Why Do Cakes Fall When Cooling? (Simple and Easy Fixes)

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Last Updated on February 10, 2023

If you have ever asked why do cakes fall when cooling, you should know that it is indeed a result of not baking them thoroughly. As a result, when you take the cake out of the oven, the numerous air pockets inside start to cool. Because of this, they will hold up the cake’s dome.

Moreover, the cake will eventually fall if the cake’s crumb structure has not firmed up when that happens. In addition to that, a cake may look as if the crust will be evenly golden and it has completely risen. However, the eggs and flour are not entirely set.

The most effective solution is to bake the cake longer. Likewise, cover its crust with aluminum foil or turn down the heat to avoid over-browning. Additionally, apply the toothpick method. , you can do this by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. Then, if it comes out clean, it is done. Alternatively, you can utilize a skewer if a toothpick is not available. Similarly, you can tell if the cake is made and if the sides will start to pull away from the cake pan. 

Why Do Cakes Fall When Cooling?

Usually, cakes from scratch may rise during baking. Afterward, fall again once cooled. Hence, it is commonly caused by little mistakes while baking. Although, falling cakes are easy to fix. Because of that, ensure to check if you are using fresh baking powder all the time when baking. Likewise, never use out-of-date baking powder.

Moreover, if this occurs with cake mixes, it is quite unusual to blame it on the oven temperature. That is why it is best to check the manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the oven. In addition to that, you can even consult with an appliance manufacturer.

Furthermore, keep in mind that lower air pressure may lead to cakes that use baking powder, egg whites, and yeast to rise extremely, then fall. With that, high altitude significantly affects baking. 

How to Cool a Cake Effectively

Many cool their cakes on the stoves, either on an unused burner or the flat surface between the burners. However, it is best to cool cakes on a rack on the kitchen counter since cool burners and stove surfaces can be exceedingly hot, especially on gas ranges. In addition to that, they typically receive heat waves from the oven below.

For that reason, make sure to let it cool on a cooling rack for about an hour or two. Afterward, ensure to flip the cake out onto a piece of cling wrap. Then, wrap the cake firmly. Afterward, please put it in the refrigerator overnight. Doing this will result in an excellent cooled cake with an incredible texture in the morning. Hence, this is the most effective approach when cooling a cake, and you are not in a rush.

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On the contrary, if you want the quickest way to cool a cake, it is best to cut the cake, especially if you fill the cake with delicious fillings and frostings. Not only that, but eventually, you will need to cut the cake if you are going to apply fillings, so why not cut it right away? With that, be sure to slice the cake horizontally since this is a preparation for cake fillings afterward.

Also, you will need to allow the cool air to touch the cake more and more. As a result, you will have numerous skinny layers of cake instead of one thick cake. Remember that if you try to slice the cake too quickly, you will tear the cake. That is why it is best to cut using a serrated knife. 

Tips and Tricks for Baking Perfect Cakes

Ensure to lessen the shortening by one to two tablespoons per cup and add one egg to avoid the cake falling when cooling, especially for a two-layer cake. In addition to that, for cakes made with shortening, decrease the sugar by about a tablespoon for every cup called for. Also, increase the liquid by one to two tablespoons for every cup required in the recipe. Likewise, decrease baking powder by lessening it by about one-eight teaspoons needed in the recipe.

Moreover, you can increase the baking temperature by 15 degrees Fahrenheit to 25 degrees Fahrenheit to help set the cake batter. Hence, you need to adjust the ingredients’ measurements equally, especially at higher altitudes. Additionally, make sure to beat the egg whites only to soft peaks for cakes leavened by air like angel food cake. Besides, if you choose not to do it, the cake batter will enlarge exceedingly.

Why Did My Cake Sink in the Middle?

There are many reasons why your cake may be sinking in the middle. Here are some of the most common reasons why that happens to your cakes:

  • underbaked cake. Most of the time, your cake just simply hasn’t been baked in the oven for long enough. When this happens, the cake usually will bake around the edges, but the center will be underbaked and sink in the middle once taken out of the oven.
  • excessive leavening. If you use too much leavening agent (such as baking powder, baking soda, etc.) the cake will rise higher than needed, and then when you remove it from the oven, it will deflate rapidly and sink in the middle. It’s also important to know the difference between baking powder and baking soda as they both have slightly different functions, and different amounts are needed when used in a recipe.
  • wrong oven temperature. Sometimes your oven may be slightly off in terms of heat; whether it be too hot or too cold, this can cause a problem for your cake. One of those problems is the cake sinking in the middle. This is because the cake doesn’t set well enough.
  • oven door opened during baking. If you open/close the oven door when your cake is baking, it can cause your cake to both rises and fall too quickly. And then it won’t rise as it should. When you remove it from the oven, it’ll lightly sink; no matter how well-baked it is.
  • wrong pan size. Be sure to use the pan size that the recipe you’re following asks for. If you don’t, this can cause problems.

How to Fix a Sunken Cake

If you’re too late and your cake has already fallen when removed from the oven, and you think nothing can salvage it – we’re here to help. There are a few simple fixes you may want to try.

The first one is simply to use a serrated knife to cut away the part of the cake that has fallen. This fix is only suitable when the sink in your cake is only slight.

You could also try placing the cake back in the oven. You should try baking for an extra 5 minutes and then check. This will ensure the cake is baked throughout.

And finally, if nothing else helps – use a lot of decoration! Whether you opt for buttercream frosting, royal icing, ganache, or a glaze – all of these options will help to cover any problems that your cake may have.

cakes fall when cooling

How Much Does a Cake Rise?

If you’re wondering how much a cake rises during baking, it’s a surprising amount! Depending on the cake, and how light and airy it is, it can be anywhere from 2-4 inches.


I hope this post has helped to answer the question: why do cakes fall when cooling? And given you ways to prevent this problem, and easy fixes if it’s already happened! Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to cakes falling when cooling down? If so, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring!

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