How to Make a Cake Moist and Keep It Tasting Delicious

Have you had a family hangout where you told everyone to sit back, relax, and let you whip up some magic in the kitchen? Then you go inside to make what you hope to be the most delicious cake they’ve ever tasted. After making your mix from the cake recipe, you insert it into the oven. After some minutes, the timer rings off, signaling the cake is ready to be taken out. You rub your hands in anticipation and open your oven, only to bring out a dry cake. The horror on your face says it all – this wasn’t the plan.

If you can relate to the above scenario, there can’t be a better time to learn how to make a moist cake. Of course, you don’t want to repeat the embarrassing baking experience you had the last time. This is what we’re going to show you. The trick to achieving this is in the cake batter. If you get it right with the cake mix, then you’ll definitely become a pro at baking moist cakes. We bet you can’t wait to have that yummy cake melting in your mouth while you savor its flavor.

As you read this, you should know what makes a cake moist, the right ingredients for the cake batter, how to keep your cake moist, and some helpful tips that could come in handy in the kitchen. Stay with us!

What Makes Moist Cake?

To make your cake moist, you have to decide on the right ingredients to use and adhere to certain tips. They have to do with precision regarding the amount of ingredients you add to the cake mix, the duration you bake it for, and the temperature you set the oven. For the ingredients that will make your cake recipe, ensure that none is missing. You also have to be precise with the way you mix the cake batter and the order in which you add the ingredients. Certain items must come before others for a proper cake mix.

Ingredients for Moist Cake

There are certain ingredients that should add to a moist cake recipe to get that juicy feel in your mouth. You should know that cake recipes vary based on the type or flavor of the cake you want to make. For instance, the recipe for a triple citrus pound cake will differ from the recipe for a chocolate cake. However, any one of the below-listed items can moisten your cake. Whichever one you choose is simply a matter of preference.

Vegetable Oil

It’s a common fact that butter is a crucial ingredient in making a baked cake, but to make your cake moist; it should be oil-based. Remember when we said the trick to achieving moistness in your cake is in the cake mix? Right. So, let your oil substitute butter for the cake batter. They won’t make any difference in how your cake tastes because their flavor is neutral. Alternatively, you can mix butter with vegetable oil if you don’t want to exclude butter from your recipe.

If you don’t want to use vegetable oil, other recommendations that can do the job include canola, grapeseed, sunflower, or mild olive oil. When swapping butter for oil, note that you’re not swapping them in their exact quantities. What do we mean? If what you need for your cake recipe is 200g of butter, you’ll be replacing it with 160g of oil (20% less). If it’s 100g of butter you were supposed to use, replace it with 80g of oil.

Using oil instead of butter gives your cake a velvety texture. It will also preserve the cake’s moistness whether it’s stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. This means you can eat it immediately after taking it out of the fridge.


We bet many of you didn’t see this coming. This creamy goodness, whether store-bought or homemade, is one ingredient you can count on to make your dry cake moist or make a moist cake from scratch. Mayonnaise contains oil and eggs, two things that can make any cake moist. We recommend adding it to your box cake mix if you want a tender crumb.

Another reason we love Mayonnaise is that it contains vinegar. This preserves the cake and improves its flavor. The most interesting part is that you won’t know if Mayonnaise is added to a cake because you won’t detect its taste. It’s a great substitute for melted butter.


When we talk about using yogurt for making moist cakes, we’re not referring to plain yogurt. That won’t give you the fluffy, soft texture and moist crumbs your cake should have. Instead, go for Greek yogurt or quark to do the trick. You can also add sour cream to the cake mix.


This list of wet ingredients will be incomplete without adding buttermilk. This liquid is equipped with lactic acid, which breaks down the lengthy strands of gluten in the cake batter. This makes your fluffy cake more tender. If you don’t have buttermilk within easy reach, you can make one of your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk.

Cake Flour

Who needs an all-purpose flour when there’s one specifically meant for making cakes? Aside from a better baking experience, your cake will retain the moisture it had in the mix despite its exposure to a high oven temperature.

Baking Soda

Baking soda goes hand-in-hand with buttermilk. The reason is that it reacts with the acidity of buttermilk to make cakes moist. If both are in your cake recipe, you should mix the leavening agents with the flour before stirring. Afterward, sift the mix twice. This will ensure that they are distributed evenly in the cake mix. This will make the cake rise uniformly.

Instant Pudding Mix

Though it’s not a popular option, it’s no less great than the others. Instant pudding mix has modified cornstarch, one ingredient that makes cakes moister. If you want to add it to your batter and you have about 100g of flour, remove 10g and replace it with the instant pudding mix. This will retain the moisture needed for baking a soft cake.

Instant Clearjel

No pudding mix? No problem. Instant ClearJel is a great alternative. It’s a type of unflavored starch that will be a good option if you want a moister cake. Mix Clear Jel with dry ingredients to keep the moisture in them after baking the cake properly.

How to Keep Cake Extra Moist?

Now that you know what to add to your cake to make it moist, you now need to know how to keep it that way. A moist cake becomes dry when it’s exposed to too much air. The best way to ensure your cake retains its moisture is to store it in plastic wrap or any other airtight container. Another way to keep your cake moist is to put the icing on it. In this case, the icing is what will be exposed to air, not the cake.

