Dry & Crumbly

Here are some helpful solutions for the common causes:

  • The fat used affects the texture of baked goods

    The texture of quick breads prepared with vegetable shortening will be more cake-like and less tender. 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.

  • Ratio of dry ingredients to fats and liquids was too high

    When flour is "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 nested 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.

  • The wrong kind of measuring cup was used

    Clear glass or plastic measuring cups with pouring lips and handles are used to measure liquids. For dry ingredients, always use a measuring cup that comes as a "nested" set (i.e. separate cups to measure 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 and 1 cup). Learn more about measuring.

  • Used wrong fat; too little fat was used

    Diet "margarine" or spreads in a tub contain water in place of fat, affecting the dryness and tenderness of quick breads. Use butter, margarine or vegetable oil spreads with at least 70% fat in sticks. Learn more about Fats in Baking.

  • As altitude increases, liquids and even the moisture in foods evaporate faster

    • Sea level recipes for quick breads may give acceptable, but different results at high altitudes. It may be necessary to change the amounts of flour and/or liquid, or to make temperature changes.
    • Quick breads may need a 15 to 25°F temperature increase, depending on other ingredients used.
    • Substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar.
    • Be careful to carefully measure dry ingredients
    • Don't overbake the quick bread. Learn more about High-Altitude Baking.