Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

You can learn from your mistakes, but it may result in ugly cakes, calorie overloads, and even singed arm hair (ouch!).  Learn from our cooking, nutrition, grilling, and baking mistakes instead!

Common Baking Mistakes

Don’t let crater cakes, soggy muffins, or lifeless loaves get you down. We have a fix for all of your baking fails!

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Your blueberries take a dive
Photo: Johnny Autry

Your blueberries take a dive

The Result: Sunken berries.

The Fix: Nothing brightens a bite of a summertime muffin quite like the burst of a fresh-baked blueberry, unless you discover the poor things have sunk to the bottom, where they have congregated into a mush.

The cause of sinkage is in a sense the season itself: In the heart of the summer, fat, ripe berries may be more dense than batter, causing them to drop.

A dash of flour will help blueberries defy gravity for the very simple reason that the flour makes them stick to the batter and stay put. Just toss blueberries with a tablespoon of flour before folding in. But use flour from the recipe—don't add extra; that will keep your ingredient ratios even.

As always, be gentle when mixing the muffin batter. As batters are overbeaten, they can thin out, exacerbating the problem and producing a poor crumb as well. If your batter does seem a bit thin, try sprinkling some of the berries on top just before baking.

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