Bundt cakes are made in unusual and intricate shapes, which is what gives them their showpiece quality, but it’s also important that bundt cakes taste delicious. A dry bundt cake can be really disappointing after all of the efforts you’ve put into baking it, but you can learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them.
Bundt cake can turn out dry if it has been baked for too long, cooked at a temperature that is too high, or if the balance of ingredients isn’t perfect.
Here we investigate the main reasons why bundt cake is dry and how to prevent them, along with ways you can fix a dry bundt cake, so it’s still tasty to eat.
Why Is My Bundt Cake Dry?
Bundt cake can be made from any cake recipe, so the reasons why it turns out dry can be quite varied.
One of the most common reasons why a bundt cake comes out of the oven dry is that it has been cooked for too long. When a recipe states that the cake should be cooked for 40 to 50 minutes, this is a guideline and should not necessarily be followed exactly because all ovens are different.
If you have cooked your cake for the longest amount of time that the recipe advised, then there’s a good chance the cake is overcooked. Even one minute too long in the oven can be the difference between a moist cake and a dry cake.
Although you’ve set your oven to 400°F, for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cooking at 400°F. Ovens can often be cooking at ten degrees higher or lower than they’re supposed to, which can result in a cake that’s overcooked and dry. If your oven tends to run a little hot, drop the temperature lower than the recipe recommends.
If the oven seems to be burning your food or cooking things very quickly, it may be that the oven needs to be recalibrated. When a bundt cake is cooked at a temperature that is too high, the heat will dry it out and your resulting cake will not be moist and delicious.
Cake recipes and baking should be regarded as a type of science. The reactions that certain ingredients have with each other is essential for the success of a cake, which means you shouldn’t substitute ingredients in the recipe. If a recipe calls for baking powder, use baking powder. Baking soda is not the same thing.
Equally, if a recipe calls for a certain type of flour, you need to use that specific flour and not an all purpose flour. If it calls for butter, use butter and not a vegetable fat spread. The wrong ingredients can completely screw up a recipe and could be the cause of your bundt cake being dry.
Sometimes, you will have followed a recipe perfectly and done everything exactly as you should have, and the cake will still be dry. In this case, you’ll just have to put it down to being a bad recipe and resolve not to use the same recipe again. When making cakes it’s best to stick with recipes by renowned chefs who will be more reliable.
If you’re searching for recipes online, go for the tried and tested methods which have hundreds of good reviews, as opposed to recipes that only have a handful of reviews.
How to Prevent Dry Bundt Cake
When making a cake, you need to measure out your ingredients carefully and use the exact amount specified in the recipe. Guessing or estimating the amount of ingredients can work out sometimes, but it can also result in cakes that are too dry or don’t hold together well. For flawless results every time, get into the good habit of weighing out your ingredients properly.
For a moist and delicious bundt cake, don’t make substitutions for ingredients in your recipe. If you don’t have the correct ingredients for a recipe, then you should find a different recipe which you do have the ingredients for or go to the store and pick up the ingredients you need.
Check oven regularly
When a recipe gives you guidance for the amount of cooking time needed, you should bake the cake for the minimum recommended time and then check on it.
Poke a cocktail stick into the middle of the cake; if it comes out clean with a few moist crumbs, then it is fully baked. If the stick has wet batter on it, it needs longer to cook. Put the cake back in the oven and continue to check on it every 1 or 2 minutes until it is done. Overcooked cakes are dry, so you want to make sure you’re getting your cake out of the oven as soon as it’s fully cooked.
Adjust oven settings
If your cakes aren’t baking as they’re meant to, you may need to turn your oven down to lower than the recipe recommends. When cakes are baked at a temperature that is too hot, they will be dry, and they also have a tendency to crack because the outer crust will set before the cake has finished rising.
How to Fix Dry Bundt Cake
A dry bundt cake is not a completely lost cause. There are several ways you can fix a dry bundt cake so that it will still be a delicious dessert for your family or guests.
Glaze the cake
Some bundt cakes are served exactly as they are when they come out of the pan, but many people like to glaze their cakes for a touch of extra sweetness. Glazing a bundt cake can make it look fancier or add a new flavor to a plain sponge recipe, but it also adds some moisture which will help a dry cake to taste more balanced.
You can make a simple glaze out of sugar syrup or add flavorings to it for an extra kick, such as lemon juice. You could glaze a bundt cake in maple syrup, which will soak into the top layers of the sponge to give it a much-needed boost of moisture.
Frosting can hide a multitude of sins on a bundt cake, including cracking and dry sponge. You’ll need a thick layer of frosting to add enough moisture to a dry cake, with buttercream icing presenting a good option.
Applying the frosting to the entire outside of the cake will balance out the dry sponge, and it can also help to hide a dark sponge cake if your bundt was overcooked and turned brown in the oven. You could even slice the bundt cake in half and fill it with frosting so that there is some moisture inside each serving when it is cut into portions.
Serve with ice cream
If you don’t have the time or inclination to add extra layers to your bundt cake, then simply serve it with ice cream to balance out the dryness. As the ice cream melts, the bundt cake will absorb some of it, for a delicious and moist sponge.