7 Smart Ways to Fix a Dense Cake

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It is really disappointing when you take a cake out of the oven only to realize that it turned out way too dense. When your cake is much denser than it needs to be, its going to make it tougher to enjoy the cake properly.

Sadly, there isnt going to be a lot that you can do to change a dense cake once it has already been baked. You might just have to enjoy it for what it is, and it can still be tasty with the right frosting.

This might be a bit disheartening to hear, but you cant go back and change what you already did. Fixing this issue is going to be much more about learning how to keep your cake from coming out too dense.

Examine the information below to get tips about how to prevent your cake from turning out overly dense in the first place. If you utilize this advice properly, then you should be able to enjoy delicious cake that turns out just right.

Whether you are baking a cake for a birthday party or if you just want to have a snack, its important to bake things well. The information below will allow you to do just that, and it isnt going to be hard to learn the right steps to take either.

1 – Stop Doubling the Recipe

7 Smart Ways to Fix a Dense Cake

You could be double the recipe, which is a common error. This might sound like an appealing thing to do since you might wish to make more cake at once, but it might be better to just make two cakes using a standard recipe than it is to double it.

When you double your recipe, youre going to run the risk of making more mistakes than usual. You could easily wind up over-creaming the cake, mixing it too much, not mixing it enough, or making other errors.

It might seem a bit inconvenient at first, but you would be better off making two cakes rather than trying to make one large cake. You should mix the components twice to avoid making any errors.

2 – Add Baking Powder or Baking Soda

7 Smart Ways to Fix a Dense Cake

Just a little bit of baking powder or baking soda can help your cake to turn out how it should. Sometimes you will find out that your cake will need help with the leavening process, and this is where baking soda and baking powder come into play.

Adding just a touch of one of these ingredients can give the leavening support that your cake needs. You dont want to use too much baking soda or baking powder since it can throw off the taste.

It might be prudent to look up specific advice about the cake recipe that you are using. You could get a recommended amount of baking soda or baking powder to use.

If you cant find that information, then just try to stick with a small amount such as one-fourth of a teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of flour. One teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour is generally prudent as well.

If you cant find that information, then just try to stick with a small amount such as one-fourth of a teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of flour. A teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour is also a good rule of thumb.

3 – Don’t Forget to Use Room Temperature Butter

Lots of people who are baking cakes use cold butter instead of using room temperature butter. This actually makes things not turn out properly, and you need to consider following the recipes that youre using more closely.

Many of the top cake recipes specifically call for room temperature butter, but that doesnt mean that everyone waits for the butter to become room temperature. Properly creaming butter and sugar together is part of what makes your cake turn out so deliciously, and when it doesnt happen properly, it can lead to dense cake issues.

Its also good to avoid over-creaming your butter since that can cause issues. What this means is that you mixed your butter and sugar together too much, and this often happens by not being careful about how long youre using an automatic mixer.

When this occurs, the butter traps way more air than it should, and that butter could wind up deflating during the baking process. This will cause you to have a dense cake as well, but it can easily be prevented by just being careful when mixing butter and sugar together.

4 – Consider Adding Some Sour Cream

Just taking the time to add some sour cream might be what you need to get your cake to turn out right. The cake can turn out dry and dense when it doesnt have the right ingredients, and sour cream can add some much-needed creaminess to your cake.

You might be able to add a bit of sour cream in addition to your milk. It can even add some subtle sourness to the cake that will improve the overall taste, but this advice should only be used on a case-by-case basis.

It should go without saying that sour cream wont be an appropriate ingredient in certain types of cake. However, you shouldnt underestimate how useful sour cream can be when youre trying to add creaminess to a cake.

If you think that sour cream might mesh well with a certain type of cake that youre baking, then it might be worth a shot. Typically, a few spoonfuls are all that you will need in addition to standard ingredients such as milk.

5 – Start Using Cake Flour

When it comes to baking cakes, its pretty typical for people to use all-purpose flour. Lots of people just use the standard all-purpose flour to bake cakes, but this might actually be one of the reasons why your cake is turning out too dense.

Its going to be a better idea to start using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. The reason why this works out so nicely is that cake flour is a low protein type of flour that has incredibly fine consistency, and this makes it less likely to make a cake turn out dense.

However, it should be noted that cake flour isnt going to be ideal when youre baking every single type of cake out there. There are many cake styles to consider, and you might not wish to use cake flour when making something such as a chocolate cake.

