Do you ever wonder how bakeries make such delicious cakes and cupcakes with only a few ingredients? Baking a cake can be tricky, but it’s worth it. You have to measure the ingredients, mix them in the correct order, and bake at the right temperature. If your cake turns out dry and heavy, it’s probably because you used the wrong ingredients or mixed too much.
This article will teach you how to keep a cake moist, fluffy, and delicious. You’ll learn what ingredients and techniques to use and how to improve your recipe. With this knowledge, you can make cakes from scratch or start with a cake mix. So, don’t worry; making a moist cake is possible, and you can do it too.
Ingredients to Make a Moist Cake
To create a moist cake, which can also be called a wet or juicy cake, certain key ingredients, such as vegetable oil, buttermilk, and instant clearjel, are considered magical.
Most cakes are made with butter, but if you want your cake to be super moist and soft, use oil instead. This Oil Sponge Cake is an excellent example of making the moistest sponge cake with oil instead of butter.
You can use vegetables, grapeseed, sunflower, canola, or mild olive oil in your cake recipes to make them moister and softer.
If you’re replacing butter with oil, use 20% less fat than the amount of butter. For every 100 grams of butter, use 80 grams of oil.
Oil cakes have a different texture compared to butter cakes. They have a velvety and beautiful crumb and stay moist and soft even at room temperature or in the fridge.
In contrast, butter cakes have more flavour but become firm in the fridge. To enjoy a slice of butter cake, bring it to room temperature for 30-60 minutes before eating.
Most yoghurt cakes are made with plain yoghurt, but better choices exist. Instead, you should use high-quality dairy products to get a soft and fluffy texture for your cake.
If you don’t have plain yoghurt, don’t worry. You can use cottage cheese, quark, Greek yoghurt, or ricotta instead.
You can add a tablespoon of fresh cream (crème fraîche in French) or sour cream to make the cake more delicious.
If you want an even airier and fluffier cake, use dairy products with higher fat content. This will make your cake perfect for any celebration.
Mayonnaise is another ingredient that can make cakes moist. It has oil and eggs, which make the cake moist. That’s why mayonnaise is an excellent addition to cake recipes.
Mayonnaise is especially helpful in chocolate cake recipes because they tend to become dense. It can also moisten a boxed cake and give it a tender crumb.
The vinegar in the mayonnaise also adds flavour and can help your cake last longer.
And the best part is, you won’t even taste the mayonnaise. It just adds a slight touch of salt to the cake. You can replace the butter with mayonnaise or add a tablespoon to the cake batter.
Both milk and buttermilk can make cakes moist, but buttermilk is the better option. Cakes made with buttermilk have a lighter texture, finer crumbs, and a tangy taste than those made with regular milk.
The best thing about buttermilk is its lactic acid, which breaks down the long gluten strands in the cake batter or dough, making your cakes even more tender.
Don’t have buttermilk? No worries, You can easily make a buttermilk substitute.
Just pour one tablespoon of vinegar into a one-cup measuring cup and add milk to fill the cup. Wait for 10 minutes, and your buttermilk substitute is ready to use.
Let’s talk about sugar and how it affects your cakes. Sugar is a substance that attracts water, which means it can help make your cake moist.
If you don’t add enough sugar to your recipe, your cake won’t be able to hold onto moisture either.
Although white sugar is commonly used in cakes, brown sugar is better for moist cakes. Brown sugar contains molasses, which adds extra moisture and softness to your cake.
If you’re worried about your cake being too dark, you can replace all white sugar with brown sugar or use half as much brown sugar as white sugar.
Baking soda is a super valuable item that can work miracles in the kitchen, especially when making soft cakes.
When making a cake that calls for buttermilk, you’ll usually need to add baking soda and baking powder.
When the baking soda reacts with the acidic buttermilk, it creates a fluffier texture in the cake.
To ensure your cake rises evenly, mix the baking soda and baking powder with the flour before adding it to the batter, and sift everything a couple of times. This will help ensure that the leavening agents are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
If you want to make your cake softer and moister, add a bit of cornstarch, potato starch, or ground almonds to your regular flour. Use 2/3 of regular flour and 1/3 of one of these ingredients.
But only add a little – if you replace more than 40% of the flour with these things, your cake will fall apart when you try to cut it. You can also use cake flour instead of regular flour.
By doing this, your cake will keep its moisture and won’t dry out when you bake it.
If you have not heard of instant clearjel, modified starch can make your cakes moist and tender. You can add it to your dry ingredients when baking your cake.
