Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. The intricacy of chemical reactions and accurate baking temperatures should never be overlooked if you want a great end result. In fact, baking temperatures can mean the difference between a sunken cake and an evenly browned masterpiece.
Around here, we prefer evenly browned masterpieces in the form of soft, gooey cookies, sweet pies, cream-filled pastries, and any cake with chocolate in it. If you’re reading this, we assume you do, too. Welcome, you are among pastry loving friends here.
Let’s cover the basics
For our illustration, we are going to refer to oven temperature for a cake because they are delicious.
- First, preheating your oven for the appropriate amount of time has an impact on baking temperatures. Yes, it really does matter if you preheat your oven and give it plenty of time to warm up.
- Second, whatever you do, please keep the oven door closed. Opening and closing the oven door lets out the warm air and constantly adjusts the temperature inside.
- And lastly, double check the temperature requirements for your baking creation. This is especially important when using an electric oven. Doing these three things will ensure your baking temperatures for cakes are off to a good start.
Let’s get a little fancy
Now, with your recipe in front of you, double and triple check your ingredient measurements. Remember, baking is about precision, and we want our cakes to be perfectly caramelized and pleasantly balanced with the right amount of moisture. Inaccurate and poorly measured ingredients can ruin a delicious cake. And the last thing we want to do is ruin a delicious cake, right?
Next, it’s important that you can easily remove your perfectly browned cake to add icing and all the sweet fixings your heart desires. By properly greasing and lining your cake tin, you should have no problems doing this. However, nothing is worse than a cake stuck in a tin and falling apart. Do not let all your hard work go to waste this way.
At this point, you’ve poured the batter and are placing the cake in the oven. But wait, not so fast. There is an appropriate place for this delicious cake in the oven, and it is on the middle shelf. The middle shelf is where the magic happens and where the best results come from when baking. As a quick note of caution, never place more than two cakes in the oven a once. Add more than two and they may not cook evenly and will take longer to cook.
Keep in mind that a cake baked at 300 degrees is lighter and fluffier than a cake baked at 400 degrees. At 300 degrees, the middle will be pale with a nicely browned crust. A cake baked at 400 degrees will have a darker outer crust and a drier surface. At 350 degrees, you have the best of both worlds with a light, fluffy texture and caramelized flavor.
Nearing the finish line
After taking all the necessary precautions, there may still be a chance that your cake may cook unevenly. If you find that your cake is browning quickly but the middle is still not done, cover it with foil. Always check to see if the middle is done with a skewer before taking the cake out of the oven. Once you’ve determined it’s ready, let your cake completely cool down and ice it. Otherwise, your icing will melt into a thick syrup and drip all over the place.
Usually, baking mishaps can be attributed to the wrong baking temperature. Any adjustments in baking temperatures for cakes will change your desired outcome. We recommend using an oven thermometer to ensure accurate baking temperatures.
Have you had success in baking the perfect cake? We’d love to hear your stories and not-so-secret recipes — share them with us on our Facebook page. If you have baking questions or need baking supplies, we are ready when you are! Until next time, happy baking!