What are the secrets to making the perfect, moist and fluffy cake?


Kurt Olsen

Time to Bake! Have you ever wondered how to create moist cakes or cake moister? You’re in right place–the secret to moist cake lies in the bakery methods and secret ingredients that I’ve been perfecting with my bakery recipes for over a decade!

Let we now discuss cake. When you think of a delicious made-from-scratch cake, it should be dense and yet soft, with a moist, tender crumb.

A homemade cake has a substantially different texture than a store-bought cake or a cake mix cake (which is more light and airy and typically not as moist.) I’m not against grocery store or cake mix cakes. Isn’t any cake better than no cake?

But our goal here today is to make the most delicious, moistest cake that stays moist for days and has your guests raving at every bite. This is what we were known for at the time.

Using these 7 easy steps, you can make delicious, bakery-quality cakes at home.

1. Use Buttermilk Instead of Milk

When I look at a cake recipe, I know it will be moister if buttermilk is included as an ingredient.

In fact, I’m dubious of cake recipes that call for milk instead, and I often substitute buttermilk in these circumstances. (Be forewarned, simply substituting may not always give you perfect results as other ingredients like baking soda could be affected and change the rise of your cake when switching to buttermilk. On #4, I go into greater detail on recipe altering).

Buttermilk is an acidic ingredient that aids in the breakdown of gluten in baking and results in a more soft cake. As a flavor bonus, the slight tang of buttermilk compliments the overall sweetness in your cake batter, making a more balanced cake.

2. Add Vegetable Oil

While butter gives the finest taste, vegetable oil keeps your cakes moist. I use a combination of salted butter and vegetable oil in all my cake recipes to get the most flavorful and moistest results.

At normal temperature, vegetable oil remains liquid, while butter solidifies. That’s why you’ll notice that cakes made with vegetable oil will have a softer texture at all temperatures, even straight from the fridge.

3. Use Instant Clearjel or Instant Pudding Mix

Instant Clearjel , which is “modified cornstarch,” is a starch that allows your cakes to retain more moisture. Because it includes Instant Clearjel as the second component, Instant Pudding mix is an excellent replacement.

I recommend checking out this entertaining, where he discusses the science of pudding mix and Instant Clearjel in cakes. I like this ingredient so much that I dedicated a whole essay to it: Instant Clearjel: A Surprisingly Unusual Bakery Ingredient .

4. Use the Right Recipe

I know, it’s hard to predict what’s a good recipe before testing it out. I recommend looking through cake recipes and selecting one that already includes buttermilk and/or vegetable oil.

But because baking is a science, you may not be able to simply substitute in the above suggestions and be guaranteed a great recipe. (However, if you don’t mind some trial and error, it’s a terrific place to start).

When I adjust recipes, I prefer to start by making the smallest batch feasible to evaluate the quality (typically a 14 or 18 of a dish).

If I’m happy with the result, I’ll remake it on a larger scale. Or just look at my Extra-Moist Cake Recipes things I’ve been honing for the last 11.5 years

5. Don’t Overbake

While this may seem apparent, it really necessitates a few measures to guarantee that you never overbake a cake:

  • Bake at a lower temperature and double-check the temperature. . Depending on the cake, I bake it at 300 degrees or 325 degrees in my home oven. For cupcakes, I’ll start baking at 350 degrees but turn the temperature down after they rise.If you’ve ever noticed that your oven takes considerably longer or much less time than specified on a recipe, test it using an oven thermometer. oven thermometer . These handy tools are pretty cheap and will let you know if you need to adjust the dials on your oven to get the correct baking temperature.
  • When I was packing, I thought my new home oven was baking things SO FAST! I used my oven thermometer to compare both my previous and new residential oven, and my old oven was the one baking 25 degrees under!I now use the thermometer every time I bake to ensure that the recipes I provide with my readers are correct.
  • Place your cake pan(s) on the center or top rack at all times. Once the oven is preheated, most residential ovens will heat only from the bottom of the oven. The upper heat components, on the other hand, will stay hot.If your cakes are too close to the bottom heating elements, they will bake faster and have a darker bottom and crispier edge. If you bake on the top rack, be sure there is enough space for the cake to rise and that it is not too near to the top heating sources.I’ve discovered that baking on the top rack, which is about 6-7 inches below the top of the oven, yields the greatest results.
  • Check your cake often to see if it is done. Cake recipes normally provide a time range for baking, but even with an oven thermometer, every oven bakes differently. When using a new recipe, I start checking the cake at least 5 minutes BEFORE the first part of that listed range.Then depending on how the cake feels, I’ll continue to check and see if the cake is done in 5,4,3,2, or even 1-minute increments until I get the perfect bake. This guarantees that the cake is never overbaked.
  • Once you’ve tried a recipe a few times, make a note of the baking time on your recipe so you don’t have to check it as often the following time. However, even on tried-and-true recipes, I recommend checking on the cake before the time you’ve noted, as different factors (like how many pans you have in the oven) could affect your cooking time.
  • When a toothpick or thin paring knife is inserted into the cake, it should come out clean. quickly stuck in the cake (if you move too slowly while sticking the cake, your toothpick or paring knife may gather crumbs and you would assume it isn’t done when it is).You may also softly push your finger on the top of the cake, and it should bounce back rather than sink.

