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My cake initially rises perfectly, but after about 20 - 25 minutes, the cake starts to slightly droop with the cake also pulling away from the side of the pan.

I don't mind that too much, as the initial rising seemed to be a bit exaggerated anyway. But once I remove the cake from the oven, it droops further - in fact, it collapses.

I take great care preparing the batter by sifting dry ingredients, and using eggs at room temperature.

The procedure I used to prepare the cake batter is:

  • I first cream egg yolks and sugar for about 1 minute
  • Then I add flour/baking powder mixture, oil, water, beat again for about 1 minute
  • Then beat and fold in the egg whites.

Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

  • Hello Clara! Welcome to Seasoned Advice! I edited your question to fix some wording and clarify your question a bit. If you feel I have change the meaning of your question in any way, you may edit the question farther by using the edit link under the question tags. – Jay Apr 30 '12 at 17:19
  • Also Clara can you add additional information such as the temperature you baked the cake at, the total time, and the type of flour you used? – Jay Apr 30 '12 at 17:23
  • Hi, Jay, sorry for taking so long to come back; could not find my question. When I clicked on "questions asked" the system told me that I have not asked any questions. Need to get used to the site.... – Clara May 7 '12 at 14:05
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There are couple of reasons that causes a cake to collapse. One reason could be flour/baking powder ratio. As far as I understand from your description this applies to your case. Because the procedure that you follow is fine.

I suggest to use this ratio:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

If it does not work then try to use less baking powder.

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    Thanks, huzeyfe. In that case I certainly used too much baking powder. I'll try again. Would that ratio also apply to butter cakes, not only oil cakes? – Clara May 7 '12 at 14:25
  • You're welcome Clara.. In butter cakes you may need to reduce baking powder a little bit i.e 3/4 teaspoon per 1 cup plain flour. Good luck ;) – huzeyfe May 8 '12 at 10:38
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    Hi, Huzeyfe - have continued to cut baking powder (in my most recent attempt I used only 1 ml for 130 flour) but the cake still continues to raise - and then droop. (although not as severely as with the higher amount of baking powder). Have even had technicians from the oven company checking; they insist the temperature situation is correct. -Following are the ingredients I use. I have halfed the quantities, to test bake. – Clara May 12 '12 at 19:33
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    100 g flour, 30 g maizena, 1 ml baking powder, 120 g caster sugar, 100 ml oil, 100 ml water, 3 eggs, seperated, vanilla essence, a little salt. – Clara May 12 '12 at 19:55
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    A quick Google search on recipes for oil cake (never made it, but it looks good) shows that most recipes call for 'creaming' the eggs and sugar, then creating an emulsion with the oil/water/fruit juice. After that, you either stir in the flour by hand, or mix slowly with a mixer. Finally, fold the eggs. It could be you are not getting the proper incorporation of all the ingredients before baking, leading to a weak structure and collapse. All of this assumes you added ingredients in the order of your post. – JSM Jun 13 '14 at 16:59
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It's also possible that you aren't creaming the eggs and sugar together long enough, meaning the air bubbles are underdeveloped. Try creaming them till they're aerated and fluffy.

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Although you say it's an oil cake, I'm not familar with ones that use whipped egg whites. This would make it similar to a chiffon cake.

The typical recommendation for chiffon is to treat them like an angel food cake : place the pan upside-down while it cools, as it doesn't have the same internal strength as a traditional cake. If you're not making it in an angel food pan, which is designed for this (it has little legs on it), make sure you're not filling the pan too far so it swells too much over the pan edge, and flip it over onto a cooling rack to allow air to get under it. This won't solve all of your problems, but should help with the sag after it comes out of the oven.

Based on it pulling away from the sides of the pans and an exaggerated rise, I would have expected your oven to be miscalibrated, as that would indicate it's too hot. (and then if you pull it when it's browned, the inside won't be cooked fully, so more likely to collapse ... basically, the same problems as a souffle.) .... but you said you had that checked. (I'm mentioning this, just in case someone else has a similar problem).

You can run into similar problems with an undercooked center if you over-fill the pan, or you cook a cake in a round pan that's intended for a bundt or tube pan.

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