Why Is My Cake Sticky on Top?

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Baking a cake for a special occasion is a common thing to do. Its good to be able to make delicious homemade cakes that you can share with your loved ones.

If youre kind of new to baking, then you might make mistakes from time to time. When baking a cake, things can go wrong if you make a few mistakes that might throw the entire cake off.

What does it mean when the cake comes out of the oven and its very sticky on top? Is that an indication that you did something wrong?

Continue reading to find out why a cake’s top may be sticky. This should allow you to understand what went wrong so that you can do it right the next time you bake a cake.

You Covered the Cake Before it Fully Cooled

Why Is My Cake Sticky on Top?

Typically, having a cake that is sticky on top is related to what you did after the cake finished baking rather than something going wrong during the baking process.

If you dont allow the cake to cool down after baking it, youre making a mistake. You see, some inexperienced bakers might think that covering the cake quickly after it gets out of the oven is a good idea.

Its likely that you want to cover the cake for good reasons. You might be trying to prevent your cats from messing with the cake while its on the counter or you might be paranoid about bugs.

Covering the cake before it has fully cooled will be a poor choice. This will trap moisture in the container or inside the covering.

The trapped moisture will cause the top of the cake to become rather sticky. This can make it difficult to frost the cake without tearing it a bit.

Allow the cake to cool before you cover it with aluminum foil or place it in some type of container. You dont want to accidentally make things harder on yourself by causing the top of the cake to become sticky.

Use a Cooling Rack

Using a cooling rack to dry the cake is a very good idea. You can remove the cake from the pan and place it on a cooling rack.

This gives the cake a chance to cool off completely. Itll ensure that you can wrap it without having to worry about moisture issues.

Cooling racks will come in handy for many different reasons. Youll wind up using a cooling rack for many purposes outside of allowing cakes to cool.

One potential issue with using a cooling rack to cool your cake is that it might take some of the moisture away from the cake. You do want the cake to have a moist quality.

This can be remedied by brushing the cake with some type of sugar syrup. That will ensure that its very moist and ready to be eaten.

Of course, youll also likely frost the cake. Buying a cooling rack is worth the money and itll help you to get better results if you bake things often.

Its great that you can get cooling racks without spending much cash. Go buy one at a department store or order one online.

The Cake Wasn’t Baked Long Enough

Why Is My Cake Sticky on Top?

Sometimes cakes might be a bit sticky if they arent baked long enough. You always want to ensure that you bake the cake for the right amount of time so that it will turn out properly.

Check the recipe that youre following and see how long the cake is supposed to bake. Did you take the cake out of the oven a bit too soon?

Ideally, the cake should bake for the amount of time thats recommended in the recipe. When the cake is done baking, the sides of the cake should be slightly pulled away from the pan.

When the cake is sticky on the surface, it could be an indication that you needed to let it bake for just a bit longer. Perhaps you didnt set the time right or the temperature was a bit off.

Sometimes the temperature in your oven will be a bit different than what you set it to. You can determine the true temperature of the oven by using an oven thermometer.

If your oven is accurate, then you simply need to be sure to use a timer to bake the cake for the proper amount of time. Take the cake out when its done and all should be fine.

Why Is My Cake Gooey on Top?

What about when your cake comes out of the oven and its gooey on top? When this occurs, youre likely unsure what is going on.

Cakes can be a bit gooey on top or they might have damp streaks on the top of the cake. This happens when the cake settles after it finishes baking.

This is a regular occurrence when youre baking pound cakes. With most types of cake, having a gooey top is a sign that you made a mistake.

You likely creamed the butter, sugar, and eggs too much. Its best to take things slowly when creaming the butter, sugar, and eggs to avoid overdoing it.

When using an electric hand mixer, youll want to use a speed setting that is no higher than medium. Cream the ingredients together slowly and then gently fold everything into the dry ingredients.

If you do things right, itll be less likely that youll have your cake turn out with a gooey top. Its mostly about being patient and taking the time to do things carefully.

What Causes Cakes to Sink in the Middle?

A cake sinking in the middle is a completely different problem. This can be one of the most frustrating issues to have with a cake.

Generally, a sunken center is a sign that you used too much baking powder. Using more baking powder than usual likely caused the cake to rise fast and then deflate.

The cake wound up deflating in the middle and thats why it appears to be sunken. Its possible that something else could have gone wrong, too.

