Chocolate cake turn out too dry?
Here are 5 quick & easy fixes to moisten a dry chocolate cake (before and after baking) — that actually work.
How to Moisten a Dry Chocolate Cake (After Baking)
Coat With Simple Syrup
Mix equal parts of sugar and water in a small pot. Start with 1/4 cup each of water and sugar. Increase for larger cakes.
Heat the sugar and water mixture (simple syrup) over medium-high heat until it boils. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Tip: Flavoring (like coffee, coconut, flavored liquer, orange juice) may also be added to the simple syrup after it has been removed from heat.
Tip: Instead of simple syrups, you can even use Coke or Root Beer. Yup, really!
Use a skewer to poke holes on the top of the cake (after the cake has cooled).
Tip: If your cake is already frosted, poke holes in the frosting with a skewer. Pour simple syrup into the holes and smooth frosting over the holes.
Distribute the simple syrup over the top of the cake, around the sides of the cake, and in the holes.
Simple Syrup Distribution Methods
- Cake brush method: Using a pastry brush, spread the simple syrup on the cake.
- Spray bottle method: Spray the simple syrup until it’s absorbed.
- Squeeze bottle method: This method is faster and easier. Use a plastic squeeze condiment bottle or punch bottle and go ’round and ’round from the outside to the center.
- Spoon method: Distribute simple syrup on the chocolate cake with a large, flat spoon.
Tip: Be sure to cover the top and side of the cake, as well as the holes.
Allow the cake to absorb the simple syrup for 2 – 3 hours before frosting or serving.
[Related: How To Moisten a Dry Turkey]
- Place a small steam rack in a large pot.
- Fill the pot with water to a level just below the rack.
- Place cake on a plate on top of the rack.
- Cover the pot with a lid.
- Simmer water to create steam.
- Wrap cake in plastic wrap to hold in the moisture and refrigerate until moisture is evenly absorbed.
Tip: You can also trap steam from the cake by placing a (clean) towel over the top of cake right after removing it from the oven. Just leave the cake to cool on a cooling rack.
Important! Don’t get the cake wet. And don’t let the icing melt.
Microwave cake to moisten it
- Place the cake on a moist paper towel.
- Microwave twice (in 10-second bursts each time)
- Serve cake immediately. This method has a short window of efficacy.
Seal Cake with Bread
This method is not as fast as microwaving, but the cake will remain moist for a longer period of time.
- Place the cake in a plastic bag or sealed container with a slice of white bread.
- The cake will absorb the bread’s moisture after a few hours.
- Serve cake the same day.
Re-heat cake to moisten it
Water or milk technique:
This method can be used for stale cake that has dried during storage.
- Brush some milk or water over the top of the cake.
- Place caked in a 350ºF oven for 15–20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe
How to make a moist and soft chocolate cake every time.
What’s the secret to the best chocolate cake ever?
A great recipe.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups butter softened
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 7-8 cups powdered sugar
- about 1/4 cup milk as needed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
- Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
- Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
- Divide batter among the three pans. I found that it took just over 3 cups of the batter to divide it evenly.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
- Frost with your favorite frosting and enjoy!
Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results
- Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
- Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add milk as necessary to make a spreadable consistency. The frosting should be very thick and will thicken even more if refrigerated.
This cake will satisfy even the most die hard choc-o-holic.
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