The Biggest Cake Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

These are the most common cake faults that you should avoid while creating cakes. There are some simple modifications you can make and ideas to assist you avoid cake accidents so you can create flawless cakes every time.

In this essay, I’ve attempted to outline all of the main errors that people make while baking from scratch.

Now, I’m not talking about making cakes from a box, which are often more forgiving. I’m actually just talking about making cakes from scratch since they can be finicky.

Ok, lets get started.

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Oh, and just so you know, they aren’t in any particular sequence. They are all really significant.

Ok, onto the mistakes.


Baking a cake from scratch when you’re low on time and in a hurry isn’t a smart idea. There are several explanations for this. Certain components, like as butter, may need to be at room temperature.

If you’re in a rush, you could put the butter in the microwave, but that’s not a smart idea (we’ll get to that later).

Regardless, you should allow yourself enough time to accurately measure your components, have them at the ideal temperature, and mix the batter for the required amount of time.


If the recipe asks for room temperature butter, it is critical to lay it out and let it to get to room temperature on its own, which means avoiding microwaving it.

Why? Because the microwave will not uniformly warm it, and you don’t want warm butter, just room temperature or slightly lower than room temperature.

The reason you want your butter (and other ingredients) to be closer to room temperature is that they will emulsify (mix together better) and your batter will not seize and form strange lumps.

Now, sometimes you don’t think about it, and honestly, I don’t believe you have to. I’ve used cold milk several times and the cake always turns out perfectly.

The butter and eggs, I believe, are the two most vital items to have on hand ahead of time. I’ve discovered that adding excessively cold eggs can quickly seize your batter.

Essentially, you should adhere to the instructions of the cake recipe you are using. If it says to melt the butter, do so, but it is critical to follow the guidelines since they are worded in such a manner that the components will mix together well.

Oh, and here’s a quick technique for getting the butter to room temperature faster: chop it up into bits and leave it at room temperature.

It normally takes about an hour in a room about 73 degrees to get to the point of being slightly colder than room temperature (which is ideal for the reverse creaming procedure, which we’ll discuss later).


The kind of flour is really important. There is, after all, a distinction between cake flour, all-purpose flour, self-rising flour, and so on. They contain various quantities of protein and will provide varied outcomes.

They do not replace in the same way. It’s preferable to use the flour specified in the recipe, but if you don’t have it or can’t buy it, you’ll need to make some adjustments.

I wrote a full page on the various kinds of flour for baking cakes and how to replace them if necessary. That post may be found here: Flour Types for Baking Cakes


When I say substitute ingredients, I mean things like baking soda, baking powder, unsweetened cocoa powder to Dutch cocoa powder, liquids, and so on. Please do not do so!

Okay, I realize it was dramatic, but most of the time, substituting ingredients is a terrible idea since those exact components were included in that recipe for a purpose.

To begin, substituting a different flour may result in unforeseen consequences. (Be sure to read the advice above for the link to the page on replacing flour.)

Second, replacing other components such as baking powder and baking soda may result in disaster. They are not interchangeable, and you cannot substitute one for the other. In this piece, I go into additional depth about it: When baking cakes, what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

The same is true with cocoa powder. There are several varieties, and you should always use what is specified in the recipe. You may learn more about the distinctions and why they exist here: What kind of cocoa powder should I use? (What’s the distinction?)


When you increase or decrease the amount of ingredients in your cake mix, it might generate a ripple effect. Small modifications in baking may lead to major problems.

Sugar and liquids contribute to the moistness of the cake. You would believe that limiting sugar just reduces sweetness, but this is not the case. It has an effect on the moisture as well.

And although adding extra liquid may seem to make it more wet, this is not always the case. It might throw off the component ratios, affecting the texture and perhaps causing the cake to be excessively thick or not rise correctly.

Baking is all about ratios, and changing or adding ingredients may completely change that.


Okay, I realize you probably already know this, but we often forget how long we’ve had our baking soda and baking powder.

