Q: Last year my Christmas cake was too moist and soggy on the bottom. I baked it about 3 to 4 weeks in advance and followed the recipe to the letter! I was very disappointed and ended up buying one instead. Please could you let me know if there was anything I was doing wrong? Thanks very much!

A: Oh dear, what a disappointment for you. I am assuming you are talking about a fruit cake and if so, a couple of reasons spring to mind. Firstly your cake might not have been baked all the way through. A fruit cake needs a long slow bake and how long will depend on your oven, it may need longer than stated in the recipe. Test by inserting a cake tester or long cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean it is probably baked. The second reason could have been that you overfed it! It’s is very traditional to feed a fruit cake with brandy once it has been baked but this can be overdone, especially if you keep adding more alcohol. I was advised many years ago that the best time to feed a fruit cake is ONCE when it is still warm. I have done this ever since and it works a treat for me. If you are interested in a good fruit cake recipe that has been tried and tested, my family recipe appears in many of my cake decorating books, including my new one: http://www.lindyscakes.co.uk/shop/Lindy-Smiths-Mini-Cakes-Academy-how-to-Cake-decorating-book.html Hope you have better luck this year Happy baking Lindy

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