Why your cake does not rise is usually one of the most common problems when baking. And there are many reasons that may be behind this error, so we are going to analyze them one by one:
1. You Have Forgotten The Yeast
Your cake does not rise because you have forgotten the yeast. Overlooking the yeast or putting too little is the main reason why a cake does not rise during baking. Yeast is the driver of the cake, the motor, its rocket … so that, no matter how good your dough is, and even if you have beaten it well … it will not rise.
Actually … it must be said that you can make a cake without yeast … in fact, in the past our great-grandmothers did not have yeast and made cakes … that is why unleavened cakes are often called ‘traditional’. In this case, in order for them to rise, you have to work the dough much more, and incorporate whipped whites until stiff.
2. You Overdid The yeast
The cake does not rise either … if you go over yeast. “Not so much, not so bald,” the saying goes. Well, if you believe that the cake will rise more or faster by putting twice as much yeast as indicated in the recipe … you are very wrong. Too much yeast will make the dough rise a lot and very fast … but then it goes down just as easily. To continue with the sayings … you already know that it goes up (too much and too fast) it always has to go down.
3. Your Dough Is Very Liquid
The cake does not rise because your dough is very liquid. A cake … whatever the type, it will always be the sum of some wet ingredients (eggs, yogurt, oil, etc.) and dry (flour, cocoa powder, etc.), and that sum must be balanced. If you see that the dough is very liquid, it probably lacks a load, that is, dry elements, so you should add a little more flour. With a lack of load, the structure of the cake batter will probably not hold the weight and will be lowered.
4. Your Dough Is … a Brick
But if the dough is a brick, the cake also does not rise. It is the opposite problem, the dough of your cake has too much load. The sum of ingredients in your cake is not balanced, and there is an excess of dry ingredients. If you put too much flour and little liquid, your cake will not rise either since it ‘weighs’ too much.
5. The Mixture Is Not Well Beaten
Your cake does not rise because you have not beaten the mixture. Flour, eggs … the dough of your cake is the sum of the ingredients, period. You have to pamper the mix and give it the time it deserves. And on top of everything, beat it until you get a foamy and well-unified dough.
6. The Mixture Is Airless
If the mixture is airless … the cake will not rise either. If you have added the right yeast, and there is a balance between the wet and dry ingredients, that is, between the eggs and the flour, and you have mixed and beaten them properly … why does my cake still not rise? Well, it may be because your cake batter is airless.
The yeast drives the cake, but what really makes it have a spongy texture is that the dough has air, and this is achieved by emulsifying the egg and sugar. If you beat it with a rod, when you mix them you introduce air, a foam is formed. Then the dry ingredients are incorporated, which must be sifted … since by passing the flour through a sieve or fine mesh strainer we manage to aerate it and introduce more air.
Mix carefully and keep beating. But if it takes a long time until you put it in the oven, or if you hit the mold … you can lose that air.
7. The Oven Temperature Was Not Adequate
If the oven temperature is not adequate, the cake will not rise even if you have made the dough correctly. The oven temperature must be adequate and constant from the first moment you put the dough in until the minute. If you put your cake in and the oven is still not very hot, it may not raise properly. It is important that when you preheat the oven, you put it at a higher temperature, and when you introduce the sponge dough, you adjust the temperature well. It is a good way to compensate for the temperature drop that occurs when the oven door is opened to insert the dough.
On the other hand, if you bake your cake at a higher temperature than adequate, you risk it becoming quickly toasted on the outside but still raw on the inside … which will make it ‘fall’ when you take it out.
In addition, it must be taken into account that each oven is different and sometimes it does not heat the same everywhere … sometimes one of the resistances, lower or higher, heats more. In these cases, this imbalance must be compensated by placing the cake on the furthest rack. In general, air programs help keep the temperature stable throughout the oven.
8. You Have Opened The Oven Door
Even though your cake is rising well, if you open the oven door it will sink in the center, especially if you open the door for the first 20 minutes. The ovens have a window and a light … precisely so that you can see ‘what’s cooking’ inside without having to open the door.
If you are one of those who need to open the oven to check that everything is going well continuously … your cakes will take revenge on you … by falling apart! It is very important not to open the door until you are sure that the cake is done or almost done. To puncture the cake and check if it is ready, open the door the minimum and do it quickly … and at the end.
That, not to mention the amount of electrical energy (that is, money) that you will be throwing away. Do you know that every time the oven door is opened, the temperature drops between 25 and 30 degrees?
9. You Are Impatient
The cake has risen well, but it has collapsed … because you took it out of the oven too soon, that is, because of impatience. If you are so impatient that the moment your cake already looks good on the outside you take it out … you risk that it is not yet well done on the inside, which will make it go down as soon as you take it out of the oven.
You must respect the times … and perform the needle test when it is almost done. That is, prick it with a needle (large, like our grandmothers’ knitted ones) or with a knife. When that needle or that knife comes out clean … the cake is ready!
I hope that answers your question why did my cake not rise.
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