Too much leavening

Tough
Cause:
  • Not enough shortening
  • Not enough sugar
  • Over beating batter
  • Oven too hot

Undersized
Cause:
  • Not enough baking powder or soda to leaven the mixture.
  • Mixture baked in too large a pan
  • Oven too hot


Things I learn today, cause of lesson, cooking cup cakes for my daughters birthday ring. Next time I will have a decent cup of coffee and then start. I think I may have over measured something...

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