We’ve all been there before. We spend hours finding the recipe, gathering the ingredients and creating the perfect cake for a special occasion.
We pop it in the oven, sit back, pour a cup of tea and then, upon taking the cake out, we realize the horror: the cake is dry.
Luckily, in the world of baking, there are some simple ways to ensure you create a moist cake and avoid this nightmare at your next dinner party. So if you’re wondering how to make a moist cake, we have you covered, whether you haven’t made your cake yet or if your cake already came out too dry.
How to Make a Cake Moist: Tips & Tricks
Here are some simple tips that will show you how to make cake moist and tasty!
1. Use Real Butter
First things first: use real butter. The water content of margarine is higher than that of butter, meaning that it alters the texture and consistency of your cake. Opt for good-quality butter and make sure that it’s room temperature when you mix it into your batter (unless the recipe calls for something else). A good rule of thumb is to take your butter out of the fridge and place it on the countertop the day before your baking bonanza ensues.
2. Don’t Overbake or Overmix
One of the best moist cake rules of thumb is to make sure you don’t overbake it. Be mindful of the clock or kitchen timer, and check for doneness 5 or 10 minutes before it goes off. Make sure you aren’t overmixing your batter, either, as this can incorporate too much air, causing your cake to fall and become dense and chewy.
3. Don’t Forget the Sugar
Sugar is hygroscopic, which means that it both attracts water and holds onto it, leading to a moist cake. If you reduce the necessary amount of sugar in a recipe, you’re also decreasing the cake’s ability to retain moisture.
How to Make Dry Cake Moist
If you’ve already baked your cake and it turned out dry, don’t fret! There’s still hope. To moisten a cake after baking, consider the poke and soak method.
1. Poke and Soak Your Dry Cake
To moisten a cake after baking, consider the poke and soak method. Use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to poke holes into your cake and add hydration back by way of a simple syrup. You can create a syrup to complement virtually any cake (from a cocoa syrup for your chocolate cake to a lime syrup for your piña colada cake).
We promise, your cake will be moist in two to three hours! Check out this article to see how to make a quick simple syrup when you find yourself in a dry-cake pinch.
Recipes for Moist Cakes
From sponge cake to pound cake, here are some of our favorite recipes for creating moist cakes.
This Triple Citrus Pound Cake shines bright with wonderful flavors of citrus. It’s rich and buttery, but also moist and decadent. This particular recipe makes two loaves (which means it’s perfect for sharing or taking to a potluck or group picnic). The cake batter itself combines grapefruit, lime and orange zest, along with a good amount of grapefruit and orange juice, too. The frosting is made with fresh squeezed orange juice and can be adjusted based on your preference (for a looser glaze, add more juice).
This Rolled Strawberry Cream Sponge Cake is a showstopper dessert. It’s a light and airy sponge cake wrapped around a flavorful strawberry cream cheese filling. The consistency of the filling complements the perfectly moist cake—and if you find your family and friends love this recipe, you can even make additional variations by simply swapping the strawberry preserves with raspberry, blueberry or any other fruit preserves you’d like. Don’t forget to wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to set for 20-30 minutes before serving. Just before eating, dust your treat with confectioners sugar for a nice decorative touch.
This recipe for Springtime Lemon Cake with Raspberry Frosting comes to Bob’s Red Mill courtesy of Maria Long from Staying Close to Home. It’s a delicious lemon cake covered in a layer of vibrant raspberry frosting and bursting with flavors of spring: citrus and berries! The addition of plain Greek yogurt in the batter ensures a moist cake, while the fluffy frosting is both bright and creative. Keep this recipe on hand for any event, from your best friend’s brunch to your little one’s birthday party.
Another springtime or warm weather favorite, this super moist, super delicious Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Cake came our way via Karen Kelley from Seasonal Cravings. It’s packed full of fresh blueberries and topped with a cream cheese buttercream frosting that has just the right amount of sweetness. Karen uses buttermilk, fresh lemon juice and vanilla to ensure a delicious cake with a fantastic texturet. We love the added bonus of coconut milk and a pinch of salt in her frosting, too. Top with fresh blueberries for a fresh and colorful presentation. You just may have found a new fan favorite.
This recipe for Blackberry Lime Cake comes from Carrie Sellman of The Cake Blog,and trust us when we say she knows a thing or two about crafting the perfect cake. With its hues of violet and the mingling of blackberries and lime, this cake tastes just as pretty as it looks. Before making her blackberry buttercream frosting, Carrie uses 12 ounces of fresh blackberries, a tablespoon of granulated sugar and a tablespoon of lime juice to create a blackberry reduction. She then incorporates this with egg whites, vanilla, unsalted butter and granulated sugar for a buttercream that is absolutely divine. Top the end result with edible micro flowers just before serving. Now your dessert is both delicate and delightful in both flavor and appearance.
This Pumpkin Cake with Toasted Coconut Frosting from Carol Speake of The Gardening Cook is so moist, so delicious and so quintessential for fall (but who are we kidding—we could eat this cake all year long). The cake is made with canned pumpkin and topped with a classic buttercream frosting sprinkled with toasted coconut. If preferred, you can use milk in the frosting instead of an egg (simply omit the egg and add your milk a bit at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency).
The addition of grated carrots makes this recipe for Carrot Pound Cake with Coconut Milk Icing both sweet and moist. The cake itself is slightly crumbly, with the wonderful flavors of walnuts and spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. This recipe comes from Isadora Lassance of She Likes Food and results in a cake that is beautiful to look at and a pleasure to eat! The simple coconut milk icing is made with just two ingredients, coconut milk and powdered sugar.
Because of the sweet addition of one of our favorite tropical fruits, this cake is notorious for being moist and amazing. This recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake, courtesy of Nora Schlesinger from A Clean Break, incorporates canned, cored pineapple rings, plain Greek yogurt and granulated monk fruit sweetener. The glaze is made with a mix of monk fruit sweetener, tapioca flour, almond milk and a splash of vanilla. Like the recipe headnote says, serve this cake at tea time, during a coffee break or after a simple dinner party.
At Bob’s Red Mill, we absolutely love lemon cakes. This Lemon Cake in particular was contributed by the wonderful Emily Dixon from One Lovely Life. It can be made in a stand mixer or food processor (instead of in a mixing bowl) depending on your preference. It utilizes ingredients like lemon zest, lemon juice, melted butter (or coconut oil) and our Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. After baking, it’s brushed with a lemon honey syrup then topped with the glaze. It’s magical, moist and made to devour quickly (so you might want to make a second one).
Bob’s Red Mill Cake Mixes & Flour
Here are a few of our own cake-specific products to ensure simple, stress-free baking.
This wonderfully moist gluten free cake mix is so simple to prepare and perfect for all sorts of special occasions. It only requires two eggs, 2/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 2/3 cup boiling water. One package of mix makes an 8-inch layer cake (or 12 cupcakes).
This versatile vanilla yellow cake mix is made with a blend of gluten free flours and starches and can easily be used to create your favorite vanilla cake. It features nutritious whole grain sorghum flour along with sea salt, potato starch, tapioca flour, potato starch, sugar, sea salt, anthem gum and vanilla powder.
Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Cake Flour is made from low-protein U.S. wheat that has been carefully milled and sifted to provide a super fine texture and a tender crumb. It’s ideal for pound cakes, angel food cakes and chiffon cakes (as well as pancakes, cupcakes and biscuits).
Whether you’re making a cake for a birthday gathering, a dinner party or a school celebration, we hope these tips and recipes have inspired you to get out there and make a beautiful, moist cake!
Have any tips for achieving amazing cake results? Share them with us in the comments below!