Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Hi everyone, hooe your all ok.

yesterday I made a Devils choc cake using the recipe Katy gave me :-) Its been brilliant. However, I now seem to have a problem. Ive made this so many time but yesterdays was a disaster !!! It sunk. Ive never had this before? I always do the same everytime but this time it went wrong ? The only thing I did different was use different cocoa powder. I usualy use bournville but I used Cadbury s this time .

Could that be the problem ?


Thank you for any help



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Lis - Cadbury and Bourneville should be the same thing as they are the same company.  Here's the weird thing - I made one last week too and it came out quite flat!  I alternate between Tesco's own and Cadbury and usually get the same results with either.  I think it's unlikely to be a cocoa issue as that contributes next to nothing to the cake except the flavour and dry ingredient.  

A few suggestions as to why it might have been -

Could you have had a little more liquid than usual?  If I remember rightly, you mix the cocoa with water before you add it to the mix.  If the mix was too runny, that could stop it rising or make it sink

Sure your oven was at the right temperature?

Did you take it out of the oven a little too soon?

Different sized eggs, or eggs too cold?

Did you open the oven door before it was cooked?

Thanks Katy, Yes your right you do mix the cocoa with the water.

I made sure the oven temp was right. I only checked it over half way through cooking time. I used medium sized eggs and the second one I tried, I used less water. Everything was room temp. It takes a little longer than usual as I use a deep tin but until now ive NEVER had any probs.


I did use different marge thinking about it? It looked more like a choc torte. I remover the two sunken tops and sandwiched together the two bases with buttercream and blackberry jam. The two were a slightly diff colour? So ive had to cover it in buttercream too. Im worried as this is an ordered cake and I don't know if it will be any good? I was up so late trying to get it to go right and im so stressed ive been in tears and thinking of giving up !!

Don't give up Lisa - I understand completely how upset you are, but we ALL have disasters, no exception.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger and you will learn from this.  Interesting that you say the two cakes were a different colour.  That suggests to me that your mix was not completely blended before you put it in the tins, or maybe your cocoa hadn't dissolved in the water sufficiently and had some lumps.  That could also have accounted for the sinking possibly as it would mean that some parts of the mix were wetter than others.  Different marge shouldn't have made a difference, unless - was it a cheap version that could have had a high water content............

I'm sure the cake will taste fine - that's one thing about DFC it tastes divine whatever you do with it, so don't stress about that.

Thank you so much Katy, you really are a star ! :-) Im a little worried about how it will look when cut though?

Instead of stork I used utterly butterly as it was on offer?

Ive got another from this morning and I was thinking about filling the hole with something ? I have a cherry filling that I make pies with could I use that? im just so worried about how it all looks. I don't know how well that will cut either. Ive thought about giving the cupcakes for free by way of good will ?


I have to mention im expected to do several cakes in one day, which I have to say im struggling with taking around an hour per cake! I don't have a huge oven and if for example fruit cake is about 1 hr + I cant put anything else in. Also I only have 1 size tin I don't at the moment have two!


Lis x

Right Lis - first off, there's your answer.  Utterly Butterly is not margarine.  It's a low fat spread and does not have the fat content you need for cooking and has too high a water content.  I guarantee you that was your problem.

The cherry pie filling will work perfectly and taste delicious with the cake.  I use that when I make Black Forest Gateau.

Sounds to me like you are overstretching yourself a bit.  Step back and decide how many cakes you can make in one day and keep your sanity.  Once you have reached that number, refuse any more orders.  Tough, I know, but if you take on too many and mess up you will ruin your reputation and that will do you more damage than refusing on the grounds of quality control

Here's an idea.  When you have some time spare, why don't you make a batch of different cakes and put them in the freezer.  Then when you next have orders, you already have your base cake made and all you have to do is decorate it.  I can't think of one type of cake that won't keep well in the freezer.  And, of course, if it's a fruit cake you don't even need to freeze that as they will keep for ages wrapped in greaseproof and foil and put in a tin.

THANK YOU !!!!  the orders I have at the min are to replace frozen ones. If I use the cherry filling in the grand canyon gap lol will it cut ok ? The cake itself is ok just rather sunk ! Ive also had prob with another that I make ALL the time !! my bakewell cake, its a bit too crubmbely, I couldn't get it out of the spring form tin without it cracking ? Another prob ive never had.

Was in such a state yesterday with all this I was about to say " right, forget it stupid idea " etc then I thought of granddad. Do you happen to have recipe for Black Forest Gateau ? No , im not going to attempt it today LOL

Lis xx

If the centre is just cherry filling, then of course it will fall out when it's cut, but does that really matter?  Or what about mixing the filling with the cut out bits of cake from the centre, like a cherry cake pop mix?  That will hold it together better.

Not sure about the bakewell  - perhaps you're simply having a bad day because you're stressing and rushing things?  Like I said, we all have bad days, but they will be outweighed by the good days.

My Black Forest Gateau is about as quick and simple as they come.  I just make either a chocolate Victoria sponger or a Devils Food if you want really chocolately.  Torte (fill it) with the cherry pie filling and a layer of whipped double cream.  Tart the top up as much or as little as you like.  You could spread some black cherry jam over the top, or cover in chocolate ganache (white or dark), add some whipped cream piping and then either tinned black cherries or make some cherries from fondant and decorate with those. You could also spread cream around the sides and then roll that in chocolate flakes for a really special one.  There's loads of pics of them on this site.

Here's a pic of one I did a while ago (very quick and simple)

Thanks Katy WOW !! The disaster I had this morning, ive just filled the centre with the cherry filling and put a layer of chocolate fudge icing round the top edge. Brilliant ideas. Thank you so much. If I use the D F Cake from yesterday that ive sandwiched together and buttercreamed etc  Ive got 5 cakes to take. Hopefully they will be ok. Ive decided that yesterday was a   "D I N K" Day....Disaster In the Kitchen Day !!!  lol


Ive got to deliver these soon just waiting for Lemon Drizzle cake to cool enough to take out of the tin.


Thank you so much Katy, you really are a life saver !!!



Glad to be of help Lisa.  It sounds like your caking is really taking off, great for you.

Im getting more orders, its just for some reason this new order has been nightmare ! And its so hard just starting off.

Ive got 2 orders for birthday cakes coming up too. A 50th and a 70th. I have to say its so much easier decorating the darn things than making them LOL I didn't sleep at all last night, just hope their happy with the ones that ive done today. I know this might be a silly question, some recipes say to grease the tins, others say to use greaseproof paper. is it poss to use GP for all of the recipes ?

I always double line cakes that take a little longer but wondered if you could do this with all of them?

Thanks again Katy don't know what id do if I hadn't of joined here !!

Lis x

I always grease my tins bottom and side, then line the bottom with greaseproof, whatever the recipe says.  unless it's fruit cake of course, then there's a bit more faffing around.  As long as the sides are well greased they should be fine.  I like to have the bottom covered with greaseproof as it holds the cake together when it comes out of the tin.

Ok, I had prob with the bakewell, usually its ok but cant the the bottom on the base off !! I remember the first choc torte I made boy, did I cry because it sunk LOL It was only  till about an hour later I read that its suppose to !! Well im not making anymore toaday, I get so terrified when I deliver them!!



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