In the pastry world, if you want to obtain optimal results when preparing any recipe, you deserve the following essential things: good use of techniques, quality ingredients, precision, care and, especially, attention to detail. For this reason, in the specific case of how to make the cake even, there are some basic tips to get a cake of 10 points. Don’t worry, they are all very simple recommendations to comply with and some you may already know.
So, if you cannot get the perfect sponge cake to prepare a cake, we invite you to read this Free Recipes article, it will surely clarify many of the doubts you may have. Without further ado, we invite you to put these tricks into practice to find out how to make the cake flat.
Avoid buying poor quality or unsuitable ingredients
Acquiring fresh ingredients in good condition is a basic requirement in any recipe, and especially if you want to learn how to make the cake even, that is, as flat as possible. In this sense, also take into account that if you substitute a food improperly, you can affect the preparation and, therefore, you may have the cake sunk in the center or, on the contrary, with the lower edges. Thinking about this, we share the following tips:
- Prefers size M eggs. Generally, neither very small (S) nor very large (L) eggs are used in standard recipes. Each type M egg is equivalent to 50 g of this product.
- Do not use expired or improperly stored flour. Never keep this food in the refrigerator or a humid place, as it deteriorates before its time. If you use flour like this, the cake will be caked and tasteless (it will taste musty). Also, do not use this expired ingredient because it loses its essential qualities.
- Use low gluten flour. The best ones for this type of recipe have between 4-8% gluten (preferably always below 8%). These types of flours include: all-purpose flour and self-rising flour (also known as cake flour or pastry flour).
- Use baking powder, not baker’s yeast. Although baking powder is also known as yeast, make no mistake, the two ingredients are very different things. The baking powder incorporates air into the mixture, while the yeast ferments. Both serve to give fluffiness, but in different types of dough and they are activated differently. Of course, it is also important to say that in some countries baking powder is marketed under the name of “chemical yeast”, but in these cases it is always specified that it is special for confectionery to differentiate it from baker’s yeast.
- Don’t use expired baking powder. Once the time of this product has passed, it loses its qualities. That is, the cake will rise little or nothing.
- Avoid very heavy fats or low-quality butter. Bad butter contains too much liquid, which unbalances the proportions of the preparation. On the other hand, very heavy fats can sink the cake, so it will not be even.
Use the exact amount of ingredients
Baking recipes are very similar to chemical formulas, since accuracy counts, a lot! One ingredient too much or too little changes everything: texture, flavor, size, color, etc. If you want to make the cake flat and it does not turn out as you want, it could be due to a lack, excess or too little amount of some product.
Remember, it is best to weigh the food and if you do not have a special scale for this, use measuring cups and spoons (never use conventional utensils, as they are very inaccurate, but if you do use them, always try to use the same ones). Also take into account when making substitutions that you must know the corresponding equivalences very well. Once all this is clarified, you can consult below what happens to the cake if the measurements are inaccurate:
- Excess fat. Although the ideal would be not to use it, as this way you achieve a fluffier texture in the cake, there are recipes that include it. In those cases, if you go overboard with the fat, the dough will weigh heavier than normal and, consequently, the cake will have a hard time rising or it will sink. Solution: add a little more yeast or use a lighter fat, such as sunflower oil (it also helps to reduce the amount of it).
- Too much or too little yeast. Too much yeast causes the mixture to rise more than it should, for which the mold overflows and the content is wasted (altering the final result). If you use little yeast, the cake does not rise, unless the whites have been beaten very well and then you have beaten the flour a little. On the other hand, if you use little yeast and a lot of flour, the cake will not grow and will become caked.
- Excess flour. Too much flour (especially if it has little yeast) can cause the cake not to rise and become caked. It could also cook faster and consequently a thick layer would form on the surface or burn.
- Excess dry ingredients. If there is no fat or liquid in the dough, the cake will be very dry and compact.
- Little sugar. A cake that is low in sugar does not acquire its appetizing golden color and does not grow enough. In this sense, it is important to note that there are many ways to add sugar if you want to make a cake without sugar, for example with natural fruit.
