Sweet SugarCraft




My 3" Deep Cakes Never Turn Out Right (argh)! Please help!

Hi all,

Though I have made quite a few cake toppers, I haven’t really made many cakes yet, so am a little inexperienced on that front.

Every time I bake in my 3" deep cake pans the cakes never turn out right.

They are usually either:

  • Not cooked in the center (though I have now solved that I think, by piercing it with a knife to check).
  • Are too moist, making me feel they may be under cooked.
  • Or they have moist spots throughout.
  • Have a drier more cake like texture towards the sides, but are still denser in the middle.
  • Plus the texture of the cakes are just not pleasing, too dense (not light and fluffy).

Does anyone have any advice on how I can get the cakes to cook up:

  • Nice and tall.
  • Not too moist, but light and fluffy.
  • and maybe a better suggestion on how to test for done-ness (it feels like Russian roulette every time I bake :-/ )

Other questions:

  • How much batter should I be adding (1/2 or 2/3 full)? (I filled to 2/3 when I baked the 6" carrot cake).
  • Should I leave the cake out to cool completely on the bench or is it correct to wrap it with a little bit of heat left in it to make sure it doesn’t dry out?
  • Could wrapping the cake up with a little bit of warmth left in it be causing the cake to be overly moist?

What I’ve tried so far:

  • Using moisten towel strips on sides (has made things a bit better)
  • Always using a flower nail style heating core (even for 6").

Cake Types I’ve been baking recently that had these results:

  • Carrot Cake (has 1 cup vegetable oil and 3 finely grated carrots)
  • Chocolate Mud Cake (melted butter method)

Sorry for the inundation of questions; I just want to be able to feel more confident of the results when I bake a cake :-/

Thanks in advance for any advice or links.


-- Jessica - Sweet SugarCraft

3" 3 inch deep cake pans cake tins baking tall moist spots cake texture baking in deep pans baking in deep cake tins


Penny Sue

For a 3” deep cakes either wedding cakes, celebration cakes, I always make a Madeira mix, can be any flavour, I usually bake it for quite a long time, for a 10” mix with a baking nail, base and sides lined with parchment, the bake time is 1 hour 20mins at 160 c. It never fails, then when cool I slice the top dome off, leave till really cool then turn out on a wire cooling rack. When completely cold, I then slice with a lever into three, then use a ganache plate to slice the outer edge of the cake, drench in sugar syrup, and wrap overnight in cling film, next day its firmer, and easy to handle, by the time you have fillled and ganache your cake and covered it in fondant, it will be over 3”tall, most important thing, a spirit level! Hope this is helpful?

Sweet SugarCraft

Thanks Penny for taking the time to reply, it’s great to know how other people make cakes. 💜

The Garden Baker

I have no real experience with carrot cakes, but I ALWAYS line my pans (bottom and sides with parchment paper cut to fit. If the parchment on the sides is higher than the pan the cakes will tend to use that to"grow higher". Carrot cakes are heavy though so you might need more specific advice with those. Also when in doubt I bake at a lower temperature (170C) and then test in the center with a toothpick every 10 minutes starting at 40 minutes. A 6 inch cake will often need 50-60 minutes at that temperature. When done, if there is a dome in the center I gently press down with parchment paper while the cake is still hot. Magic … no more dome and very little if anything to be trimmed off at the top. As soon as the cake has cooled a bit but still quite warm, I depan, wrap in saran type wrap, aluminum foil and a nylon bag. Then I freeze it overnight when it is much easier to handle and can be sliced without falling apart. I’ve never used heating cores, but tend not to bake thick layers. I much prefer to take a full recipe of cake batter and to bake half each time. That way the cake can bake thru better and it also saves me the chore of splitting into layers. Maybe this last idea would be helpful for you. Best wishes :)

Sweet SugarCraft

Thanks for all the handy info Garden Baker, much appreciated. 💜