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Topic: Help! my cake keeps falling apart
crystl2critt 05/13/2011 10:43 AM
I have made 8 boxes of cake mixes that seems to get stuck to the sides or just plain fall apart. I used betty crocker french vanilla. I was thinking about adding a box of pudding and a n egg to make more sturdier any thoughts? Plz help I have to have it done in two days. The other thing is we only have one grocerie store in our town and at the moment they r remodeling it so they dnt have the cake mix I wanted to use duncan hines.
Chasey 05/13/2011 12:07 PM
I bet you are frustrated! Couple of trouble shooting questions for you:

1. Are you greasing and flouring your pans with something like Baker's Joy or Pam with flour spray? Spray the bottom and the sides of the pan completely.

2. Are you letting the cake cool in the pan longer than 10-15 mins? Any longer and you risk it getting stuck in places.

3. Are you trying to manipulate the cake while it's still too warm? When you turn the cake out onto a cooling grid (better than a cooler rack because the holes are smaller) the best way is to place the grid upside down on top of your cake pan edge and flip them as one complete unit. The cake won't have far to fall that way.

4. Are you running a knife around the edge before dumping it out?

5. Is the cake falling apart when you frost it? Your icing is too thick if that's the case. Just thin it down with water or milk and that will go on easier.

Hope something in those tips help you!
crystl2critt 05/13/2011 12:11 PM
I used baker joy spary. After it has cooled like an hour on a rack i try to move it and it just falls apart
Chasey 05/13/2011 12:15 PM
I wait at least 2 hrs to move my cakes. I usually bake with the cake extender recipe or use the WASC method so it's not often I bake with a straight box mix. They are tender.

Eggs are a binder so I would give that a go. When I add pudding, I only like to use a couple of tablespoons because the whole small box makes it too moist for me. Most of the time I don't use pudding, I use sour cream and replace the 1/3 cup oil with applesauce.

Maybe you can make a test batch with the extra egg and pudding, grease the pans thoroughly, cool on racks for 2 hours and then attempt to move it. Can you slide a cakeboard under the whole layer so it's completely supported when you move it?
crystl2critt 05/13/2011 1:20 PM
when I add pudding to my mix, after it has cooled for awhile and I try to level the top it is difficult because its like extra hard around the sides is that the egg or pudding?
sunshinehobbyist 05/13/2011 5:25 PM
I would definitely try the WASC. You can interchange the flavorings so you can get almost any type of cake your heart could desire. Plus, it's sturdy. I use cake release but that is only because that is what works for me, and I don't mind paying a little extra for something that gets my cakes from the pan crumb free.

Also, are you baking at 325? If you bake the cakes at that degree for a long period of time you won't get the hard edges. The edges cook faster than the middle, that's why that happens. Or you could try bake even strips that Wilton makes. They're awesome.
bellybean 05/14/2011 12:20 AM
I use to have the same problem with the hard edges and my cakes would get a hump on the cake so when I would flip my cakes out of the pan it would crack, I was told by a pastry cheif it was because I was using spray on the pans, I started using crisco and flour on my pans and have not had those problems since. If you decide to try it let me know how it works for you.
Chasey 05/14/2011 4:46 PM
The extra hard around the edges sounds like a baking issue because when I add an extra egg or pudding, that doesn't happen to me. I forgot to ask you originally if you had a dome in the middle of your baked cakes. If you do and you are flipping them out to cool on the rack, resting on the domed part, it can cause your cake to crack.

Try baking for a little longer at 325 instead. What kind of pans are you using and what size? Anything over 10 inches needs some kind of heating core or greased metal flower nail in the middle so you don't have to over bake to get the center cooked.

Using the bake even strips will help the cake bake more level in the pan and eliminate most of that hump in the middle. It also keeps the edges from browning to fast. You can use wet towel strips pinned around the pan edge.

The cake is over baked if it's already pulling away from the edges. Take them out when there is just a crumb or two clinging to your cake tester/bamboo skewer.

I hope you can narrow down what the issue is!
ginnyl 05/14/2011 8:47 PM
Before I started with the bake even strips I had a dome in the center...Have since used the strips and no dome..In any case, when I did have that situation, when I flipped the cake out I immediately flipped it back right side up - dome on the top. So the level bottom kepts the cake from splitting and was able to level the top..