Why Did My Cake Sink In The Middle?

Cake sinking is a common problem. If you’ve ever baked a cake or cupcakes before, you probably know that they tend to sink in the center.

This happens because cakes contain air pockets, which expand during baking.

The air expands faster at the bottom than the top, causing the cake to sink.

However, there are several reasons why cakes might sink. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at them.

Why Might A Cake Sink In The Middle?

The most obvious reason for your cake to sink is if it has too much batter.

This can happen if you use more batter than you need and bake the cake longer than necessary.

Another possible cause of this problem is if you don’t have enough flour in your recipe.

Flour absorbs moisture from the air, so you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of flour in your recipe.

Another possibility is that your oven temperature isn’t high enough. You should be aiming for 350°F (180°C) when baking a cake.

Too low an oven temperature will result in undercooked batter, while too high an oven temperature could lead to overbaked batter.

If you’re not sure whether your oven temperature is correct, you can test it by placing a thermometer inside the oven.

If your cake sinks after cooling completely, then it may have been overcooked.

To avoid this, check the middle of the cake after about 20 minutes.

If it looks like it’s still soft, then remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely.

Next, try checking the middle again after another 10-15 minutes. If it’s still soft, return the cake to the oven and cook until done.

If your cake doesn’t seem to be getting any taller as it cooks, then it’s likely that your oven temperature is too high.

Try lowering the temperature slightly and see if that helps.

How Can I Prevent My Cake From Sinking?

If you want to prevent your cake from sinking, you’ll need to reduce the amount of batter you use.

For example, you can divide the batter into two pans instead of one large pan. Or you can bake half the batter at once.

You can also try reducing the size of your pan. A smaller pan will hold less batter than a larger pan, so you won’t end up with a sunken cake.

You can also try baking the cake on a rack above the center of the oven.

This will help keep the cake off the floor of the oven and prevent it from sagging.

How To Save My Sunken Cake?

How To Save My Sunken Cake?

If you do happen to have a sunken cake, here are some ways to fix it:

  1. Use a knife to poke holes all around the sides of the cake. Then, carefully pour warm water onto the cake. This will release the trapped air bubbles and allow the cake to rise back up.
  2. After removing the cake from the oven, place it on a wire rack set over a sheet tray. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then flip it over. This will allow the cake to finish cooking on its other side.
  3. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut it horizontally into three or four layers. Place each layer upside down on a serving plate. Now, gently push the cake back together.
  4. When you serve the cake, slice it vertically rather than horizontally. This way, people can enjoy slices of cake without having to worry about them sinking.
  5. Make sure that you store your cakes properly. Don’t stack them on top of each other. Instead, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then foil. Store them in a container in the fridge.

Can You Decorate A Cake That Has A Sink In The Middle?

Yes! The key to decorating a cake that has a sink in the middle is to make sure that you don’t add too much frosting.

If you do, then the cake will sink even further.

Instead, you should aim to spread just enough frosting on the surface of the cake to cover the bottom.

Next, sprinkle on a little more frosting and repeat the process. Continue adding frosting until you’ve covered the entire cake.

Now, take a fork and swirl it through the frosting. Be careful not to create too many waves in the frosting.

Otherwise, they’ll cause the cake to sink.

What Should I Do When My Cake Is Done Baking?

When your cake is finished baking, you’ll want to immediately turn the oven off.

Leaving the cake in the oven for too long will dry out the cake.

After removing the cake from the oven, leave it to cool completely on a wire rack. Then, cut it into slices and serve.

If you’d prefer not to eat your cake right away, you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge or freezer.

How Long Does It Take To Bake A Cake?

It takes anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours to bake a cake depending on how big it is.

The best way to find out how long it takes to bake a particular type of cake is to follow the instructions on the packaging or in a recipe book.

For example, some cakes take around 25 minutes to bake, while others take 40 minutes.

Some cakes are baked in special pans which require extra preparation before they go into the oven.

These types of cakes usually take longer to bake than regular cakes.

Final Thoughts

Whilst baking a cake is fun and relatively easy to do, no doubt that at some point you have ended up with a cake that has sunk in the middle.

Whilst it is annoying, it can be avoided.

Even if you have ended up with a cake that has a dip for a middle, you can save it with some know-how, or perhaps using your decoration skills.

Even so, it will still taste just as delicious as a cake that hasn’t sunk in the middle!

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author