This article includes common mistakes to avoid when baking a pound cake
in order to create a delicious, moist pound cake.
A pound cake is a delicious cake made in a bundt pan which is why the cake is often called a pound cake or a bundt cake. It is made from 4 main ingredients- flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.
Of course, there are many variations of how to make a pound cake, but those are the basic ingredients. Even though only simple ingredients are required, there is still a definite science to baking.
It is easy to make a great pound cake, but it is also easy to miss certain steps that could cause your cake to not come out right.
Here are some tips to avoid common mistakes made with making a pound cake:
1. Not properly measuring your ingredients
When measuring the ingredients for your cake, a measuring cup or food scale should be used for proper accuracy.
When using a measuring cup-- do not scoop the flour into the measuring cup. First, spoon the ingredients into the measuring cup.
Then using a knife or similar, level the top of the measuring cup to remove the access ingredient. This is especially important when measuring ingredients such as flour, sugar, sour cream, buttermilk, etc.
When using a food scale-- First, zero out the scale. Then place the bowl on the scale that you will be using for your ingredient.
Make sure the bowl is free of any liquid. Then spoon your ingredients into the bowl until the correct measurement is reached.
If you add too much of an ingredient, remove the ingredients in small increments until the amount is accurate.
2. Overmixing your ingredients
Once you start adding the eggs to the batter, only mix until incorporated. Over mixing or over-beating your ingredients can add too much air to the batter which can cause issues such as streaking
(cake baking unevenly causing some areas that are uncooked), dryness, toughness, or cause the cake to sink.
3. Not using room temperature ingredients
Ingredients such as butter, eggs...any wet ingredients such as milk, heavy cream, buttermilk sour cream, cream cheese, etc. should be at room temperature.
If these ingredients are too cold when added to the cake, they can cause issues with the batter blending properly, create lumps, and can also cause the cake to fall.
4. Using the wrong size bundt pan
The correct size bundt pan is essential for baking a pound cake. Using the wrong size pan could cause issues such as-- the batter not fitting into the pan, the batter overflowing from the pan, or the cake not baking evenly.
If you are unsure of the volume of the bundt pan, you can use a measuring cup to fill the pan with water to determine the volume of the pan.
5. Overfilling the bundt pan
When filling a bundt pan, there should be about of inch of space from the top of the pan to allow room for the cake to rise. It is important to check the required size pan needed before baking the cake.
If you are unsure, I recommend using the largest bundt pan you have and filling the pan according to the amount of batter that you have to avoid spillage.
6. Not properly greasing the pan
There is nothing worse than making a beautiful cake that just won't come out of the pan. Or for most of it come out of the pan and have chunks of cake missing from the top of the cake.
Two common ways to grease a bundt pan are the flour and oil method and baking spray. Not non-stick spray, but baking spray.
There is a definite difference. Baking spray includes an oil and flour mixture made into a spray form, unlike non-stick spray which does not.
Follow the directions on the back of the baking spray can, but the basic way to use the spray is to create an even coat of spray in the pan. Spray the pan immediately before adding the batter to the pan.
A lot of recipes recommend greasing the pan prior to making the cake. That is fine if you are using the flour and oil method, but I do not recommend pre-spraying your pan because the spray may settle while you're preparing the cake.
When using the flour and oil method, first place an even layer of oil (solid or liquid) in the entire inside of the pan. I'm old school so I recommend using oil in solid form, but you can use either method.
Then lightly and evenly flour the pan. Remove any residual flour from the pan once the pan is fully coated with the flour.
7. Opening the oven door too often when baking the cake
Opening the oven door can cause the cake to cook improperly/unevenly or even fall. I don't recommend opening the oven door at all until 15 minutes before the cake is done.
That's a good time to check on how the cake has come along, and determine if it needs to be removed from the oven earlier or if it needs to cook longer.
The best way to check on a cake while it's baking is to turn on your oven light and look through the oven window.
If you don't have this option, simply allow the cake to bake and check on it when it's almost done.
8. Not allowing the cake to cool before inverting the cake (removing it from the pan)
This can cause the cake to stick to the pan. As the cake cools, it pulls from the pan. Give the pan at least 20 minutes to cool before inverting it.
I do not recommend leaving the cake in the pan until it completely cools.
This could cause the cake to dry out as the heat from the pan could still "cook" the cake and it sounds strange, but could possibly cause the cake to stick from being in the pan for too long.
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