Q: I made a soft lemon sponge with mascarpone and buttercream filling as a spring/summer birthday cake. Unfortunately the cake subsided and went very gooey in the middle. The decoration on the top was quite heavy with large decorative chocolate balls. Is there anything I can do to stop this happening in the future as this lemon recipe is very popular in an adult’s cake.

A: When decorating a cake it is very important that the cake itself is able to structurally support the weight of any decoration put upon it or that additional support is provided in some form. You obviously have a popular lemon cake recipe, but you do describe it as a "soft" sponge, so I suspect that what has happened is that the weight of the chocolate balls has caused your problem. I suggest the easiest way to prevent this happening again is to use a lighter decoration. Alternatively, if you wish to decorate with chocolate balls, one solution would be to dowel the cake, place a disc on top of the dowels, then top with the chocolate balls, this way the weight of the balls goes down through the dowels and not through the cake. Hope this helps Happy Baking.

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