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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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Please note, we are only able to answer questions selected for publication and aren't able to enter into personal correspondence.

Latest Queries

  • Devil's Food Cake

    Hi there! I attempted Nigella's Devil's Food Cake from Kitchen and it hardly rose at all. Please could you let me know what I might have done wrong? All of the ingredients were carefully measured and all at room temperature, but alas a very small cake. Thanks, Moya

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella's Devil's Food Cake has been an extremely popular recipe. We would mention that this type of cake is slightly denser and moister than some, so will not appear to rise much in comparison with a more traditional sponge, such as a Victoria sponge.

    However if it has not risen at all there could be a couple of reasons for this. One is that you need to check that the baking powder is within its use by date. Most baking powders have a use by date on the container and this should be adhered to, but it may expire more quickly if it is in a humid environment and the powder is not kept in an airtight container.

    Also make sure that the oven is fully preheated before the cake is mixed. The cake batter needs to go into the oven as soon as it has been mixed. If the oven is too cold when the cake goes in, or if the batter stands out for a while before being baked, then the raising agents will expire before the cake has had time to rise during baking.

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