Why Do Cakes Sink In The Middle

Have you ever wondered why cakes sometimes sink in the middle? It’s an all-too common baking problem, and it can be incredibly frustrating. But don’t worry! We’ve got answers that’ll help ensure your cake bakes evenly every time. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most likely causes of sinking cake middles, as well as some tips for avoiding them. So read on and get ready to bake perfect cakes every time!

Overmixing The Batter

One of the primary causes for a cake to sink in the middle is overmixing. When you mix ingredients together, air bubbles form and help give cakes their light and fluffy texture. Overmixing these ingredients deflates these air bubbles, resulting in heavier batter that can’t rise properly when baking. This leads to an uneven bake with a sunken center.

Another cause of sinking centers is greasing your pan too much before adding the batter. If there’s extra grease or oil on the sides of the pan it will prevent air pockets from forming, leading to dense and heavy cake layers that are prone to sinking in the middle while baking.

The last issue could be that your recipe has too much sugar which makes it very moist and rich, but also weighs it down more than necessary causing it to sink during baking. So if you are having issues with your cakes sinking, check how much sugar you’ve added as well as other possible causes like overmixing or greasing your pans too heavily.

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Using Too Much Leavening Agent

I think over-proofing and over-aeration are both big issues when using too much leavening agent. Over-proofing occurs when the dough rises too much, while over-aeration is when too much air is involved. This can cause cakes to sink in the middle, which isn’t ideal. Let’s discuss these issues further and come up with solutions.


When it comes to baking, too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Over-proofing cakes due to the use of too much leavening agent is one common mistake made by novice bakers. This occurs when too much sugar or wrong ingredients are added; resulting in an overly risen cake that will eventually collapse during cooling. The excess gas bubbles created from the over-proofed batter cause the surface tension to give way and deflate as soon as it has been taken out of the oven – leaving you with sunken centers and unappetizing results. As such, it’s important for bakers to exercise caution and measure their ingredients carefully so they don’t end up with a collapsed cake!


Over-aeration is another common mistake when it comes to using too much leavening agent. This happens when dry ingredients are mixed together for too long and the dough becomes over aerated, resulting in a cake with an overly light texture. Additionally, insufficient moisture can also be responsible for this issue since adding too little liquid may not provide enough hydration which will cause the cake to have poor structure and become crumbly. To avoid these problems, bakers should pay attention to mixing time as well as measuring out all of their ingredients accurately prior to baking; ensuring that they achieve good results every time!

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Insufficient Baking Time

When cakes sink in the middle, it is usually due to insufficient baking time. One of the most common causes for this issue is an incorrect amount of shortening used in the mix. If too little shortening is added, the cake will not fully bake and can collapse when taken out from the oven. Additionally, if a recipe calls for a certain pan size but a larger one is used instead, then it could result in a sunken cake as well since more batter would be spread over a greater area. Therefore, having enough shortening quantity and using the right sized pan are essential steps that must be followed precisely when making cakes.

The length of cooking time also has an impact on whether or not your cake will end up sinking. When following a recipe, you should make sure that all ingredients are mixed together properly before putting them into the oven so they do not require extra baking minutes once inside. It’s important to keep track of how long you have been baking your cake and check it regularly with either a toothpick or skewer to see if any wet areas remain – if there are still moist parts after 20-25 minutes of baking then your cake needs more time in the oven before being removed.

It’s easy to prevent cakes from sinking if you pay attention to details such as temperature settings, pan sizes and baking times while preparing your dessert! To ensure success each time you make a cake, double-check these factors carefully beforehand and adjust accordingly depending on what type of cake you’re creating. The results will speak for themselves – delicious desserts every single time!

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Incorrect Oven Temperature

Undercooking can cause cakes to sink in the middle, as the center hasn’t had enough time to bake and set properly. On the other hand, if the oven is too hot, the cake may cook too quickly and not have enough time to rise, resulting in a sunken cake. Additionally, the edges of the cake can become overly cooked and dry, making it difficult to enjoy. Lastly, excessive heat can cause the cake to darken and burn, ruining the entire cake.


Ah, the dreaded sinkhole in a cake! Nothing is worse than taking an otherwise beautiful creation out of the oven only to find that it has collapsed in on itself. Undercooking can often be attributed to incorrect oven temperature and too little leavening. If your oven isn’t reaching the desired heat or you’re not using enough baking powder or soda, your cake won’t reach its full potential. As a result, it’ll be dense and gummy inside rather than light and fluffy like it should be. This can leave you with a sunken middle—a sure sign of underbaking! To ensure success, keep an eye on your oven’s thermometer and make sure there’s plenty of rising agents at play when making cakes.


