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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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  • Sinking chocolate chips in cakes

    Whenever I make a chocolate chip cake (normal cake mixture and then add in the chocolate chips at the end) they sink to the bottom and i end up with an incredibly crusty chocolaty base instead of lots of choc chips sprinkled through the cake. I read recently that if they're dusted with flour first and then put into the cake this stops them sinking, tried this but it didn't work. How can i add them in and make sure they're well spread throughout the cake? Thanks so much

    From the nigella team:

    Solid items such as chocolate chips, raisins and glace cherries will tend to sink in cakes as cake batter bakes and rises above them. Generally dusting these with a little flour from the recipe will help to prevent sinking, but if the items are very large (such as cherries) then they will still tend to sink. It sounds as if your chocolate chips may be quite large (size of chips does vary) which means that they are still sinking. If possible switch to a brand with smaller chips or chop the larger chips up slightly before dusting them with flour.

    You can also try to reduce the sinking by sprinkling the chips over the cake batter rather than folding them in. For small cakes such as cupcakes, muffins or fairy cakes then sprinkle the chips on top of the batter once it has been spooned into the paper cases or muffin tin (pan). For larger cakes spread half of the batter in the tin and sprinkle over half of the chocolate chips then spread over the rest of the batter and sprinkle the remaining chips over the top.

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