According to a study, adding 10% of clearjel to your recipe can positively affect the quality of your cake. Clearjel can help your cake batter retain moisture before and after baking, resulting in a lovely texture.
Instant pudding mix
Did you know that instant pudding mix can make your cakes moist and tender? It contains modified cornstarch as one of its ingredients. This is an excellent alternative to using clearjel.
According to Dr Curtis Luckett from the University of Tennessee, adding pudding mix to your cake batter can make it extra moist. You can even watch a video where he explains how it works.
To use it, replace 10% of the flour in your recipe with an instant pudding mix. It’s important to remember that not all starches, even modified ones, can make your cake moist.
The King Arthur company has a special ingredient called “cake enhancer”, made of rice starch and vegetable fats. It’s often called the “miracle ingredient” because it helps stabilize cakes and bread and makes them super moist and soft.
If you want to use cake enhancer, the bakers at King Arthur recommend adding 2 to 4 tablespoons to your cake batter or bread dough.
Adding applesauce or grated apple to your cake batter can make it much easier to create an apple-flavoured cake. Plus, it can give your cake a light, soft, and moist texture.
If you don’t have eggs, use ground flax seeds to moisten your cake. Combine three tablespoons of flax seeds with 5-6 tablespoons of water to make a sticky cream.
Add it to your cake batter and mix it well before baking. You’ll be amazed at how moist your cake will turn out, even without eggs.
Here are some tips to make your cake extra moist. Instead of water, you can use whole milk, heavy or whipping cream, or real butter instead of margarine or shortening.
Sweeteners like honey, corn syrup, and molasses also help retain moisture in cakes and make them taste better.
Adding extra egg yolks to the batter can help it retain more liquid. Add two more egg yolks than the recipe calls for, or replace two whole eggs with three egg yolks.
Using 3 to 4 whole eggs instead of two also gives your cake a richer and more flavorful taste.
Lastly, adding a small amount of mineral water can make a big difference. The carbonic acid in the water makes the cake extra fluffy.
How to Make a Cake Moist
There are many ways to make a cake moist and soft besides using specific ingredients such as buttermilk, yoghurt, oil, and clearjel. Here are some other tips to make your cake even more moist:
- Choose the right recipe
- Don’t double the recipe
- Select the proper ingredients
- Maintain the correct ratio of wet to dry ingredients
- Allow ingredients to reach room temperature
- Follow the order of ingredients as instructed
- Use the appropriate mixing technique
- Avoid overmixing
- Use the proper cake pan
- Set the oven to the right temperature
- Don’t overbake
- Avoid opening the oven door during baking.
Choosing the Right Recipe for a Moist Cake
Picking the right recipe is crucial for making a moist cake. Look for recipes that already include ingredients that make cakes moist.
If you’re new to baking, start with a recipe that’s known to be moist. As you gain experience, you can try modifying recipes but expect to make some mistakes along the way.
Don’t Double the Recipe
To ensure your cake has the best taste and texture, it’s essential to avoid doubling the recipe. Instead, make the cake batter twice.
This will help ensure you don’t know to under or over-mix the ingredients and prevent uneven distribution of leavening agents.
Select the Appropriate Ingredients
Choosing the right ingredients is essential for making a moist cake. Baking is all about being precise in selecting and measuring the ingredients.
Even though charts are available for substituting one element with another in baking recipes, replacing them is only sometimes a good idea.
For instance, baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable.
If you’re a beginner, following the recipe is better until you learn baking basics and how ingredients work.
Correctly measuring your flour and other baking ingredients is crucial to achieving the perfect texture of a moist cake.
You can choose between using a kitchen scale or measuring cups to weigh your ingredients.
Have the correct ratio of ingredients
The right balance of wet and dry ingredients is crucial in making a moist cake. If you don’t add enough liquid like buttermilk, oil, and eggs, your cake can turn out dry.
On the other hand, if your cake batter is too runny, adding more flour can help.
So, having the correct ratio of wet to dry ingredients is essential to make a deliciously moist cake.
Room temperature ingredients
For a soft and delicious cake, using room-temperature ingredients is crucial. Before baking, take the ingredients from the fridge and let them sit for at least an hour. But if you forget, you can warm up some elements in the microwave.
To warm up milk, yoghurt, or ricotta, microwave them for 15-30 seconds. You can warm eggs up by putting them in warm water for a few minutes. And to soften butter, use the microwave or a double boiler.
When mixing the ingredients, start by beating the butter until it’s creamy, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well between each addition. Take your time, and don’t rush mixing to get a fluffy and flavorful cake.
