During this coronavirus period, more and more people have to spend time at home and cook for themselves. Since then, baking has become a hot topic on social media.
However, baking has never been an easy skill. One of the top common problems new bakers struggle with is making the cake too dense.
In this post, let’s find the answer to your question, “Why is my cake dense” and help you to improve your cake!
Why Is My Cake Dense?
First, we need to clarify the question, what does dense mean in baking? In short, the dense cake means that it is not as tender, fluffy, and airy as it should be. The cake can turn deflated immediately after being taken out of the oven.
There are many reasons that make your cake dense. In general, most of the reasons share the same point: you are not using the proper ratio when making the batter. Let’s go deeper into what makes a cake dense and heavy and find out how each factor affects the taste of the cake.
Using Too Much Liquid
When using the term “liquid,” we want to mention oil, water, or juice used in baking cakes. In fact, they all share one similarity: if you use too much of them, the cake will become too dense.
The question we need to ask is, “Why adding too much liquid makes the cake dense” right? Well, let us share our viewpoint.
When you have too much liquid in the batter, the coagulation process of protein cannot happen naturally. The batter will be weak and thin, which is not good enough to eat. Besides, when heating the cake in the oven, the cake cannot rise high as normal.
In other words, the batter is weak, thin, less crumbly, and what you receive after baking is a dense and gummy cake.
Using Sugar Incorrectly
In cake making, sugar is a must-have ingredient most of the time. However, you must follow the recipe carefully and measure the amount of sugar properly. Otherwise, it will turn your cake into an overly sugary or gummy food, which you never want to.
Specifically, sugar interferes with the coagulation process of proteins. The more sugar you add, the weaker bonds the protein from flour and eggs have. Therefore, the weak bonding will make the crumb softer and more tender. Gradually, the structure of the cake becomes too weak, and it collapses.
However, if the cake lacks sugar, it will be short and dense. As mentioned above, the crumb won’t be delicate and thick, making the cake so gummy.
Adding Too Much Flour In Cake
There is a simple but common mistake for new bakers: adding too much flour. You may think that it is normal to add as much flour as you like because the more flour you pour, the bigger the cake is. However, it is not a correct idea.
In fact, you must follow the guidance from the expert and measure the flour precisely. If you just weigh the flour approximately, this situation can happen: the additional, spare, unused flour will slowly build up, making the cake batter too thick and gummy.
Therefore, please don’t add too much flour to the batter. Just use enough flour, guys!
In baking, heat is the most important factor influencing the quality of the cake. You must follow the guidance carefully and strictly in order not to overbake or underbake the cake. Either case will never make your cake tasty or even edible. The cake is so hard to “treat,” right?
Typically, when you overbake the cake, the most common consequence is that the cake will be burned and completely inedible. However, there is another consequence: it will be too dense.
The more you heat, the more spongy the cake is. That being said, it will become too dense that you can’t eat anymore.
Therefore, we suggest you preheat the oven before putting the cake inside to decrease the cooking time. It would be best if the oven reaches the demand temperature right before you input the cake.
Mixing The Ingredients Improperly
Like heating, mixing ingredients is also the top essential factor to make your cake edible or not. Before you mix, please carefully check the recipe to see whether the ratio is correct or not, or is there any food lacking in the mix?
After rechecking the ingredients carefully, start mixing them. Remember, they have to blend well with each other so that you can bake them later.
Suppose the ingredients are still unblendable after many tries; there must be some problems with the preparation stage. You may see the temperature, the thickness of the ingredient as well as its sturdiness.
You may refrigerate the food for so long, making it unable to defrost and blend with other ingredients. If one of the foods gets in that situation, then the batter may become too dense.
Suppose you checked all the ingredients and none of them is too cold to make the batter dense, then there may be another reason to make the cake too gummy: overmixing.
When you mix the stir too much, the protein molecules break down accidentally. The cake will be exposed to too much air and slowly deflate and make the cake heavy.
How To Fix Dense Cake
If your cake is already dense, then what should you do? Here are some short tips on how to make cake less dense:
- Drop a bit of baking soda or baking powder (just a bit!): this substance can boost the leavening procedure of the cold batter.
- Adjust the room temperature into the proper range to urge the fermentation (if had) and blending speed.
- Add sour cream to the mixture: the sour cream will raise the creamy flavor of the cake, removing a dry and dense taste of your cake.
- Use oil: this solution is only helpful when your cake is dense but not because of using too much liquid.
How To Prevent Dense Cake
After knowing why your cake turns dense and how to make a cake less dense immediately, let me provide you with some short tips on how to prevent dense cakes:
- Carefully and strictly follow the recipe: As mentioned above, most of the mistakes come from incorrect measurement of ingredients.
- Use a measuring cup when adding ingredients: please try to be as precise as possible when baking. The measuring cup is a helpful tool to measure the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to prevent overbaking
- Setup a thermometer in your kitchen to control the room temperature
Tips For Making A Perfect Cake
Learning these tips, and you will know how to make cake more fluffy immediately:
- Always use a measuring cup when adding ingredients
- Maintain the food in containers and put it in cool, dry environments
- Choose the high-quality ingredients to make the highest quality cake
- Always preheat the oven before inputting the cake
- Avoid air exposure to the cake
The above tricks are some of our experiences to make a perfect cake. Follow these steps, and you don’t have to research what makes a cake fluffy to fix your cake after baking anymore!
Through this article, we have found out the answer to “Why is my cake dense ?” This is a common mistake that not only new bakers but sometimes the expert can experience, too. So don’t worry much about it! Besides, we also clarify the answer for “What makes cake fluffy?” and then give you some tips to make your cake better.
Are our tips and guidance helpful for you? We hope that you can apply at least one of our tricks to your cooking successfully! Happy cooking, gal!