If your cake ends up an uneven shape, this could be because there is either too much liquid in the mixture or too much baking powder – or simply that the oven was not hot enough.
If your cake has cracks in it, this could be because there was not enough liquid in your mixture, or too much baking powder was added.
If your cake has an uneven texture, the fat was either rubbed in too much or not enough.
If your cake has a very close texture, then you may have added too much fat or your hands were too warm when rubbing in the flour.
Disastrous fruit cakes
If you find that the fruit in your cake sinks to the bottom, then this could be because either the fruit or the mixture was too wet, or because the oven was not hot enough.
If your shortcrust pastry is too hard, it could be caused by a number of things. Either you have added too much water or not enough fat, or the fat was not rubbed in sufficiently or was over-handled. Or the pastry was over-baked.
Shrinking pastry is a common mistake. This normally occurs when the pastry has been over-handled or has not been left to rest for long enough.
And finally, the most frustrating pastry problem of all – the soggy bottom. This normally happens when the oven is not hot enough or the pastry is not baked for long enough. However, it can also be because too much water was added to the dough.