How to Fix Undercooked Cake

Everyone loves to eat an undercooked cakesaid no one ever. If you’ve taken your cake out of the oven and it’s undercooked, simply stick it back in the oven for five to ten minutes. If the bottom is undercooked only, wrap the cake with tinfoil before placing back in the oven.

Hi! My name is Michelle, and I love to bake (and eat) cakes. I have been baking for years, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not cursed with an underbaked cake from time to time. Through my years of baking, I have learned how to fix undercooked cakes successfully.

If you’re struggling with a cake that’s undercooked – either in the middle, on the bottom, or overall – you need to know how to fix it. After all, nobody wants to eat undercooked cake, but you also don’t want to waste ingredients. 

Who’s ready to find out how to fix undercooked cake?

Signs of an Undercooked Cake

If you’re new to the baking world, it can be hard to know whether or not your cake is truly underbaked. That’s why we’re going to take a look at signs of an undercooked cake first, so you don’t end up overbaking and ruining your cake instead.

  • The cake isn’t spongy – A perfectly cooked cake will have a spongy texture when you touch it. So, right when you take it out of the oven, give it a gentle press with your fingertips. If it’s still jiggling, it’s not done.
  • It isn’t sizzling – Is cake a steak all of a sudden? No, but what may come as a surprise is that cake has a sizzling noise when it’s baking. It starts with a prominent sizzle sound and slowly disappears. Wait until it’s barely noticeable but still there.
  • The edges haven’t pulled away – One clear sign your cake is done baking is when the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Sometimes, this isn’t 100% accurate, so don’t rely on this sign unless you’re an advanced baker.
  • The toothpick doesn’t come out clean – If you’re not sure whether your cake’s done or not, rely on the good ole fashioned toothpick check. Stick a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, I hate to break it to you, but your cake is undercooked. The good news is, catching it early means you can successfully save it. Let’s take a closer look at how to fix the undercooked cake.

How to Fix Undercooked Cake

If you notice your cake is undercooked right when you pull it out of the oven, you can successfully fix it. The key is to notice immediately. A cake that has been cooled but undercooked cannot go back into the oven. It’s a lost cause. Sorry!

For the lucky ones that catch their mistake early, here’s how to fix it.

Overall Undercooked

If your cake looks more like a batter than cake, it’s a clear indicator it’s not ready yet. What should you do? The best thing to do is to simply stick it back into the oven. Sometimes, the cake will only need a few more minutes. Other times, it could take 15 to 20 minutes for success.

To avoid overcooking your cake, check it every five minutes. I recommend using the oven light rather than opening and closing the oven door incessantly. This can increase the bake time as you are releasing the heat too regularly.

Middle Undercooked

Is it just the middle of your cake that is undercooked? This is the most common problem, so don’t feel too bad. To fix it, cover the cake with foil (be careful – the pan will be hot!) and stick it back into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Follow the same guidelines as above: check it every five minutes. Of course, you won’t be able to rely on your eyes to see if your cake is done when it’s covered in foil. Go ahead and open the oven and stick a toothpick in the middle to check for doneness.

Bottom Undercooked

If the bottom of your cake is undercooked, you have quite a predicament. It’s not as easy as simply sticking the cake back into the oven. You need to make sure you have perfect cake placement: right in the center of your oven. Cover the cake with foil to avoid burning the top.

Another top-notch option is to turn off the upper heat of the oven (if you can). This way, you won’t have to worry about the top of the cake burning while the bottom plays catch-up.

Reasons Why Cake May Be Undercooked

So you stuck your cake back into the oven, and it finally cooked all the way to perfection. But why did it happen in the first place? Well, there are a few reasons why a cake may end up undercooked, even if you followed the recipe and instructions closely.

  • Didn’t bake long enough – Sometimes, it’s as simple as insufficient baking time.
  • Wrong oven temperature – Putting the oven at a low temperature can cause cakes to come out undercooked.
  • Wrong pan size – Using a narrower pan than the pan called for can result in an undercooked cake.
  • Wrong placement in the oven – Cakes are picky about their placement and should almost always be in the center. 
  • Too much or old baking powder – Baking powder can be a game-changer for cake baking. Make sure you measure out the right amount. Also, ensure the baking powder is not expired.

FAQs

An undercooked cake is no fun, but now you know how to fix it. If you still have some questions about undercooked cakes, read these frequently asked questions below.

Can you Rebake a cake if it’s undercooked?

If you catch it in time, then yes, you can rebake a cake if it’s undercooked. However, if the cake has cooled all the way, unfortunately, you cannot rebake it. The cake would become dry and not fluff up the way it is supposed to after cooling.

What does an undercooked cake look like?

An undercooked cake may have a moist or watery appearance and will be jiggly rather than firm. It can sometimes be hard to tell if a cake is undercooked just by looking at it, so make sure you look for other signs and use the toothpick method to check the inside.

Why is my cake soggy in the middle?

Most of the time, it’s as simple as the cake not being cooked long enough. Make sure you are following the recipe closely. Use the right oven temperature, place the cake in the center of the oven, and don’t take the cake out prematurely.

Can I cover cake with foil while baking?

Starting with a covered cake will result in a lack of cake crust and browning. However, you can cover the cake halfway through with foil to ensure the center and bottom of the cake cook thoroughly.

Final Thoughts

Nobody wants an undercooked cake, but fixing it is simple. All you need to do is place it back in the oven (covered or uncovered, depending on the situation).

Have you ever ended up with an undercooked cake? How did you fix it?

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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