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Crumbling Crust on Sponge Cakes

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In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2012 14:16:53 GMT
The purpose of "creaming" (i.e mixing) the cold butter/marg and sugar together is to incorporate air into the sponge to enable rising (since air expands when heated, the batter expands whilst being cooked). Warming up or melting the butter/marg would completely negate the incorporation of air, which for most people would result in an unrisen/under-risen sponge. Does this not happen to you?

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2012 14:36:35 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2012 14:38:03 GMT
Mary Seacole says:
Yes, you and I know that, but if you read my earlier post, I said that my fan oven's manual says to use the all-in-one method, and place the cake in a cold oven. It works with my particular oven, and that's why I suggested the original poster have a look at what her manual says. I hope this makes sense.

Posted on 24 Jan 2012 23:59:48 GMT
Margo says:
When you can get it, try McDougalls Supreme Sponge Flour. it helps. The cake liners are great but you can't avoid the crinkly edges. I find that with a fan oven you can't cover anything with baking parchment unless you tie it down with string. Otherwise it just flies off! But with sponges I never bother - as long as I reduce the temperature by 20 degrees to what the recipe says, no problem.

Posted on 14 Feb 2012 22:04:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Feb 2012 22:06:18 GMT
jems says:
I have also been getting crusty edges on my Victoria sponges lately and i have decided that it is over greasing up the sides of the tin. I line the base with lakeland precut circles and the rest of the cake is fine. Although i have been making this cake for 40 years, my cake tins( not 40 years old I hasten to add!) are losing their non stick so it is tempting to add more grease so they dont stick. I will try the lightly greasing with sunflower oil or replace the tins.Hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Feb 2012 00:12:56 GMT
Margo says:
Have a look at Lakeland's new Pushpan tins before you buy. They apparently don't need lining or greasing and are guaranteed not to leak mixture. Pity I've just restocked with ordinary ones!

Posted on 31 Mar 2012 08:54:31 BDT
Double S says:
I always line tins. You could try wrapping a damp tea towel around the outside of the tin and pinning in place to prevent the outside going crusty. Also when you turn it out invert the tin over the top of the cake whilst cooking and the trapped steam will soften the edges.

Posted on 31 Mar 2012 09:21:43 BDT
I always line the tin with greaseproof paper, then bake for 12 mins in fan oven on 170, and when it comes out leave to rest - but the secret is just before they are completely cold cover them up, the condensation keeps the sponge moist and you don't get any crumbs or dry bits at all, perfect, then don't beat your cream up too stiff so it keeps it even more moist. Enjoy

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2012 10:48:24 BDT
Lisas nanny says:
I still have a problem with a 'loose' layer on the top of my cakes. Yesterday I made a Mary Berry recipe for a tray bake sponge using the all in one method, 8oz each of sugar, butter, 10oz sr flour, 4 eggs and 2 tsp baking powder as required by the recipe. This has previously turned out perfect but yesterday there was again a 'loose' very thin layer on the top. I saw a couple of what I can only describe as raised 'bubbles' on the top so picked them off and then found the whole top was 'loose' which was easily removed by sliding a pallet knife under it, the cake underneath was absolutely fine. Has anyone out there ever experienced this problem, it's driving me mad.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Apr 2012 11:52:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Apr 2012 11:53:21 BDT
Mary Seacole says:
I think the oven may be too hot, and there's too much baking powder. Sorry Mary! I never use baking powder if using SR flour. I suggest you try omitting it, and reducing your oven temperature by ten degrees to see if there's any difference. I think whoever writes these recipes use their own oven temperatures, so it may be worth looking at your oven manual to see what temperature it suggests you use for these types of cakes. I also don't preheat the oven, which goes against everything that I have been taught, but it works because that's what my manual tells me. Also, make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature, because this can affect how it turns out as well. Finally, try placing the cake between the middle to bottom shelves, as again, this makes a difference in my fan oven. It does take trial and error, and a lot of trips to the supermarket! Hope this helps.

Posted on 29 Apr 2012 16:43:41 BDT
White Lilac says:
I was really interested to come across this topic, as I've been getting "crumbly edges" on my sponge cakes and couldn't work out what I was doing wrong. They taste lovely but look like a dog's dinner. Will definitely try greasing less. Never used to be a problem and I'm not aware I'm greasing the tins differently so really puzzled, same oven as usual, same tins as well. I do have a fan oven so will try not pre-heating it. My daughter made a sponge recipe birthday cake for me in my kitchen recently and it turned out perfectly and she doesn't usually make cakes!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 08:39:51 BDT
Dear P. J. Dickinson (Mrs,)
Have you tried a layer of blamange applied using a flange? I find this helps.
Les (Mr)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 15:01:56 BDT
HARRY says:
i have always used the all in one method for cakes and get lots of compliments just make sure the mixture is light in colour and fluffy

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 16:57:59 BDT
D. Tracey says:
have you the cake to near the top of the oven? i make a lot of sponge and cupcakes and dont have that problem....but i cook in center of oven and dont use my top oven because i feel its too small....hope you solve it

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 23:24:04 BDT
Hi, I bake all the time and cream butter and sugar first, when you think it's done do it again. Use about a fifth of cornflour and the rest good Sr flour and a bit of baking powder. add 2 tablespoons of the flour with each egg and then mix in, After all the eggs are in add the rest of the flour and then vanilla essence and some room temperature milk to make a dropping consistency, bake at 170 degrees in fan oven till firm to touch.
This works for me and people are always begging me for the recipe. I use baking tins, silicon moulds, as well as cupcakes and make them with a victoria sponge recipe. 500gms recipe makes 36 -40 large cupcakes. I have also just started using the wilton cake pan bake even strips and this has really stopped the cake doming in the middle. Hope this helps.
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In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 00:55:45 BDT
Margo says:
This sounds helpful and I shall certainly try it. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 14:10:47 BDT
JLP mentioned Wilton bake even strips. For many years we have been using something similar, but entirely home-made, and effectively free.