6. Bake in Sheet Pans Instead of individual Cake Pans

Most of my cake recipes are cooked on a half sheet pan and then cut out using a pastry cutter. cake rings with what I call the Cut & Stack Method . This sped up our baking and frosting process at Milkmissouriinstyle and provided us with moist cakes every time.

I first saw a similar procedure in the book of pastry chef Christina Tosi. Momofuku Milk Bar.

You can view our bakery method in my tutorial How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro . I love this method because of its versatility.

You may bake the cake in the same cake pan each time and then select whether to produce an 8-inch cake, two 6-inch cakes, multiple little cakes, or an extra-tall 6-inch cake, etc.

Another reason I do this is to avoid getting browned, darker, or crispy edges. You may have observed this on smaller individual pan cakes: As you get to the edge of the cake that has the delicious frosting, the cake starts to get a little darker, drier, and simply not as delicious.

The Cut and Stack method This ensures that the completed cake will have NO dark borders! Just moist and soft cake in every bite.

Do you have merely individual pans or are you making a naked cake? No worries; you may get the same soft edges by baking more layers with less batter in each pan. For instance, 4 round cake pans with one inch of cake batter in each pan will bake faster and more evenly than 2 round cake pans with 2 inches of batter in each pan.

7. Use a Simple Syrup or Glaze

Simple syrup will not moisten a dry cake (it may just make it soggy). But if your cake is already moist from using the steps above, simple syrup is the last step to seal in all your hard work and ensure it stays moist even longer.

In truth, simple syrup is quite easy. Just mix equal parts water and sugar, and microwave until the sugar is fully dissolved, stirring frequently in between heats. I use a silicone pastry brush (With silicone brushes, there is no chance of losing pastry brush hairs) to delicately brush a small layer of simple syrup on top of all my cakes.

For some cake flavors, you may prefer a flavored glaze instead of a simple syrup. As an example, consider my Lemon Cream Cake includes a lemon glaze made of lemon juice and powdered sugar, and my Coconut Cream cake is topped with Cream of Coconut.

Flavored glazes allow you to add moisture and taste all at the same time!

Now you’re ready to get to baking an incredibly moist cake–let me know how it turns out! If you want to sample my extremely moist cake, come back soon. bakery recipes , or sign up for my Newsletter to get a weekly email when new recipes are available.

Thanks for Reading.

Related Questions

  • What makes a cake moist and fluffy?

    The cake mix is the first step in making a moist cake. If a recipe asks for all-purpose flour, substitute cake flour for a moister, delicate texture. Additions like sour cream, buttermilk, or applesauce can also infuse moisture and prevent a dry cake.

  • What is the secret of a fluffy cake?

    Room Temperature Butter / Don’t Over-Cream
    Most cakes begin by creaming together butter and sugar. Butter is capable of holding air and the creaming process is when butter traps that air. While baking, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy cake. Without properly creamed butter, there is no air, and hence no fluffiness.

  • What is the secret to baking a moist cake?

    7 Secrets of Making A Moist Cake

    1. Combine butter and flour. Mixing butter into the flour before adding any kind of wet ingredients will reduce the chances of gluten formation in it.
    2. Do Not Over Bake.
    3. Measure the Ingredients Carefully.
    4. Brush the Cake with Syrup.
    5. Avoid Overmixing.
    6. Do Not Avoid the Importance of Sugar.
    7. Use Yogurt.
  • What is the secret to a perfect cake?

    The seven rules for baking a perfect cake

    1. Always grease the pan and line with parchment.
    2. Allow the oven to fully preheat first.
    3. Unless otherwise stated, bake in the center of the oven.
    4. Bake in the size of pan specified.
    5. Don’t try to double the recipe.
    6. Use fresh ingredients.
    7. No substitutions.
    8. Your cake is too dense.
  • What is better for cakes baking soda or baking powder?

    Baking soda is often used in cookie and muffin recipes. Baking powder, however, already contains an acid and a base and has a more neutral taste, which works great when baking cakes and bread.

Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]