If you’re reading this, chances are that you pulled your cake out of your oven, and you were hit with a strong eggy smell. If not that, you may go to eat the cake and get an unpleasant eggy taste. Either way, it’s not a great experience and you’ll want to do what you can to avoid it next time.
Since eggs are such an important component in cakes, you can’t easily just avoid using them. Plenty of home bakers do have a problem with cakes smelling or tasting slightly eggy, but this is completely normal, especially in cakes that contain a lot of eggs.
It’s important to keep in mind that some people are just more sensitive to eggs and therefore notice the flavor or smell more when the cake is baked. I know this may not be pleasant, but don’t worry, there are still ways to avoid it.
The eggy smell or taste you’re getting is from the sulfur compounds in the eggs. These can be more noticeable after being exposed to high heat. Some eggs are worse for this than others, but it can be avoided by beating in the eggs more or masking it with something pleasant like vanilla.
There are a few different causes of this eggy result. It could be anything from the number of eggs used in a recipe to the overall potency of the eggs you’re using. You might find that one recipe tastes or smells eggier than another and this is completely normal. Some cakes do just have a subtle egg flavor or smell to them.
Not all cakes are eggy for the same reason, so I’ve gone through the potential causes of your eggy cakes and what you can do about it.
What Causes Cake To Be Eggy?
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what’s causing a cake to taste or smell eggy. Obviously, the culprit is going to be the eggs in the batter, but it can be the type of eggs and the way they’re handled that can determine how much they smell.
In my experience with eggy cake, I’ve found that the smell is worst when I don’t beat the egg into the batter enough. I don’t know the exact explanation for this, but I do know that when eggs are beaten, the protein chains become uncurled and straighten out, which has some sort of effect that reduces how much egginess they produce.
So, in some cases at least, beating your eggs properly is the way to go and you shouldn’t skip it if you’re worried about an eggy smell or taste.
To beat the eggs most effectively, an electric hand mixer should be used. This is much faster and does a better job, so you shouldn’t have to worry about under-beating them.
Another cause maybe if you’re overcooking your cake. Whilst I’ve never experienced this, I’ve heard other bakers talk about it and I do know that egg releases sulfur when it’s overcooked, so it makes sense.
You should know if your cake is overcooked by its texture, so you should try to avoid overdoing it next time. If your cake is both overcooked and eggy, then the overcooking is most likely what’s caused it.
How To Prevent The Eggy Taste And Smell
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get rid of an eggy smell or taste from a cake once it’s baked. All you can do is mask it with icing and hope for the best. If you’re lucky, the smell or taste will dissipate with time, so it’s not something to always worry about.
If the egginess doesn’t disappear, you should try and learn what went wrong with the cake so can you avoid it next time.
Here are some ways you can prevent the egginess from ruining your cake next time:
Avoid Overcooking The Cake
Nobody particularly likes overbaked cake. It’s dry, tough, and crispy, but what’s worse is if it has a strong egginess too.
When eggs are heated past 180°F, they start to produce hydrogen sulfide compounds, which lead to that awful smell that’s associated with eggs.
If you’re overcooking your cake, it’s likely getting too hot and you’re risking it starting to produce this terrible smell.
Strangely enough, not all cakes will smell of eggs after being overcooked. It still depends on how overcooked they are and what the eggs are like.
Use Stronger Ingredients To Hide The Egginess
A method that works for some is to use ingredients that have a stronger taste and smell so they can mask the egginess.
Using ingredients such as cinnamon, clove, lemon, orange, coffee, or vanilla can all help to mask any potential egginess you might be getting. Depending on how eggy your cake gets, you might want to use a strong extract to overwhelm it. In general, extracts are better than essences for this since they’re stronger.
Although this can be quite effective, it still definitely depends on how sensitive you are to the egginess. Some people still smell or taste the egg even with these masking ingredients.
Skip The Eggs
Although this might sound like a sin to some bakers, it actually doesn’t have to be a terrible thing if you were to skip the eggs.
Now, don’t get this wrong, you can’t just miss the eggs out of a recipe or you’ll end up with terrible results. Either eggs or something to substitute the eggs are essential to any cake.
You can get some great tasting vegan cakes, but you need to find a good recipe in order to make a cake that still tastes good even without the egg.
Do some research into ‘eggless cake recipes’ to try and find something. If none of these interest you, why don’t you try out a vegan recipe? It can really surprise you how good these can be.
Beat The Eggs In With An Electric Mixer
Once you’re ready to add the eggs to your batter, do yourself a favor and beat them in thoroughly.
Whether you’re beating them before adding them or you’re beating them with the butter and sugar, you need to make sure that you’re doing it well.
The way you beat them will all depend on what type of cake you’re making.
If you’re beating before, be sure to incorporate plenty of air into the eggs so their volume increases significantly. This should eliminate or at least significantly decrease the egginess you get.
If you’re beating the eggs in with the butter and sugar, you should beat it all together until it’s very light and aerated before moving onto the next step. Make sure to beat the eggs into the mixture one by one, so you don’t curdle it.
If you’re adding any sort of flavorings like an essence or extract, you should try beating it in with the eggs. This can have a better effect on eliminating the egginess once baked.
Find A Recipe With Less Egg
It might sound obvious, but if you think there’s too much egginess, maybe it’s because your cake contains more eggs than most recipes.
Cakes shouldn’t be extremely eggy as it is, but some are bound to have more egginess to them as they contain more egg. If you’re particularly sensitive to them and none other of these methods work, you should try another recipe that uses less egg.
If you’re still getting eggy smelling or tasting cake after using fewer eggs, you’ll have to try something else.
Try Different Eggs
As you should know, there are plenty of different types of eggs you can get. Some are of high quality and very fresh whilst some are terrible quality and should be avoided.
Whether you’re using the best of the best or the worst of the worst, you might still be getting a eggy smell in your bread.
The general advice is to try eggs from a few different places or brands. With any luck, you might find that different eggs don’t leave as much as an eggy smell, but this can’t be guaranteed.
You may also find that your cake has an eggy smell or taste to it no matter what eggs you use, but don’t let this knock you down. Keep experimenting with different methods and cake types to find which gives you the best results.
What Should I Do If My Cake Is Eggy?
Unfortuantely, there’s not a whole lot you can do when your cake has come out eggy, but there is some advice I can give you to try and help it.
Instead of throwing it out, you should let it cool and sit out overnight. Although this may cause it to dry out slightly, the egginess should dissipate into the air with any luck. Give this a try and see how well it works for you.
Another thing you can try is soaking it in some kind of syrup or alcohol. If it’s strong enough, it’ll be able to mask the egginess completely and you can enjoy a very sweet or boozy cake.
The third, and final thing you can try is to just cover it in icing and hope for the best. If the icing is flavored, it’s even better as this will act to mask it. If it’s just regular icing, it may also be able to detract from the egginess due to its sweetness.