The Real Reason Your Fruit Is Sinking In Your Bake, According To Alex Guarnaschelli

There's nothing worse than envisioning a perfectly baked loaf or batch of muffins studded with juicy fruit throughout, only to end up with a baked good in which all the fruit has sunk to the bottom. Sure, it may still taste good, but it wasn't what you were hoping for. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that may help you troubleshoot where you went wrong and avoid the same result in the future.

As chef and Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli advised a fan on Twitter, one primary reason that fruit ends up sinking has to do with it being too watery. This is particularly an issue when you're using frozen fruit that hasn't been completely defrosted. In such cases, the excess moisture comes out when they fully defrost during baking, making the fruit heavy in the batter (via Twitter). Guarnaschelli suggests including fresh fruits instead of frozen wherever possible, or simply fully defrosting whatever fruit you're including so that you're able to drain any extra moisture before they ever touch your batter.

Another easy tip you may already be familiar with? Toss the fruit you're including in flour, to create a light coating on the exterior (via Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking). This won't impact the texture of the cake or the fruit itself. Instead, it allows the batter to stick to your floury fruit, helping them to stay suspended throughout the mixture rather than all sinking to the bottom.

A few more tips for the perfect fruit-filled baked goods

So you've ensured your fruit is fully defrosted, you've tossed them in flour, and yet you're still having a bit of trouble with the fruit remaining evenly distributed. There are a few additional things to consider.

Check the size of the fruit you're including. Smaller fruits such as blueberries or raisins can be included whole, but you'll want to make others a bit less heavy by cutting them into smaller pieces. Larger fruits such as apples or pears can be incorporated in diced pieces or even thin slices (via Nigella Lawson). Be mindful of your batter as well. A thinner batter may simply not be able to support the weight of too much fruit, but adding them along the top of the batter rather than mixing them in might be helpful (via Kitchn).

Or, simply rethink the way you incorporate the fruit altogether. Serious Eats has one creative way to prevent the dreaded fruit sinking in your baked goods. The site suggests adding a layer of plain batter to the bottom of muffin tins (although you could do the same for cakes, loaves, or whatever you're making), and then on top of that added another layer of batter with the fruit folded in. Since it's the same batter, it won't look layered when you cut into it once baked, but that extra bit of batter at the bottom creates a bit of a buffer zone so fruit can't fully sink.