Fell apart


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I tried to cheat and paid for it. I made a cake using suggestings from Martha Stewart on ipgrading a cake mix. So I used butter instead of oil and milk instead of water. When transferring the layers (1/4) sheet they crumbled. Any ideas why?
 
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I tried to cheat and paid for it. I made a cake using suggestings from Martha Stewart on ipgrading a cake mix. So I used butter instead of oil and milk instead of water. When transferring the layers (1/4) sheet they crumbled. Any ideas why?

Interesting, these two substitutions should not have undermined the strength of the cake.

The difference between oil and butter is oil is 100% fat. Butter is a combination of fat and water. Generally when substituting oil with butter you will increase the amount of butter. But the additional water in the butter isn’t enough to undermine the strength of the cake.

Milk is also a combination of water and fat. The protein in milk, caseins, actually contribute to structure.

I’m assuming you measure the better and milk correctly.

Too much sugar can cause a cake to crumble because it’s of hygroscopic properties. But the sugar would be in the mix so that can’t be a factor.

Did you use the correct number of eggs in the size indicated on the box? Egg is a binder so if there isn’t enough egg a cake will crumble.

Did you allow the cake to cool completely before you handled it? A freshly baked cake is extremely fragile. Baking creates steam. Even the slightest bit of warmth in the center of the cake means stream has not completely dissipated. A cake that is still warm and moist will crumble. Baking in a 1/4 sheet pan means less volume, which changes the distribution of gluten structure. So it’s best to allow the cake to rest and cool several hours or even overnight before handling.

Although I don’t use box mixes I routinely bake my cake in sheet pans that are 1” deep. I cut my cake layers from the sheet cakes. I always bake my cake the day before; let it cool completely in the sheet pan; wrap it and leave it overnight before cutting the layers and removing from the pan.
 

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