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

Vanilla Cake with Italian Meringue Frostingenlarge

Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

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

Marge Perry
May, 2011
  1. Enter at least one ingredient