It’s happened to me more times than I care to remember and I’m pretty sure that all of you reading this will have experienced it at least once. That’s right, I’m talking about a cracked cake top. Is there anything more disheartening than taking your cake out of the oven only to find it looks as though an earthquake has just gone off?
But don’t worry, there are ways you can fix this and even better, there are things you can do to stop it from happening in the first place. So, if you’ve been wondering how to fix a cracked cake top, I’ve got all the answers you’ll ever need right here.
What Causes A Cake To Crack?
It’s so annoying to take your cake out of the oven to reveal a network of ugly looking cracks over the surface. I mean, it doesn’t affect how edible the cake is, so if it’s taste you’re more concerned about then this might not be an issue for you. However, if you’re keen to make a well-presented and aesthetically pleasing cake, those cracks need to go.
But before we look at how to get rid of them, it’s important to understand what causes them in the first place. So what causes a cake to crack?
Probably the most common reason that a cake cracks is because the oven is too hot. It’s as simple as that. If the heat is too high then you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll end up with a cracked cake.
It can be tempting to turn up the heat in the belief that this will make the cake cook more quickly, but that isn’t the case. What’ll happen is that the outside of the cake will cook more quickly so the crust expands and then eventually starts to crack.
Wrong Size Pan
I know how it is, you’ve got a new cake recipe and you’re eager to try it out as soon as possible. However, if you don’t have the right equipment, it’s worth waiting until you do. You see, if the pan you use isn’t just the right size for the cake, this can result in disaster. This applies not only to the width of the cake tin but also the depth so choose wisely and if the recipe calls for a certain type of pan, stick to this!
How To Prevent Cake Cracking
So, as we have learned, there are two main things that might cause your cake to crack. Fortunately, they are both things that can be easily rectified and you will be able to prevent those pesky cracks from appearing in the future.
As I have mentioned, until you have the proper equipment, don’t try to make the cake. If you need a particular sized pan then down tools and head out to find one if you don’t have it at home. Otherwise, you will find that you end up wasting ingredients on a cake that doesn’t look anywhere near what you had hoped. And what’s more, there’s never anything wrong with investing in new pans, especially if you’ll get a lot of use out of them.
The other issue for cracked cakes is temperature and the only way to solve this is by not overheating your oven. If you’re following a recipe, it will tell you the ideal temperature at which to bake your cake. Never be tempted to exceed this because it won’t do you any favours.
More than this, you should pay attention to how you put the pan in the oven. Make sure to place it on the right rack as this can affect how temperature reaches the cake and can spoil it if not done correctly.
You will probably want to check on your cake part way through cooking to make sure that everything is going to plan but resist the urge to open the oven door as this can cause the temperature to fluctuate resulting in uneven cooking. If you’re in any way unsure about the oven temperature, check it with a thermometer before you put the cake in.
How To Fix A Cracked Cake
How you fix your cracked cake will largely depend on the type of cake it is. Here are my tips for fixing some of the most popular types of cracked cakes.
- For Layer cakes you can take a serrated bread knife to remove the top part of the cake where the cracks are. This will leave you with a smooth finish and allow you to complete the cake without any imperfections.
- When making cheesecake, you can disguise cracks with various types of toppings. Filling the cracks with sour cream is one way to approach this but you might also dollop on whipped cream, fruit and other ingredients.
- If you’re making pound cake then you should expect there to be cracks as this is merely something that comes with the territory.
- For sponge cakes, the fix is easy (and tasty!) You’ll need to make a thin crumb layer and then top this with buttercream frosting. Nobody will be any the wiser!
However, if you feel that your cake is beyond repair then it is possible to use it in other ways. Why not crumble the entire thing up and use it in a trifle or other dessert? You won’t have wasted your ingredients, you’ll still get the devour that sweet deliciousness and no one will ever know about your baking faux pas!
Baking is something of a trial and error activity. We all make mistakes and if you’ve ever baked anything then you’ll probably have experienced the annoyance of a cracked cake. But don’t let this put you off.
There are actually some easy ways to breathe new life into your cake such as cutting off the cracks or disguising them with toppings. In any case, it is worth making sure that you use the correct sized pan and proper cooking temperature as both of these things will help to prevent your cake from cracking in the future.