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10 Important Reasons Why Cake Becomes Hard After Baking

Here we are going to explain why cake becomes hard after baking; take note and find out how to fix them.


A cake that is hard, thick and dry is only evident after baking but depends on many factors related to the ingredients, the whipping process and the baking itself. The possible causes and what to do in each case are listed below.

Cause # 1: Recipe With a Lot Of Dry Ingredients.

Ingredients like flour, corn starch, cocoa powder, milk powder, and other solids absorb a lot of moisture. The recipe must be balanced and consider a good amount of butter, eggs and liquids to avoid the cake being dry. Adding buttermilk, heavy cream, or yogurt adds moisture and softens the gluten in the flour.

Cause # 2: Using The Wrong Type Of Flour.

For cakes, a soft flour, with low gluten content, should be used. Do not use all or part of bread flour or bakery flour. Although multipurpose flour (All purpose) is regularly used, cake flour is the most indicated to achieve more tender cakes with a finer crumb. With this flour, cakes with better volume and texture are achieved than those made with multipurpose flour. See more information about types of flour.

Cause #3: Improperly Measuring Ingredients.

Not measuring or weighing ingredients correctly unbalances the recipe and affects the final quality and texture of a cake. Adding more flour than indicated in the recipe can make a difference. Excess flour produces a tight, hard cake. Dry ingredients can fail to measure, either because the right containers are not being used or the wrong way. Choose to weigh dry ingredients, it is safer and more reliable than measuring.


Cause # 4: Not Creaming The Butter Enough With The Sugar.

Buttered cakes are soft when the batter begins by binding the fat with the sugar. In this creaming process, air is incorporated and the shake is filled with small bubbles that in baking form cakes or pastries with volume and soft crumb. By not creaming the fat enough with the sugar, the cakes do not grow and are hard. See more about how to cream butter with sugar.


Cause #5: Poorly Mixed Or Poorly Mixed Shake.

Follow the recipe instructions to mix the ingredients. The order it has respects the function of each ingredient and guarantees a good result. If it is not mixed properly, the ingredients will be poorly distributed in the batter and the cake will not be of a uniform consistency. Additionally, during mixing, stir the bottom and sides of the container as well as the whisk several times with a spatula to loosen what remains. In this way the shake will be homogeneous and better mixed.

Cause # 6: Too Much Whipping When Flour Is Added.

Once the dry ingredients are added you should not mix too much especially when it comes to the flour. If when adding the flour it is beaten a lot or very quickly, the gluten is activated and the cakes are hard, tight and without volume. It should be added in 3-4 parts, mix at low speed and only until well incorporated.


Cause # 7: Over Baking The Cake.

Make sure you bake at the correct temperature and time required. If a cake is put into an oven that is too hot, even if it is not at a very high temperature, or if it is left too long, it will be hard and dry. On the other hand, if a cake is baked at a lower temperature than indicated, it takes longer and instead of growing, it stagnates and ends up hard.


Cause # 8: Using a Larger Mold.

When using a larger size mold (compared to the one that corresponds to it), the shake is very expanded and receives more heat. A half-filled pan overheats causing the cake to cook too quickly, stiff and dry.

Cause #9: Turn Off The Oven And Leave The Cake Inside.

A properly baked cake does not need more heat to look better. When you test-cook with a toothpick or wire tester and it comes out clean, immediately remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. If you turn off the oven and leave it inside, it will lose moisture, it will contract, losing a little of the volume achieved, and it will harden.


Cause # 10: Prepare More Shake Than Can Be Baked.

When mixing dry ingredients, such as flour and self-raising agents, with liquids, chemical reactions are created that are potentiated in baking. If the batter is left out for a long time, the active ingredients reverse their action, affecting the volume and fluffiness of the cake.

A cake that is produced from a frozen or chilled shake does not grow as much and is harder in texture than a freshly beaten cake. And to finalize a recommendation: Check the expiration date of the baking powder and baking soda before adding. If they are expired, they will not act in the shake and for this reason the cakes can also be hard.


I hope that answers your question why cake becomes hard after baking

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