For bakers who are just learning the art, it can sometimes be a frustrating experience. So many little things can completely change the outcome from delicious to disastrous. There are many things that may be at fault. Here are a few things that may have gone wrong and caused your cake to not rise.
One common problem is the use of outdated baking powder or baking soda. These ingredients, when combined in the liquids used in the recipe, causing air bubbles to form which in turn make the batter rise while in the hot oven. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to check the use by date on the canister. If it’s old, toss it and replace it.
Stirring may seem like an insignificant part of baking. It’s just blending the ingredients together, right? Wrong. When creaming your butter and sugar together you’re also incorporating air. Without enough air, again, your cake won’t rise. Don’t cut short this important step. Always beat these ingredients as long as the recipe directs you to.
Adding eggs to the batter is also an important step. Once again, this is a way to add air to the mix. Be sure to follow the directions concerning how the eggs are to be blended. If you’re using egg whites, even a minute bit of yolk in the whites can prevent them from foaming properly.
If above is not the answer to why your cake didn't rise, then here's another factor you can consider: the proper oven temperature. Even though the dial may say 350 your oven might actually only be reaching 325. Double check your oven for temperature accuracy using an oven thermometer. If it’s off, you can adjust it accordingly.
Make sure you measure each ingredient carefully with quality measuring cups and spoons. A little bit more or less of an ingredient can dramatically affect the results of baked goods.
Turning out a perfectly baked cake is a satisfying experience but it takes practice. Don’t get discouraged and soon you’ll be turning out cakes like a pro.