Wondering how to moisten a dry cake so that it tastes divine? Try these 5 easy ways to make cake soft and moist again.
We’ve all been there. You spend hours baking in the kitchen; you follow the recipe perfectly, and you are left with a dry, crumbly cake that is hardly edible.
If this is you, don’t worry, I have you covered. There are easy tips and tricks for how to fix a dry cake.
Many of these methods are near-instant solutions for moistening a dry cake, and they all use appliances and ingredients you have around the house.
Save the celebration by trying one of these tried-and-true ways to get some moisture back in that crumbly cake.
Once you are finished, no one will ever know the cake was ever anything but moist and delicious.
How to Prevent a Dry Cake
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you haven’t started baking yet, there are ways to ensure your confection doesn’t turn out dry and dense.
By using ingredients such as sour cream and room temperature butter, your cake is more likely to be moist and fluffy once it’s finished baking.
These two ingredients bring a lot of moisture to the batter, and it is evident in the finished product.
Don’t over-cream or mix. Both of these processes remove moisture from a cake, and doing them for too long can completely dry your batter out.
It can be tempting to continue running the mixer to make sure you have done a thorough job, but once your ingredients are mostly combined, it is better to stop and move on than seek blended perfection.
Use cake flour instead of all-purpose to make your cake.
There is a difference, and by using the correct ingredients, you are more likely to be successful in your baking endeavors.
These are all steps you can take to prevent a dry cake, but if your cake is already baked and dry, these tips won’t help you much.
Next, we will look at ways to moisten an already dry cake.
Microwave the Cake
Baked goods fresh from the oven are notoriously better than their cooled counterparts.
The texture changes as the cake cools. Use this to your advantage and microwave some life back into your dry cake.
Place the cake on a microwave-safe dish and then cover with a damp cloth or paper towel.
Microwave on high for 10-20 seconds. The water in the damp cloth will steam the cake, replacing the lost moisture.
This isn’t a long-term solution, however. The cake will not retain the added moisture over time, so it is best to do this right before serving the cake to your guests.
If you have already iced your cake, you will need to be careful, as the microwave can melt the icing.
Be sure to microwave in short bursts and to monitor the cake the entire time.
Not only could this method end up doing more harm than good, but you will have a big mess on your hands.
Steam the Cake
In the same vein, you can also steam your cake to add moisture. To do this, you will need a pan with a steam rack and some boiling water.
Place water in the pot and add the steam rack. Set your cake on top of the rack and turn the water on the boil.
Once the water is boiling, check the cake every couple of seconds to make sure the icing isn’t melting.
It’s important to note that the goal of this method is not to get the cake wet.
Make sure your steam rack sits high enough above the water that the water does not reach the cake.
Also, be sure to monitor the water closely and maintain more of a simmer than a boil.
Water that boils over will also ruin the cake and leave you in a worse position than when you started.
Use a Simple Syrup
Another way to moisten a dry cake is to use a simple syrup.
The minute you realize the cake is dry, use a pastry brush to smooth a thin layer of simple syrup over the cake.
This will add moisture to the cake and some sweetness.
Be sure to not over-add simple syrup to the cake. Your cake should never appear soaked or soggy from the syrup.
Instead, think of the syrup as a light glaze that thinly veils the cake. Leave the heavy spreading for the frosting!
If you don’t have a pastry brush, you could also use the folded corner of a paper towel.
Fold the towel in half twice and dip the folded corner into the simple syrup.
Use this corner to gently spread the simple syrup onto the dry cake.
The Bread or Apple Method
This method is based on an old wives’ tale that many have had success with. Place the cake in a Tupperware container and lay a piece of bread on top.
The moisture from the slice of bread will transfer to the cake and moisten that as well.
You could also use this same method with apple slices.
By placing apple slices in a container with the cake, the juice will evaporate and moisten your dry cake.
I would use apple slices with caution, though. The flavor of the apple may mingle with the flavor of your cake.
In many cases, this may not be so bad.
But if the flavor of your cake does not complement the flavor of the apple slices, it may be best to stick with a different method to moisten the dry cake.
Turn the Cake Into A Trifle
If all else fails, you can always repurpose your cake into another delicious dessert.
Layers of fruit and cream hide the fact that your cake is dry, and you are left to enjoy a delicious trifle.
Trifles are very elegant and look best in a tall glass bowl that shows off their many layers.
They are the perfect dessert to bring to a party and always impress friends and neighbors.