How Do You Moisten a Baked Cake?

How Do You Moisten a Baked Cake?

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After spending all that time baking, finding your cake dry and crumbly may be quite disheartening. The trouble is, at this point, you would have done everything correctly, the cake would have risen perfectly, and you would have taken a deep sigh of relief, only to discover that the textures were off.

Don’t be too disheartened, but don’t toss away all your hard work either, since there are methods to salvage it. You may soak your cake, reheat it, and use it to create a trifle if everything else fails.

My name is Angie. I’m a self-taught baker with over ten years of experience. Serving dry cake is a crime that I will not do. I’ve learned techniques to salvage my cakes when they come out of the oven dry throughout the years, and I’m happy to share them with you!

Let’s begin baking!

1. Soak It

Soaking a cake in a liquid after baking is the most popular approach to moisten it. Think Tres Leches, but without the soaking!

Simple Syrup

This is a method that many expert bakers use regardless of whether or not the cake is overly dry. As orders come in left, right, and center, most of us have a lot of sponges prepared ahead of time to be efficient.

Preparing cakes ahead of time necessitates storing them. Cakes will dry out if they are stored. That is why a sweet sugar syrup is often brushed or poured over each layer of cake to provide moisture and taste.

It’s easy to make a simple syrup cake soak. All you need is a 1:1 sugar-to-water ratio simmered over medium to high heat until all the sugar has dissolved.

If you’re preparing an 8-inch multilayer cake, start with a cup of sugar and a cup of water and scale up or down from there.

Remember, you only need two to three teaspoons each layer. Since your cake already has enough sugar, you just need to add enough syrup to moisten it without making it too sweet.


If you’re like me and don’t want to add more sugar to an already sweet cake, consider a milk-based soak. This approach was taught to me by Christina Tosi, the creator and CEO of New York’s famed bakery Milk Bar.

Soak the cake. The base cake soak for their renowned birthday cake is vanilla milk, which is just a few drops of vanilla combined with milk. Milkbar cake recipes usually use milk instead of simple syrup.

This approach is great because you can simply vary up the taste of your milk soak to bring out the flavor of your cake. For example, to enhance the chocolate taste of a chocolate cake, I would soak it in coffee milk.

Using a squeeze bottle or a pastry brush, evenly moisten each of your cake layers with two to three teaspoons of your milk soak.

2. Reheat It

Another approach to make your cake moister is to reheat it. This is because when you reheat your cake, the air pockets within it expand, allowing moisture to enter again.

Moreover, if your cake includes a lot of butter or chocolate, heating it will cause these components to melt, softening and moistening the texture of your cake once more.

Steam Bake

Steaming is an apparent method to add moisture to almost everything. When it comes to baking, steam baked cakes usually retain more moisture than ordinary baked cakes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F before steam-baking a cake. Place a tray filled with water on the lowest rack of your oven. Since air rises, the steam produced by evaporating water will rise and fill the spaces in your cake.

Before steaming your cake, set it on a pan or an oven-safe plate to create a barrier that will keep the cake bottom from becoming too soggy. Put it in for approximately five to ten minutes, and you’ll have a delicious cake in no time.


Reheating your cake in the microwave is a faster method to moisten it. You will save time by not having to pre-heat your oven. To hold your cake, all you need is a paper towel and a plate.

To begin, dampen your paper towel and place it on a microwave-safe plate. Put your cake on top and lay another dampen paper towel on top of your cake, sandwiching it.

All that remains is to nuke it a couple times in 10-15 second increments, looking between each time to ensure that nothing is browning or burning.

The main disadvantage of this approach is that the moistened effect only lasts for a short time after you microwave it. For the greatest results, apply this approach soon before serving your cake.

3. Make a Trifle

If you’ve done everything but your cake is still too dry to save, you may always break it into smaller bite-sized pieces and use it to create a trifle!

