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Is Your Cake Not Cooking in the Middle? (The Cause and Fix)

Is Your Cake Not Cooking in the Middle? (The Cause and Fix)

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Baking cakes is something that lots of people like to do fairly often. You probably bake cakes for special occasions all the time, and you might need to bake one for an important birthday sometime soon.

If you encounter a problem while baking a cake, then you definitely want to be able to fix it instead of having to start all over again.

One common problem that people wind up having is that they have cakes that aren’t baking properly in the middle. Perhaps the sides of your cake baked rather well but the very center just doesn’t seem right at all.

What can be done to fix an issue such as this, and can you prevent this from happening in the future?

Why Does This Happen?

Undercooked Cake In Pan And On Plate

Determining exactly why your cake isn’t baking properly in the middle can be tough without more information.

It could be happening due to a number of different factors such as the temperature of the oven not being right or using a pan that isn’t doing too well. Your oven could even have hot spots that are causing it to bake unevenly.

The hot spot idea could very well be what you’re encountering if the cake seems to be done well on the sides and not in the middle. Some ovens will have spots where they will bake things faster than others.

For example, if you put a cookie sheet filled with individual slices of bread in your oven, then you might notice that the bread will come out with some of the slices being more burnt than others as you get closer to the sides of your oven.

This happens because your oven might be hotter the closer it gets to the sides. It’s usually thought that this occurs because the metal sides of your oven get hotter than the middle and it makes the temperature of the sides a bit higher than it should be.

Not every oven has issues such as this, but it’s very possible that yours might.

Two Slices Of Freshly Toasted Bread

If you want to determine whether your oven has hot spots or not, then trying out the bread trick is going to be a good way to go about it. Just set your oven at a low temperature and put the bread on the cookie sheet as mentioned before.

After a few minutes, the bread should start toasting and you’ll be able to see whether the bread slices toasted evenly or whether one side burnt the bread.

This is a simple little trick to help you get information about how your oven bakes things. You might note that one side bakes a bit faster than the other side. Whatever you find out, it’s going to be good to know so that you can adjust your baking strategies moving forward.

How to Fix This Issue

Fixing this issue might involve having to get a new oven, but you can also just try not to bake things too close to the sides of the oven. Perhaps the cake that you’re baking is rather large and this is causing the sides of your cake pan to be too close to the sides of your oven.

If this is the case, then you might want to consider baking smaller cakes in your oven due to your potential hot spot issue.

If the hot spot idea isn’t the problem, then you should be able to just bake the cake a little longer to allow the middle to finish baking. What you should do is cover the cake with aluminum foil before placing it back in the oven for five or ten minutes.

Baker Using A Toothpick To Test A Cake

Just check it every so often by using a toothpick in the middle to see if it will come out clean.

Reducing the temperature of your oven can help to keep your cake from burning on the sides. This, combined with loosely placing the aluminum foil around your cake pan, can give you the time that you need to bake the middle of the cake.

You’ll just need to keep looking at the middle every few minutes to see how things are going and most would say that checking at five-minute intervals is a good idea.

Once you have a toothpick or butter knife coming out clean when you stick the middle of the cake, you’ll know that it’s done. You might have gotten a bit impatient since the sides of your cake seemed to be done.

The aluminum foil should help to keep your cake from burning, but you won’t want to keep it in the oven for too long since it just needs enough time to bake the middle a bit more.

If you don’t think that this is going to work due to the oven hot spots, then you could reposition your baking pan during the middle of baking. You could rotate the pan the other way after twenty minutes and see if it makes a difference.

This is more for if one side seems to be baking faster than the other, though, and not necessarily for the middle.

Using An Oven Temperature Control Knob

Another potential solution is to alter the temperature of the oven when you’re baking cakes moving forward. You might have been baking a cake at a temperature that was too low for things to bake well in the allotted time.

Try looking up a recipe to see what temperature is recommended before moving forward.

You might be surprised by how many people make simple mistakes by setting the oven 25 or 50 degrees too low. If you adjust the temperature and bake things at the right level the next time that you bake a cake, the results will likely be better.

Hopefully, one of these solutions will solve your cake not baking in the middle issues.

Other Things to Consider

You now know a lot more about how this issue can be solved when you make the common mistakes that lead to cake baking problems.

Even so, there are going to be some other things to consider that can cause a cake to not turn out right in the middle. One issue that people have encountered is that they didn’t follow the recipe very well.

Messy Measuring Spoons With Baking Ingredients

It’s possible that you could have made some mistakes when measuring out your ingredients that caused the cake to not bake as thoroughly as it normally would in a normal amount of time.

This can happen when you’re trying to bake a cake while you’re distracted by other things. You might have been talking on the phone or trying to handle multiple tasks while whipping up your batter.

Not mixing your cake up very thoroughly could be another culprit that is worth considering. If you didn’t mix the cake batter very well, then maybe your batter is a bit different in the middle of the pan.

It could be thicker there because you didn’t spread it out right or there could be a concentration of ingredients.

Even the cake pan that you’re using could play a role in how well your cake is going to bake. Some people have noted that older cake pans might burn cakes more easily.

It might be best to use a casserole dish or cake pan that you know has been doing fine when baking dishes lately.

Considering all of the potential problems should help you to figure out which issue is causing your cake not to bake in the middle. It might be a bit of a nuisance but human error plays a big role here.

You should be able to make the necessary adjustments and get your cake to turn out very nicely.

Final Thoughts

Baking cakes is something that you will need to pay attention to so that you can avoid making mistakes.

Remember that impatience can sometimes lead you to give up on a cake too soon before it is done baking. The most practical tip that will likely work for you is to cover the cake with some aluminum foil and let it keep baking in the middle.

Foil Covered Cake Pan On Metal Table

Simply going a little longer is often going to be enough to turn things around and get you the results that you need. It’s worth considering whether you have oven hot spots or if you made some type of human error that caused your cake to bake improperly, though.

If you did make a mistake, you can always try to be more careful the next time you’re mixing up some cake batter.

It won’t take long to get your cake back on track if you have figured out the issue. Hopefully, you’ll be able to save it and your special party will go off without a hitch.

Cakes aren’t just tasty treats for you to enjoy since they often represent important sentiments that you want to convey to those who you love.

Take this advice into account so that your cake-baking adventures will be much easier next time. No matter what type you’re baking, it’s going to be important to pay attention to the basics.

Enjoy your delicious cake and make sure that everyone has a good time together.

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Sunday 12th of February 2023

I baked two cakes today, both stated not to over mix, gently fold in dry ingredients. Both failed. Why do some bakers say to gently fold in and others say mix

Sarah Bridenstine

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

Hi Sona!

Using the words gently fold in or mix really depends on the ingredients that you are using. Usually if you are seeing gently fold in, you are working with something that could quickly fall flat if you over mix it. With those types of ingredients, you really want to be careful when mixing, and you'll want to make sure you are only mixing until the ingredients are just combined. I hope that helps!