5 Epic Cake Fails – FIXED

We’ve all been there… you’ve planned a fabulous dinner party, complete with an elaborate homemade cake. And just hours before the big event, you realize something has gone terribly wrong. Your dessert is a disaster! Do you move on to plan B and run out to the store? No! Because the best thing about cake (and, well, dessert in general) is that, regardless of how it looks, it always tastes great. How could it not when you are working with ingredients like butter, cream, chocolate and sugar? Besides, there are a million creative fixes for that not-so-perfect cake of yours. I promise none of your guests will even know the difference!

Your Cake Stayed in The Oven Too Long
Take a long serrated knife and, using a back and forth sawing motion, cut off the brown parts from the top, bottom and sides of the cake. An over-baked caked usually means a dry cake, so make up some simple syrup and brush it on top of the cake with a pastry brush to infuse moisture without any
additional flavor.

You Pulled Your Cake From the Oven Too Early
The middle of your cake is under-baked and sunken. What a mess. Options #1) If the under-baked area is small enough, simply scoop it out and use some extra frosting to even out the surface of the cake. Frosting is the miracle concealer. Option #2) If the under baked area is larger, you can either remove the entire round center of the cake to create a “ring” cake. Frost completely to hide the evidence. Or cut your cake into cubes. The cooked cake pieces can be repurposed into trifle. Just whip up some cream, toss it with the cake pieces and some berries. A trifle can be just as show stopping as cake.

Your Cake is Sunken or has Bumps
Use a serrated knife to saw off the top of the cake to create a more level surface. Then, turn the cake upside down to make the bottom, which is level, the top surface. Frost!

Your Cake is Stuck to the Pan
Make sure your cake has cooled completely. Then use a small paring knife or offset spatula and run it around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Flip the pan upside down and tap gently on the bottom surface. If the cake still won’t budge, put it in the freezer to cool. A cold cake will contract and be easier to remove from the pan.

Your Cake is Dense
Make a note not to use that recipe in the future. Ha! For now, cut your cake layers in half using a long serrated knife with a back and forth sawing motion. Your two-layer cake will be a four-layer cake. With the thinner layers and more generous frosting to cake ratio, your cake will magically taste lighter.

In addition to founding Sprinkles Cupcakes, Candace Nelson is a New York Times bestselling author and was a judge on The Food Networks’ “Cupcake Wars.”