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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

  • How to Make Perfect Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

    Hi, I LOVE Pineapple Upside down cake, it's one of my favourites. The first time I made it was at school in food technology, and it was perfect! Since then, I've tried to make it at home, but it never comes out light and fluffy like it did when I first made it. It usually comes out hard as a rock! I've followed recipes online, and in books but I get the same result every time. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Any ideas? Sam.

    From the nigella team:

    As Pineapple Uside Down Cake is generally served warm, usually as a dessert, the sponge cake part in many recipes can tend to feel a bit "heavier" than a normal cake when it is served cold. The sponge is often quite thin too, which can make it feel slightly heavier when eaten with the fruit. We suspect that the recipe used in a school would be based on a Victoria sponge cake batter - equal weights of butter, sugar, eggs and self-raising flour and if you haven't tried this then it is worth using this recipe and to get a deeper cake section use 170g each of butter and sugar, 3 eggs and 170g of self raising flour. You will need to bake the cake for around 35 to 40 minutes at 180c/350F. Also as with all cakes make sure that the oven is preheated thoroughly while you make the cake so that the cake can go into the oven quickly after it has been made (if cake batter stands around for too long the raising agents will expire leaving a heavier cake).

    You may also like to try Nigella's Upside Down Cake recipe on this website (see link below). Nigella adds a little bicarbonate of soda and pineapple juice to her cake batter and bakes the cake at the slightly higher temperature of 200c/5400F which tends to give a slightly lighter cake.


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