Moist cakes are delicious, but it can be difficult to achieve this result every time. If your cake gets too dry, this can result in a crumbly cake – and no one wants that!
Today we’re looking at why cakes sometimes turn out too moist and crumbly so that you can stop making these fatal mistakes!
Why Do Your Cakes Fall Apart?
Picture this – you’ve spent all day making the most delicious-looking cake, but as soon as you want to serve it, it all falls apart when cutting.
There are several ways why a cake might fall apart when cutting it. It could be due to being overbaked, you might have been over-mixing cake batter, or you could have used the wrong amount of ingredients.
The main reason why a cake is crumbly is due to it being dried out. We need to keep as much moisture in the cake as possible to avoid crumbly cakes.
Avoiding Crumbly Cake – Tips And Tricks
Now let’s look at a few ways to ensure that you’re left with a moist cake without it being too crumbly.
1. Brush With Simple Syrup
Simple syrup is a mixture of syrup and water. Many bakers use it to add moisture back into their cake before putting it in the refrigerator to cool.
The simple syrup doesn’t alter the taste of your cake recipe, and it won’t give it a watery consistency. It is the ideal solution if you’re overworking a cake a lot and know that it’s going to need some help to add moisture back into it.
Sprinkle simple syrup over your cake whenever you think it’s getting a little dry during the cooking and decorating process.
2. Use Cake Flour
If you’re constantly being left with crumbly cake after following the cake recipe correctly, you could try cake flour instead of regular flour. Cake flour is milled much finer than normal flour, making the cake batter softer and able to retain more moisture.
Cake flour is not recommended for chocolate cake since the cocoa powder is a dry ingredient that is softer than flour. Using both cake flour and cocoa powder might lead to a fragile cake that will crumble.
For all other cakes, though, cake flour might be a good option to prevent your cakes from drying out.
3. Add Sour Cream
If you’re wanting a moist cake mix, you can add sour cream. It is heavier than milk and therefore won’t evaporate in the oven so quickly, sticking around to retain moisture within your cake.
Don’t worry – sour cream won’t influence the taste of your cake recipe at all. Instead, it will simply prevent the cake from becoming dry and crumbly.
4. Add A Touch Of Baking Powder Or Baking Soda
Sometimes a cake is crumbly due to it being too dense. This might be because too much flour was added, too much fat, or not enough leavening agents. Luckily, the answer here is simple.
Adding baking powder or baking soda to your cake batter can ensure that the cake rises as it bakes (just don’t open the oven door too much!). This creates air pockets in the cake, giving it an airy texture.
These little pockets can retain moisture and keep your cake moist without crumbling.
5. Don’t Overmix
While we want to keep some air pockets in the cake batter for when it goes into the oven, we don’t want these pockets to get too big. These large air bubbles will expand and deflate in the oven, leaving the cake flat, dense, and overcooked.
The number one culprit of large air bubbles is over-mixing your cake batter. This can lead to an overcooked cake, which will most likely end up as a crumbly cake.
6. Add Oil
A cake will often require a type of fat to make the cake batter come together. This is often butter, but this can be drying in itself since it’s a solid ingredient.
If you find that your butter cakes keep drying out too much, try replacing a tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon of oil. This liquid ingredient will work much more effectively at keeping moisture within your cake batter.
How To Avoid Crumbly Cake Problems?
It can be frustrating when your cake is crumbly over and over again. Unfortunately, working out what to do and how to fix the issue can take some trial and error.
There might be an issue with the cake recipes you’re using, your ingredients, your oven temperature – a whole host of potential reasons!
Start by following our tips above, one at a time. This way you’ll be able to determine what the problem was by which of our tips worked and left you with a moist cake rather than a crumbly cake.
Tell Me The Best Way To Prevent Cake From Crumbling
There are plenty of things that you can do to prevent a crumbly cake.
Always make sure that you are following the recipe carefully so that you’re not missing a vital step. If this doesn’t work, either try a new cake mix or play around with the ingredients. It might be that you’re adding too much flour, not enough liquids, or you need cake flour instead.
Also always keep your cakes in the oven for the correct amount of time. Opening the oven door too much can reduce the oven temperature, which will affect cooking time. This can force your cake to remain in the oven for too long, drying it out and causing it to crumble.
Thanks for reading our guide on crumbly cakes and how to avoid them! Crumbly cakes can stem from several reasons like the cake has too much flour or gluten, it has been over-baked, or it is too dense.
Ending up with a cake dry and crumbly is always annoying, so using trial and error to get to the bottom of the issue is necessary. Good luck!