How to Fix a Bitter Cake
By Nancy Lee
Does the cake you bake taste bitter?
Don’t worry, because there’s something good you can do instead of throwing it away and I’m here to help you. I will show some of the methods you can try to make sure that the cake you’ll bake will taste sweet and delicious. But before anything else, you must know the reasons why your cake tastes bitter.
What Causes a Cake to Taste Bitter?
Baking is a simple form of cooking that even novices can give a shot. The easy process of mixing various ingredients in order to make a smooth batter and placing it in the oven is a breeze. But regardless of how simple the process is, there are baking fails that may arise. One of the most common misfortunes among bakers is that they are using too much baking soda or baking powder. Know that too much baking soda or baking powder in cakes will not just lead to a metallic and bitter taste, but it can also make a big mess in the oven as it will rise beyond expectations.
If you purposely or accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder without making any changes to your recipe, you’ll definitely end up with a bitter taste. Remember, baking soda is an alkaline, or base, ingredient that naturally has a bitter taste.
Baking powder is a multi-ingredient leavener. It has baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, and two acids. One of the acids, called the monocalcium phosphate, will not react until it is exposed to liquids. The other acid is either sodium aluminum sulfate or sodium acid pyrophosphate, which requires heat. The formula makes the effect double-acting, which ensures that the cake rises properly. But unfortunately, if the baking powder formula you are using is made of sodium aluminum sulfate, it might be the reason for bitter-tasting cakes.
How Much Baking Powder or Baking Soda Is Needed for a Cake?
There is no exact answer to this question. Keep in mind that the amount of leavener will depend on the size of cake you are making and what other ingredients are called for. But generally, 1 teaspoon of baking powder should be added to every cup of flour. For best results, I highly suggest that you follow recipes that you have tried and tested, as well as have been proven to be successful and delicious.
Is There an Available Aluminum-Free Baking Powder?
Yes, there are available aluminum-free baking powders in the market right now. If you want to have the best aluminum-free baking powder possible, you can choose either Bob’s Red Mill Baking Powder or Rumford Baking Powder.
How to Fix Bitter Cake: 3 Methods
Method 1: Add some acid.
One way to fix a bitter cake is to add a small amount of an acidic component, which is highly recommended especially when you toss in too much baking soda. If your cake recipe contains chocolate, you can add a ½ teaspoon of cocoa powder. Here are some other ingredients you can try:
- Lemon juice
- Sour cream
- Brown sugar
- Apple sauce
Method 2: Add more ingredients.
If your cake recipe needs a ½ teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda and you use more than that instead, you can actually repair it by increasing the other ingredients. By doing this, you will be able to bring your cake into the right proportion; however, you will end up with more cakes than you expected. You can use this method only if you are certain of the exact amount of extra baking soda or baking powder that you included. In case you’re not certain, it’s safe that you try the first method.
Method 3: Use the bitter cake to make other goods.
In instances that your cake tastes bitter, I suggest that you follow this method to avoid wasting anything. For example, a bitter cake can make for an excellent ingredient to be included in cream and can be frozen for delightful cake-flavored ice cream. You can even use the cake as a building block for other layered goods, such as cheesecake or tiramisu.