The Oven Mistake That Might Make Your Cake Collapse

Did anybody else grow up thinking that successfully baking a soufflé was going to be a way bigger problem than it actually is? As a Reddit thread pointed out, it seems that there have been several instances in movies, television shows, and comic strips where characters painstakingly attempt to make the seemingly luxurious, eggy, French dish, only to have it collapse thanks to an unruly neighbor or a slammed door.

The constant use of the hilarious kitchen mishap in pop culture made it seem as if making a soufflé was an impossible feat that could only be pulled off by the most skilled French chefs like Eric Ripert or Jacques Pépin. In reality, however, we're willing to bet that most people haven't even eaten a soufflé anywhere near as often as they saw them in cartoons (they've become much less popular with the rise of fast casual dining, Eater explains) let alone have had to make sure their environment is calm and quiet enough to successfully make one on their own.

Perhaps, instead, writers should have had characters whip up something a bit more relatable when working the comedic scenario into their scripts, such as a cake, which, like a soufflé, is subject to collapse. In fact, according to Polar Puffs & Cakes, this is actually a common problem that bakers both novice and expert alike can have when making these confections and is often caused by an oven mistake that is easy to avoid.

Resist the urge to open your oven when baking a cake to prevent sinking

Let's face it: Baking a cake is no easy feat. Whether it's your first or fiftieth time whipping one up, excitement can set in as the oven timer ticks closer and closer to zero. Some may even feel the urge to open up the oven a few times to check on their creation before the beeper goes off. However, as Polar Puffs & Cakes explains, doing this could actually make all of that hard work you just put in go right out the door, as it could ultimately lead to your cake collapsing in the middle.

According to Baking Kneads, oven temperatures can drop 10 degrees every time the door is opened, ultimately impacting the dessert's baking chemistry. The outlet suggests waiting until your treat has made it through at least three-quarters of its bake time to test its doneness, upon which the cake can be rotated if needed.

Until then, Food Network offers the alternative of flipping on your oven's light and peering at the dessert through the oven door to monitor it as it bakes. And just like in the infamous soufflé trope we've seen portrayed onscreen so many times, Polar Puffs & Cakes also advises bakers to avoid slamming the oven door shut after checking up on their cakes as another means of avoiding a sunken-in cake.