Why a Cake sinks in the middle and how to fix that

Even after doing everything you need to in the recipe, your cakes and cupcakes sink in the middle. Let’s find out why!

Cupcake sinks in middle


Why do Cakes and Cupcakes sink?

There are three main reasons why your Cakes sink in the middle even after following the recipe to the T.

Reason no. 1: You have filled the Cake tin/Cupcake liner with more batter than necessary.

You make the cake batter; you fill the cake pan.

But you see that there is just little batter left and you are too lazy to make a cupcake out of it or too conscious to wash it down the sink.

So, what you do is fill the cake tin with the extra batter thinking that the cake will come out just fine as it is just a little extra batter.

What happens here is the extra batter tries to rise but due to lack of space it is not able to hold and sinks in the middle. This generally happens in the last 10 minutes of the time your cake is in the oven and the result is a sunken cake.

This is one of the most common baking mistakes beginner bakers make.


Reason no. 2: Your oven is too hot!

This causes the outer side of the cake to bake quicker than the inside and it looks to you like the cake is done. But on the inside, it is still raw.

When the inside is not baked and you take the cake out of the oven assuming that it is done, the inside gooey structure cannot hold itself and sticks to the cake which has been baked. So, you get a sticky under cooked cake on the inside.


This is the numero uno problem faced by bakers worldwide. They are in a constant fight with their oven. If you are one of them, you need to buy an oven thermometer to see how temperature fluctuates inside and to understand your oven well.


cupcakes sinking solution
Reason no. 3: Your cake batter has more liquid content than necessary.

Do you know in a Cake, all ingredients are there according to a proportion?

That means for X amount of dry ingredients, there needs to be Y amount of liquid ingredients.

If this proportion rule is not followed, it sabotages the chances of your cake batter coming out as a fine cake.

If you put more liquid ingredients than necessary, there will not be enough dry ingredients to absorb the liquid and your cake/cupcake will sink in the middle.

This is also the reason why your cupcakes are flat after baking.


Reason no. 4: Over-use of leavening agents

If your cake batter has more of baking powder or baking soda, what happens is the air expands inside due to the chemical reaction of leavening agents and when you take the cake out of the oven after baking, it falls immediately in front of your eyes.

Why? Because for every cup of flour, only a certain quantity of leavening agents is required. If it is more, there is not enough flour to hold the air bubbles.

sunken cupcakes

Simple Solution and Fixes

When Cakes Sink

If this happens with a cake that you are going to use for a gateaux or layer cake, you can fix this without anyone knowing.

Make layers of the cake as usual and cut the undercooked parts of the cake with a cookie cutter or knife. Remember, there should not be any sticky undercooked cake left behind.

Fill the gap with any candy or chocolate ganache or any other filling and make it as a surprise-inside cake.

It is difficult to fix if a tea-time cake or a loaf cake sinks, as there is no buttercream or ganache to disguise it. You can still eat the cake that is cooked safely.


When Cupcakes Sink

Remove the mushy part of the cupcakes with a cupcake corer, or a paring knife or any knife with a pointed end.

Fill it with jelly or ganache or any filling that suits the cupcake flavor and frost it like you would do normally.


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Want to try easy baking? Check these Eggless Recipes:

1. Banana Muffins with Yogurt

2. Easiest Vegan Vanilla Cake