Much of cooking can feel like an art–an amount of spice is to personal taste, a liquid measurement eyeballed–but baking is more of an exact science. A mistake can crumble a cake or make goo of your cookies. While trial and error can be an effective method, this series of articles will hopefully take some of the guesswork out of where you went wrong. This week, we’ll be going over the problems you may encounter when making cake–this can help for full-sized cakes, tiered, cupcakes and more. Coarse, open grain: Over or under mixed, excess sugar or leavening, oven temperature too low, allowed to stand as batter for too long, poor shortening, batter temperature too high, wrong type of flour, creaming too fast, batter too stiff. Shrinking: Oven temperature too high or low, over-mixed, wrong flour, over-baked, too much liquid, wrong shortening, not enough batter in pans, needs more sugar or shortening, excess leavening, pan over-greased.