Why do cakes sometimes collapse while baking?
There are many things that can cause cakes to fall in the middle.... Jumping, etc., around the baking area is unlikely to be a problem except with very delicate sponge or angel food cakes. More likely, cakes fall when the crust appears to be done, but the batter is not baked through the middle. An uneven baking temperature is a frequent culprit; check the temperature of your oven with a separate baking thermometer, and be certain that your oven holds a steady heat through the entire baking period. Some older ovens preheat properly, then cycle off and drop the temperature after 15 or 20 minutes, which causes the uncooked portion of the cake to fall.
Less likely but possible problems could be inaccurate proportions of baking powder or baking soda if the cake is made from scratch. This could occur with cake mixes if sour milk or buttermilk is used instead of regular milk; the additional acid in sour milk requires additional baking soda to rise properly. Eggs that are not beaten properly, or perhaps beaten too much for the type of cake being made, might also cause problems. Joe
Mar 12, 2011 |