Rescuing Your Cake: Tips for Fixing An Undercooked Cake

Most bakers find themselves with an undercooked cake at some point, and it is always helpful to know what to do in such a situation.

How Do You Fix An Undercooked Cake?

Once your cake is undercooked it’s hard to go back and fix it once cooled. If you have noticed that your cake is still not completely done there are a few options that you can do. You can take the cake and slice it and put it in the oven to bake for a little bit more and put some ice cream on top of it and call it a day. 

Note that it’s not going to be like a normal cake but it’d be good enough for you to eat. Or you can also mix everything in a bowl and roll it into cake pops. 

If your cake is not savable you may need to throw it out as the cake tends to turn bad way more quickly because of the cake not being fully baked. The key here is you have to make a really good judgment by looking at the cake in the oven before you decide to take it out and cool.

Fixing an underbaked cake once it cools down is almost impossible but the good thing about it is you can use the parts of the cake that is baked correctly and get creative. Now I’m going to share more about how to tell when a cake is underbaked and a little bit more about what happens when it’s undercooked.

What Does Undercooked Cake Look Like?

When a cake is undercooked the cake will look wet even after it is cooled. Most will use a knife but that doesn’t usually assess if the cake is done completely. It’s best to use a wooden toothpick to see if crumbs are sticking to the wood easily. That will help you decide if the cookie batter is actually baked through.

Another way to tell when a cake is undercooked is when you put your finger on the cake and poke it and it doesn’t bounce back but leaves a dent. That’s an indication to let the cake bake a bit longer in the oven. 

There may be instances, where the cake will cook on the top but by the time you take the cake out of the pan it’s sticky and wet at the bottom. This can happen when the ratio of the recipe is off. So most likely there was maybe too much sugar in comparison to the flour. 

As a result, it did not develop enough gluten to hold its structure when placed in the oven leading to the cake not baking.

You can read a little bit more about how the ratio method works in recipes.

The reason why a cake may be undercooked is at the time of mixing your batter gluten developed But can develop more slowly especially when there are fats and hydration which causes the baking process to take a little bit longer. Which is completely okay. So it’s important to keep that in mind. 

Why Is My Batter Oozing Out Of My Cake?

When the batter is oozing out of the cake it’s usually because of one of these reasons the temperature may be too high. Which leads to the cake being done on the outside before the inside is done. It is also helpful to have an oven thermometer so you can also measure the accuracy of the heat in your oven. 

Alternatively lowering the heat in your oven by 25° of what the recipe originally called for may help the cake to bake slowly so it gets the inside and outside. Something to test!

Also paying attention to the amount of batter you’re putting into your pan can make a difference. If there’s too much batter it can contribute to your cake taking longer to bake. A general rule is If you’re using a 2-inch pan you would fill it up about ⅔ of the way. If it’s a 3 or 4-inch pan you would fill it ¾ of the way.

You can check out this article I did about calculations on increasing your recipe batter to make just the right amount depending on the pan that you’re using.

Using Cakestrips To Help The Cake Bake Thoroughly 

Using cake strips can help bake your cake and avoid having wet batter in the middle. It helps prevents the outer edge of the cake from baking faster than the inside. It slows down the baking of the cake so that it can bake in a reasonable time while in the oven without having to deal with the outside of the cake burning for the sake of waiting for the inside of the cake to bake. There are also many other benefits such as having a cake be able to bake flat and come out moister. Using cake strips can help a baker avoid having an oozing cake.

Can You Rebake A Cake If It’s Undercooked?

Rebaking a cake that is undercooked once cooled will not yield you the results that you’re looking for. If you put a cooled cake back into the oven you risk the outer edge of the cake burning and turning really hard and having the overall cake be overbaked. In most instances, the inside of the cake still not baked, gloopy and a hard dense cake.

In an ideal scenario, trying to do this successfully would look like trying to slow down the heat process by using water in a pan at the bottom of the oven. Using foil to cover and protect the top and the sides. But doing this method is usually not very successful.

You would quickly notice that the cake will burn faster and the heat will not travel fast enough to get the insides of the cake fully baked. Attempting to rebake a cake should never be done especially if you’re not looking to have a dense or non-presentable cake, especially in the middle.

Is it better to overcook or undercook cake?

It is better to overcook your cake. Here’s why a cake that is undercooked once noticed is very hard to put back in the oven and you risk the cake not being able to be eaten or you not being able to do anything with it because it has a very floury pasty taste. 

If the cake is overcooked at least you were able to eat the cake and at least enjoy it. and cut off any areas where it may have burned from the outer edges. 

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