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Why Does My Pound Cake Have a Crust on Top?

Why Does My Pound Cake Have a Crust on Top?

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After taking the time to prepare a delicious and succulent pound cake, it comes out of the oven with a prominent crust.

You’re likely wondering, “Why does my pound cake have a crust on top?” Well, the usual issue lies with overbeating the eggs.

The extra oxygen trapped in the batter can reflect, during the baking process, on top of your pound cake. As you take out the cake, the crust will likely sink in on its own weight.

Stick around to learn more about why this crust layer forms and tips on how to get rid of it.

What Makes the Crust on a Pound Cake?

After baking your pound cake and taking it out of the oven, you may notice a crusty layer. That tough crust usually forms from overheating the cake.

If your oven temperature is too high, the outer part of your cake will cook faster, leaving the mid-region soft.

In turn, you’ll want to lower your baking temperature and increase the time.

Why Does My Pound Cake Crust Separate From the Cake?

When your pound cake’s crust separates from the rest of your cake, the likely culprit is overbeaten eggs.

The excess air trapped in your batter will create more lift than necessary.

Consequently, the pound cake’s outer surface will rise more than the rest of the cake. There’s no leavening agent to push the cake on the same level as the crust.

That said, the crust will sink, creating an unflattering wrinkly top because the cake didn’t rise with the crust.

For this reason, we suggest beating your eggs until they’re well incorporated into the mixture. Keep the beating below a minute.

Alternatively, you can add one egg at a time and beat until the yolk part is gone.

How to Avoid Crust on Pound Cakes

You can prevent crusts and cracks when baking your pound cake by following these tips.

  • Beat your eggs lightly before adding them to your mixture.
  • Keep all the ingredients at room temperature.
  • Before adding the sugar, mix your butter softly.
  • When baking, use a heavyweight pan to evenly distribute the heat across the batter.
  • Sift your dry ingredients half a cup at a time and gradually fold them in the mixture.

Why Does Your Pound Cake Have a Crack on Top?

Crusty and cracked tops differ on a pound cake. The crusted top looks more like a fragile layer that’ll break apart and cause an unflattering mess.

Meanwhile, a crack is what you’ll want to go for instead. It’s an ideal indicator of how well-baked the cake’s interior is.

That said, it forms because the outer part naturally bakes faster than the inner part. In turn, as the mid-region bakes, it rises and breaks apart the crustier exterior, forming a crack.

Can You Get an Even Crack on Your Pound Cake?

If you’re putting your pound cake on display, you’ll likely want to achieve an evenly cracked top. Fortunately, you can do this with the help of butter.

Create a line of butter on top of your batter, where you want the crack to appear before placing it in the oven. Your cake’s middle will rise into the butter line.

You can form your butter line in its melted or solid form. For the latter’s case, you’ll need to slice a thin sliver and put it on top of the batter.

On the other hand, you can dip a knife into melted butter and score your batter where you want the crack to form.

Can You Avoid Cracks on Your Pound Cake?

Now, you might not be a fan of the traditional crack on top of a pound cake. Instead, a perfectly smooth top may sound more appealing.

Luckily, forming that perfect surface is possible. You’ll just need to use a different kind of cake pan. Pound cakes are usually baked in a loaf pan.

Instead of that, you’ll need to use tube pans. The type of pan has a hole in the center that allows your batter to bake evenly.

That said, cracks don’t necessarily take away from your pound cake’s taste or texture. They provide a homey look fit for gatherings and potlucks.

Nevertheless, a smooth top can elevate your cake, especially if you want to top it off with a polished layer of fondant or frosting.


How do you know if pound cake is overcooked?

Your pound cake is likely overcooked if its texture is too dense or gummy. You’ll also notice a tough outer crust lining the cake. The dessert will also likely taste dry.

Are pound cakes supposed to crack on top?

Pound cakes crack on top because the middle part bakes after the outer portion. Subsequently, when the core bakes, it rises and pushes through the exterior, creating the signature crack.

How do you fix an overcooked pound cake?

You can redeem an overcooked pound cake by brushing it with a simple syrup to rehydrate it. Add a cream, mousse, or jam filling to incorporate more fat content.

Alternatively, soak the pound cake in milk or coat it with a healthy layer of buttercream frosting.

Why is my cake dry on top?

Your cake’s top is likely too dry from an overheated oven. It’ll heat your cake’s outer layer before getting to the center, leaving it undercooked.

In turn, leaving it at a lower temperature for a longer time is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

A crusty top is often a sign of overbeaten eggs in the batter. The whipped eggs create a meringue-like effect on your pound cake’s top layer.

The layer separates from the rest of the cake because it’s not rising at a similar rate. In turn, when taken out, the fragile, crusted top falls over.

The good news is that you can avoid this simple mishap by adding eggs one at a time or beating them lightly. That way, your cake will bake crust-free with a classic crack in the middle.

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