Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked January 11th 2017

Golden castor sugar & biocarbonate sodium

I have a query regarding the Golden castor sugar. I am living in Switzerland. Here this type is not available. Can I use normal sugar?

Bicarbonate sodium is also unavailable. Can I use only self raising flour ( baking powder) instead of this ?


Hi Molu

Yes, fine white sugar or soft brown sugar is fine to use. For substituting naking soda, please see here for a guide:

Hope this helps.


Hello Madeitwithlove,

Thank you for your reply 🙂

Actually this self raising flour is baking powder, Is it?
I have one doubt. I have seen that, for this receipe we are taking same amount of plain flour and also self raising flour.
My doubt is, is this good to add too much of baking powder?


Hello Madeitwithlove,
I forgot to ask you another doubt.
How can we determine the baking time for diff. pans?. In Paul's vide he told about 2 hours.
Will it be same for smaller and larger pans?

Thanking you in Advance for your reply.


Hi Molu

Self raising flour does contain bicarbonate of soda and other leavenings. You can try making the cake without the baking soda if you like and add extra baking powder. You may be able to get baking soda in the pharmacy locally, if not you can buy it free postage from the German, French or Italian Amazon.
Also ebay Switzerland has plenty.
Determining the timing is different for every oven. It is best to do a trial cake for each size and time it until done. If you are making smaller cakes place them on a lower shelf and keep to the same time or keep a nose and eye on the baking. Write down the time so you have it for next time you bake the cake.
The following blog may be of interest to you as it covers timing issues:

Baking Problems and Solutions by madeitwithlove

Hope this help.

ps you will also be able to find golden castor sugar on the same sites.


Is there any substitute for self rising flour? Please help.

Is self rising flour & baking powder same?
Instead of self rising flour, I added baking powder today. After I put it in oven, my cake batter started to rise and flowing from the pan. Is it because of too much of baking powder?


Self raising flour is plain flour (AP) which has leavening already added. Baking powder is not flour, it is a chemical leavening which helps baked goods to rise . Here is another explanation which may help better:

If you use too much baking powder it will make the batter rise very fast and overflow. The moist chocolate cake recipe asks for self raising flour and for plain flour (plain flour does not contain any chemical leavening) This combination gives the cake a good structure. However, it also uses acidic ingredients like the cocoa powder, buttermilk and the golden castor sugar. The acid ingredients in the batter reacts with the chemical leavening agents in the batter to produce carbon dioxide quickly. Baking soda helps to neuteralise the the taste of the acids.

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