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The Culprit Behind Cake Holes: The Baking Mistake You Need to Avoid

The baking mistake that causes holes in your cake

So you’ve decided to start baking? Welcome to a great adventure. You may have heard that baking requires a lot of patience, accuracy, and practice – and it is true! Baking brings drama to the kitchen in so many ways, and it requires the baker to practice over and over again until they ace the cake recipe they are looking for. Oh, but the feeling you get when you taste one of your sweet, amazing creations is uniquely wonderful. Don’t get frustrated, making mistakes while baking a cake is very common, and luckily you’re not alone!
There is a huge baking community out there that can relate to accidentally using expired products, forgetting to grease the pan, confusing the measurements, having bubbles in the batter, and getting frustrated when the cake ends up with cracks, a funny texture, or holes.
Fortunately, your guests won’t notice these holes until they cut into the cake, and you can hide them with decorations. Sometimes, though, the frustration doesn’t end there. You may need to revisit one of your first steps to avoid holes in your cake, which means it may be time to improve your mixing technique.

Mixing it up

According to Polar Puffs & Cakes, holes and tunnels in cakes can happen when you don’t mix your ingredients properly. This means overmixing the batter, mixing too quickly, or not mixing until all the ingredients are completely mixed (via Chelsweets). As Like Harmony explains, when the dough is over-mixed, gluten appears, which creates air and bubbles (holes). This usually happens when baking bread, and it makes it look beautiful and Instagrammable, but it shouldn’t look like that when it comes to cake.
If it’s not the mixing, sometimes holes can be caused by over-boiling the eggs (which adds air), adding too much leavening agent like baking soda, or using the wrong kind of flour – one that doesn’t incorporate as well when mixed (via Bake School). Polar Puffs & Cakes says it can also happen because our ingredients are too cold, so it would be better to use them at room temperature.
The best way to ensure that holes don’t appear is to rethink the way you mix. You may need to slow down the speed or stop when you feel your dough is ready. Hopefully, this will keep the holes away and make your baking time less frustrating and more fun.

Tips to avoid holes in your cake

Now that you know the common mistake that causes holes in cakes, let’s explore some tips to help you avoid this problem altogether:

1. Mix with care

When mixing your cake batter, pay attention to your technique. Avoid overmixing as this can lead to gluten development and air bubbles. Mix until all the ingredients are just combined, and don’t rush the process.

2. Use the right flour

Choosing the right type of flour can make a difference in the texture of your cake. Some flours, such as cake flour, are designed to produce a lighter and softer crumb. Make sure you use the right flour for your recipe to get the results you want.

3. Don’t overcook the eggs

Eggs play an important role in the structure and texture of a cake. However, overwhipping the eggs can introduce excessive air into the batter, resulting in holes. Beat the eggs until just combined and avoid incorporating too much air.

4. Control leavening

Leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda help the cake rise. However, using too much can result in uneven rise and the formation of holes. Follow the recipe instructions carefully and measure the leavening agents accurately.

5. Allow ingredients to come to room temperature.

Cold ingredients, such as eggs and butter, can disrupt the emulsion of the batter and affect its texture. To ensure proper incorporation and a smooth batter, allow your ingredients to come to room temperature before using.

6. Check for proper baking temperature

An oven that is too hot or too cold can affect the structure of the cake and result in uneven baking. Use an oven thermometer to check the accuracy of your oven temperature and make any necessary adjustments.

7. Use the correct pan size

Using the wrong size pan can result in uneven baking and holes. Follow the recipe’s instructions for pan size to ensure the cake bakes evenly and without problems.

8. Avoid opening the oven door prematurely

While it’s tempting to check on your cake’s progress, resist the urge to open the oven door before the recommended baking time has elapsed. Opening the door too early can cause a sudden change in temperature, resulting in collapsed areas and potential holes in the cake.

9. Allow the cake to cool properly.

After removing the cake from the oven, it’s important to allow it to cool properly before slicing or decorating. Cooling allows the cake to set and stabilize, reducing the risk of collapsing or developing holes.

By following these tips and paying attention to your mixing technique, you can greatly reduce the chances of having holes in your cakes. Remember, baking is a learning process and even the most experienced bakers make mistakes. Embrace the journey, have fun experimenting, and enjoy the delicious results!


Why are there holes in my cake?

Holes in cakes can be caused by several factors, including overmixing the batter, over-boiling the eggs, using too much leavening agent, or using the wrong type of flour. These mistakes can introduce air and create holes in the cake.

How can I prevent holes in my cake?

To prevent holes in your cake, be sure to mix the ingredients properly and avoid overmixing. Be careful not to over-beat the eggs, use the recommended amount of baking soda, and choose the right type of flour for your recipe. Bringing ingredients to room temperature before using and following proper baking techniques can also help prevent holes.

Can I repair a cake that already has holes in it?

If your cake has already developed holes, you can try filling them with a frosting or filling of your choice. Alternatively, you can slice the cake and use it in a trifle or layered dessert where the holes won’t be as noticeable.

Is it normal for cakes to have small bubbles or pockets?

Small air bubbles or pockets in cakes are relatively common and usually not a cause for concern. However, if the holes are large and affect the overall texture of the cake, it may indicate a mixing or ingredient problem that needs to be addressed.

Can using a different pan size cause holes in a cake?

Yes, using a different pan size than called for in the recipe can affect the baking process and possibly cause holes in the cake. It’s important to follow the recipe instructions, including the recommended pan size, to ensure even baking and the desired texture.

What should I do if my cake still has holes after following all the tips?

If you’ve followed all the recommended tips and your cake still has holes, you may want to consult a baking expert or try a different recipe. They can provide personalized advice and troubleshoot any specific problems you may be experiencing.

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