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asked July 11th 2012

My chocolate cake sunk in the middle

Hi i’ve just baked Paul’s chocolate cake and it has sunk in the middle. Any ideas why this happened?

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Hi i’ve just baked Paul’s chocolate cake and it has sunk in the middle. Any ideas why this happened?

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I baked this cake 5 times and what ever I did it sunk in the middle  and crusty around the edges – I even went and bought new bicarb of soda as I realised mine was well out of date. In the end  I just  used the bottom half of two of the cakes and that worked a treat. The icing bit was easy (the bow cake) and the cake looked and tasted absolutely amazing and even though this cake is tricky to get right, I will definately only use this chocolate cake recipe as its sooo moist and delicious and the not so good top halves can be used for a Sunday tea time. Can’t wait to have a go at my next cake, just need someone to have a birthday 😉

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Hey Michelle

This can sometimes mean you’ve taken it out the oven too quickly, or did you open the oven door to check the progress of the cake?

Do you have a fan assited oven? I do and i usually turn the temperature down by 20 degrees compared to the recomended temp.It could be that the cake looks perfectly cooked or even overcooked on the outside but it’s still slightly undercooked inside so sinks when taken out the heat of the oven, due to the oven temp being slightly too high, even if it’s set to the temp recommended in the recipe.

Hope this helps!

Paula

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Usually for me when my cake sinks it’s because its been taken out the oven too quick even If the skewer has come out clean sometimes it needs another 10 mins. I go by texture at the top if I touch it and it springs back then it’s ready, if it’s a bit soft then another 10 mins helps. Also if the temp is too high in the oven the cake rises too quick then sinks back down.

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Hi Michelle, I have read all the answers about baking this cake so thought I would finally have a go.  The cake is terrible!  I set my fan oven to 130 degrees (and tested with an oven thermometer), lined around the tin with newspaper covered with foil and put a baking sheet on the shelf above.  The cake is sunk in the middle (this is how it cooked, it didn’t sink after removing from oven), has a very cripsy top with a gap underneath the crust (someone else had this problem), it is very risen at the edges.  Cooked an 8″ square with 4 egg mixture (checked calculations very carefully) for 2 hours, wasn’t done so left another 20 minutes.  It tastes alright but unuseable apart from truffles.  Shan’t attempt again!

J x

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Thanks everyone, my oven is fan assisted so will try the lower temp next time 🙂

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Help!!!!!!!!!!! right I’ve made my second cake. I lowered my oven temp and didn’t open the door for the full 2 Hrs but the cake still sunk slightly and is very crispy round the outside – What am I doing wrong? I’m using half the mixture and using an 8in heavy duty cake tin. Very frustrating as I don’t usually have a problem with baking cakes.

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Hi Michelle, which shelf are you baking on? If the shelf is slightly too high the temperature up there will be hotter than if you bake in the middle of the oven. Also if the tin is over filled it will need baking longer on an even lower temperature because the tin will be too small for the mixture. If non of these things apply to you try placing a bowl of water in the oven to keep the air more moist. ( As an after thought Michell, you didn’t by any chance miss out any ingredients? believe me I’ve done it in the past!)

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Totally fed up now – I’ve done everything right but as soon as I take the cake out the oven it comes away at the sides and sinks in the middle (slightly). The cake seems to be cooked perfectly so I just don’t know what is wrong

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hi Michelle,  I know it must be frustrating. When we were baking on a large scale sometimes, despite being sure to repeat the process that’s worked before, we had the same problems.

If  the cake is baked properly then it may be best just to do a trimming job until the cake you decorate has been baked and not a crust.

There are so many variations between ovens and with the length of time they’re baking even a tiny variation in temperature can make all the difference.

Hope this helps a little before the baking tin gets throw out the window like a frisbee 🙂

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Hi michelle,I have had this problem a lot recently, I have found that the size of the cake tin can make a huge difference  as most recipes are for an 8 inch round.  So when we try to make different size cakes  nobody knows how long or what temperature to cook on. it seems to be trial and error how long to cook for.  The only tip I can give is, when it goes right, write in your recipe book what you did.

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I have now baked Paul’s recipe 3 times, and found it to be very crusty on the top and it always sinks in the middle, but once it has been trimmed, it is delicious, so I guess I will persevere with it! But it would be good, though, if we could have a chart for different size tins.

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Hey Michelle,  don’t know if you’ve tried Jane Hornby’s rich chocolate cake recipe – google it online – it always works for me.  I have tried Paul’s recipe – which was lovely – but I think Jane’s has the edge on it.  It is a little more moist and so lovely.  I recently used Jane’s recipe for a customer and her feedback on the cake was ” the chocolate cake was to die for it was awesome” .  I have to add though that I haven’t used the cakes for carving and shaping so I can’t comment on how well either would carve, but it’s always good to have a go at different recipes.

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Hi Susan, I made Paul’s chocolate cake again the other day but this time I used an 8 x 10 tin which was much heavier than my 8″ round and the cake turned out good. I will definitely try Jane’s recipe next time.  Just out of curiosity as I’m not planning on making a tiered cake yet but what happens to the dowels in the cake, does the person cutting the cake have to fish them out?

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Hi Michelle, Yes they would.  Once a tier above is removed it usually takes some of the top icing away from the one underneath, so it’s normally quite easy to see where the dowels are and pick them out.

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Michelle,

I’m just new to this website and was planning on baking a 10×8 for the teddy bear cake. What quantities of recipe did you use for this size tin and how long did you bake it for?

Thanks.

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