Before, if my cakes went wrong, it was because they were either too heavy and thick or too dry, and I was sometimes unaware exactly where I went wrong in the baking process to produce those problems.
- 1 What’s the deal with my cake being so dense and heavy?
- 2 9 Tips to Repair and Avoid Dense Cakes
- 3 1. Pour in the sour cream
- 4 2. Make use of Cake Flour
- 5 3. Include Leavening Agents
- 6 4. Utilize Ingredients at Room Temperature
- 7 5. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
- 8 6. Create Individual Recipes
- 9 7. Properly monitor it
- 10 8. Pour in the oil
- 11 9. Take Proper Measurements
- 12 What Is the Best Way to Moisten a Dense Cake?
- 13 How Do You Make a Dense Cake Fluffier?
- 14 Can You Eat Dense Cake?
What’s the deal with my cake being so dense and heavy?
In general, your cake is thick because you made a mistake while making the cake batter. Using chilly ingredients or over-mixing your batter are two common blunders. Also, not correctly measuring your components might result in their being overly thick or heavy.
I’ve always liked both cooking and baking, and when I first started creating cakes, I mistakenly imagined that I could approach baking the same way I approach cooking.
Not properly measuring ingredients, modifying recipes on the spur of the moment, and going with my gut were all things I did when I first started cooking cakes since that’s how I usually cook.
However, these acts contradicted baking science and often resulted in many catastrophic cakes.
Although these wrecked cakes were inconvenient at the time, I am grateful for all of them because now I can share with you what you can do to avoid making the same errors I made and how to restore them if you do.
*Side Note: You may also be interested in learning why your cakes might occasionally turn out Crumbly or Moist. I investigated the source of the issue and created an essay on Avoiding and Repairing Crumbly and Moist Cakes, which you can read here!
9 Tips to Repair and Avoid Dense Cakes
- Add Sour Cream
- Use Cake Flour
- Add Leavening Agents
- Use Room Temperature Ingredients
- Don’t Over-Mix The Batter
- Make Single Recipes
- Monitor It Properly
- Add Oil
- Use Correct Measurements
I like baking, and my favorite thing to create is cakes. I am the designated cake baker whenever a friend or family member celebrates a birthday. As a result, I’ve got a lot of cake-making experience and have had the chance to learn from numerous errors over the years.
Although I like doing my mixing by hand, I greatly prefer using a stand mixer. I just posted an article on the 3 Best Stand Mixers for Bakers at Every Stage of Their Baking Journey. After an examination of many stand mixers, the KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer was named the Best Overall Mixer. This stand mixer is available on Amazon!
1. Pour in the sour cream
In general, adding sour cream to your cake mix is an excellent technique to avoid producing a thick or dry cake. Although many people have learnt to include dairy into their recipes, sour cream is sometimes overlooked, despite the fact that it may bring much-needed moisture to any cake mix.
I initially learned about the moisture advantages of sour cream when creating a homemade chicken pot pie for the first time.
I made the rookie error of adding a bit too much flour to my roux when preparing the chicken pot pie, and I wanted to add an ingredient that would provide moisture to my filling without compromising the thickness I sought.
That’s when I stumbled upon a recipe for cream filling for chicken pot pies that called for sour cream, milk, and broth.
Recalling how well the sour cream worked in my attempt at a pot pie recipe, I decided on a whim to add it to a cake batter that I was having difficulties with, and to my surprise, the sour cream provided both moisture and a lightness to my mix that I learned to adore.
I suggest adding one or two teaspoons of sour cream to your cakes to make them more moist and prevent them from turning thick.
Plain yogurt may also be used, and neither will much affect the flavor of your cake, but will significantly increase its wetness in my experience.
2. Make use of Cake Flour
Since cake flour has a finer texture than all-purpose flour, using it instead of all-purpose flour might help keep your cakes from getting too heavy or thick. Cake flour, on the other hand, cannot be used in every cake recipe since it is occasionally too fine to support certain recipes.
Cake flour has less protein than other flours, including all-purpose flour. It is also milled to a finer texture. These characteristics make it an excellent flour for making light and fluffy cakes.
Cake flour may be used to produce vanilla, red velvet, or white cakes and cupcakes.
*By the way, I just published an article on How to Aerate and Measure Flour Correctly. This article will teach you all you need to know about using flour effectively while baking. This article may be found here!
Chocolate cakes, on the other hand, are best produced using all-purpose flour since the fine consistency of cake flour combined with the softer consistency of cocoa powder results in unstable cakes when used together.
Cake flour may be substituted for all-purpose flour in a 1:1 ratio, so if a recipe asks for three cups of all-purpose flour, use three cups of cake flour.
3. Include Leavening Agents
In general, adding baking powder and baking soda to various recipes might help avoid a thick cake. For cakes with higher acidity, such as lemon cakes, adding baking soda may reduce the acidity while baking powder can offer lift and make the cake fluffier.
Since baking soda and baking powder might alter the flavor of your cake, exercise caution when adding them to your recipe.
For every cup of flour in your recipe, use 4 teaspoons baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Typically, you should use around 1
*You may also be interested in knowing whether cornstarch can be used in lieu of baking powder. I just published a post on Baking Powder Substitutes That Work, which you can read here!
4. Utilize Ingredients at Room Temperature
In general, it is recommended to utilize room-temperature components while mixing cake batter in order to avoid constructing a thick cake. Since room temperature components are simpler to integrate into your batter, you are less likely to over- or under-mix them.
