Mary Berry's Clever Trick To Prevent Wire Rack Marks On A Sponge Cake

Since the 17th century, chefs have been putting their own variations on sponge cake recipes, adding creams, frostings, and fruit to stacks of cakes meant for the palates of royals and commoners alike. Sponge cakes can be intimidating to make, however, not only because of the precarious nature of the creamy batter but also due to oven temperatures and cooking times that need to be closely monitored. Leave it to accomplished food writer, baker, and former "Great British Bake Off" judge Mary Berry to provide easy, accessible guidance on tackling this tasty treat without causing anxiety levels to rise along with the heat in your kitchen.

To reduce the likelihood of unsightly seams like marks from your oven's hot wires or unbecoming streaks forming on the exterior of your fluffy cake, place the spongy cakes bottom-side down during the baking process, as Berry suggests in her cookbook, "Mary Berry's Quick Cooking." The marked sides can be turned inward during decorating, so any uneven indentations or discolorations will be concealed and can be covered by fillings and frostings.

Planning for aesthetic success

Alternatively, Berry suggests protecting the layers of your precious sponge cakes from the dangers of your oven with a kitchen towel. The towel can help create a protective layer between the fragile sponge and any offending hot wires in your oven. Delicate, fluffy, and light, the famous airiness of sponge cakes can be a difficult texture to handle, yet the foamy batter can reliably yield a satisfying delicacy that is ideal to serve alongside afternoon cups of tea and coffee.

Once baked, completed sponge cakes can be decorated with toppings and fillings such as creams, compote, strawberry, or Nutella. As with all cakes, however, having a smooth, even surface to work with can lend to a more aesthetically pleasing finish, so heeding Berry's advice will have significant payoffs as you aim to present an Instagram-worthy dessert to your impressed dinner party guests and friends stopping by for your at-home version of high tea