Sometimes this can happen if the dry ingredients haven’t been mixed properly. Sugar can cause the top to caramelise, so ensure that you mix all the dry ingredients fully before you combine the wet ingredients into the mixture. A spatula or wooden spoon can be useful to mix by hand after combining to ensure the sides of the bowl are clean and the sugar is evenly mixed in. But it’s important to remember that the exposed top of the sponge will naturally be more dry and caramelised than the centre, although there is a fine line between caramelised and burnt!
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