How to Stop a Cake From Doming

A domed cake? Let’s just call it what it is: a doomed cake. Nobody wants to see an unsatisfying dome sitting on top of their freshly baked cake – especially if they’re trying to create a lavish design or tiers. So, what’s the problem? Why the domes, and how can you stop them?

Domes typically occur when the outer edges bake before the middle, caused by too hot of an oven, too small of a cake pan, or “bad luck.” Change your cake fate by lowering the temp, using the right-sized cake pan, or utilizing accessories like cake strips or baking cores.

Hey! My name is Michelle. Nice to meet you! I’ve been baking treats for the past ten years, and cakes are some of my favorite things to make. They’re just so versatile! Even with my experience, I’ve had unsettling cake disasters – including domes. I’m here to share how to stop it.

It’s time to ditch domes for good.

How to Stop a Cake From Doming: 4 Ways

Any way you look at it, a domed cake just isn’t right. A domed cake is an indicator that something has gone wrong. It’s almost always caused by the edges baking faster than the middle, likely from a too-hot oven. But that’s not always the case.

Here are the top four ways to stop a cake from doming.

1. Lower the Temp, Increase the Baking Time

The easiest solution is to simply lower the baking temperature by 50F. Yes, that may seem like a lot, but if you’re consistently being left with a domed disaster, you will have to lower the temperature.

This will mean different things for different cake recipes, as all cakes bake at varying temps, with the most common being 350F. Regardless, lower the temp by 50F and increase the bake time by 30-60 minutes (check on the cake every ten minutes to be on the safe side).

If you get good results from lowering the temperature, great. The only issue is that you may have needed to lower the temperature because your oven is not displaying the correct temp. To ensure your range is calibrating correctly, purchase a budget-friendly oven thermometer.

2. Use Baking Strips

Your cake is doming because the outer edges are cooking faster than the middle. So, what is the best solution? Apply baking strips around your cake pan

Uhh, what’s a baking strip? Well, basically, baking strips are long pieces of fabric that are soaked in ice-cold water before being wrapped around your pan. They prevent the border from baking too quickly, ensuring an even bake with no domes every time.

Don’t want to buy baking strips? Some people have been successful in using damp cloths or aluminum foil. Personally, I am not a fan of DIY, so I bought the baking strips and can confidently say they work like a charm.

3. Use Baking Cores

At the “core” of every perfectly-baked and leveled cake is a baking core. (Okay, I know that was cheesy, but you can’t tell me you didn’t chuckle!)

A baking core is a handy little device placed in the center of your cake. It conducts heat to the middle of your cake, ensuring it’s baked simultaneously as the outer edges, resulting in a dome-less masterpiece.

4. Use the Right-Sized Baking Pan

Are you trying to work with an itty-bitty cake pan? I’d advise against that. Using the right-sized pan for your cake recipe is critical. Otherwise, you’re going to have an oddly shaped and horrifically unevenly baked cake in the end.

How to Fix a Domed Cake (3 Tips)

Is it too late for your current domed cake? Don’t throw it out just yet. You can still fix and consume your domed cake like nothing ever happened (it will be our little secret, okay?). Here are a few ways to improve it.

1. Cut and Frost

The easiest way to fix a domed cake is to chop off the domed portion and cover up the mishap with some frosting and decorations. Just make sure the cake is cooled before trying to cut it. Otherwise, you will end up with a crumbly mess that might not be worth saving.

Concerned your cut is going to come out uneven and awkward? Put an end to the struggle with a cake leveler. They’re pretty cheap. So, while I hope you don’t have to use it in the future, it’s an excellent purchase to have on hand.

2. Cool Upside-Down

Leave the cake in the pan, flip it over, and let it cool down. It’s a little unconventional, but with the weight of the cake and the heat somewhat trapped inside, it should help to level the dome. This suggestion works best on minimal domes.

3. Utilize the Dome

Who said you had to get rid of the dome? Accept it and make something great out of it. For example, you could make an adorable flower, a bright sun, or a beach ball perfect for a summer party. Sometimes, you have to be crafty, folks!


Cake domes form because the outer edges cook too quickly, leaving your middle part behind. The good news is, now you know how to stop it – and fix it! Here are a few more related questions to check out.

What can you do with the cake dome?

If you chopped off the dome of your cake, you do not have to get rid of it. If the dome is big enough, you can repurpose it into something else. For example, you can blend it with ice cream to make a milkshake, turn them into cake pops, or create mini cookies.

Do you level a cake when it’s hot or cold?

Always level a cake when it’s cold. It should be at room temperature or, better yet, chilled. This will reduce the chance of crumbly messes, unsightly cracking, and even tears.

How do you level a cake?

Leveling a cake is relatively simple. I use a sharp and thin knife. However, some people use quirkier methods like dental floss to slice off the tops. A cake leveler is the easiest way to level a cake and renders perfect results every time, so you might consider buying one!

Final Words

Are you struggling with cake domes? Try lowering the temperature by 50F and increasing the bake time by 30-60 minutes. You can also try out some convenient accessories like baking strips or cores. Always make sure you’re using the right-sized pan, too!

Do you ever have domed cake? Did you fix it? How? Share your stories with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Joanne

    Thanks for this article. I have had weird experiences with domed cakes and I am wracking my brain trying to figure out why. I make cakes a lot. The crazy thing is, I only get domes on my white cakes. If I use a similar recipe for a white and a chocolate cake, with the cocoa powder substituting a part of the flour, the white cake domes while the chocolate cake doesn’t. I have tried so many white/vanilla cakes but they all have either domes or are full of air pockets. I am stumped because I don’t understand why it only happens with white cakes and believe me, I have tried many different recipes. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Michelle

      Hi Joanne,
      I’m sorry to hear about this problem! Have you tried all of the tips mentioned above? I’d start there.