Cake Stuck to the Pan? Don't Panic; Here's How to Salvage It
When the tops stick to the pan, don't freak out.
Photos by Molly Dunn
There's nothing more disappointing than baking a cake and having it stick to the pan as you flip it out onto a cooling rack. You worked so hard to make the perfectly fluffy, moist and delicate cake -- but all of that excitement and joy disappears when the cake comes out looking like crap.
I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. The first few times I created a terrible cake, I broke down in tears, threw the cake away and sulked for the rest of the day. Being a perfectionist, I might take things too seriously.
I don't know if it is a sense of culinary maturity, or maybe I'm not as neurotic or obsessive-compulsive as I once was when it comes to baking, but recently I took on the task of making a layered German chocolate cake. I have made this cake a thousand times. But unfortunately, this time things did not go according to plan. Instead of my cakes coming out of the pans freely and smoothly, they completely stuck to the bottom of the pans.
My roommates watched me flip the cakes out of my pans with disappointment, expecting me to start crying. But I didn't. I decided to go with a new plan and make cake balls and cupcakes instead.
As soon as I realized that my cakes were a crumbled mess, I tossed each one into a giant bowl instead of the trash can. I mashed it into fine crumbs, then added the homemade coconut-pecan frosting into the cake once it was cool enough to touch.
Crumble the cake in a bowl instead of throwing it away.
Once the cake and frosting were completely incorporated, I rolled half of the cake-and-frosting combination into tablespoon-size balls, placed them on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the refrigerator to cool.
I pressed the other half of cake and frosting into cupcake tins to bake for ten more minutes in a 350-degree oven. The cake was already baked, so I just wanted to seal the cake and frosting together in a cupcake form. My mom makes brownie bites with a German chocolate cake mix baked with coconut-pecan frosting and sour cream, then topped with a chocolate and white chocolate drizzle. So that's the concept I was shooting for with these "cupcakes."
As the cupcakes baked in the oven, I dunked the cake balls into melted almond bark, then placed them back on the baking sheet to cool in the refrigerator.
To finish the cupcakes, I drizzled leftover melted almond bark on top to add a little bit of decoration.
Mix the cake and frosting, then roll into balls to salvage your cake disaster.
The cake balls were extremely filling and sweet, with the moist cake combined with sugary coconut-pecan frosting encased in an almond bark shell. Although the cupcakes were pre-baked before baking them with the frosting mixed into the crumbled cake, they were extremely moist, soft and definitely called for a big glass of milk.
To avoid this problem, be sure the cake pans are completely greased and floured before adding the cake batter. But if this problem still occurs, don't have a meltdown. Make cake balls and "cupcakes." You can still make something delicious after all that hard work.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.