Don’t waste a crumb! 8 ways to use that flopped cake
This handy guide provides tips and tricks to make sure flopped cake doesn’t go to waste.
We’ve all been there. You’ve carefully followed the recipe and measured out all the ingredients, only to pull your cake out of the oven and find that it’s sunken in the middle, cracked, or just doesn’t look like the picture on the website or cookbook.
Don’t despair! There are still ways to salvage your cake and make it look and taste delicious. Whether your cake is a complete disaster or just needs a little TLC, we have some tips and tricks to help you salvage that flopped cake and turn your baking fail into a triumph.
What to do if you burned the cake
If your baking time was a little off or the temperature was too high and you ended up with a charred cake, no worries: you can turn it into a trifle!
Cut off the burnt bits and use them as a substitute for the cake you’d find in whatever trifle recipe. Try this classic trifle recipe and replace the Swiss rolls with your cake or try this berry, almond and Amarula trifle for something a little boozy.
Or get creative with whatever you have in the house and make a new kind of trifle.
What to do if your cake sunk in the middle
There are lots of reasons why your cake sunk in the middle. From taking the cake out too early, having it at the wrong temperature or adding too much baking powder, lots of things can go wrong. Baking is a science and sometimes our experiments don’t go too well.
How do you fix it? If your middle is undercooked, remove it and replace it with sweets or a mixed fruit jam for a surprise! Then cover it with icing and pretend you planned it that way all along.
Not keen on serving your sunken cake? Make milkshakes! Dig out that ice cream from the freezer, add milk and small bits of your baked cake, and make a flopped cake milkshake that everyone will love!
What to do if your cake is overbaked and dry
Again, there are lots of reasons why your cake came out super dry, from using too much flour (or replacing it with a different flour substitute and not realising the consequences) to using the wrong kind of cake tin or just leaving it a little too long in the oven.
There are a few fixes. First, if your cake is still otherwise edible and didn’t come out super thin, you can try and bring it back with some syrup. Make your own (or use store-bought) and add a little liqueur for some pizzazz, then soak the layers in the syrup before icing or decorating.
If that’s not going to work, consider making some cake pops. Break up the cake in a bowl and add lots of jam or icing, roll them into bite-sized balls, and place them in the fridge for a few hours. If you have some chocolate to hand, melt it and cover the cake pops in the chocolatey goodness too.
Other ways to fix your flopped cake
If you’re having a dinner party and your intention was to serve a beautiful cake but it flopped, cut up the bits of the cake that are edible, drizzle them in chocolate sauce and serve them in parfait glasses (or whatever you have handy) with whipped cream and berries. No one will know.
Make them into waffles! If you have a waffle maker, break up your cake, mix it with some jam or syrup to get a more moist consistency and press them in the waffle maker for a bit less than you would if you were making it from the batter. Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Finally, if your cake flopped and you’re a bit despondent and don’t feel like making any additional effort, just break it up, pour some warm custard or a scoop of ice cream over it and enjoy.
Sometimes the cake flops for whatever reason, but it doesn’t mean you’re a bad baker. We’re sure next time you’ll get it right.