The Clever Step That Ensures A Loaf Cake Splits Right Down The Middle

If you bake loaf cakes often, or even enjoy buying a slice with your coffee, you have probably noticed that there tends to be a crack or indention in the top of the cake. According to Baking Kneads, you can always expect this to happen to cakes with a heavy batter such as pound cake or banana bread because the outside of the cake cooks faster than the inside of the cake. As the inner batter cooks, it rises, which causes the cracks to form. 

Though cracks in the top of loaf cakes are not unusual by any means, nor do you need to prevent them, there is a way that you can control where the crack appears. Unlike glutenous bread dough that requires a lame to score the bread, loaf cakes need one simple addition before baking to place the crack right in the center. 

According to Spoonful Passion, that addition is butter. There are, however, several ways you can use butter to attract the cake's crack.

Try this tip from 'Great British Baking Show' contestant Edd Kimber

Edd Kimber took to Instagram to share a tip from oven manufacturer @campbell2664 on the easiest way to place butter on top of loaf cake batter to center the crack. Kimber wrote, "Super simple tip to up the look of your loaf cakes with the use of a little butter and a dough scraper." In the video of Kimber putting this technique to good use, he simply dips the bench scraper in melted butter and gently presses it into the center of the cake's batter. Next, the cake comes out of the oven with a beautiful crack, exactly where he placed it using the simple hack. 

Others suggest additional ways to place the butter on the batter. For example, Spoonful Passion pipes softened butter onto the top of the batter right in the center; Baking Kneads uses small pieces of butter to form a line down the center of the batter. As long as there is butter where the crack should be, you should end up with great results. But Kimber's tip appears to be the easiest to cleanly apply.