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How long do you mix a cake before placing it in the pans, especially if the recipe does not state a mixing time? For some reason the middle of my cakes are falling and I am not sure why.

Denise - from Bronx, NY

Usually the recipes we do on the show give either a mixing time or some description of how the batter will look when you've mixed enough (e.g. – Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.) While overmixing might cause the center of your cakes to fall, that's not the only reason. Other causes include:
• incorrect oven temperature – check using a reliable oven thermometer.
• overfilling the pan – pans should be filled 1/2 to 2/3 full.
• too much leavening – make sure you measure correctly.
• cake was removed from oven before completely baked through.

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The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.