What went wrong? My sponge cake wasn’t perfect

Small white specks on top is caused by undissolved sugar.

In Summary

• Small white specks on top is caused by undissolved sugar.

• If the cake shrinks, you might have opened the oven door open.

A burnt sponge cake
A burnt sponge cake

Small white specks on top

This is caused by undissolved sugar, sugar should be added gradually to beaten eggs and beat until completely dissolved between additions.

Shrinks in oven

The cake has been at a very high temperature or for too long.

Shrinks and wrinkles during cooling.

Insufficient baking time or the cake was cooled in a droughty area.

Flat and tough

Incorrect folding in flour and liquid.

Triple–sifted flour should be folded in the mixture in a gentle circular motion.

Pale and sticky on top.

The cake was baked at a low temperature or was in the wrong oven position.

A sunken cake top
A sunken cake top
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest


The cake was baked at a very high temperature, in the wrong oven position or in a small pan.

Using high-side cake pans protect the cake mixture.

Sinks in the centre.

The pan used is too small, causing the cake to rise too quickly, then fall in the centre

Streaks on top

Scrapings are always darker than the rest of the cake mixture.

Scrapings from the mixture bowl have not been mixed well into the cake mixture.

It is best to put them at the side of the pan, not in the centre of the mixture.

Sponge rises too quickly

The oven temperature was too high.

Sponge is undercooked

Oven door may have been opened during the first half of baking.