Recipes

Cake-like Texture

Here are some helpful solutions for the common causes:

  • Cookie dough or batter was underbaked or overbaked
    SOLUTION

    Always use the pan size called for in the bar-cookie recipe. A larger pan will make the bar cookies thinner, and if baked the amount of time called for in the recipe will produce dry bars. A smaller pan will make the cookies thicker, and will produce gummy, undercooked bars, especially in the center of the pan. If you must substitute baking pans, choose a baking pan or dish with the same volume as the baking pan called for in the recipe. You will need to adjust the baking time.

  • A different fat than what was called for in the recipe was used
    SOLUTION

    The texture of a bar cookie prepared with vegetable shortening will be more cake-like. Substitute equal amounts of shortening for butter or margarine and add 2 tablespoons water for each cup of shortening used. Learn more about Fats in Baking.

  • Too little fat was used or the vegetable oil spread contains less fat and more water than butter or margarine
      SOLUTION
    • Check package to make sure the product you used contained at least 70% fat. Spreads with less fat contain more water, which will make bar cookies more cake-like and drier.
    • Too little fat will result in dry or cake-like bar cookies. The butter may have been incorrectly measured. Carefully cut on lines found on the butter stick wrapper. Or, pack butter into dry (nested) measuring cup, then use a spatula or straight edge of a knife blade to level even with the top of the cup. Remember that one stick of margarine is equal to 1/2 cup. A common baking mistake is thinking that one stick is equal to one cup.
    • Diet "margarines" or spreads in tubs contain water in place of fat, which can result in dry bar cookies. Use butter, margarine or vegetable oil spreads with at least 70% fat in sticks. Learn more about Fats in Baking.
  • Ratio of dry ingredients to fats and liquids is too high
    SOLUTION

    When flour or other dry ingredients are "scooped" into the measuring cup directly from the container, it compresses, or becomes packed. This means you will be adding more flour than called for in the recipe. Spoon flour from the container into the dry measuring cup and use a metal spatula or the flat side of a knife to level the flour even with the top of the cup. Learn more about measuring.

  • Low-fat recipe
    SOLUTION

    Too little fat or diet "margarines" or spreads in tubs, which contain water in place of fat, can result in dry bar cookies. Use butter, margarine or vegetable oil spreads with at least 70% fat in sticks. Learn more about Fats in Baking.