Why do my Russian tea cakes fall apart? Several factors can affect your tea cakes’ structure, making them fall to pieces after baking. This problem often occurs as there is no liquid in the Russian tea cakes recipe. All ingredients are dry, such as flour, nuts, powdered sugar, and butter.
There are also some external elements causing your cakes to fall apart that you probably do not recognize. So, read the article to have the fullest explanation for this issue!
The first factor is the temperature of your dough. Wrong temperature can leave your beloved cake dry and fall apart.
There are two ways of preparing dough: refrigerate it or keep it at room temperature.
If you put your dough in the fridge, let it warm up after taking it out. Avoid kneading or rolling the dough immediately because it will make your finished cakes dry and crumbly.
Put your dough on the table and warm it at room temperature for 15 minutes. When the dough gets soft, you can start shaping and adding nuts.
As we’ve mentioned, all ingredients in the Russian tea cakes are dry, so your cakes easily crumble after you take them out of the oven. Instead of following exactly the original recipe, you can add some liquid to your food.
A little liquid provides moisture to your dough, making it stick together and easily roll into shapes. You can cream the butter by hand so that the warmth from your hands softens the butter. Then, mix it with the dough. One or two tablespoons of butter are enough; otherwise, your cakes will be too greasy.
Using vanilla extract is also effective in avoiding crumbliness. Add 1-2 teaspoons of liquid vanilla to the dough until softer. Depending on your ingredients, you can measure the ratio of vanilla.
You can add more vanilla if the weather where you live is cold to make the mixture moist.
One thing that you may ignore is the technique used in shaping the cakes. We commonly believe that the best approach to rolling cookies is taking a dab of dough and kneading it in your palms. Even if your dough is wet enough to roll, this approach fails when making Russian tea cakes.
Take a dab of dough that is the right size for your cookie, then flatten it by your palms. Begin kneading your dough in your palms but make sure your hands are almost touching. Release the pressure gradually while rolling your cakes until smooth, and see the result!
This rolling technique prevents your tea cakes from falling apart when you coat them with powdered sugar.
Adding too much flour is a common mistake that many people usually make. We understand that sometimes you want to estimate the ingredients instead of measuring exactly the proportion of each component, which takes too much of your time.
However, your cakes’ structure will be entirely changed when you calculate improperly. Flour is a dry ingredient, so over-measuring flour will make your cakes lack moisture.
It works the same for powdered sugar. As you also use powdered sugar in the cake-rolling step, adding a large amount of this ingredient to your dough can make the cakes dry out.
The last reason is adding your flour too fast without mixing all ingredients well. Your flour needs time to absorb into the mixture, so you should mix flour slowly and stir it with a spatula. It will keep your dough from crumbling.
Why do my Russian tea cakes fall apart? Temperature, shaping technique, improper ingredient measurement, and moisture are the four main factors that make your cakes easily crumble.
Follow what we’ve recommended above, then you’ll have the best cakes in the perfect form!