Most cake recipes call for creaming butter and sugar or combining eggs or other wet ingredients. Since room temperature components connect better with other ingredients, creaming or mixing them requires less time and effort.
Since you have to spend less time creaming or mixing in room temperature components, you are less likely to over-mix your batter.
While over-mixed batter is one of the most prevalent causes of thick cakes, if you can prevent it by using room-temperature components, you will be less likely to make a dense cake overall.
5. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
When you over-mix your cake mixture, you are making your cake heavier and denser when it is baked. Overmixed batter contains too much air, which tends to escape from the cake during the baking process. Be careful to just stir until the components are dissolved.
Although combining ingredients by hand may sometimes result in under-mixing, using a stand or hand mixer, as is typical among bakers, can result in over-mixing.
*Also, I just published an article on How To Make A Cake Without An Oven. In this post, I discuss many methods for baking a cake without an oven. This article may be found here!
To prevent over-mixing your components, just blend them until they are barely incorporated. A well mixed batter should not have any visible lumps at the bottom of the bowl or any components that aren’t completely incorporated in.
If you’re not paying attention, you can rapidly go from having a batter that’s been intentionally blended to having one that’s been over-mixed.
If there are any noticeable unblended components in the bowl, such as flour, you may use a whisk to blend them in by hand until they are incorporated in.
I do not advocate using your electric mixer at this stage since you will rapidly overmix your batter as you attempt to incorporate in a few particles of flour.
*You may also be interested in learning How to Mix Batter Without a Mixer. I just created an essay on The Best Ways to Mix Batter By Hand, which you can read here!
6. Create Individual Recipes
In general, one technique to prevent producing a failed thick cake is to not double or otherwise alter the proportions of the recipe. When baking for big groups, do not double or treble your recipe since it will result in a thick cake.
I suggest using two basins and baking trays if you need to double or triple your recipe.
If you double your recipe and simply prepare one batter, you are more likely to over-mix your batter or have components that aren’t thoroughly incorporated in.
In the case of substances that might impact the flavor of your cake, such as baking powder or baking soda, you can end up with catastrophic effects that go beyond just generating a thick cake.
Moreover, adding too much batter to your baking pans because you’ve doubled or increased your recipe might result in your cake not baking correctly, resulting in a cake that’s overbaked and dry on the exterior but dense and underbaked on the interior.
7. Properly monitor it
In general, you may assist prevent your cake from getting overly thick by closely watching it while it bakes. To do this, I suggest keeping track of how long your cake is baking and avoiding opening your oven until absolutely essential.
Even if you create your cake batter correctly, dropping the ball while it is baking might derail its success.
Here are a few things you can do while your cake is baking to assist assure its success:
- Keep track of how long it’s been baking and checking on it within one to two minutes of its estimated ready-time
- Not opening the oven door until you have to in order to prevent its temperature from dropping
- Use a knife or a toothpick to check that your cake is done.
*Side Note: If you want to discover How To Make A Cake Without Vanilla Extract, I just prepared an article on Vanilla Extract Substitutes that you may use, which you can see here!
8. Pour in the oil
In general, adding extra oil to your cake mix may assist offer more moisture than butter and milk alone. Two teaspoons of vegetable oil might help your cake stay moist during baking.
Unsweetened applesauce is a fantastic oil alternative that may be used in recipes. If a recipe asks for half a cup of oil, replace it with a quarter cup of oil and a quarter cup of applesauce.
If you use applesauce instead of oil, your cake will take approximately a fourth of the time to bake, so keep that in mind to avoid overbaking.
9. Take Proper Measurements
It is critical that you measure your ingredients correctly to avoid producing a botched cake. Baking is a science that requires far more precise measures than cooking. To make a thick cake, be sure you properly follow the recipe’s ingredient ratios.
Weighing ingredients for baking demands accuracy, therefore I suggest using a scale rather than measuring cups.
For baking, I normally use this OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup to measure out all of my dry and liquid ingredients. As you can see, this cup has been quite useful to me throughout the years. This measuring cup is available on Amazon!
What Is the Best Way to Moisten a Dense Cake?
To moisten a thick cake, include simple syrup, glaze, milk, or ice cream into the cake mixture. You may alternatively steam the cake for 30 seconds in the microwave or use icing to moisten the thick cake.
To add simple syrup to your cake to moisten it, just combine equal parts sugar and water. You may alternatively moisten your cake with a simple glaze comprised of icing sugar and milk or water.
Another method for moistening a thick cake is to soak it in milk or steam it.
Lastly, you may just enjoy your cake with ice cream or generously frost it on top and between its layers to keep your cake moist while you consume it.
How Do You Make a Dense Cake Fluffier?
In general, it is difficult to correct and make a thick cake more fluffy after it has been baked. But, if you prepare the recipe again, you may make your cake fluffier by carefully measuring your ingredients and paying attention to the temperature of your oven.
As previously said, using a scale to weigh your ingredients will help you create a more successful and fluffier cake.
Also, ensuring that your cake bakes at the proper temperature may assist ensure that it bakes uniformly and that no areas are too dry or too thick.
Can You Eat Dense Cake?
In general, you may consume thick cake. Even if you don’t like the texture of your cake, it’s still edible. But, if the texture of your thick cake is intolerable, you might try using it in other recipes before discarding it.
If you want to consume your unsuccessful thick cake, consider making cake pops or incorporating it into a trifle.
*As an aside, you may be interested in The Many Ways To Utilize Leftover Cake Batter and Trimmings. I just created an article on Innovative Ways to Do With Leftover Cake Batter & Trimmings, which you can read here!