When I bake my fruitcake in small pans, they crack along the center of the cake. Why?
A. First of all, be sure the recipe is properly divided among the small pans. If the recipe is for a 9x5x3-inch pan which holds 2-1/3 quarts, it will make 4 small 6×2-3/4×2-inch cakes since the small pans hold only about 2 cups each. It is typical for quick breads and loaf cakes leavened with baking powder or soda to crack along the top. It may reduce the size of the crack if the baking temperature is reduced a little (by about 25 degrees) and the cake is baked a little longer. A slight reduction in the amount of baking powder or soda may help, too. However, the goal is to produce a good, properly leavened product. There will still be some cracking when this point is reached. It may take some experimentation to get the best product.