Help!! my pound cakes keep falling
Posted: 26 February 2008 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay, here goes…SITUATION:  for about the last 2 weeks, a lemon pound cake recipe that I have been baking to perfection for several years now, is suddenly starting to rise during baking and then will fall before it finishes.  I thought this problem only occurred when I tried to bake the pound cake but I have just recently learned that it also happens when I use my soccer ball pan with a red velvet cake recipe.

Whenever I bake sheet cakes or layer cakes, they rise just fine.  I did notice that when I attempted to bake the lemon pound cake recipe in heart-shaped layer pans(3” high), it did not rise properly.

ACTIONS TAKEN:  Baked the cake over the last couple of weeks about 4 or 5 different times and the same thing happens.  Ingredients are exactly the same brands, etc… and using the same mixer and technique that I’ve always used.  I’ve cleaned my oven, and purchased a thermometer to monitor the temp; I found that although the oven was set to 325, it was actually at 350, so I raised the temp to 350 so that the oven temp will be 325.  I thought this would fix the problem, but it has not, I keep getting the results that are very displeasing.

Please if anyone can help with this, i need as much input as possible, I’ve done what I know how to do.

By the way, I have a kenmore gas oven.

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Posted: 26 February 2008 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If the oven is set at 325 and measures 350, you will need to set it down, to near 300, to lower the measured temperature to 325.

Make yourself a little chart:

Setting Measured
200     150
225     180
250     225
275     260
300     275
325     305
350     315
375     330
400     375


(fill in your own numbers, of course, and figure out that the middle of 325 and 350 is (say) 300)

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Posted: 26 February 2008 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Okay, I will do that, but it’s actually the reverse…the oven is set for 325 and measuring at 300.  I think the temperature stability problem may have been fixed since I set the temp to 350, it’s now constantly measuring at 325-328 degrees.  I will definitely make a chart to show that the temp is not a factor, any other suggestions?

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Posted: 27 February 2008 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hmmmm, the cake rises and then falls.  You may be undermixing your batter.  Are you using fresh baking powder, and are you using the correct amount?  The fall could also be caused by removing the cakes from the oven before they are finished baking, but you sound like a seasoned baker who should know better than to do that.

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Posted: 27 February 2008 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Patrina, since I have made the recipe many times, you’re right, I will definitely double check to make sure that I am mixing for the appropriate time intervals.  My baking soda is probably about 6 weeks old, but remember that this doesn’t happen consistently with every cake that I make.  It seems to be that the larger and deeper the pan, the worse the results.  I was able to make the following temp observations:

oven setting     actual temp
300               280
325               300
350               325
380               350

I also observed that these temp variations from the oven settings only occur when there is actually something in the oven, but when the oven is empty, the temp is precise and consistent.  This leads me to believe, more, that my oven needs some adjusting.  I’ve never had this problem before, my ovens only 1 1/2 years old, but I must say that I have been doing a considerable amount of baking in the past 6 mo.  I hope the oven doesn’t need replacing!

I must say that you guys have been very helpful, and I welcome all other recommendations!  Thank you, I love this site!

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Posted: 27 February 2008 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Now, I’m not able to recall the details, but in the wedding cake section of the cake bible Rose discusses how large diameter pans require LESS baking powder than smaller diameter ones.  It is something about surface area so I would check the cake bible if you have it.  Also, are you weighing your ingredients?

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Posted: 27 February 2008 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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NO, I am not weighing the ingredients, do you think that would make a big difference?

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Posted: 27 February 2008 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It sure could - especially for ingredients like flour, sugar, and eggs.  Weighing is the my favorite way to measure ingredients.

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Posted: 27 February 2008 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Okay…I finally got down to the heart of my problem!!! I am sooo relieved!  First of all, it didn’t dawn on me that although I was using a newly purchased box of baking soda, the problems apparently started occurring when I began using this box of baking soda!  Go figure, that today I purchased another box of baking soda, and baked a couple of different cakes with it….PICTURE PERFECT!  Thank you to everyone again, I really appreciate your help, it’s very disturbing when I product that I’m supposed to be selling isn’t coming out the way that they’re used to!

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