Why do answers coincide

[Baking School # 3] Why cakes collapse, or ... how much mixing a dough can handle

We all know the problem. We try our best when baking, the dough goes into the oven, rises beautifully, we get it out of the oven and we are happy ... but not for too long. The cake collapses, the muffins shrink like a shriveled raisin, the shortcrust pastry is rock-hard and the bread is so crumbly that you can hardly put butter on it ...

But what is it all about? In most cases, the villain is called ... flour! To be more precise, the part of the flour that has fallen a bit out of favor in recent years, the gluten.

The big baking school # 3: Why cakes collapse, or ... how much mixing a dough can handle

Gluten is a natural component of almost all types of grain that we use in our kitchen. Whether wheat, rye, spelled, or barley, oats, green spelled and even the again trendy types of ancient grain such as kamut or emmer. And gluten has a very special property: it is a glue. Specifically, gluten consists of various protein compounds and, so to speak, sticks the dough together. Hence the common name gluten = glue protein.

It is also important to know that the gluten is anchored in the flour and is released and activated through mechanical processing. So if the dough is kneaded or stirred vigorously, after some time gluten will leak out of the cells and bind the flour like an adhesive.

So much for the theory, but what does that mean for our baking results?

We make it short: I.n Flour is gluten, if the flour is kneaded or stirred for a long time, the gluten comes out, gluten is a glue that binds the dough. Point.

Note: If we want a fluffy cake that doesn't get gummy, we mustn't knead / mix the flour for a long time.

This means: The batter method that is so widely used on the Internet, to put all the ingredients in a bowl at room temperature and mix until fluffy for 10 minutes, will not lead to a fluffy batter.


In every cake, the flour should be the last (together with baking powder and starch, because the same problem applies here!) To be added to the dough and then only mixed briefly until it is mixed into the dough, then stop right away and do not mix any more. 30 seconds to 1 minute are sufficient here.

This prevents gluten from escaping and helps the cake stay fluffy and unfold freely while baking.
To take up the questions from the introduction again ...

How do I mix the flour correctly?

Muffins are getting small and gummy because they have been overmixed. They do open, but then tighten again like a rubber band.
In most cases, cakes (especially sponge cake or sponge cake) collapse because they were also turned over (except for too short baking times * ggg *)

Shortcrust pastry becomes hard because the gluten causes it to set and so cannot stay loose (i.e. crumbly!). This makes it rock hard when baking. I therefore recommend kneading all the ingredients together except (!)add the flour and add it, short and crisp.

In return, bread becomes crumbly because it has not been kneaded enough. Because there is no butter or egg in bread that binds and gluten is needed to hold everything together.

All right? Excellent! If not, just ask me in the comments ...


Designing wedding cakes, planning and creating cupcakes and (motif) cakes is my greatest passion. Preferably late on Saturday evening ...

I love the challenge and the versatility that a food blog brings with it: planning, baking, trying out, photographing, decorating and then presenting the whole thing on Mannbackt.de.

You can marvel at the result anew every day ...