On the opposite end of underbaking, you can also have cakes that are overcooked. This usually happens when there’s too little fat in the recipe or too much sugar added. It causes the edges to become dry and overly browned while leaving the center slightly raw. To avoid this issue, make sure you use enough butter, oil, or shortening for moistness as well as just the right amount of sweetener so your cake doesn’t burn on its outer layer before it finishes cooking internally. Keeping an eye on oven temperature is key here—adjust accordingly if necessary! With a few tweaks to ingredients and some extra attention paid to heat levels, you’ll be able to create perfectly cooked cakes every time.

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Improper Cooling Techniques

When cakes sink in the middle, one of the most common causes is an incorrect oven temperature. If a cake is baked at too high of a temperature, it can lead to an overbaked crust that sets before the center has time to bake through. Another potential cause for sinking centers is having too much fat or liquid in the cake batter which can inhibit the rise of the cake and cause uneven baking.

Another issue that could result in a sunken center is improper cooling techniques. Cakes should be cooled slowly so they have time to adjust as they cool down and avoid shrinking or cracking surfaces. If they are removed from their pan while still warm or placed on cold surfaces such as tile countertops, this sudden change in temperature can also contribute to a sunken center.

It’s important to make sure your oven temperature is accurate, use proper measurements when making your cake batter, and allow adequate cooling time after taking them out of the oven in order to ensure perfect cakes every time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Pan Should I Use To Bake The Cake?

When baking a cake it is important to consider which type of pan you use. Cake size and baking time should be taken into account when selecting the right pan. If your recipe calls for an 8” round, then you should use an 8-inch round cake pan. For a 9”x13” cake, a 9″x13″ rectangular or square pan would work best; while bundt cakes require their own special pans with fluted sides and intricate designs. Generally speaking, metal pans are better than glass because they conduct heat more evenly; however if using dark colored metal pans, reduce the oven temperature by about 25 degrees Fahrenheit as these tend to bake faster than lighter colored pans. Ultimately, choosing the correct shape and material will ensure that your cake bakes evenly and doesn’t sink in the middle.

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What Is The Ideal Temperature For Baking A Cake?

When baking a cake, the ideal temperature is an important factor to consider. The rising agents in your recipe will need sufficient heat to activate and form air bubbles that help the cake structure rise while baking. This means it’s best to leave the oven at its default setting of 350°F (177°C) or slightly below, as temperatures higher than this can cause cakes to sink in the middle due to over-baking. Generally speaking, you should check on your cake after 20 minutes of baking time and adjust accordingly if needed.

What Are The Best Ingredients To Use For A Moist Cake?

When it comes to making a moist cake, one of the most important things you need to consider is what ingredients you use. There are several key elements that will help your cake turn out perfectly moist every time, such as using the right baking temperature and moisture levels. For the optimal texture and flavor, opt for an oil-based recipe rather than butter; this adds more moisture while also helping reduce how quickly the cake dries out. Additionally, try adding yogurt or sour cream in place of some of the liquid in your batter; this will provide extra richness and ensure your cakes stay tender and moist even after they’ve cooled down.

How Do I Know When The Cake Is Done Baking?

Knowing when a cake is done baking can be tricky, but there are several ways to tell. If you’re using a cake mix, refer to the package instructions for oven temperature and how long it should bake. You may also check the internal temperature of the cake with a digital thermometer; cakes typically need to reach at least 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit before they are fully cooked. Finally, inserting a toothpick or knife into the center of the cake and seeing if it comes out clean is another way to tell that your cake is finished baking.

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How Can I Prevent My Cake From Sinking In The Middle?

Avoiding a cake that sinks in the middle requires careful attention to two factors: overbaking and underbaking. Overbaked cakes often have dry centers and will sink after cooling as moisture evaporates from the center of the cake. Meanwhile, an underbaked cake can be soggy, not set properly, and also collapse when it cools. To avoid either situation, use a toothpick to test for doneness at least five minutes before the suggested baking time is up. The toothpick should come out clean or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it; if batter sticks to the pick, continue baking until done.


Baking a cake shouldn’t be so daunting. By following some simple tips, you can ensure that your cakes don’t sink in the middle. Start by selecting the right pan and preheating to the correct temperature. Then choose ingredients like oil or sour cream for moistness. Finally, pay attention to baking time; when it’s done just right, there won’t be any sinking issues! With these steps, you’re sure to enjoy success with every batch of freshly-baked cakes. Now let’s get started – I can almost smell them already!