You know how on the ironing board there is a metallised fabric cover (usually held on by string ties) which always wears out in the middle?

We cut strips from the unworn edges and use them folded over to make a double layer with the metallising always facing out. And yes wringing them under the tap first is a good idea to help with the temperature control -the cake edges then cook at the same rate as the centre.

If the cover had a foam backing then don't use it.

Also some have a synthetic (ie not cotton) cloth backing that can only survive lower temperatures, so it is important to test a damp scrap of the fabric before using it in earnest - you don't want something catching fire in the oven and leaving a nasty smell.

And finally it is helpful to put a heat pipe up the middle of the cake. We stick a METAL Wilton Flower Nail (or two or three) through the lining paper on the base before pouring in the mix.

Posted on 1 May 2012 23:26:50 BDT
You could invest in some Cake Release as no cake I have ever bakes sticks and the crusty problem does not happen either.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2012 22:56:08 BDT
Gilly says:
I make lovely victoria sponge cakes and very rarely have any problems, having typed this they'll all proabably go wrong now. I weigh my eggs in their shells, I use slimmers scales for accuracy, and then weigh margerine and I use the cooks marg not easy spread, castor sugar and SR flourto match the weight of the eggs. I add a little baking powder and a small pinch of salt to the mix. I line my tins with silicone paper purchased from lakeland or pre made cake liners. After mixing the ingredients together and just prior to putting into the cake tins I put 2 tablespoons of boiling water into the cake mix( the steam created helps the sponge to rise) this also might soften the crust you seem to be getting. Cook according to your ovens instructions and it might be as well to check your oven handbook so few people do, and cooking temperatures vary considerably. Test by lightly pressing the top of the cake with a finger if it springs back it's done and remove from oven. Let it rest in the tins for about 5mins or so and then remove and cool on a wire rack. Fill with jam and cream, eat and enjoy, hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2012 22:35:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 May 2012 22:36:52 BDT
K. Withams says:
I have been SO annoyed ..... my old food processor died on me so I decided to invest in an expensive Magimix and since then my cakes have been a disaster ...... previously the cakes were great (I'm sure they wouldn't have won any competitions but they tasted and looked consistently good) With the new mixer I have had a number of problems - a granular finish to the cake ( I used caster sugar so this shouldn't happen I would have thought) either rising too much or not enough etc etc. However your post made me think - around the same time the mixer died I also had my oven door fixed - it hinged on the bottom and the spring was loose so it didn't seal at the top properly - could this be part of the problem? Should I put a matchstick or something back in the oven door to simulate the previous situation? And how on earth do I explain to my husband that I have wasted £200 on a mixer that I can't use to make cakes ......!!!

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 14:35:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jun 2012 14:38:55 BDT
K. Withams, just been re-reading this thread and saw your dilemma!
Can you sell the Magimix on ebay or perhaps better still put an ad in your local paper?

You will have to be realistic and knock enough off to make it a tempting offer for someone though. Get it as spotlessly clean as possible, and rebox if you still have it. Then cut out any ads for it (try an Argos or John Lewis catalogue!) so they can see how much they would have paid to buy it new, then try knocking £50 off.

Okay, you lose £50! - but at least you will get most of the £200 back to buy the mixer of your dreams? - Does that help? x

*think the oven door may have changed things - but DO try a new mixer before taking a hammer to the newly fixed hinges or your husband will be really annoyed with you!!! Lol. x

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jun 2012 21:20:22 BDT
White Lilac says:
I am a crumbling edge sufferer (sob!) and I am also owner of a super duper top of the range Magimix. Please do not get rid of your Magimix just because it does not produce perfect Victoria sponges. Magimixes (plural of Magimix?) are brilliantly useful kitchen machines. In fact, I did pizza dough for the first time in mine this evening and it was fantastic. There is so much it does do well but for a classic victoria sandwich you probably could do with a £15 hand mixer (James Martin does a good one) and a large bowl. BTW - I do a brilliant all in one chocolate sponge in mine, choux pastry, mayonnaise, coleslaw (why buy grotty stale commercial coleslaw?) and the most wonderful rosti potatoes. Hope this helps!

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 23:06:44 BDT
Ohhh, you poor soul White Lilac,
Don't worry, online no-one can ever see you 'cracking' up! :o>

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2012 18:44:17 GMT
I think you are right as I have been having this problem too. I have realised that I am pre-heating my new fan oven and hope that if I start with a cold oven the problem will be cured. Thanks.

Posted on 2 Dec 2012 19:16:26 GMT
amyloo says:
I have been making cake for many years feeding 4 cricket teams in the summer months( what summer)!! I find granulated sugar now very rough, I have a food processor, and whiz the sugar first to smooth down a bit then soft tub stork, cream lots add eggs a little at a time, then gently fold in the flour, a tbs of hot water, and hey presto, the oven needs to be turned down as stated for a fan oven, a lightly greased tin and lined with greaseproof.I find free range eggs make such a difference, I live in the Country and free range means that, lovely yellow yolks.

Posted on 2 Dec 2012 19:28:26 GMT
maxicat says:
1 oven could be to hot or 2 the egg are have currdle
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Initial post:  6 Apr 2011
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