Why Didn’t It Work? Avoid These Common Baking Mistakes

Is your baked treat not coming out as planned? Avoid these common baking mishaps.

1  Why does my cake have a sunken center?


Double check your rising agents to check if they aren’t old or expired and do not overmix your cake batter. Both are the main culprits of sunken cake centers. Lastly, leave the oven door closed for the first 20 to 25 minutes! Letting heat escape too early in the baking process could contribute to your cake’s lack of height.



2  Why did my Swiss buttercream break?


Swiss meringue buttercream is dreamy: silky smooth, buttery, and only a tad sweet, it is a cake’s best friend! However, they can curdle or break if there are changes in temperature. First, remember to use ingredients with the same temperature. You can rescue broken butter cream by beating in a tablespoon or two of cooled melted white chocolate (meringue buttercream is an emulsion, anyway!), or by cooling the mixture slightly before beating it back to life.  



3  Why are my egg whites/meringues not forming peaks?


Keep it clean! Your bowls, hands, and mixers, and whisks must be absolutely grease-free—wipe them down lightly with tissue and vinegar beforehand to make sure that they are. Also, make sure that your egg whites do not have the slightest trace of broken egg yolks. Otherwise, meringues or beaten whites will not hold their shapes.



4  Why are my cupcake wrappers peeling off by themselves?


Moisture build-up causes cupcake wrappers to peel away, so: do not store hot or warm cupcakes in a closed airtight container (the steam will make everything moist), and remove the cupcakes from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven.





5  Why are the bottoms of my cookies burnt?

Use a light-colored and lightweight cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to bake cookies—dark, non-stick, and heavy cookie sheets tend to cook or burn the bottoms of cookies.



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