I baked a cake using eggs, butter, milk, vanilla extract, flour, cocoa and baking soda. I baked it at 450F for 30 mins. I tested it and the knife came clean. It looked okay but tasted horrible, like it contained cinnamon.

Then I tried another recipe which had the same ingredients but I was told to add baking powder. This one was baked at 325F for 30 mins in the middle rack of the oven.

However, when we ate it, it tasted horrible and like it had cinnamon, though I had put no cinnamon in either.

Why are my cakes coming out like this? How do I fix it?

  • 2
    I think at this point my main question is, are you really sure it tastes like cinnamon? If you think cinnamon tastes horrible, maybe you don't eat a lot of it, and you're noticing some other bad flavors and thinking it's just cinnamon? Is the horrible flavor really just cinnamon, or is there something else that you can describe? Do any of the raw ingredients smell anything like the horrible taste that you're noticing in the cake?
    – Cascabel
    Jun 29, 2015 at 23:57
  • 5
    What kind of cocoa are you using?
    – moscafj
    Jun 30, 2015 at 0:50
  • Going back to what Jefromi is saying, what do you think is the taste of cinnamon. To me its spicy, sweet, earthy, and a little bit bitter. If this doesn't sound like cinnamon to you, maybe you are tasting something else.
    – Jay
    Jun 30, 2015 at 12:44
  • hi and thanks for answering my problem! It did taste like cinnamon but as Jay says, its more like sour and bitter .. I thought it was like cinnamon but i guess not! I don;t know now!
    – user36508
    Jun 30, 2015 at 16:20
  • I am using normal cocoa moscafj .. not dutch processed. Thankyou all - Jefromi, moscafj and Jay :) Really appreciate it! :D
    – user36508
    Jun 30, 2015 at 16:21

3 Answers 3


From your list of ingredients, I can tell you are missing at least one ingredient.


Or any kind of sweetener. Cocao powder by itself is very bitter and acidic. Without the sugar it's not too surprising the cake taste bitter and slightly sour.

  • 1
    I think Jay may be on to something. Next time you bake this cake add 1 cup of sugar for every 4~5 eggs and see if you get the same taste. Be sure to follow typical protocol: cream butter and sugar together, then add eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition. Then add dry ingredients in increments, alternating with milk and extracts.
    – Cindy
    Jun 30, 2015 at 23:09
  • 1
    I would add that a small amount of salt (1/4 tsp.) would also curb the bitterness.
    – moscafj
    Jul 1, 2015 at 0:14

My guess would be its the baking soda. This has a very strong taste and its very easy to add too much. I generally add less in all recipes as im quite sensitive to the taste of it and it completely ruins a good bake! Baking powder also contains soda, and would be the same problem. Taste a tiny bit of your soda plain and see if that is the flavour you are getting, if so, cut down the amount added.

Also i would agree that adding sugar is essential and the lack of it would compound the problem.

  • Also, raw powdered cinnamon tends to have an adstringent quality that probably explains that association,,, Nov 12, 2015 at 23:46

Did you put sugar in it? Because if you didn't it probably tastes bad because it needs sugar or something that will make it sweet.

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