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Why does the cake crack in the center while it is baking?

Rose - from Castro Valley, CA

There are a number of reasons your cake could be cracking during baking. First, and easiest to check, is your oven may be too hot; invest in a good oven thermometer and check it. Other reasons might be overmixing the batter; this incorporates too much air into the batter, which causes the cake to rise too fast then crack. Finally, if you are baking a recipe from scratch (not using a cake mix), the amounts of ingredients might be off – too much shortening, baking powder or sugar can cause cracking as your cake bakes.

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