Pound cakes are tasty, moist, and fine-textured. Nonetheless, with a slight mistake in the preparation, they can turn out cracked and crumbly.
We know how frustrating this experience can be. Luckily, with a few simple tactics, you can avoid this issue.
So, if you wonder: Why is my pound cake crumbly? This post will break down all the possible causes of this problem. It’ll also show how to solve each.
8 Reasons Why Your Pound Cake Turns Crumbly
Getting a cracked pound cake is a result of one of these reasons:
1 – Over-Mixing the Cake Batter
Gluten gives the cake the beloved fluffy texture. Though, when there’s too much gluten in your cake, it creates too many air bubbles in the batter.
This vast number of air bubbles negatively affects the cake texture during baking. As a result, you’ll end up having a crumbly cake.
One of the key causes of developing an excessive amount of gluten in the cake is over-mixing the batter.
When mixing the cake batter, blend only until the ingredients are well combined. This usually takes 2–6 minutes.
Avoid over-mixing to prevent the development of excessive gluten.
2 – Slicing the Cake Immediately
When you take the cake out of the oven, its structure is weak. That way, it needs to rest for some time before slicing it.
If you rush and cut your cake right after baking, it can crack and even fall apart entirely.
Allow your cake to rest for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing. This is to ensure that it’ll maintain its shape and texture when cutting it.
3 – Overbeating the Eggs
Overbeating the eggs while making the cake batter can create a fragile crust. That way, the cake will very likely crumble when it cools down.
To beat the eggs and incorporate them correctly into the batter, follow these steps:
- Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time
- Beat until the yolks are thoroughly combined with the other ingredients
- Avoid beating after the eggs are well mixed
4 – Lack of Fat
Every recipe requires a certain amount of fat. This fat helps keep the cake moist and well-baked.
If you don’t meet the minimum required fat in the recipe, your cake will turn out dry and crumbly.
Follow the exact amount of fat required in the recipe. To do so, use a kitchen scale to measure the quantity accurately.
Nonetheless, you may use the essential fat and still get cracked pound cake. In this instance, try to increase the recommended amount by 10%.
5 – Overbaking
It’s not surprising that overbaking your pound cake can cause it to dry out, making its texture cracked and crumbly.
However, the problem is that sometimes you can still over bake the cake even if you follow the required baking time!
This is because the recommended baking time in the recipes is usually approximate and not precise.
Adhere to the recipe instructions on how long you should bake your pound cake.
Most importantly, check the cake around the recommended baking time, as it might be fully baked before the expected time.
That said, only check the cake a few minutes before the expected baking time finishes.
Avoid checking it too often, as opening the oven’s door multiple times can decrease the temperature of the interior. As a result, the baking time can be considerably extended.
6 – Using the Wrong Temperature
If you bake your pound cake at the wrong temperature, there’s a high probability it’ll crack.
Following the recommended baking temperature in the recipe can be an excellent strategy to avoid that. Nonetheless, only doing so isn’t enough to ensure your pound cake won’t crumble.
The reason is that many ovens might display an inaccurate temperature that doesn’t match the actual one of their interior.
Consider getting an oven thermometer to test your oven’s actual temperature and ensure it matches the one displayed.
If there’s any difference between the displayed and the actual one, adjust the set temperature accordingly.
7 – Adding Excessive Flour
Flour is the main ingredient in pound cake. Though, adding more flour than what the recipe calls for can result in a dry and crumbly pound cake.
Follow the exact amount of flour required by the recipe. Use a kitchen scale when measuring to help you determine the right amount of flour accurately.
8 – Decreasing the Sugar
The sugar in your pound cake recipe isn’t just about the cake’s taste. It also has a direct relation to the cake’s texture.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you may decide to remove some sugar from your recipe to make the cake less sweet. As a result, the final texture of the cake will deteriorate.
In addition, to keep the batter thick, you might also choose to replace the skipped sugar with the same amount of flour.
In this case, you’ll exceed the amount of flour and gluten you should use in a pound cake. That way, you’ll get a cracked and crumbly cake.
Stick to the amount of sugar included in the recipe you’re using. Avoid eliminating the sugar and substituting it with other ingredients.
Instead, if you want to make a pound cake with less or no sugar, pick a recipe that originally contains less sugar.
Why Does the Top of My Pound Cake Crumble?
Overbeating eggs can cause the cake to crumble, especially its top.
That’s because overbeating eggs incorporates excessive air into the batter, which makes the cake rise too high during baking and then crack.
As we said, you should beat the eggs only until the yolks disappear. You need to avoid overbeating them to prevent this issue.
What to Do with Crumbly Pound Cake?
Unfortunately, fixing a pound cake that has turned out crumbly is challenging and even impossible.
However, you don’t have to throw it in the garbage. You can repurpose your cracked cake to make other delicious desserts.
Here are two tasty suggestions for using your pound cake:
1 – Ice Cream or Whipped Cream Topping
You can use your crumbly pound cake as a topping for your preferred ice cream. Interestingly, pound cakes pair well with countless ice cream flavors.
Topping whipped cream with crumbly pound cake pieces is also another delectable option.
2 – Add to Cake Pops
You can make mouth-watering treats by incorporating the pieces of your pound cake into the ingredients of your cake pops.
So, why is your pound cake crumbly? Many reasons can cause your pound cake to crack.
Overmixing the cake ingredients while preparing the batter is the most common reason. Lack of fat, overbeating the eggs, and slicing the cakes the wrong way are also possible causes.
In addition, possible factors can include overbaking the cake or using an oven with an inaccurate temperature display. Using insufficient sugar or excessive flour can be the reason as well.
In any case, by following the recommended solutions above, you can make a perfect pound cake.
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.