For instance, you could have caused the cake to deflate in the middle by opening the oven. Opening the oven door during the wrong time will cause the cake to deflate.

Cold air will enter the oven and cause the cake to collapse. This is something that you want to avoid doing if you wish for your cake to turn out properly.

You shouldnt open the door to look at the cake until the last 10 minutes or so of its baking time. Be patient and try not to open the oven door at an inopportune time.

What Causes Cakes to Crack?

Cakes will crack when you bake them too fast. You might have baked the cake at a higher temperature than youre supposed to.

Trying to bake a cake faster by using a higher temperature will lead to cracks. To avoid this, bake the cake for the recommended amount of time at the right temperature.

If your cake has a few cracks, it doesnt have to ruin everything. Since youre likely going to frost the cake, itll be simple enough to cover the cracks with frosting.

Even so, its good to do your best to avoid cracking the cake. Cracks wont be a huge problem so long as there arent a lot of them.

You should also know that filling the baking pan too full can cause cracks. Use an appropriate pan size for the amount of batter that you have.

Why Is My Cake Undercooked?

Its frustrating when your cake appears to be done on the outside yet its undercooked. What causes anything like this to happen?

You cant always rely on how the cake looks on the outside to determine if its done. To test if the cake is ready to be taken out of the oven, its best to use the toothpick method.

Take a toothpick and poke it into the middle of the cake. When you remove the toothpick, it should come out relatively clean if the cake is finished baking.

Its fine for the toothpick to have a few cake crumbles on it. If the toothpick is gooey, then the cake still needs to be baked for a while longer.

Using this method will allow you to determine if a cake is really done. If you dont have a toothpick that you can utilize, itll be easy enough to accomplish the same thing using a butter knife.

Final Thoughts

Getting your cake to turn out properly should be easier now. You know how to avoid problems with the cake being sticky on top.

Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely before you cover it. Never cover the cake with aluminum foil before allowing it to cool.

Itd be wise to let the cake cool on a cooling rack if you have one. Otherwise, just leave the cake on the counter and let it cool naturally before covering it.

So long as you keep this in mind, you shouldnt have to deal with sticky cakes. Youll have a much easier time frosting your cake when it isnt super sticky.

Enjoy your cake and be sure to share it with friends and family. Keep the other advice in this article in mind if you happen to run into any other pitfalls.


How do you fix a tacky cake top?

The top is sticky.

A tacky top is typically caused by covering or wrapping the cake before it’s completely cooled. This traps moisture inside, causing that sticky texture. Avoiding this pitfall is easy, just let the cake sit on a wire rack until totally cool.

How do you make a cake less sticky?

These cakes are again difficult to work with especially when you’re thinking of frosting them. The best way to avoid sticky tops it to let the cake cool at room temperature on a wire rack. If this makes your cakes dry, don’t worry- you can very easily brush it with a sugar syrup and it’ll go back to being super moist!

How do you fix sticky top cupcakes?

frost the cupcakes without a problem, or you can trim the sticky top off with a small serrated knife before icing.So when the cupcakes stand in a humid environment (either humid weather or a slightly steamy kitchen) they can attract some moisture and the tops can turn a little sticky. Usually you can ice

Why is my cake dense and sticky?

Developing the flour’s gluten too much means the cake will rise beautifully in the oven – then sink (a little, or a lot) as soon as you pull it out. And the sinking cake is what makes dense, moist, gluey streaks.

What is the texture of overmixed cake?

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.

How do you make the top of a cake crispy?

Generally speaking we stir together 1 tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla, a few grains of salt and 3 tablespoons of water to make about ¼ cup of paste. Then we use a pastry brush to coat the entire surface of the cake about 10 minutes before the cake is done and return it to the oven to finish baking.

How do you get rid of sweaty cake?

Allow the cakes to stand at room temperature for a while so the condensation has time to evaporate. I sometimes gently dab the moisture off the ganache with kitchen towel or run a fan near the cake.

How long should you leave cake in pan after baking?

As a rule of thumb, cakes and other baked goods should be left in their pans on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. If you try to remove a cake from its pan immediately after baking, it can stick or fall apart because it is so tender.

Does parchment paper prevent cake from sticking?

Always line cake pans with parchment paper

The most important preparation you can make when baking a cake is to line the pans (these are the pans that I use) with parchment paper. This ensures that the bottom of the cake will not stick to the pan, and that it will all come out in one piece.

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