If you've ever baked a cake in your life, chances are that you may not have been very satisfied with its appearance straight out of the oven. I've had every sort of issue with a cake before - from a sunken cake, to a domed cake, and a cake that was so cracked that it fell apart when I put it on the cake board. I got so fed up that I did what any respectable baker or cook would do in times of peril. I opened up Google. It didn't take me long to find exactly what I was looking for. The first link that the search returned came from Southern Living magazine, which I've been hooked on every since moving to North Carolina.
Here are the solutions that they gave.
1. If the cake sinks in the middle and looks like a sinkhole, it may be because the oven wasn't hot enough or the cake wasn't baked long enough. It may even be that the batter was undermixed or there was too much baking powder or baking soda in the batter. To prevent this from happening, don't open the oven door while baking and make sure that your measurements are accurate.
2. If the cake has a dome, the oven may be too hot when you started baking or the flour to liquid ratio may be off. Once again, make sure that you're measuring your ingredients with precision.
3. If the cake looks like it was baked on a fault line, next time, try not to take it out of the pan too soon. It may also be because of too much shortening, baking powder, baking soda, or sugar in the batter.
* Tips adapted from Southern Living