Beat the preparation properly
This is the starting point of all good cake, so if you want to make the cake even, mix it correctly. In this regard, the most important thing will be balance: beat enough when necessary and beat little when necessary. For this reason, it will help you a lot to guide you from the following aspects:
- Incorporate enough air into the batter. The more air you incorporate, the fluffier the cake will be (infallible). Eggs and butter are the ingredients that help us incorporate air into the dough, apart from the yeast. In the case of sponge cakes, beat the egg whites alone or with little sugar until they are stiff. In the case of pancakes, butter and sugar are used for the same function during cremation. If you want to facilitate this process, you will need a deep bowl, as that depth helps to trap the air in the preparation. Likewise, he prefers balloon rods, regardless of whether they are manual or electric. As for the technique, start beating at low speed and then gradually increase it.
- Avoid over-beating the dough once the flour has been added. Gluten develops as you beat it. When preparing cakes, keep in mind that the less gluten develops, the fluffier it will be, since when the proteins multiply (disproportionately compared to the rest of the ingredients), the cake remains caked and dry. For this reason, once this ingredient is incorporated, you only have to beat just long enough to eliminate lumps and integrate it well, not a second more! The best way to incorporate the flour is to use enveloping movements aided by a silicone spatula or manual balloon whisk.
- Integrate the ingredients well. The idea is to beat until there are no lumps and the dough is completely homogeneous. For this reason, you should add the dry ingredients little by little, sifting them and distributing them evenly in the preparation. Thus, among other things, the baking powder will be well distributed and the cake will grow evenly during baking.
Incorporate the leavening agents at the right time
The second ingredients in charge of giving the cake height, proportion and fluffiness are the leavening agents (baking powder or chemical yeast, bicarbonate, etc.). Although, if you beat the eggs very well and do not beat the flour too much, you can obtain the same result without using them.
Either way, using yeast never hurts, but you should know the right time to integrate it and we will indicate it below:
- If you use baking soda, add it last. Remember that this leavening agent is activated as soon as it makes contact with the mixture thanks to the egg and the acidic ingredients it may contain. Do not forget to distribute it evenly in the preparation and dissolve it very well.
- If you are using baking powder, add it along with the dry ingredients. Although there are baking powders with double activation (on contact with the mixture and then on contact with heat), they are generally activated only during baking (single action powders).
Avoid sudden temperature changes
To make the cake even and flat, it is essential to avoid drastic changes in temperature during the different stages of work: in preparation, baking and the time after baking. In this sense, the following points are decisive in the final result:
- Use room temperature ingredients. Incorporating very cold products in the preparation can cause two things: that they do not integrate well into the mixture or that the yeast does not activate during baking. This recommendation is especially important for eggs, so you should remove them 30 minutes before preparing the cake.
- Pre-heat the oven. This allows you to cook in just the right amount of time and obtain an even cooking. If you don’t do it like this, the cake won’t fluff up or it will be raw inside. The correct thing to do is to heat the oven at least 10-15 minutes in advance so that it is hot enough. Discover more reasons that can cause this in this other article: “Why I have the raw sponge cake inside”.
- Avoid opening the oven ahead of time. Baking powder begins its chemical process at the same time it comes into contact with heat, therefore this reaction should not be interrupted. So, do not open the oven for ¾ of the stipulated cooking time, that is, for the first 30-35 minutes or so. Otherwise, the cake may sink.
- Do not raise or lower the temperature during baking. Unless the recipe requires it, do not change the temperature arbitrarily, otherwise, you will also affect the action of the chemical yeast (baking powder).
- Avoid exposing the cake to drafts as soon as it comes out of the oven. A sudden change can cause you to sink or lose height. Cool it away from windows, doors, or places with strong drafts.
Advice: never let the cake cool in the oven while it is still hot, as it will continue to cook. What you can do is slightly open the door so that the heat comes out progressively and the change is not so …