My Orange and Almond Blossom Cake was nice, though did not look like the picture as mine was darker brown. What happened? Also, it was too sweet for me. Can I halve the sugar next time?
There can be a few reasons why the cake could be slightly darker in colour, but if there is a dark crust around the edge of the cake then it often means that the cake pan has been too generously greased with butter. If there is a lot of butter on the pan then it tends to brown quickly and will form a slightly thicker crust on the outside of the cake. If you can, melt a little butter and brush a light, even coating on the pan or use a little flavourless vegetable oil as an alternative. You can always run a thin-bladed spatula between the edge of the cooled cake and the pan to loosen the cake, before you unspring the pan. The amount of sugar in the cake is not particularly disproportionate to the other ingredients and is important for the moisture and structure of the cake. So unfortunately we can't particularly recommend reducing the amount of sugar.