If you’re experiencing problems with your cakes being too thick or not rising correctly, this might be the cause.

When I open a fresh bottle of baking soda or baking powder, I attempt to write the date on the top. That way, I’ll know how long it’s been open.

Also, do not keep them in the refrigerator since they need a dry atmosphere and the refrigerator might be a damp environment. If you want to keep baking soda in your refrigerator, that’s great; just don’t use it to bake with.

I prefer to utilize my baking soda within 6 months, then replace it, even if I haven’t finished the whole box. It’s pointless to retain the old one for baking. You may either discard it or put it in the refrigerator to help keep it fresh.

I want to utilize my baking powder within 6 months, although I believe it will last a few months longer. I simply find it simpler to change both the baking soda and the baking powder at the same time.


This is significant. You may not even realize you’re measuring incorrectly. When I was younger and making cakes, I used to measure the incorrect way for a long time before realizing it had an influence on the final result.

The most important thing to remember is not to pack your flour when measuring it. That is, don’t put your measuring cup in your flour bag and measure it that way. Fill your measuring cup halfway with it.

By scooping your flour, you are practically cramming it into the measuring cup, which results in an overabundance of flour in your cake batter.

I have a whole article dedicated to measuring accurately, along with a video demonstration of how to and how not to measure correctly. It’s available here: Baking Cake Ingredient Measuring

In the store, you can find these lovely rose gold measuring spoons.

See them by clicking here!


Okay, we’re all busy, and sometimes we just want to get that cake in the oven, but you don’t want to disregard the cake recipe’s mixing directions.

I know this because I’ve made all of these blunders. I used to wonder, “What’s the big deal?” Why do I have to make something a specific way? But I’m here to tell you that it does make a difference.

There are several mixing techniques, and depending on which one is employed, you basically mix cake in a specific manner in order to incorporate air to help it rise or to avoid from over-developing the gluten (which helps to keep the cake soft), and so on.

So there are undoubtedly valid reasons to use the mixing technique, which will change based on the components in the cake recipe. You may not think it’s a huge issue, but if your cakes aren’t coming out as well as you’d planned, or if they’re too thick, have air holes in them, or have gluey streaks in them, then following the mixing procedure may help.

I have a few of postings that may be of use. The first is my piece on Different Flour Types for Cakes and Mixing Methods. That page discusses the many kinds of flour used in baking cakes, as well as the main mixing procedures and why they are utilized.

My second article, How to Mix Cake Batter, may be of use to you. A lot of folks over-mix cake batter. That is the most common issue I notice, and this page explains precisely how to mix it and for how long, including a real-time video.


Okay, we just spoke about it briefly, but this is the most common issue I find when cakes don’t come out.

We are programmed to keep mixing, mixing, mixing until every single particle or lump is crushed. It makes logic when you think about it. We believe it is better if it is well mixed, but this is not the case.

When you overmix cake batter, you overdevelop the gluten in the wheat, causing your cake to be excessively thick, not rise correctly, or have an odd texture.

Don’t get me wrong: if a recipe calls for creaming the butter and sugar together for a few minutes first, it’s perfectly OK to combine for several minutes. Why? It’s because you haven’t put any flour or liquid to it yet. At this stage, you’re attempting to integrate as much air as possible into the butter and sugar to aid in the lifting of the cake.

Once you add any flour or liquid, all bets are off and you must closely monitor your mixing time.

There’s a lot more to say about this, but the simplest way to learn how long to mix with various mixing techniques is to visit my page on How to Mix Cake Batter and watch the real-time video.


There’s nothing more annoying than spending time making up the ideal cake batter, seeing it rise in the oven, getting all excited about eating it, and then going to pull it out of the pan and it’s all ruined.

That is annoying, but it is a simple issue to avoid.

People use various strategies to aid them, but I like the pan release recipe, or just greasing the pan with vegetable shortening and then covering with flour.

When particularly moist and delicate cakes need a little additional assistance, I usually use the veggie shortening and flour covering.

