How Do You Prevent a Dry Cake?

Sometimes everyone seems to have the same problems at the same time. For example, I have been getting a lot of questions about dry cakes lately. Maybe that is also part of the time of the year because I always bake more cakes in the autumn. I regularly bring my favorite apple-cinnamon cake out of the oven, but I also like to experiment with new recipes. Fortunately, they are never dry, but I know what caused it. So I will explain how you can avoid getting a dry cake out of the oven.


Before I come to the causes, I explain briefly what makes a cake dry. That has to do with the moisture content, in the oven that moisture evaporates and at the perfect time your cake is cooked and there is still just enough moisture in your cake. A dry cake is therefore not equal to the recipe, but to the fact that there is too little moisture in the cake when it comes out of the oven. And with that, we go straight to the causes.


Quite simply, the longer you leave the cake in the oven, the more moisture can evaporate. And so your cake is also getting dryer. An important cause of a dry cake is that it has been baked for too long.


In an oven that is too hot, moisture also evaporates faster, even if you stick to the time exactly from the recipe, you can still have a dry cake as a result. So pay close attention to whether your oven is set correctly. Temperatures in recipes are almost always for ovens with top and bottom heat. Do you have a convection oven? Then you set the temperature 10-20% lower. You will see that this already makes a lot of difference.


Often in the case of a failed recipe, the accusing finger is immediately pointed to the recipe that would not be correct. This often happens to me, but many other recipe developers are also affected. Of course, there may be a mistake in the recipe, but very often it is really the implementation. This is not to say that you are doing something wrong, because it is usually just due to the circumstances in which you are baking. Little chance that they are exactly the same as the original maker of the recipe had them. So always consider a recipe as a guideline and adjust it to your circumstances where necessary.

Most important in this story: the oven. Every oven is different and if for me a cake at 180 degrees comes out perfectly every time, it may very well be that you achieve the same results at 170 degrees. It is therefore very important that you get to know your oven. For example, I knew at the old oven at my parents’ house that it always took longer than was stated in a recipe. My current oven is often slightly faster.