Few things are more disheartening than spending hours baking a beautiful bundt cake only to watch it crumble into pieces. We’re then left asking, why did my bundt cake fall apart?
Several reasons may be behind this baking mishap. You might have set the wrong oven temperature, encountered moisture issues, used too much baking powder, or added eggs at the wrong time.
If you’re in the kitchen stressing over your fallen bundt cake, don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ll walk you through all the possible reasons why your cake crumbled and give tips on how to avoid this next time.
Bundt cakes are a type of cake that’s baked in a distinctive, ring-shaped, fluted pan called a bundt pan. Dense cakes like pound and coffee cakes are typically used to make bundt cakes.
The characteristic shape of a bundt cake makes it prone to falling apart. Its intricate design makes it difficult for the cake to come out cleanly from the pan.
Preventing a bundt cake from collapsing can be even more challenging if you’re making the following common mistakes.
One of the most common reasons bundt cakes fall apart is incorrect baking temperatures. You may have set the wrong oven temperature or your oven has hot spots that cause some areas to be hotter.
Conversely, you may open the oven door too frequently or too early. Doing so can cause a sudden drop in temperature inside the oven, making it cooler than it needs to be.
When baking any cake, the temperature is crucial. If the temperature is too cold, the air bubbles in the batter will expand too slowly and too big, which results in a loose structure that won’t be able to support the weight of the cake.
Additionally, those large holes will lead to a weak crumb structure that breaks apart easily once the cake has set.
On the other hand, too high a temperature will cause the cake to rise too quickly and collapse.
Moisture problems can also cause your bundt cake to fall. Your cake can have too much moisture when ingredients like flour collect moisture from the air in humid climates.
Otherwise, your mixture may have too much or insufficient moisture because you didn’t add the correct amount of wet and dry ingredients.
When your mixture is too moist, it can lead to the same result as baking it at too high a temperature. The cake may rise too quickly before collapsing in the middle.
In contrast, if the cake doesn’t have enough moisture, it may be too crumbly. A crumbly cake can also easily fall apart.
You should follow the recipe closely, especially when adding a leavening agent such as baking powder or baking soda. Too much baking powder can make the cake collapse.
When you cream butter and sugar for the batter, you create air bubbles. Adding too much leavening will make the bubbles expand too much, hit the top of the cake, and burst, causing the cake to collapse.
That being said, you also shouldn’t use too little baking powder because it won’t allow the cake to rise as it should.
When you remove a bundt cake from the oven, it’s still hot and continues to set for a few minutes. During this time, the cake is still fragile and can easily collapse if removed from the pan too soon.
Bundt cake batters are usually made using the creaming method. Creaming involves beating the butter and sugar, before adding other wet and dry ingredients alternately.
This method creates air pockets in the mixture, which helps the cake rise when baking. If you fail to beat the butter and sugar until it’s pale yellow and fluffy, the mixture may curdle.
A curdled batter won’t rise enough and result in a dense cake.
Now that you have some possible explanations behind your bundt cake falling apart, here are a few tips to help you prevent this in the future.
Bundt pans are trickier to grease than regular cake pans because they have intricate designs. On that account, you need to grease the pan thoroughly with butter or cooking spray.
Get every nook and cranny to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and breaking apart when you remove it.
Accurate measurements are crucial in baking, so measure each ingredient carefully with measuring cups or spoons.
Too little or too much of an ingredient can affect the cake’s moisture and structure.
You need to cream the butter properly to prevent the batter from curdling. To do this, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.
Afterward, add the wet and dry ingredients to the mixture alternately, always adding the dry ingredients first and last.
Control your urge to open the oven before it’s time to check for doneness. Then, use a toothpick to see if your cake’s ready.
If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, leave the cake in the oven for a few more minutes.
To ensure your cake comes out smoothly, let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring it to a plate.
Allowing the cake to cool gives it time to become more stable and less likely to collapse.
Letting the cake cool also allows it to loosen and separate from the sides of the pan, making it easier to release it without damaging it.
Making the perfect bundt cake can be challenging. If you’ve invested a lot of time and effort for your cake to fall apart, it can be frustrating but don’t give up.
Instead, learn about what you could be doing wrong and how you can prevent it in the future. With practice, patience, and a little research, you can create a beautiful, delicious bundt cake that’ll be the star of any gathering!
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.