Effective Tips For Moist Cakes

If you want to ensure that the cake that comes out through your oven door is moist, there are certain must-have cake tips you should be aware of;

Choose the Right Ingredients For Your Cake Mix

The list of ingredients is enough to determine the kind of cake you’ll end up with. It could be a dense cake, moist cake, or dry cake. We can keep going, but we think you get the point – you can’t afford to get it wrong. This precision doesn’t end with what ingredients you choose, but their measurements as well. You should also know that certain ingredients can’t be directly swapped for each other. For instance, baking soda and baking powder shouldn’t be swapped for the other.

Use the Right Size of Cake Pan

A lot of baking enthusiasts have no idea that the type of baking pan they use can be the difference-maker in the outcome of the process. The material, color, and even shape of the cake pan matter significantly. For materials, silicone and metal baking pans are ideal options. Using dark cake pans will result in crispy and dry edges because it attracts more heat than other pans. So, for this type of pan, a lower baking temperature is recommended. Adjusting your baking pan size can be stressful, so we suggest that you adjust your recipe instead or bake in individual cake pans.

Don’t Let Cakes Bake Longer Than Necessary

A lot of people make the mistake of letting their baked cake stay in the oven for too long. The longer your cake stays in the oven, the more its texture and flavor will change. It will also come out dry. To prevent this, you should be precise about your baking time. We recommend setting a timer for a perfectly baked moist cake.

Avoid Overmixing

This is another very common mistake people make in the kitchen. Sadly, it’s even worse than overbaking. Putting too much effort or pressure when stirring or mixing your cake batter will only excite the gluten it contains. Once you put all the ingredients you need, stir it for a brief period. Once there are no lumps and the batter looks evenly mixed, you’re good to go. After stirring, you can use a whisk to eliminate any lump in the cake batter.

One more thing, avoid stirring it too quickly. If you’re using an electric mixer, configure it to work at a slow speed. Over-mixing the cake batter will produce too much air, and when the mix goes into the oven, you’ll have a deflated cake. Trust us; it’s not a pretty sight.

Use the Right Oven Temperature

The right temperature is everything. Too low and you’ll have a soggy cake; too high and you’ll have a dry or burnt cake. So, to prevent both outcomes, ensure the temperature is at the right range. Firstly, preheat the oven, don’t think of putting the cake mix in a cold oven and wait till it gets to the desired temperature. Before putting your cake batter, switch on your oven and let it heat to 325°F-350°F.

If you’re not sure of the temperature, buy an oven thermometer to monitor it. Also, note that the recommended baking temperature depends on the type of cake you’re baking.

Don’t Leave the Oven Door Open

We strongly advise keeping the oven door closed for at least 30 minutes, counting from when you put the batter in the oven. This will ensure that the cake mix rises well and retains its softness. Opening the oven door prematurely will introduce air into the cake before it’s been able to form well. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Ensure the Ingredients You’re Using are at Room Temperature

If your cake ingredients are stored in the refrigerator, take them out at least an hour before you start mixing the batter. This is sufficient time for them to thaw out and get to room temperature. If you’re in a hurry, wait for 30 minutes, then use a microwave to warm the wet ingredients for 30 seconds maximum. For eggs, use a saucepan and warm water.

Make Sure the Ratio of Wet and Dry Ingredients is Accurate

You can use the right ingredients and mix them properly and still have a dry cake. The reason is simple – the ratio of wet to dry ingredients is wrong. You need to use sufficient wet ingredients for your cake to be moist. Ensure the quantity of oil/buttermilk or eggs is balanced with the amount of flour you want to use. If the flour is way more than the wet ingredients, it will make the cakes dense.

Let the Cake Cool Properly

This is an underrated and largely unknown hack. When your cakes are done baking, take them out, and while they’re still in the pan, cover them with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. The condensation the steam from the cake will cause on the foil will make your cake moister.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How do you make a cake moist and fluffy?

There are several ways to achieve that. Firstly, use a good ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Secondly, don’t overbake your cake. Thirdly, don’t overmix your cake. Fourthly, don’t leave the oven door open. Lastly, don’t overheat the cake.

What causes a cake to be dry?

If you use too much dry ingredients or not enough wet ingredients, your cake will come out dry. If you bake it for too long, you get the same outcome.

Why did my cake turn out dry even after following the recipe precisely?

Then the recipe is the problem. As we said earlier, decide on the right recipe for a moist cake.

Can I use oil instead of butter for a moist cake?

Yes, you can, Real butter becomes solid when cool. So, if you use butter for your cake, it will become dry once it cools down. On the other hand, oil retains its liquid form at room temperature, making it a more reliable ingredient for moist cakes.

What’s The Conclusion on Moist Cake?

As you can see, making a cake moist is not as complicated as you thought. Sometimes, it’s the little details we don’t pay attention to. However, you know better, and we’re confident that your next cake will be a banger. To recap, use the right ingredients, use the right baking pan, don’t overbake, don’t overmix, use the right oven temperature, and don’t leave the oven door open. Also, ensure the ingredients are at room temperature, use the correct ratio of wet to dry ingredients, allow the cake to cool properly, and use the steam it emits to your advantage.

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Meet William

Welcome to my website. I’m Will and I created, to help people who are new at cooking. I love BBQing, home-style meals, healthy cooking, meal prep, and building connections.