Troubleshooting Tips

Read these 11 Troubleshooting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dessert tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Why is my cake tough?

Tough Cake Recipe

Sometimes the recipe is at fault when your cake is tough. If there is too little sugar or fat in the batter, the gluten in the flour will overdevelop and the cake will be tough.

   
Why did my cake fall?

Pan Sizes

Make sure you are using the correct pan size when baking a cake. If the pan is too small, the cake won't bake through and will fall when out of the oven.

   
Why are my biscuits hard as a rock?

Biscuits - Light and Airy or Hockey Pucks?

Biscuits for strawberry shortcake taste wonderful when they are made well. They almost melt in your mouth. If you are having trouble with your biscuits being heavy and hard, there are a few things to check. Make sure that you are not overmixing. Also, your baking powder may be too old and not causing them to rise fully.

   
Why is my cake tough?

Tough Cakes

If your cake is tough, there are some factors to investigate. Was the flour you used too high in protein, like a bread flour? Did you overmix the cake after the liquid was added, which develops gluten?

   
Why did my cake fall?

Falling Cakes

If your cake falls when you take it out of the oven, it probably was underbaked. This means the protein and starch structure in the flour didn't set, and was too weak to hold the gas produced by baking powder and soda. Therefore the structure collapsed.

   
Why did my cake fall?

What Went Wrong?

If your cake fell, here's an easy way to tell what went wrong. Cut into it. If the inside is very wet, the cake was underbaked. If the inside is dry, there was probably too much baking powder or soda used.

   
Why are my cookies unevenly browned?

Check your oven

If your cookies, bars, pies and cakes are too brown on one side or the other, make sure to rotate the pans about halfway during cooking. Your oven probably has hot spots, and this will ensure that the products bake and brown evenly.

   
Why do my cookies and cakes bake unevenly?

Uneven Browning

If you are having trouble getting cakes or cookies to brown evenly, try baking them on the middle rack of the oven, one at a time.

   
What are Magi-Cake Strips?

Magi-Cake Strips

Magi-Cake strips are reusable heavy strips that you soak in water and pin around cake pans during baking. As the cake bakes, water evaporates from the strips and cools the outer edges of the pan, so the cake rises and bakes evenly.

   
Why did my cake fall?

Baking Powder Amounts

Believe it or not, too much baking powder makes baked goods fall. The bubbles get too big, float to the top of the product, and pop instead of staying in the protein/starch grid. The basic ratio is no more than 1-1/4 tsp. of baking powder per cup of flour.

   
Why are my biscuits tough?

Tough Biscuits?

Keep the dough cool when you're making biscuits. If it warms up too much, the butter/shortening will melt and the biscuits won't be flaky.

   
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Mary White