7 Sweet Sensations to Make with a Cake that Doesn’t Rise

Baking cakes is tricky business, and sometimes they don’t rise. We’ve got seven ideas for turning an imperfect cake into a delicious dessert that you’re going to love!

You baked a cake that didn't rise - now what? Save dessert with our tips: https://foodal.com/knowledge/how-to/sweet-sensations-with-cake-that-doesnt-rise/

How do you end up with a dense, two-inch patty that should have been a fluffy, four-inch layer vanilla cake? Or a lemon-lime sponge that looks like someone pulled its plug?

Have you baked a cake that didn’t rise and now you’re wondering what to do with it? Turn an imperfect cake into a delicious dessert with seven creative ideas from the experts at Foodal. With a little pudding, some chocolate, and maybe a shot or two, you’ll have dessert back on track in no time.

Maybe you put baking powder in twice, or didn’t whip the egg whites long enough. Were you short on flour, but baked anyway? Maybe you are baking at a higher elevation level?

Fallen Cake | Foodal.com

Whatever the reason, a homemade confection that cooked all the way through is fair game for the following desserts, whatever its height.

Here are seven fast and easy ideas for transforming your misshapen cake into a delicious dessert you may never have thought to try.

1. Fill ‘er Up

If your cake has sunk into itself, glaze or frost it generously. Try our recipes for cocoa fudge frostingSwiss meringue buttercream, American-style buttercream, or dark chocolate ganache glaze. With frostings and glazes as delicious as these, no one will ever know there’s a mistake hiding underneath them!

Yellow Cake with Chocolate and Strawberries | Foodal.com

Then, fill the cavity with sliced fresh fruit for an attractive presentation that doesn’t require a smooth, even top.

And for the fall and winter months, use our super easy spiced glaze recipe, made with freshly ground warming spices!

2. Pie in a Jiffy

A thin cake makes a great crust for a pudding pie. Using a flat dish or a pie plate, cover it with your favorite pudding, like this vegan avocado version.

Chill, then garnish with whipped cream, fresh fruit, a bit of grated Hershey bar, or the topping of your choice.

A microplane comes in handy for garnishing sweet treats.

Vanilla Peach Pudding Pie | Foodal.com

For vanilla cakes, you might like vanilla pudding topped with sliced bananas and cream.

For cocoa-infused baked goods, try vanilla or chocolate pudding, dollops of whipped cream, and shaved chocolate.

3. Boozy with Fruit

Cube the cake, and add bits of fresh, thawed frozen, or canned fruit. Drizzle your favorite liqueur over the top for a refreshing sweet.

So your cake didn't rise properly... don't throw it away! A little chocolate, fruit, and a shot or two of booze can go a long way towards saving that dessert. Read our tips: https://foodal.com/knowledge/how-to/sweet-sensations-with-cake-that-doesnt-rise/

For vanilla or orange, add Grand Marnier or your favorite type of orange-flavored liqueur, orange sections, and cubed skin-on pears. Top with curled orange rind.

For chocolate, add kirsch, and top with whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and grated chocolate.

4. Hot Fudge Cups

Here’s another way to create fun individual desserts that is especially good with chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate chip types (or one where the two flavors are swirled together, like this zebra version).

Hot Fudge Cups to Rescue Fallen Cake | Foodal.com

Break cake into bite-size pieces, or cube with a knife. Cover with hot fudge sauce and top with whipped cream. Garnish with grated toffee.

Vanilla, gingerbread, German chocolate, and carrot versions are wonderful with hot butterscotch sauce garnished with crumbled pretzels, or chopped honey-roasted almonds.

5. Bits and Bites

Make a tray of bite-size treats to present to dinner guests.

Cut cake into manageable pieces and drizzle each with melted chocolate. Top with walnut halves, shredded coconut, or fresh berries. Refrigerate before serving.

Another idea is homemade candy cakes. Simply submerge palm-sized pieces into melted chocolate, place on parchment paper, and chill.

When that perfect cake that you imagined turns out less than picture perfect, our tips are here to help: https://foodal.com/knowledge/how-to/sweet-sensations-with-cake-that-doesnt-rise/

You can also cut your flatter-than-desired baked good into wedges if it is round, or squares if it is rectangular. Cover pieces with melted chocolate or fudge sauce. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm Cake with Chocolate and Ice Cream | Foodal.com

6. Brown Betty Pudding

Do you remember your grandma’s warm and sweet bread pudding? Was it a Brown Betty loaded with cinnamon, apples, and pears?

Cake Bread Pudding with Walnuts | Foodal.com

Pudding is a terrific dish to make with an imperfect cake. Just break it up into bite-sized pieces and use it in place of the bread in a pudding or apple Brown Betty recipe.

I can’t think of a flavor that doesn’t work well with this treatment!

7. Fruity Parfait

Finally, the easiest of all is to cube your cake and layer it in a parfait glass or sundae cup with fruit and whipped cream, or ice cream. Alternate layers for a beautiful presentation.

Fruit and Cake Parfaits | Foodal.com

If you were baking a vanilla treat, make a shortcake-style dessert with fresh strawberries. Canned peaches work just as well.

With cocoa-flavored confections, try bananas, or a can of cherries like you’d use for pie filling.

Our recipe for spiced orange mousse also works beautifully in a parfait.

Back in the Day

When my mother was growing up, she took a home economics class that required practicing recipes at home.

7 Sweet Sensations to Make with a Cake that Doesn't Rise

To my grandfather’s credit, he ate everything my mother cooked, regardless of color, texture, or taste. Nothing went to waste, particularly a dessert full of expensive ingredients like eggs and sugar.

When a cake was too far gone, my grandmother would bury it beneath pudding and serve it with a big spoon, a treat I loved when I came along many years later.

Why not tap into the ingenuity of the ages and give these ideas a try?

Let us know what you think! And share your own secrets for reworking and saving baked desserts in the comments!

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer from southeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not in the garden, she’s in the kitchen preparing imaginative gluten- and dairy-free meals. With a background in business, writing, editing, and photography, Nan writes humorous and informative articles on gardening, food, parenting, and real estate topics. Having celiac disease has only served to inspire her to continue to explore creative ways to provide her family with nutritious locally-sourced food.

5 thoughts on “7 Sweet Sensations to Make with a Cake that Doesn’t Rise”

  1. 1/5/2020
    I made eleven (11)!!! Zucchini Bread loaves for co-worker Christmas gifts that refused to rise properly, leaving me with a dense, unpalatable, heavy, expensive mass. Threw them in the freezer till I could figure out what else I could do with them. Since they tasted okay despite the density, I’m going to attempt to turn them into Rum Balls…!

  2. Thank you for these great tips. I too don’t want to waste my ingredients for a brick-like date coffee cake. Other ideas I had were to 1) crumble the cake and toast under grill as topping to fruit crumble; 2) cut into cubes and incorporate into home made ice-cream as a kind cookie dough ice cream.


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