Many people swear by parchment paper, which is also an alternative if you don’t want to use any more shortening or spray.

I’ve written a complete page on how to prepare your pans and the many approaches you may find useful here: How to Get Your Cakes to Come Out of Their Pans


If you use a different size pan than what is specified in the recipe, you may end up with a mess on your hands.

Now, if it’s just slightly different, it may not make a major impact, but if you’re using a pan that’s much larger or smaller, that’s going to be a problem.

Obviously, you know what will happen if you use a smaller pan. You’ll have cake batter all over the place. If you use a much larger pan, it may not bake correctly and may get very brown and crispy, as well as not rise properly.

If you used your mixture to fill many smaller pans or created cupcakes from a cake recipe, keep an eye on your baking time since smaller pans need less time to bake.


When I was a youngster, I ignored pretty much anything the recipe specified that I didn’t believe I had time to complete, including preheating the oven.

I couldn’t understand why my cake didn’t rise as I wanted it to or was too thick when I pulled it out.

Why is it necessary to pre-heat the oven? You must first preheat the oven before placing the cake in it. Set your oven temperature before you begin mixing your cake batter, and it should be ready when you finish.

It is necessary to pre-heat the cake in order for it to rise. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a flatter, more dense cake.

It’s also a good idea to have an oven thermometer. Simply hang it in your oven and you’ll know precisely what temperature it is.

Also, when you put your cake in, make sure it’s on a middle rack that’s not too high or too low.


If you’re using those extremely dark coated pans, you may need to adjust the temperature slightly since they over-brown cakes.

If the recipe calls for 350°F baking and I’m using a dark-coated pan, I usually reduce the temperature to 325°F. You’ll have to bake it for longer, but it won’t become too brown or crispy on the exterior!


Don’t do it in three words. You don’t want to keep opening and closing the oven door as your cake bakes. The reason for this is because every time you do this, heat escapes from the oven, altering the temperature. When baking a cake, you don’t want large temperature swings.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t open and shut the oven, but try not to do so until you’re towards the conclusion of your baking time. Also, don’t slam the oven door since you don’t want to disturb the cake. You’ll burst all the tiny little air bubbles that are assisting the cake’s rise, and the whole thing may collapse.

If you have kids that like to open the oven door and then slam it shut (ask me how I know), simply put a note on it that reads DO NOT OPEN OR YOU WILL GET NONE OF IT! Yeah, I was a jerk like that.


You already know what happens if you take the cake out of the oven too late: it will be overdone, dry, or burnt. But did you know that if you take it out too quickly, it may be just as bad?

Taking the cake out of the oven too soon may cause it to collapse. If the cake isn’t completely done when you take it out of the oven, the centre will sink in.

It’s a difficult scenario since you have to determine when the perfect moment is. You don’t want to take your cake out of the oven to test it for doneness. That causes too much movement and too much temperature fluctuation.

I have a full article on how to tell when a cake is done that goes into how to check for doneness and it isn’t just the standard toothpick test (which I have a different take on and don’t completely agree with anyway). That post may be found here: When Is a Cake Completely Baked?


This always seems to be perplexing. Many people either remove their cakes from the oven and allow them to cool fully in the pans, or they attempt to remove them from the pans right away.

I don’t do any of those things, and here’s why: I don’t leave them in the pans to totally cool because I don’t want them to absorb any more heat than required, and the pans remain hot for a long time. When cake layers are removed from their pans and placed on racks, they tend to cool faster.

I also don’t want to take the cakes out right away since they are still very fragile at that time, and doing so generally ends in a catastrophe where the cake crumbles and falls apart on you. At that point, the layers are just too hot to bear.

What has worked for me (and perhaps will work for you as well) is to remove the cakes from the oven and place them on cooling racks. I don’t remove them from the pans yet; instead, I place the cake layers, pans, and all, on cooling racks and set the timer for roughly 10 minutes for layer cakes and 15-20 minutes for bundt cakes.

