How to Make a Cake Rise Higher

A flat cake? No thanks. A cake should be light, fluffy, and sky-high. If you want your cake to rise to new heights, follow some basic steps such as adding leavening, using the right oven temperature and bake time, and always cream the butter and sugar.

Howdy! My name is Michelle, and I have been baking cakes since the dawn of time. No, really. I’m pretty sure I was baking in the womb. Regardless, I know plenty of tips and tricks for sky-high cake success, and I’m here to share my inside scoop with you.

Ending up with a flat cake is one of the biggest fears for a baker. It’s just downright wrong. But the good news is, there are plenty of ways to make a cake rise higher – and that’s what this article is all about. It’s so easy; you will wonder why you haven’t been doing it since the start!

Who’s ready to bake some impressively high cakes?

How to Make a Cake Rise Higher

If you’re tired of struggling with a sub-par, flat cake, then you need to know the right tips for high-rising success. The good news is, making sure your cake rises higher than high is pretty simple. Just follow these tricks below for ultimate cake rising.

Follow the Recipe

First things first, I have to say this: always follow the recipe in its entirety. Whichever cake recipe you’re making, it is important to follow each step and use the right ingredient and amount of said ingredient. 

Even the subtlest changes can equate to a flattened disaster, so follow the recipe closely. 

Add a Leavening Agent

Almost every cake recipe is going to call for baking soda, baking powder, or self-rising flour. And that’s great because cakes require one of these leavening agents to rise. However, don’t think you have to stop there. 

While you should 100% follow the recipe for adding leavening agents to the batter, did you know that eggs can act as leaveners too? The best way to enjoy the leavening agents of eggs is to beat the egg whites separately, then fold them into the yolks. 

You can up the level of fluffiness by beating the egg whites with sugar before folding.

Cream the Butter and Sugar

Plenty of cake recipes also ask you to cream the butter and sugar together. Basically, this just means that room-temperature butter and sugar should be beaten until small bubbles are formed, creating the aeration needed to create a light texture.

You can use a wooden spoon or an electric mixer fixed with the flat beater attachment to cream the butter and sugar. 

The goal here is to cream to the right consistency, though. Overcreaming can lead to popped bubbles, which means a denser cake in the end. You can tell your butter and sugar are properly creamed if the following occurs:

  • Smooth texture
  • Lighter appearance

Fold Ingredients Together – Don’t Mix

When your cake recipe tells you to “fold” the ingredients together, they aren’t just trying to sound fancy. Folding the cake ingredients to form the batter is a delicate process. If done incorrectly and/or too rough, you may end up doing the following:

  • Releasing essential air for a light and fluffy texture
  • Activate gluten in the flour, creating a tough cake

Your goal is to handle the ingredients with care. Don’t mix, and don’t beat. Take your time to meddle the ingredients together slowly. Fold them, so they are properly blended but don’t overdo it. 

Fill the Cake Pan Properly

Leavening and creaming are two incredibly important things to remember when baking a cake that rises sky-high. But you shouldn’t stop there. When you’re finished mixing your ingredients, it’s time to start baking. How do you avoid potential problems in the oven?

The first step is to make sure that you pour in the right amount of batter. It should reach at least the halfway mark of your pan, although ⅔ of the pan is ideal. If you don’t have enough batter, your cake simply will not have a chance to rise high and become light and fluffy.

What happens if you don’t have enough cake batter to fill half the pan? The answer is easy: make more cake batter. Yes, it might be a hassle, but it will be well worth it in the end when your cake beautifully rises.

Avoid the Batter Setting Too Quickly

If you notice that the edges of your batter are setting quicker than the rest of your cake, this can lead to a huge problem, such as a flat cake. How can you fix it – and fast? Well, you have two easy options:

  • Reduce the oven temperature by around 20 degrees
  • Increase the baking time by a few minutes

Yes, these are super simple solutions to a potentially big problem. But if you don’t catch it before it’s too late, you’re going to have a flat cake. So, that is why it is important to keep an eye on your cake!

