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What causes my cake to sink? It looks beautiful in the oven, but then as it cools, it collapses in the middle.

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

We get this question about sinking cakes all the time—so take comfort in knowing you're not alone!

A cake that puffs up as it bakes and deflates as it cools has usually had air beaten into the batter too quickly or vigorously. Here are a few tips to prevent sinking cakes:

  • When you beat the eggs and butter together, do so on a moderate speed instead of high speed. The air bubbles you form will be more stable.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beaten briefly between additions.
  • Do not beat the mixture for longer than the recipe calls for—again, adding too much air before the cake bakes will lead to its collapse as it cools.

Watch our video on Making Layer Cakes for tips and see our collection of Cake Recipes when you are inspired to bake.

Recipe pictured above: Vanilla Cake with Italian Meringue Frosting