Maintain the order of ingredients
- Follow the correct order of adding ingredients, starting with eggs and sugar, then melted butter, sifted flour, and a leavening agent.
- Another way is to beat butter and sugar together, add eggs one at a time, followed by cream and dry ingredients, and mix for a total of 7 ½ minutes.
- To make the cake even fluffier, separate egg yolks from whites, beat the yolks with the batter, and beat the egg whites separately in a chilled bowl for a firmer snow effect.
Making a cake involves many ingredients, and it is essential to know the correct order to add them. For a soft and fluffy cake, you should follow the order of adding eggs first and beating them with sugar. Then, add melted butter and sifted flour with a leavening agent.
Another way to make a soft cake is by beating butter and sugar together for 3 minutes, adding eggs one at a time, mixing for half a minute each, then adding cream and, finally, the dry ingredients. This should take around 7 ½ minutes to smooth the batter.
You can separate the egg yolks from the whites to make your cake even fluffier. Add the yolks to the batter and beat the egg whites in a separate bowl. Before hitting the egg whites, put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes for a firmer snow effect.
Use the proper mixing method
- To make a moist cake, you need to mix the ingredients in a certain way.
- First, mix the butter and sugar until it becomes creamy.
- When you add the eggs to the mixture, it’s called making an emulsion.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix each one for 30-60 seconds.
- Even if you’re in a rush, add the eggs slowly to allow the ingredients to mix and create a perfect cake batter.
- Taking your time and adding the eggs one at a time will result in an extra moist cake.
When making a cake, you need to mix the ingredients in a certain way to get a moist cake. First, mix the butter and sugar until it becomes creamy. Then, when you add the eggs to the mixture, it’s called making an emulsion.
To make a moist cake, add the eggs one at a time and mix each one for 30-60 seconds.
Add some eggs at a time, even if you’re in a rush. Adding them slowly will allow the ingredients to mix and create a perfect cake batter. So take your time and add the eggs one at a time for an extra moist cake.
- Avoid overmixing the cake batter as it can lead to a tough and dense texture.
- First, mix all the ingredients except the flour for only 6-8 seconds to combine them.
- Then, add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and mix gently until everything is combined.
- Use a whisk or rubber spatula to gently stir the batter a few times to make sure it’s mixed well.
- If using an electric mixer, use a slow speed and be careful not to overmix.
- Keep an eye on the batter to make sure it is evenly mixed.
Refrain from mixing your cake batter too much, or it won’t turn out well. When you combine it, be gentle and quick. First, mix all the ingredients except the flour for only 6-8 seconds.
Then, mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda until everything is combined. You can use a whisk or rubber spatula to gently stir the batter a few times to make sure it’s mixed well.
If you’re using an electric mixer, use a slow speed and be careful not to mix too much. Keep an eye on your batter to make sure it is evenly mixed.
Choose the right cake pan
To make the perfect cake, your baking pans’ material, colour, and shape are essential factors to consider.
Silicone moulds are effortless to clean and remove the cake. Meanwhile, metal pans are durable and conduct heat well, resulting in evenly browned cakes.
However, dark-coloured metal pans generate more heat, producing dry and crisp edges.
Fat Daddio’s light-coloured round cake pans are the best option for consistent results as they distribute heat evenly.
If you ever need to adjust your pan size, use a cake pan converter or learn how to adapt a cake recipe for different sizes.
You can use different shapes of pans, such as round, square, or rectangular, or even bake on sheet pans to create multiple sizes of cakes without buying new pans.
Use cake rings or plates as a guide to cut the layers into perfect shapes with a soft and moist edge.
Adjust the oven temperature correctly
Before baking a cake, it’s essential to heat the oven to the temperature stated in the recipe.
Most cake recipes require the stove to be set between 325°F to 350°F (about 163°C to 177°C) or more, depending on the type of cake you’re making.
To avoid making your cake too dry it’s better to bake your cake at a lower temperature to avoid making it too dry.
Using an oven thermometer, you can check if your oven is at the right temperature, especially if you’ve just bought a new range.
Ensuring your cake is baked just right is essential for the taste and texture. Where you put your cake in the oven matters, so it’s best to place it on the middle or top rack for the best results.
There are a few ways to check if your cake is ready.
First, look to see if the edges of the cake are pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Then, you can do the toothpick test by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, it’s done.
If there is still batter on the skewer, give it a few more minutes and check again.
Another way to check is to press on the cake gently, and if it springs back instead of sinking, it’s ready.
You can also use a cooking thermometer to check the internal temperature of the cake, which should be around 210°F (99°C) for most cakes.
