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Why Did My Honey Chocolate Cake Sink?

Asked by Lucyh85. Answered on 28th October 2023

Full question

My Honey Chocolate Cake, having tried several times and tasting delicious, burns on the top and sinks in the middle. This is despite covering with foil, cooking at 180°. Its taste is good but it looks bad (and the burnt bits are not so good either!). Is there anything else I can do to stop this happening? Also it takes over two hours to cook completely - is this right?

Honey Chocolate Cake
Photo by James Merrell
Honey Chocolate Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Honey Chocolate Cake (from FEAST) is a moist and slightly sticky chocolate cake. The cake batter is quite liquid and it is a larger cake, so the baking time can vary a lot from oven to oven, though usually it takes about 1 1/2 hours to bake and much longer than that could cause some darker edges on the cake. As honey does tend to cause baked goods to brown quickly, we do recommend keeping an eye on the cake and covering the top with foil if it is darkening too quickly.

When you cover the top of the cake with foil, try to do this carefully and without exposing the cake to too much cold air. As the cake will not quite have fully set, a large gust of cold air can cause the cake to sink in the centre when you cover it. So try not to pull the cake out of the oven to cover it, but protect your hands and arms with oven gloves and try to carefully cover the cake while it is still in the oven. You could try reducing the amount of water to 125ml (½ cup) as this should reduce the baking time. However, it could make the cake slightly less moist and as we have not tried this ourselves, we are unable to guarantee the result.

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