4 top tips for making sure your cake rises
There are many reasons that your cake might not have risen to what you have expected, the most common is due to the oven not being hot enough or the flour being over-mixed.
If you love to bake (just like me!) flat cakes are not ideal, so I have pulled together my simple top tips to help you out.
1. Preheat your oven before you bake your cake
When someone comes to me with a cake that didn’t rise, my first question is always, did you preheat your oven? It sounds like a simple thing but turning your oven on before you start mixing your ingredients will help. This should mean when you are ready to bake, your oven will be at the perfect temperature.
Cakes rise in the first half of the bake, before the ingredients set into place in the second half. If your oven isn’t hot enough from the get-go then you’re going to skip that initial rising time and go straight to setting.
Many assume a cooler oven at the start won’t make a difference; I can guarantee you it will. It’s easy to be impatient here, but you must always make sure your oven has reached the right temperature before you put your mixture in.
2. Mix your cake mixture gently
For a cake to rise properly, pay attention to how you mix your ingredients.
Firstly, you need to mix your baking powder/bicarbonate of soda through your flour before you add this to the mixture. These two ingredients are the most common raising agents in baking, so I’ve focused on them here (also make sure they are in date!). If you don’t mix them through properly then they’ll end up giving you big bubbles in clumps rather than lots of little bubbles throughout your bake. You need the evenly distributed bubbles to give a good rise.
Next, you need to be careful about how you mix this flour combo into the cake batter. Flour doesn’t like to be beaten up like butter and sugar does, so you have to fold it gently into your cake. This is why we add the baking powder/bicarb into the flour first as it lets us mix it more thoroughly before we put it all into the batter and mix more gently.
3. Adjust your cooking times for your oven
Everyone’s oven is different and over time you get to know your own and its quirks. Knowing these will help you to know if the cooking time and temperature in the recipe are right for you. I know my oven runs a little hot because my door seal is a little wonky and it constantly heats to combat this; it gets a bit over-excited and ends up too hot!
4. The temperature of your oven can affect your cake’s rise
If your cake isn’t rising, it might be because your oven isn’t hot enough throughout the bake. Just as bad as not preheating your oven is running it too cool for the raising agents to activate properly before your cake sets.
On the other side of the same coin, running your oven too hot will make the cake rise too fast and then sink as the raising agents are over-activated and make bubbles too big for the cake structure to support. These bubbles then collapse and leave your cake sunken.
If you’re not confident adjusting your oven temperature, you can always get an oven thermometer which you use inside the oven to give you an accurate reading. Just use this before you pop your cake in to make sure your oven is at the temperature you expect.
Let us make your cake for you
If your cake has come out flat as a pancake and you need it for a celebration, then why not order one of our off-the-shelf bakes instead? We will always do our best to help out in an emergency and can often turn around a cake in a day, so get in touch.
We can even make a unique cake that tastes great, all that is needed is one week’s notice.