Check the Oven Temperature

Plenty of bakers know that, well, ovens can be liars. In fact, plenty of ovens tend to run on the “hot” side. Why is this a problem? Because you might be baking your cake at the wrong temperature, even though you think it’s correct. This can lead to a flat cake.

What’s the best way to avoid this? Buying an oven thermometer is the only way. You can check the temperature of your oven and adjust it as necessary. This will ensure that you are actually following the recommended bake temp the recipe called for, ending with a risen cake.


Simple things you do before and during the cake-baking process can lead to perfectly risen cakes every time. If you still have some questions and thoughts about making a cake rise higher, check out these interesting, commonly asked questions below.

What ingredient makes a cake rise?

It’s all about those leavening agents! That’s why cake recipes call for baking soda, baking powder, or self-rising flour. However, you can enhance the leavening by beating the egg whites with sugar and folding them back into the egg yolks.

What causes a cake not to rise?

A cake may not rise for many reasons, but the most common is adding too much or not enough leavening agents or using old and expired leaveners. Sometimes, it’s simply a problem of not baking the cake long enough!

How do you make a sponge cake rise more?

Being careful with your sponge cake is the best way to make sure it rises properly. For example, you want to cream the ingredients but slowly add the eggs in. Then, mixing all ingredients should be a delicate process to avoid losing those precious air bubbles.

Final Words

Nobody wants their cake to end up flat as a pancake. Luckily, simple changes like adding a leavening agent, creaming the butter and sugar, and filling the pan properly can make a world of difference. Always make sure you’re extra careful and follow the instructions to a tee.

Have you ever dealt with a flat cake? How did you fix it for next time? Comment below, bakers!

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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  • Asmaa

    hi Michelle
    I bake my cake in an electric oven and it always comes out flat especially the edges they become way thinner than the rest of the cake although i tried reducing the temperature and followed the recipes exactly. do you have an idea why?

    • Michelle

      Hi Asmaa,
      Sounds like it might be an issue with the leavening agent or how you’re mixing the ingredients. Follow my recommendations in this article.

  • Michelle

    When beating the egg whites separately, do I beat them until it forms stuff peaks?

    • Michelle

      Hi Michelle,
      Yes. By the way, great name! 😉

  • ceraphina

    Will it help chocolate cakes?

    • Michelle

      Hi Ceraphina,
      Yes, it will work for chocolate cake.

  • Diane W

    I need some help. I baked a walnut cake twice and both time is didn’t rise. The first time, I thought it was because the baking powder was too old. I tossed the old and bought a new container for the second try. However, the second cake also failed to rise. sigh. This is the ONLY cake I’ve ever baked that didn’t rise! Instead of using creamed butter, the recipe calls for browned butter and oil. Two cups of flour and 2.25 teaspoons of baking powder along with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Does the cake need more baking powder?

    • Michelle

      HI Diane,
      There may be many problems at play here. You can try upping the baking powder to see if that fixes the problem. But you should also make sure you’re baking at the right temperature, using the correct size of pan, not over or under-pouring the batter, etc.
      Let me know if any of this helps!

  • Kiche's treat

    Thank you Michelle for sharing your tips to other Baker. Am blessed.

    • Michelle

      Hi Kiche’s Treat,
      You are very welcome!
      Happy baking,
      Michelle K

  • Kassandra

    My chocolate cakes made with cocoa are usually what I have problems with. They are not just flat, but they don’t riise like my other cakes.

    Will adding sugar to the egg whites when beating make the cake too sweet?

    Do I beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks?

    • Michelle

      Hi Kassandra,
      No, it will not make the cake too sweet. Yes, form the egg whites to stiff peaks before folding them into the yolks and/or other ingredients. Hope this helps!
      Happy baking,

  • Zainab madugu

    It was a very good right up. I am also a newly starting Baker and this right up was very useful to me. Thank you so much.

    • Michelle

      Hi Zainab,
      So happy to hear that! You are very welcome.
      Happy baking,