I have been baking for a home industries shop for 3 years now and lately my cakes are not rising properly in the center. They seem to rise nicely, then after 3/4 time has elapsed, they sink in the middle. I have changed my flour and baking powder, and reduced my oven temperature. I am now at a loss as to what to try next. Please can someone throw some light on this problem.
Carolyn from South Africa
If your cakes were baked in the same oven and you
used same recipes before and they turned out all right
(before you switched flour, etc), sounds like element is going out and maybe cooking unevenly, if it's electric.
If it's gas/propane, that shouldn't change unless little jets are clogged with carbon and need scraping with something. Were you cooking on same stove?
I agree with PIKKA, it sounds like your oven isn't heating evenly. I don't know about electric or convection ovens, but I do know that gas ovens clog and need to be cleaned out. This is a messy, somewhat difficult job. Call a repairman.
Thank you to both PIKKA and Perfumed fan. I actually have 2 ovens in which I bake (as it is my business), both electric, and it is happening in both of them. I cannot for the life of me understand what is happening. My cakes were ever so slightly rounded on the top and now the opposite is happening. Anyway, thank you for your suggestions. I will have them checked out.
Grandmas old trick was to hollow the centre of the cake out slightly might be worth trying sounds as if the element is faulty and is not cooking evenly one advantage with the fan bake style even temperature on all levels.
I think before you call a repairman, try going back to your original flour and baking powder (and baking temp) and see if it may be them. I know it does make a difference in flours and the baking powder may not be good (even tho you may have just bought it).
If your cakes are not rising, in the middle, it is one of two things. One, the rising/leven agent may be bad in your mix. Test your mix by adding a tablespoon of mix to a tablespoon of vineger, if it bubbles or foams it is ok. Second, most likely it is the thermostate or temperature control in your over is not right. The oven, both gas and electric, may need to be calibrated as well as the jets may need to be clean on a gas oven. Call your local repairman for service or check your manual to see if it tells you how to do the job. Both jobs are easy to do.
It is rather curious why this is happening. Try using a cake tin with a hole in the centre and see what happens. Also check the seals around the oven door, maybe they have been damaged and letting in cool air? Good luck, Kay from country NSW OZ
I agree that the oven is not working properly. If you have changed the flour, baking powder, etc, it has got to be the oven that has gone bad. Heck, you are a chef, if your cakes don't rise, you are not to blame, your range is the culprit!
Thank you to all who responded. I found the problem. EGGS! I have my own chickens as we live on a farm. I changed their feed a while ago and they produced smaller and inferior eggs without me really noticing. Needless to say, have gone back to the original feed and whalla - cakes are perfect once again. Hope this might help anyone with the same problem.
You can try to add a little more flour .I have found that some recipes from the coastal towns don't rise and if you add a bit more flour it seems to help not too much or you will have to adjust the liquid as well in some cases.Also check if your raising agent is fresh as stale raising agent can cause cakes to flop too.
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