How Milk Can Fix Your Dry Cake

Whether you're a seasoned pâtissier or a kitchen hobbyist, you've probably experienced the frustration of baking a hopelessly dry cake. While not ideal, a dry cake is a culinary setback that can be avoided with the right know-how. The first step in preventing a dry cake is understanding how cakes become dry in the first place. Often, the reason involves using wrong ingredient ratios. Since the amount of dry and wet ingredients in a cake determines its texture, it's essential to carefully measure them out and pay close attention to the recipe in order to ensure that your cake comes out of the oven with its moisture levels intact (via Sally's Baking Recipes).

If you're sure that your measuring skills are up to par and your confections are still coming up bone dry, your oven settings may be to blame. A simple oven hack you can use to prevent your cake from drying is to bake it with a pan of water inside the oven. Before starting a recipe, it's also important to check what kind of oven the instructions were written for, as you may need to make slight adjustments to the recipe's prescribed heat settings and baking times. If you have a fan-powered oven, for instance, you'll need a lower heat setting to bake your cake than with a conventional oven, per Everyday Cooks. Regardless of what has made your cake dry, there is a way to fix it.

Add moisture back into your cake with milk

If you've already checked that your oven settings are appropriate and you've followed your recipe to a T, but your cake is still coming out dry, there is a tried-and-tested method you can use for adding moisture to a cake after it's been baked. If you have some milk on hand, you have everything you need to rescue your dry cake. 

According to Allrecipes, simply brushing the top of your cake with milk is all it takes to reverse your baking blunder. If your cake needs a little extra help after you've brushed it with milk, you can also place it in a saucer of milk to soak up all the moisture it needs. Another trick that will save your over-baked cake is brushing the top with syrup, which can also help give your cake an exciting new flavor while adding moisture. 

While cake soaking is most often used to add moisture to dry cakes, some chefs also suggest using the technique to add extra moisture to any cake that requires a little additional tenderness. Whether or not you use this milky hack on a dry cake or one baked to perfection, the resulting dessert is sure to be delicious.