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 Frosting

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.

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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:

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

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