Chocolate cakes use cocoa powder already, and this is a very fine ingredient that you might use alongside all-purpose flour just fine. When paired with cake flour, its possible that your cake could turn out a bit weaker than it should, making it not stay together as well as you would like it to.

In summation, cake flour is going to be fantastic if youre trying to make certain types of cakes such as red velvet cake or vanilla cake. It isnt as good when youre using other very fine ingredients in the cake batter such as cocoa powder.

6 – Bake the Cake for the Proper Amount of Time

Lots of people who run into dense cake issues will actually be causing the problems by baking the cakes longer than they should be baked. If you bake a cake for too long, then its most likely going to turn out dry and dense.

If you arent paying attention to your cake, then you could wind up overshooting the amount of time that it is supposed to bake. You can have an easier time getting things just right by being right there by the oven several minutes before the cake is supposed to finish baking.

Its recommended to go ahead and start checking your cake several minutes before it is supposed to be done. This helps you to avoid baking it for too long, and you can see if the cake has turned out just right or if it needs a bit more time.

A cake is going to be done when it is slightly pulling away from the sides of the cake pan that youre using. You can also stick a toothpick in the middle of the cake and it should come out clean or with only a few crumbs if it is done.

7 – Add a Bit of Oil

Adding a bit of oil can sometimes be the right call to make when youre looking to fix a dry or dense cake. Your cake might have too many dry ingredients that are causing it to not turn out right.

If you can add a bit of oil, then itll be much simpler for the cake to turn out just right. You do have to be careful about the ratio of ingredients, though.

For instance, if you have a bit too much milk in your cake and then you add oil to it, then its going to be way too wet. You dont want the cake to be thrown off in either direction, and this means that you need to make sure that your cake could use some oil before you just throw some in the mix.

Its possible that a couple of tablespoons worth of vegetable oil could make a positive difference. Some cakes actually call for you to use oil in place of butter as well so youll want to remember this moving forward.


How do you fix a cake that is too dense?

When a cake is too dense, one might think that adding extra flour will soak up more moisture and lighten up the crumb. However, that’s not usually the case. The cake likely needs more leavening support from baking powder or baking soda.

What causes a cake to become dense?

Your cake is very thick.

A cake that is overly dense typically has too much liquid, too much sugar or too little leavening (not excess flour, as is commonly thought).

How do you make a cake lighter and fluffier?

How to Bake Your Cakes to Light and Fluffy Perfection
Don’t Overmix Your Batter.
Measure Ingredients Properly.
Use the Right Bakeware (and Prep Them Correctly)
Temperature Is Key.
Cake Troubleshooting Guide.

What makes a cake dense and rubbery?

The reason why a cake gets rubbery is that the overmixing of flour activates the gluten. It makes cakes hard instead of the lovely soft spongy texture we associate with a good cake. And the over mixing is usually caused from incorrectly creaming butter and sugar.

Does over mixing cake make it dense?

When you overmix cake batter, the gluten in the flour can form elastic gluten strands – resulting in a more dense, chewy texture. The white batter looks airier, while the red looks thick and dense. You Can Taste The Difference: The overmixed cupcakes were gummy.

What makes cake soft and spongy?

Baking powder is combined with flour. When water is added to this flour to make dough, baking powder undergoes a chemical reaction during which carbon dioxide gas is produced. This carbon dioxide gas gets trapped into the dough and bubbles out which causes the cake to rise making it soft and spongy.

How do you make a cake lighter?

What is Creaming? Creaming is the magical step that creates a light and airy homemade cake. It describes the process of incorporating air into your batter, which (in conjunction with baking soda or baking powder) helps the cake leaven and rise.

What makes a cake flatten?

While cakes can fall for a lot of different reasons, these are the most common culprits — and how to deal with them.
Too Little or Too Much Moisture. If your cake isn’t moist enough, it can sink in the center.
Poor Planning.
Wrong Oven Temperature.
Not Enough Emulsification.
Too Much Leavening.

How can I make my cake rise higher?

Add a leavening agent to the flour. Most cakes will call for a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda. These create the bubbles you need for the cake to rise. If the flour you use is self-raising, it already has a leavening agent in it.

Does baking soda make cakes lighter?

Agents of leavening

Since we’re talking about cake and not yeast bread, we’ll focus on chemical leavening. The reaction of baking soda or baking powder with the liquids in the batter releases carbon dioxide, which forms air bubbles to help your cakes be light and airy.

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