Why Your Homemade Cakes Are Coming Out Lop Sided and Crooked

Do your homemade cakes come out of the oven crooked? Not only are lopsided cakes silly to look at, the top layer often ends up sliding off the bottom layer after it’s been frosted. If your cakes are coming out the oven with one edge higher than the other, these tips will help you trouble shoot where the problem is coming from.

Not following greasing instructions. When it comes to greasing a pan, there are a wide range of techniques that turn up in cake recipes. Some call for greasing the bottom of the pan only or greasing no more than an inch up the side. Other recipes call for greasing and flouring a pan before pouring in the batter. If you aren’t following the prep directions precisely, improper greasing may be the reason your homemade cakes rise unevenly.

Uneven batter. After pouring cake batter into pan, do you use a spatula or paddle to even out the batter? If the batter in a cake pan is even one-fourth of inch higher on one side than the other, the cake will rise lopsidedly. I use a flat paddle to level out my cake batter. For thinner batters, an easy trick that works is to shake the pan gently from side to side for the batter to self-level.

Crooked oven racks. When one of my cakes came out of the oven looking rather crooked recently, I couldn’t figure out what had happened. It wasn’t until pulling the racks out that I noticed one of them had been slid back into the oven at a very slight angle which couldn’t be seen from the front of the oven. Before making another cake, check the racks in your oven to see if they might be crooked. Removing the racks and sliding them back in levelly will solve the problem.

Crooked oven. All houses settle with time and a stove that was installed straight to begin with may have shifted slightly along with the floors. Putting a level to the base of your oven is the best way to check if it’s straight or crooked. If it’s crooked, shim up the side that has sagged so that the oven sits straight.

More by this contributor:
10 strange baking tips your mother never taught you.
How to make Boston Brown Bread in the Crock Pot
Home made cookies that sell well at bake sales.

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