Avoid opening the oven door
It’s important to avoid opening the oven door for the first 30 minutes when baking a cake. Allowing the cake to rise undisturbed will help it become soft and fluffy.
ALSO KNOW: A Moist Cake is Easy to Roll.
How to Keep a Cake Moist
If you want your cake to stay fresh and moist for a long time, here are some tips to follow:
- Let the cake cool down.
- Keep the cake in an airtight container at room temperature.
- You can also store the cake in the fridge or freezer.
Let the cake rest
When your cake is done baking, it’s essential to let it sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before taking it out. Cover it with aluminium foil during this time, which will trap the steam and help keep the cake moist.
After 10 minutes, remove the cake from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
How to store a cake correctly
To store your cake, you must cover it to prevent moisture loss. You can use an airtight container or cover it with aluminium foil or plastic wrap. To keep your cake moist, you can put a slice of apple into the container with the cake.
But, if your cake has butter, you should avoid refrigerating it as it can harden. Instead, store it in an airtight, cool, dry container.
The leftover cake should be covered with plastic film or aluminium foil, and you can put a slice of toast bread into the container to keep it moist.
Freezing the cake is also an option, but some cakes may dry out when frozen.
How to Make a Dry Cake Moist
What if your cake turns out dry? Don’t worry; there are ways to fix it and make it moist again. You can transform your dry cake into an irresistibly sticky dessert with a few helpful tips. So, how can you make a dry cake moist?
Soak the cake
Let’s learn how to make a dry cake moist. First, you can make a simple sugar syrup by boiling equal parts water and granulated sugar until it dissolves, then let it cool.
Using a silicone or pastry brush, spread a thin layer of the sugar syrup on your cake to add moisture. Mixing in vanilla extract, coffee, or other tasty liquids, you can even add some flavour to the syrup.
Another way to make a moist cake is to create a poke cake. To do this, poke holes in the baked cake with a wooden skewer, fork, or spoon handle. Then, drizzle some flavoured liqueur or juice over the cake and let it sit for an hour.
But be careful not to soak the cake too much, or it may become soggy and spoil faster.
For yeasted cakes, try spreading a thin layer of melted butter over the crumb and leaving it for half a day to add moisture.
Add moisture with filling
If your cake turns out dry after baking, don’t worry. You can fix it with an easy trick. Cut the cake into two or three layers using a unique tool, and brush each with sweet syrup.
Then, spread your favourite filling between the layers, like whipped cream or jam, and decorate the cake with fresh fruit. Just make sure the flavours go well together.
Store the finished cake in an airtight container to keep it moist and tasty.
Check out some tips online for more ideas on what flavours work well together.
Serve your cake with jam or butter
Here’s a tip from grandma that’s easy to try: spread some room-temperature butter, cream cheese, jam, or preserves on your cake.
This will add moisture and make your cake taste better, even if it’s leftover and a bit dry.
Moist cake recipes
Now that you have learned all these essential tips to moisten your cakes, you won’t ever have to serve a dry cake again. But which cake should you start with?
Here are a few delicious options for you to try. The first is the French Chocolate Cake, perfect for any occasion.
It only requires five ingredients and can be made in less than an hour. This cake is rich, decadent, and incredibly moist.
You can try the Oil Sponge Cake if you prefer a cake made with oil instead of butter. It’s a simple Sponge Cake that gets an upgrade with oil, making it even more moist.
Lastly, you can try the Banana Bread With Mayo. This recipe uses mayonnaise to add more moisture to a classic Banana Bread recipe, making it even more delicious.
You can ensure your cakes stay moist and delicious by following the tips and tricks outlined above. From using simple syrup to incorporating fresh fruit, there are many ways to rescue a dry cake and prevent it from becoming dry in the first place.
Many delicious cake recipes, such as French Chocolate Cake and Oil Sponge Cake, are inherently moist. With these tools and techniques, you can create beautiful, tasty cakes that impress your friends and family.
Why is my cake not moist and fluffy?
A cake can become dry for various reasons, such as incorrect ingredients, improper mixing of the batter, or over-baking. Learning how to avoid these common mistakes will help you bake a perfectly moist cake every time.
What does adding milk to a cake do?
Milk is added to batter or dough in baking to add moisture, protein, colour, and flavour to the final product. Non-fat dry milk (NFDM), dehydrated skim milk, is the most commonly used form of milk in baking.
What would occur if I added excessive milk to a cake?
The taste of a cake becomes dry when there is too much flour and not enough butter. Conversely, a cake becomes too wet if there’s too much milk and not enough flour. The perfect balance between wet and dry ingredients is essential.