🔕 🔔

My Basket ()

All questions

Why did my crust separate/break from my pound cake?

95d4f206 eeaf 4aba 9eee 51e1c68e9750  cake crust

I baked a strawberry swirl pound cake http://bit.ly/mEceoi and it tastes really great, but the crust separated from the cake. I did not use the tube pan that it called for and instead used 2 loaf pans. I don't think that would have caused it, but maybe it did. What happened? Is there a way to prevent that from happening again?

asked by goldenblind221 about 6 years ago
6 answers 30056 views
E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

Here's a great site that explains the causes of problems with cakes:

It sounds like you overmixed the flour when you added it to the cake, which cause it to develop too much gluten. I'm glad it tastes good! This is what whipped cream is for!

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 6 years ago

The photo helps a lot, thanks. I think there may be a couple of things going on. First, speaking from a few experiences far, far more disastrous than yours, I've learned that when a tube pan is called for, it's a pretty good idea to use one. They work very well with dense batters because of the heat that is able to pass up the center. If you don't have one and don't want to spend a lot for a fancy one, check second-hand stores; they're great places to find angel food cake pans with the legs attached for turning them upside down to cool. Second, I'm wondering if you might have overmixed your batter, causing the gluten in the flour (and what kind of flour did you use?) to tighten up and break apart as it attempts to rise in the oven, except for the crust that forms first in the heat of the oven. Those would be my two guesses.

03707408 ec78 4e9a 9103 00aca03e7c9b  dscn1244
added about 6 years ago

drbabs - what a fantastic resource! Some of these problems sound familiar, haha. I tried not to overmix - guess I have to make more cake to work on my technique :-) The sacrifices we make....

boulangere - I was afraid that not having a tube pan would cause a problem in this recipe. I used all purpose flour, which I measured by spooning it into a measuring cup. I also spooned the flour into the batter as it was mixing so I didn't end up dumping too much in at a time.

Gluten - 1, Jackie - 0

Fff96a46 7810 4f5c a452 83604ac1e363  dsc03010
added about 6 years ago

Pound cake is supposed to have a crack on its top: it's an inherent characteristic that allows you to tell immediately that you have an actual pound cake and not any other kind of cake. A pound cake is more dense than other shortening/butter-type cakes. Because of its density, the batter on the outside bakes first and becomes firm and brown first. As the center begins to heat up and expand, the batter pushes up and out, which forms the crack. Think volcano. Had you overmixed the batter, the gluten would have allowed the formation of a cracked dome, and your cake would not have a sunken middle.

You can minimize that effect by doing one or two or all three of these tricks: baking the batter in a tube pan--you might still see some cracking, but guests won't notice once the cake is turned upside-down for serving (in the SouthernLiving photo of your cake baked in a tube pan, you can see the cracks); lowering the oven heat by 25 degrees; or by wrapping your loaf pans with homemade cake strips, which slow down the transfer of heat from the outside in, which results in a more evenly-baked cake.

For the how-to, go to

You could also fill the depression with something luscious, such as whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

That website that drbabs sent the link to is a wonderful resource. You would be wise to add it to your favorites.

03707408 ec78 4e9a 9103 00aca03e7c9b  dscn1244
added about 6 years ago

betteirene - those cake insulating strips are really interesting, I am going to try that when I bake my next cake. There's a lot of really good information in that post. I felt like I had a few a-ha moments when reading it. :-)

And I ate that crust. I sure did. I peeled that sucker right off and I ate it. The top of the cake was perfectly, evenly flat (which was kind of surprising but in a good way) so I whipped up some cream and garnished with fresh sliced strawberries (what a great suggestion!)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added about 6 years ago

what a great website! i just checked on the butter cookies i make that always soften too much to get out of the cookie cutters & found several things to try next time i make them. they are way too good to discard the recipe but such a process to make that i dread each xmas ordeal. thank you so much drbabs!

Let's Keep in Touch!

Get the recipes and features that have us talking, plus first dibs on events and limited-batch products.

(Oh, and $10 off your order of $50 or more in the Food52 Shop, too.)

Please enter a valid email address.