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Please help me - my cakes never EVER rise and I'm fed up!

(54 Posts)
runner2 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:20:29

I used to bake victoria sponges in 2 small sandwich tins and they always came out evenly baked, lovely light texture and flavour...and woefully flat. So today, following my mum's advice, I bought a 20cm/8" diameter deeper, loose-bottomed tin and did the 6oz marg, 6oz caster ugar, 6oz s.r. flour, 3 egg recipe. Baked it for 43 mins at 160 in my Neff fan oven, by which time it was nicely browned on top, shrinking from sides of the tin, skewer came out clean. Couldn't believe it when I took it out the tin - sponge is about an inch deep! Gutted. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong! The only thing I can think of is that the "medium" size eggs I use for baking are pretty small - would that have an impact on the rise? sad

Hexenbeast Tue 27-Oct-15 17:23:12

My recipe is very similar. But it adds an extra tsp of baking powder to the mix, an extra oz of flour and a splash of milk to get the right dropping consistency.

45 mins is a long time to cook shallow cakes, I usually have the oven a little hotter for shallow cakes and cook them for a shorter time - about 25-30 mins.

Hexenbeast Tue 27-Oct-15 17:24:02

Sorry, that's what I would do if I was making 2 shallow layers.

For one, deeper cake then yes, the cooler temp and the longer time is what I do for bigger cakes.

merrymouse Tue 27-Oct-15 17:26:01

I'd do 180 and 25-30 mins and use 2 tins.

BikeRunSki Tue 27-Oct-15 17:26:51

Is your oven actually as hot as it says it is. That's an awful long time to cook a Vicky sponge without burning it.

merrymouse Tue 27-Oct-15 17:26:59

I also weigh the eggs and use the same weight in sugar, butter and SR flour.

chemenger Tue 27-Oct-15 17:30:14

Do you not have any baking powder in the mix? If it has a good texture maybe you just need more mix, use 4 eggs, 8oz of everything else.

Obs2015 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:32:58

43 minutes seems like a long time. I only bake mine for 20.

Pico2 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:33:19

As well as the temp/time, how old is your sr flour?

I'd do a 4 egg mixture for 8 inch sandwich tins. And I'd use a splash of milk. But I don't know what baking with marg is like as I use butter.

runner2 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:36:33

Have always followed the Be-Ro recipe which doesn't use baking powder. Sure I've tried adding that on previous attempts without it making much of a difference. This is doing my head in - it's such an easy thing to make and I feel an epic failure! No way am I going to serve this one to visitors tomorrow and I haven't time to try again. Will have to rustle up some biscuits instead.

Twooter Tue 27-Oct-15 17:38:23

I do the same recipe but at 140. Always like item undercooked so deliberately try to sink them

BertrandRussell Tue 27-Oct-15 17:39:03

I do a single cake in a 170 oven for about 50 minutes- I use 4 eggs and an equal weight of sr flour, butter or marge and caster sugar. I also bung in a teaspoon of baking powder and a splash of milk. I wonder if you are too energetic mixing in the flour? Just fold it in with a metal spoon- the minimum mixing possible.

runner2 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:42:36

Pico2, sr flour is only about a month old. At what stage do you add the splash of milk to the mix?

Pipbin Tue 27-Oct-15 17:42:52

I also weigh the eggs and use the same weight in sugar, butter and SR flour.

Me too, that way you can be sure of the ratio.
I agree that 45 minutes is way too long. I would say about 30 minutes. Do it until it springs back when you press it with your finger.

I have found the secret is in how long you beat the sugar and butter. You need to do it for a good long time until it is really fluffy. I make mine in the Kitchen Aid and leave the butter and sugar creaming for about 5 minutes.

Lweji Tue 27-Oct-15 17:43:20

What do you do with your egg whites?
And how do you mix them to the cake mixture?

steppemum Tue 27-Oct-15 17:44:08

2 tins should be hotter and 20 minutes cooking.

1 tin - and 8" tin and only 3 eggs will be a flat cake. In a tine that size I would use a 4 or 5 egg mix.

I have always done the same weight butter sugar flour recipe, but nowadays I add a small teaspoon of baking powder. I don't reduce the temperature, but cook for longer.

The other thing is to beat the butter and sugar well first, then beat in half the flour and 2 eggs, then rest of flour and rest of eggs. This gets lots of air into the mix.

I would never ever make a sponge in a food processor, as it will be dense and flatter, so not sure if that is relevant

Pipbin Tue 27-Oct-15 17:44:32

Ok, Cream the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs with about a tablespoon of the flour and beat, then fold in the flour.

ginmakesitallok Tue 27-Oct-15 17:46:09

I've never used baking powder and my cakes rise. Are you beating the sugar and butter together enough to start with? I'd say the issue is likely to be with your method rather than your ingredients.

runner2 Tue 27-Oct-15 17:52:11

I use an electric hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar, everything else is by hand. I use whole eggs (whites and yolks), beat them and add them one at a time with a spoonful of the flour.

Lweji Tue 27-Oct-15 17:55:21

I'd add the egg whites last and only fold them in, not mix. My cakes are usually fine.
I'd also turn off the fan and perhaps a lower temperature. When I've used a fan I had problems.

BertrandRussell Tue 27-Oct-15 18:10:47

Hang one- if you're getting a "lovely light texture" then it must be rising! Are you sure about your tin measurements? It sounds as if your're making a perfect big thin cake- rather than a perfect smaller thicker cake........

Lweji Tue 27-Oct-15 18:13:03

20 cm cake doesn't seem big at all.

neolara Tue 27-Oct-15 18:14:58

You need a 4 egg ratio. Then it will work perfectly. Promise.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Tue 27-Oct-15 18:24:07

have you actually measured the tins?? I bought a new giant flan tin, because I wanted one that size, but the label on the bottom claimed it was 9 inches. It is eleven!

I'd say three medium eggs is a little skimpy for nice plush eight inch, deep sponges....so maybe use 4 and if you have balance scales then use the weight of the eggs for the sugar/butter/flour

Use SR, NO extra baking powder ....it tastes vile. And use the traditional creaming method. I don't care what delia says, the all-in-one method is lazy and wrong.

pocketsized Tue 27-Oct-15 18:25:10

Definitely check the temperature of your oven, I bought a thermometer for mine as I was struggling to bake anything and it was out by miles!

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