I'll be baking a cheese-ham cake shortly and I remember that sometimes it makes your tongue 'thick' (for lack of a better word).

The symptoms are the feeling that the tongue/mouth is covered with the cake, like it's sticking to the skin. I'm not sure how to describe it accurately. I've just eaten a commercial grade muffin like cake with the same effect. It makes the mouth dry, maybe.

So, is there information about which flours are more prone to produce this effect? Is this somehow related to the flour? Can it be the butter/grease? The oven temp or the undercooking or overcooking? Maybe a reaction of the leavening agent?

Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Edit: Ham-Cheese Cake

  • 150g Cheese (Gouda or Emmental)
  • 200g Ham
  • 2 Chives
  • 100g Butter or Margarine
  • 3 Eggs
  • 100g Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Cut the cheese, ham and chives.

Cream the butter and add the eggs one at a time. Sieve the flour together with the baking powder and the salt, and mix into the butter.

Add the ingredients to the batter and put in the oven at 180ºC for 30'

  • 1
    Could you describe a cheese-ham cake more fully? I don't know what you're referring to. Is it like a quiche? A list of ingredients and brief description of the recipe would help clarify. Aug 25, 2012 at 22:00
  • 2
    To make sure I understand- is this the phenomenon that my family refers to as a food "sucking the spit right out of your mouth?", most noted in the cookies we feed to very young children and use to aid digestion? Aug 26, 2012 at 2:41
  • @AdeleC, that must be it. Aug 26, 2012 at 9:20
  • @CareyGregory, I've added the recipe. As you can see, it's not like a quiche at all. Aug 27, 2012 at 9:15
  • 2
    When you say 'thick', you don't mean swollen, do you? Because that'd be a sign of an allergic reaction.
    – Joe
    Aug 29, 2012 at 1:07

6 Answers 6


Meat fat/suet does cause similar effect on tongue and some “acidics”(e.g.lemon, vinegar, wine) helps to balance it. If that’s the situation this Q/A may give some ideas for the solution.

Why do fatty foods go with sour ones?

  • Some fats 'coat' the tongue because their melting point is higher than the temperature in the mouth. I don't think this is the case, as butter or margarine is used. Aug 28, 2012 at 22:26
  • @BaffledCook - butter and margarine have very high melting points, only a few degrees below body temperature. What other fats are you comparing to? Most saturated fats have roughly the same melting points, and unsaturated fats are much lower (liquid at room temperature).
    – Aaronut
    Aug 29, 2012 at 0:49

It might be the baking powder that's in it. I don't recognize the 'thick' feeling you're describing, but I find stuff with baking powder in it tastes different. It's described as a metallic taste by some, becasue apparantly there's aluminum in some brands.

  • I usually use Royal Baking Powder, I've looked at the ingredient list, and it doesn't state aluminum. Aug 27, 2012 at 11:59
  • @BaffledCook If by "Royal Baking Powder" you mean this brand, aluminum is an ingredient: it includes "Sodium Aluminum Sulfate". Aug 27, 2012 at 22:29
  • @TheodoreMurdock, I don't see Sodium Aluminum Sulfate in the ingredient list, even though it's the same brand. Aug 28, 2012 at 22:22

I think I know what you are talking about. I worked in a grocery store bakery for a stint and I believe you are talking about what I would describe as "fur on your tongue". Makes you want to scrape it off. I get it from the shortening based frosting and oily muffins from low cost commercial shortening fluff. Have you had that experience from something home cooked?

  • Thanks for your answer. Do you have some reference material to check that? Sep 6, 2012 at 22:22
  • Is this really an answer? Given that the recipe in question doesn't include shortening, I don't think you've really found the cause or a way of preventing it, as requested in the question.
    – Cascabel
    Sep 6, 2012 at 23:23
  • @Jefromi, isn't shortening some sort of fat replacing butter? Sep 8, 2012 at 8:06
  • @BaffledCook Yeah, it is, but since EDabM only noticed the effect in things that were mostly shortening, and didn't mention butter, I'm not entirely sure it's the same thing. In any case, there's nothing about what you might do about it, so...
    – Cascabel
    Sep 8, 2012 at 15:05

I've just made some gluten free rock cakes and used a table spoon of baker powder. And as usual it gives me a rough tongue. It last for over an hour before its normal again. It is definitely something to do with baking powder. Will need to find an alternative. I've been diagnosed with Coeliac disease for over 20 years


This has baffled me too, for a long time. I just had a delicious muffin for lunch and now have the furry tongue. I get a similar effect from wine with a high level of tannin in it. A good cook told me it has something to do with the ratio of baking powder to flour. Since baking powder is a combo of creme of tartar and bicarbonate, it might be one or the other that is the culprit.

Again, not a good answer, but maybe it adds to the thinking.

  • "Adds to the thinking" is what comments are for. Answers should be (to the best of your knowledge) actual answers.
    – zeel
    Oct 14, 2013 at 23:20

I baked a banana cake last week and it had a bitter taste towards the end (when swallowing) and it was like sticking at the back of my mouth (giving me a feeling like I was about to choke). I read about cakes having a bitter taste and the reason was said to be too much baking soda than the required amount. I have not got the explanation of the sticky feeling but I suspect it could be the baking soda too.

  • This does not seem to be what the OP is describing.
    – Zanna
    Sep 18, 2020 at 4:24
  • I will give the answerer the benefit of the doubt and say that it could be the same problem - she describes "sticking at the back of my mouth", not just bitterness.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 18, 2020 at 14:42

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