Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked November 29th 2012

cake cracking in oven

Hi I bakes a 10×3 inch sponge cake at 150 degrees for 2 and a half hours, the cake looks great and I will cut the dome of the top but can anyone tell me why my cakes always crack in the middle?


Hi Sandra

Depends which recipe you used. Madeira cake always cracks at the top, it’s suppose to do that. Sponge cakes like Victoria sandwich or chocolate sponge might crack because the temperature may be a tad too high or if you’ve used too small a tin for the amount of mixture. Is you oven fan assisted or normal? If it’s fan assisted try turning the temp down by 10 – 20 degrees, you could also wrap the tin up in strips of wet towelling held together with a pin or put a couple of royal icing flower nails in the baking tin (spike facing up) before you pour the batter in. These two tips can help with an even baked cake. However, if your sponge is light and moist, then you haven’t done anything wrong. When you take the cake out of the oven just put a knife around the rim to release the cake, that’ll stop it cracking more as it cools.


Hi “Made it with Love” – can you please explain the benefit of the royal icing nails as I”m not surehow they can stop the cake cracking.



Hi Flan

The batter in the centre of a cake pan takes longer to cook than the sides and larger cakes can sometimes remain uncooked while the sides start to burn. Placing a flower nail in the middle of the batter allows heat to be distributed more evenly so the centre cooks without peaking and cracking. Wet towelling strips help by keeping the wall of the cake tin cooler during baking so the sides don’t burn & allow heat to build up in the centre ensuring an even flat bake. Wilton do a heating cone which is supposed to be good, but it does leave a big hole in the cake. A flower nail leaves a tiny hole which isn’t significant enough to be a worry.

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