There are some people who seem to be natural bakers. They just seem to able to bake the perfect cake and other baked goods. In contrast others may follow the same recipe and have no luck at all. Instead the top or bottom is overdone or the cake is too dense or dry. For these people it can be discouraging to keep trying if there aren't enough successful results. But there are some common baking mistakes that may be affecting the finished product. By keeping these in mind while crafting your next cake you should have better luck in your future baking endeavors.
A dry cake is a common problem. This is often caused by too much flour or baking powder. An oven temperature that is too high or baking for too long can cause a dry cake as well. Too little liquid can be a cause, however you don't want too much liquid either as that can cause another problem.
Excess liquid can cause a cake to fall, meaning it will sink in the middle. This can also be caused if the cake isn't baked long enough or if you open the oven to check on the cake and let the oven door slam shut. It is best not to open the oven while the cake is baking. Occasionally old baking powder can cause this as well.
If the cake is too course it may be because of too much baking soda or too little liquid in the batter. It is very important to measure all of the ingredients very carefully for your cake to turn out well.
A course texture can also be caused by baking at a temperature that is too low. To make sure your oven is actually heating to the temperature you set use a heat-resistant thermometer to check it. Some ovens run hotter and some run lower than what the dial states.
Removing The Cake From The Pan
If you have a hard time cleanly removing the cake from the pan there are a few things you can do. First make sure you use enough oil and flour when greasing the pan. The other thing that helps with this is removing the cake at the right time. If you try to remove it too soon while it is still too hot it may stick to the pan and crumble. If the cake is too cool it can also become stuck to the pan and be difficult to cleanly remove. Cooling the cake in the pan on a wire rack can also help with this.
By practicing a few times while keeping these tips in mind you should start to get the feel for these things so you too can easily bake the perfect cake.