When the timer goes off, I flip the cakes from the pans and place them on cooling racks to cool fully. My whole procedure is documented here.


There are many cake recipes available, and if you’ve tried and tried a certain recipe and it simply doesn’t work for you, try another one.

I get a lot of queries from folks who say they’ve been trying to utilize a recipe they’ve had for years and it just doesn’t come out correctly, and they’re wondering what they can add, take out, replace, or do to make it work.

Now, I’m not opposed to assisting, but if you have to do a lot of modifying on a recipe just to get it to work properly, and even then, it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, try another one. Don’t become too attached to a particular dish. It is OK to experiment with others. Different recipes work for different individuals; it’s strange, but it’s true.

I’ll provide a few of my basic cake recipes below, and you can see my whole cake recipe collection here. But, if you have any problems with any of them, I’m here to assist, and if you keep having problems no matter what, you can always try another recipe, even one from a different source! It’s all right! You must do what is best for you!

Basic Cake Recipes:

  • Vanilla Bean Cake Recipe
  • Moist White Cake Recipe
  • Classic Yellow Cake Recipe
  • Chocolate Butter Cake Recipe

So, I hope you found this article useful, and remember, if you have any questions, I’m always here to assist.

If you want to see my full category of cake making tips, you can do so here.

Dont forget to pin it below!


What are the common errors in cake making?

Cake Baking Mistakes You Should Avoid
You did not properly prepare your pan. If your pan is not correctly prepared, your cake may come out of the oven stuck to the pan.
Using Old Leaveners.
Making use of cold ingredients.
Inadequate Measuring.
Turning on the oven.
Temperature of the oven.
Mixing Too Much Or Too Little.

What is the biggest mistake to avoid when making a dump cake?

The guideline is straightforward: don’t combine it. The final two stages in constructing a basic and traditional dump cake are always the boxed cake mix and the butter.

Which of the following should be avoided in cake making?

Excessive Liquid or Sugar

Using too much liquid or sugar may overshadow your dry components, which provide structure to your cake. And, sure, sugar is considered a moist substance since it melts when heated.

What are the three common causes of failures in cakes Why?

1) You either neglected to add the baking powder or used outdated baking powder. 2) Because your pan is too large, the mixture will not rise enough to fill it. 3) You whisked too much.

What are 3 common baking mistakes?

Common Baking Errors (and How to Avoid Them)
Baking at the incorrect temperature.
Ingredients were not measured.
Excessive checking on your things.
Your materials are at an inopportune temperature.
Your bread isn’t rising.
Nothing bakes evenly.
Your dough or batter is too firm.

What are three faults in cake making?

A fairly frequent condition with many probable causes, the most prevalent of which are as follows:
Inadequate aeration (due to undermixing or a lack of baking powder)
The batter is very firm.
Flour is too powerful.
Batter became tough (due to overmixing or a recipe imbalance).

What is the most difficult part in making cakes?

Creaming may be time-consuming. Miss Leslie (an American cookbook author) outlined a method in 1857 that would enable cooks to beat eggs “for an hour without fatigue,” but then cautioned that “stirring butter and sugar is the hardest part of cake making.”

What makes cake spoil easily?

Chemical leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda give your cakes their rise, and they, like any other product in your cupboard, ultimately become stale. These products have a six-month effective life. They will still function after that, just not as well.

What are 2 things that might cause a cake to collapse?

What Caused My Cake To Sink In The Center? (And How to Repair It)
Using an incorrectly sized or shaped cake pan.
Baking in an Oven that is either too hot or too cold.
Excessive use of baking powder or baking soda.
The Cake Batter was undermixed.
Aerating the batter too much.
Your Cakes Are Underbaked.
Incorrectly rotating the cake pans.

What are the 5 elements in cake?

Apart from chocolate, almonds, tinned and glazed fruit, which are used in many recipes, the primary components for practically every sort of cake are wheat, sugar, eggs, oil, and leavening.

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