Cake – How to improve the outer texture of the lemon poppy seed bundt cake? It is tender and moist in the inside but dry on the outside


My lemon poppy seed bundt cake ingredients:

  • Plain flour 450g
  • Baking powder 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  • Butter 198g
  • Sugar 440g
  • Large eggs 4
  • Vanilla 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice 85g
  • Lemon zest 2 tblsp
  • Buttermilk 250g
  • Poppy seeds 4 tblsp

I have done many trials by increasing or reducing the weights of some of the ingredients. This is the version that I like the most.
I had tried to making this cake using yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk. My favorite is the one with buttermilk.
Among the things that I have tried while experimenting to improve different aspects of this cake were, reducing and increasing the followings:

  • Sugar: from 400-500g
  • Eggs: 3-5
  • Butter: 170-227g

I like my final version.

However, there are a few things that I’m unsure about. Am I using the right ratio of eggs and liquids to butter or that is unimportant since my other ratios are correct; sugar to flour and eggs to butter?
I am afraid that if I increase the butter then it could collapse.
Am I using a lot of lemon juice? I like the taste but is the lemon juice causing the problem of the cake becoming dry on the outside?
I have read about the effects of using acids on a cake but I am unsure of my lemon juice amount being right or not. I do not wish to use milk either.
I am afraid that my cake will not become sour enough if I eliminate the lemon juice.

I have been baking this cake in a 10” (25cm) Nordic Ware bundt pan, in a conventional oven and setting the oven temperature at 325F (165ºC) but placing the oven rack in the centre height of the oven, which I have come to discover to be too high given the height of my bundt pan which measures 10.5 cm from the inside. So, now, I am planning to lower the oven rack by only one level. The oven that I am using is Kelvinator. It is an electric oven and does not have a fan.

I have baked this cake around twenty times, in the same pan with all the above details, preparing it very well by using Baker’s Joy spray, allowing the pan to cool on the cooling rack for exactly ten minutes before turning the cake out.

Best Answer

To answer the question about the outer texture, my guess is that you oven is too hot.

Oftentimes, it's a good idea to reduce the heat and increase the oven time. This is just a guess, mind. You can also put the cake on a lower shelve.

What you can do is bake it low and slow. If you want to brown the cake, you can turn up the heat to 180ºC for a few minutes at the end.

Seems like you will need to continue your experiments.