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Here are a few more frequently asked baking questions...

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How do I tell if my cake has fully baked?

  • There are a few ways to test if a cake has baked fully firstly; for a sponge cake, you can press the top with your finger; if it springs back, that is usually a good indication that it has baked fully. Another test you can do is to use a skewer or cocktail stick, insert either one into the centre of your cake or cupcake; if the skewer or stick comes out clean, the cake/cupcake is baked; if it comes out gooey, then continue to bake the cake/cupcakes a little further and then try the skewer or cocktail stick test again.

Tip: Always ensure that your cakes in the oven for the required length of time; if they need additional time, repeat the skewer test in 5-minute increments for cake and a few minute increments for cupcakes.​

Why has my cake not risen?

  • An insufficient oven temperature can affect the outcome of your cake and cause it not to rise. Other reasons are over beating your mixture, not adding enough air into it when mixing the ingredients, or you have left out a raising agent such as baking powder can all be causes of a cake not rising.

Tip: Always ensure that your oven has preheated to temperature before placing your cake in the oven for baking. If you have incurred problems, then try and reduce your ingredients beating time slightly and always place your ingredients in order on the worktop so that you include all the ingredients needed in your cake batter.​

Why is my cake dry?

  • If you bake a cake or cupcake longer than required, this can cause the cake to dry out. Other reasons this may happen is because you have maybe used too much baking powder in the recipe. Failure to wrap or pack the cake or cupcakes when they have cooled may also cause them to dry out.

Tip: Stick to the baking times in the recipe; always check to make sure you are adding the correct amount of baking powder, and once the cakes have cooled fully, store away.​

Why has my cake cracked?

  • Other than a Madeira cake which is supposed to crack, most cakes do not crack. The reason behind why they do is either the oven temperature is too high, or you have placed the cake too high up in the oven. Cakes bake better generally on the middle shelf.

Tip: Double-check your oven temperature before baking and ensure that your oven shelves are in the correct slots—place cakes in the middle of the oven for even baking.​

How do I stop fruit from sinking to the bottom of my cakes?

  • Ensure that you wash and dry fruit thoroughly, cut into small pieces such as quarters, and lightly coat with flour; this helps prevent sinkage whilst baking.

Tip: Denser cake mixes hold fruit better, such as Madeira or pound cakes; also, using cake recipes that include almonds also help suspend the fruit evenly throughout the cake.​
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