The trifle contains a lot of tasty liquids, and your dry or somewhat stale sponge will absorb up all of those tastes and become wet again. I guarantee no one will notice your cake was dry in the first place.

Here’s a simple vanilla berry cake trifle recipe to try. Just replace the vanilla cake with whatever cake you’ve cooked!


In this section, I’ll address some often asked questions concerning moistening cake.

What makes cake dry and crumbly?

If you bake the cake for too long or at too high a temperature, it will become dry and crumbly. Inadequate use of moist components such as oil, butter, eggs, sugar, and milk may also result in a dry cake.

What ingredient makes a cake moist?

Your cake will be moist because of the wet components in it. Wet components include fat, eggs, sugar, and any liquid or pureed fruit you use in your cake.

Will cake go dry in the fridge?

In general, your cake will dry out in the fridge. You may, however, halt the drying process by placing the cake in an airtight container or securely wrapping it in plastic wrap before placing it in the fridge.

Final Thoughts

Moist is a term that should only be used to describe cakes. No one should eat cake that isn’t moist.

If you failed to make your cake moist for any reason, you should know by now that there is no need to worry. Just use one of the moistening techniques listed above to moisten your cake, and you’ll be serving moist cake in no time.

Have you tried any of these approaches? Which ones have you found to be your favorites? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Angie’s Bio


How can I make my cake more moist?

Various Liquid.
Further information…•August 25, 2019 Don’t over-cream…. Sprinkle with Baking Powder or Baking Soda.
Pour in the oil….
Do not over-mix.
Don’t overcook…
Brush With Plain Syrup
I guarantee SOFT & MOIST cakes!
Make use of Cake Flour. Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour.
Pour in the sour cream.
Butter at Room Temperature

Why is my cake too dry after baking?

A dry cake is frequently the consequence of one of the following problems: using the incorrect ingredients, making mistakes when mixing the batter, or baking the cake at an excessively long or high temperature. After you learn how to prevent typical cake-baking mistakes, you’ll be able to create a moist cake every time.

How do you rehydrate a stale cake?

Fill a big saucepan with water until it about reaches the bottom of the steamer and place it on the fire. Bring the water to a gentle boil and delicately pour it into the cake. Turn off the heat and let the cake in the saucepan for about 10 minutes, or until it has softened and is as good as new.

Can you moisten a dry cake?

Brush on a simple syrup: If your cake is a touch dry, a quick cure is to brush syrup over the top. Any dry cake will benefit from the addition of simple syrup for moisture and sweetness. You may also add flavor to this syrup by using extracts or a squeeze of juice.

Does milk instead of water make cake moist?

Milk does aid in the moistening of cakes. It also improves the texture and flavor of cakes.

Can you put moisture back into cake?

Make a cake soak: A cake soak may be made using simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water), evaporated milk, buttermilk, or liqueur. Make holes in the cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick. Next, wipe the liquid over the surface of the cake layers with a pastry brush to wet the cake.

Does refrigerating cake dry it out?

After a day in the fridge, your wonderfully moist cake, no matter how properly wrapped, will begin to dry out.

How do you moisten a cake without simple syrup?

But, Wright’s soak proposals go much beyond sugar dissolved in water. You may improve the flavor of a basic cake by varying the liquid (try cream, milk, coconut milk, apple cider, brewed tea or coffee, lime or grapefruit juice, root beer) and adding spices, extracts, herbs, and liqueurs.

How do you save a ruined cake?

Use your icing as “glue” for the cake.

Depending on how your cake shattered, “gluing” it back together may be your best choice. Consider the icing to be mortar, and put it in and around the crack to help the cake stick together. Then frost all around it to conceal the error, chill, and you’re done!

How do you salvage a bad cake?

It should be toasted. If you’re constructing a layer cake and just one layer has cracked, ice the other layers normally. Next crush half of the shattered layer into irregular bits and shred the other half into crumbles. Toast the uneven pieces in a toaster oven until the edges are slightly crisp.

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