How to Fix a Dry Cake

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This is my How to fix a dry overbaked cake‘ Chocolate Cake and it will blow your mind! It’s that good and it all resulted from overcooking my cake.

How to fix a dry cake Chocolate Cake

So you lost track of time scrolling on Instagram and overbaked the cake. As long as it’s not scorched or burnt, we can fix it. Actually, there are a few different ways to improve a dry cake.

How to fix a dry cake Chocolate Cake

‘How to fix a dry overbaked cake’ Chocolate Cake

A dry cake is either the result of a cake that isn’t formulated correctly. This means it didn’t have enough milk, water, butter, or other liquid to the ratio of flour (and/or other dry ingredients). Or, you baked it too long and the moisture evaporated out of it. In most cases for home cooks, the reason for a dry cake is the latter, overcooking made the cake dry.

Help! My cake is dry, what can I do?

Therefore, we need to put moisture back into the cake.


First, you can add moisture to a cake by poking holes in the cake with a long skewer, toothpick, fork, knife, or (clean) end of a wooden spoon. Next, you’re going to pour a liquid onto the cake and it’ll soak into the holes. 

You can use any of these

  1. Simple syrup. Bring equal amounts of water and sugar to a boil until the sugar melts. Pour over the cake. Frost as desired.
  2. Flavored simple syrup. Add liquer or extract to the above mixture after it cools then pour over the cake. Frost as desired.
  3. Pudding. Make pudding and pour it over the cake before the pudding sets. You’ll need to refrigerate after adding the pudding.
  4. Sweetened condensed milk. Pour over the cake and allow it to soak in. You’ll need to refrigerate after adding the milk.
  5. Caramel Sauce. I find it easier to warm the sauce a little then pour it over the cake.
  6. Chocolate Sauce. Warm the sauce then pour over the cake allowing it to soak into the cake.

chocolate cake

‘fix a dry overbaked cake’ Chocolate Cake: TRANSFER MOISTURE

Next, is the bread method. All you do is place a slice of white bread in the container with your cake. Make sure to close them in an airtight container for several hours. The cake will pull moisture out of the bread. The cake becomes moist and the bread becomes dry and hard.

fork standing in slice of chocolate poke cake


Another option is to microwave the cake. For this method, you must plan to serve it immediately. And it needs to be unfrosted and small enough to handle easily.

  1. You will dampen a paper towel.
  2. Place the damp paper towel on a cake plate.
  3. Then place your cake on the paper towel.
  4. Microwave it in 10 to 15-second increments until its warm.


pound cake trifle

One of the easiest options is to simply serve the cake with ice cream. No one will notice the cake is dry!

tiramisu dessert
Tiramisu with Pound Cake

Lastly, you can turn your cake into a trifle or tiramisu. Try my From Scratch Punch Bowl Pound Cake Trifle for the method and amounts. You can change the flavor of your cake and the pudding to your taste. For tiramisu, try this recipe, Tiramisu with Pound Cake.


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fork sticking into slice of dry chocolate cake

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

This is a basic chocolate cake recipe. It's not dry if you don't overbake it. Therefore, feel free to use this recipe whenever you want a chocolate cake.
Author: Paula
5 from 13 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
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  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 1 cup whole milk room temp
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For dry cake - poke cake method

  • ¾ cup chocolate ice cream syrup
  • ¾ cup caramel ice cream syrup
  • 7.6 ounce bag Rolo candies or mini peanut butter cups
  • ½ tub ready-made cream cheese frosting or 1 cup homemade cream cheese frosting
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or mixture of choc & peanut butter chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan (or equivalent)
  • In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed with your mixer.
  • Carefully stir in the boiling water last. This batter will is thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 24 to 27 minutes in the preheated oven or until the cake tests done with a wooden pick.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

For dry cake

  • Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes in your cake.
  • Warm the chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, and cream cheese frosting. Don't mix them together and don't get them too hot, just warm them enough that they'll spread easily. Drizzle the chocolate sauce and caramel sauce over the cake and allow it to soak into the holes.
  • Top with candy and chocolate chips. Drizzle cream cheese frosting over the top.
  • You can add any chocolate candy or candy bars that you like. Cut them into bite-size pieces and sprinkle them over the cake.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. If you use cream cheese frosting you'll need to refrigerate it to store. If not you can store it on the countertop. Be sure the cake is in an airtight container.


Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 152mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg
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5 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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