L.A. Times Test Kitchen tips: Moistening cake layers


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Ever frustrated when a cake you just baked turns out to be as dry as cardboard? Or flavorless? Or... both?

Don’t worry. A simple syrup can fix both of those problems.

Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, and gently cook until the sugar melts and a syrup is formed. Remove from heat. A basic simple syrup can last for months in the fridge.


Brush the syrup over the cake layers before frosting to moisten them. For extra flavor, infuse the syrup with flavoring, like citrus zest, fresh mint or vanilla, or substitute some of the water in the simple syrup with fruit juice or alcohol.

Give the syrup time to soak in, then frost and assemble the cake. Voila.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you’d like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an email at

-- Noelle Carter