Pound cakes are a classic treat that’s relatively easy to make—perfect for even the most novice of bakers. That said, there are still some things you have to remember while making this treat to avoid certain issues.
Some of which involve problems with the texture. So, you might be thinking: why is my pound cake gummy?
Most of the reasons heavily involve the speed and consistency of your mixer. Let’s learn more about this issue and how to troubleshoot it in this article!
Ideally, a pound cake should be moist, soft, and dense. However, it shouldn’t be gummy! Below are three of the most common reasons why your pound cake might come out as such.
Over-creamed butter and sugar is a guaranteed way to give your pound cake—or any baked good in this case—an overly dense texture. While pound cakes are generally dense, they shouldn’t be to the point of an almost glue-like texture.
There are two ways over-creaming can happen: you either mixed the sugar and butter too quickly or too much. Either way, this creates an almost white base instead of a pale yellow one.
When you over-cream, your pound cake is more likely to collapse or settle while cooling. This ultimately results in some parts of the cake having a gummy texture.
Another culprit is overmixing your batter. This issue, in general, can lead to unpleasantly chewy and tough pastries, be it cookies or cakes.
It’s a common problem in any baked treat. So, why does this happen? It’s because overmixing activates the gluten that results from combining the flour with water.
When gluten activates too much, it forms long and strong gluten strands that make your pastry chewy.
When you bake your batter with dry flour streaks, you’ll find that these streaks turn into weird, gummy parts that ruin your pound cake’s texture. These streaks are usually a result of poor mixing.
Ideally, when combining your wet and dry ingredients, you want to avoid any dry spots. A good rule of thumb is you should no longer see any traces of your dry ingredients after mixing them with your wet ingredients.
Sometimes these dry streaks are from lumps of flour in your batter.
To remedy this, make sure you sift your flour if the recipe calls for it. If not, use a wire whisk to aerate and break the lumps.
Now that we know the possible reasons why the pound cake’s texture is a little too dense and gummy, what can we do to remedy this? Below are three tips and tricks to solve this issue!
Exact mixer speeds generally vary depending on the brand that you own. Some mixers run pretty fast, even in medium settings.
When it comes to pound cakes, and even most cakes, in general, recipes usually recommend keeping the mixer speed at a low to medium setting when combining your pound cake batter ingredients.
For creaming your sugar and butter, you can use a medium-speed setting. Once you add in the flour, switch it to the lowest possible setting.
When it comes to making the perfect pound cake batter, slow and steady truly wins the race. Relatively slow, consistent mixer speeds help avoid overmixing and over-creaming.
We know this is easier said than done, but don’t overmix the batter. It’s important to remember to mix just until the dry ingredients—most importantly, flour—are fully incorporated.
When adding fine-powdered components like flour, start mixing slowly if you’re doing it by hand. An even better method is to fold the ingredients together instead of vigorously mixing in circular motions.
This generally gives you more control over how much you mix. In addition, it’s easier to see if you’ve already combined your ingredients enough.
One of the most common signs that your batter is mixed enough is when you can no longer see individual traces of any ingredient. Unless you’re aiming for a certain batter consistency, it’s usually a good idea to stop mixing at this point.
Now, just because you’re trying to avoid overmixing doesn’t mean you just give your wet and dry ingredients a few stirs, and you’re good. You want everything, especially the flour, to be fully incorporated into your batter.
Remember the dry flour streaks? That’s usually from not combining your dry ingredients enough.
The key is to fold in the flour carefully, but don’t leave dry flour spots unmixed.
Keep your eyes peeled for any white spots in your batter. As soon as no dry flour remains, you can stop mixing.
On another note, ensure that you follow the right amount of flour by measuring it as accurately as possible. It’s especially challenging to fully incorporate your flour if you add too much than what your recipe calls for.
Remember, if you ever find yourself thinking, why is my pound cake gummy? The most likely culprit is one of these three: over-creamed batter, overmixing, and poorly incorporated flour.
The solution to all three lies in how you mix your batter. The speed shouldn’t be too quick so the gluten doesn’t overdevelop, but it still should be properly combined to avoid dry flour streaks.
Pound cake is a classic baked treat for any occasion. With these tips and tricks, you can successfully avoid a gummy pastry!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.