I Am Getting So Frustrated With Baking!!!

Baking By Amyand3 Updated 3 Aug 2010 , 5:11am by anxietyattack

Amyand3 Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 19

Somebody please help me, I cant bake a cake evenly to save my life. I have tried different temps, flower nails, heating core, box mix cakes, cakes from scratch, and I just can't seem to figure out what I am doing wrong. Most of my cakes get overly crispy(even burnt) on the top and not done on the inside. I use plenty of pan coating and I have been baking my cakes in Wiltons 3in high rounds. Is it my recipes, oven temp, cake pans, or what??? I am getting very discouraged icon_sad.gif

18 replies
indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:05pm
post #2 of 19

I'd say check your oven temp. Sounds like you might have it set on 350 and its really heating to, let's say, 400.

In general, I reduce the oven temp. If recipe calls for 350, I bake at 325 (on a regular home oven).

pianocat Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:06pm
post #3 of 19

I would check oven temp. Put an oven thermometer in and see how accurate the temp is. I also drop my temp to 325 and bake a little longer. Do you use the baking strips? They help bake more evenly also.

Amyand3 Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:10pm
post #4 of 19

I have tried dropping the temp. to 325, but maybe I need to drop lower still and just bake longer. I have not tried the baking strips but it may be worth a try. If I could just skip the baking part completely and go right to the decorating I would be much happier icon_smile.gif

pianocat Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:14pm
post #5 of 19

Suggest you check the temp as you may be getting a false reading.

funcakes Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:19pm
post #6 of 19

I have had this exact thing happen to me. My cakes would be overly brown on the outside and raw on the inside. It was the thermostat in the oven! not my lack of baking skills. I think you should get an oven thermometer and place it in the oven. You will need to check the thermometer ever few minutes, like 15-20. The oven temp. should vary only a few degrees. My oven was changing at lest 50 or more degrees. Bingo! Time to get the oven fixed or get a new one.

kansaslaura Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 8:24pm
post #7 of 19

Ooohhh yea.. oven temp is the culprit! I keep a thermometer in my oven and it's pretty new. You never know when it might decide to act wanky!

PS--just to add it's a VERY good idea to keep a thermometer in the fridge and freezer too. They're not expensive and can catch a problem before the milk turns bad.

erichazann Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:12pm
post #8 of 19

I usually bake Pillsbury mixes in Magic Line pans, with and without baking strips and always have perfect level cakes. My oven is new tho, so I'm pretty sure the thermostat is correct.

If I try to doctor a box mix by adding sour cream or pudding.. I usually end up with a dome/center explosion.. but still evenly baked, just not flat.

Does your oven have a separate dial for function? On/bake/clean/broil? When I was in college, our oven function dial was set to broil, and no one noticed for a long time.. we kept burning everything.

Magic Line, lloyds or Fat Daddio's pans will bake better than Wiltons, although it sounds like you have a more serious temperature problem.

BlueBurd Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:21pm
post #9 of 19

The strips are a great investment; I've found they work consistently better than the heating core or flower nail methods for smaller-diameter 3"-deep pans.


It sounds like you need an oven thermometer! Pick one up at Target on the way home - you can get a decent one for a great price - and you'll save money in the long run on all the ruined ingredients. (I have a nearly new oven, and it was off about 25 degrees! The thermometer saved my baking!)

BlueBurd Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:22pm
post #10 of 19

Forgot to add - can' help but have more fun with the cake dummies sometimes. You can get right to the "fun" part icon_smile.gif LOL

divinecc Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 10:36pm
post #11 of 19

Bake strips worked great for me too!

Bakingangel Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 11:12pm
post #12 of 19

I agree...check the temp and also get a small torpedo level and check your rack for levelness. Also, put your rack in the middle of the oven.

Just learned a trick from Sharon Zambito's latest dvd Back to Basics (Great dvd full of good tips). Place a rack below the middle rack and then lay two cookie sheets on it, end-to-end or over lapping each other a little if necessary, to cover the lowest rack. This will keep the cakes from getting so brown on the bottom. Always leave a space between the actual cake pans to let the heat circulate.

anxietyattack Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:32am
post #13 of 19

I use a pizza stone. It keeps the temp even since a lot of times the oven doesn't. Like when you open the door or the temp drops and the oven kicks on to bring the temp back up.

I get perfect even cakes everytime and without bake even strips.

divinecc Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:42am
post #14 of 19

Im going to have to use the pizza stone idea, I use mine all the time for pizzas and bread....why not cake!

Amyand3 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:45am
post #15 of 19

Where in the oven would you put the pizza stone? icon_confused.gif On the rack under the cake or directly under the cake pan?

sillywabbitz Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:51am
post #16 of 19

I agree it's probably your oven but I also got really crusty top edges using Pam or Bakers joy. Now I use homemade cake release. It's equal part flour, shortening and oil. Use a pastry brush to spread it on your pans. No more crusty tops and awesome sides and bottoms. I'll have to try the cookie sheet trick too. I need to order my DVDicon_smile.gif

PiccoloChellie Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 3:54am
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by Amyand3

Where in the oven would you put the pizza stone? icon_confused.gif On the rack under the cake or directly under the cake pan?

If you have a gas oven, you can put it right on the oven floor (just don't block the vents!). If it's an electric oven, put it on a rack on the lowest position.

I use untreated natural paving stones instead of a pizza stone. Same effect and it cost me less than $2 for a stone large enough to cover the floor of my gas oven.

Bakingangel Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 4:36am
post #18 of 19

The pizza stone makes sense to help steady the temp if you have to open the door. Clever idea about the paving stones thumbs_up.gif

anxietyattack Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 5:11am
post #19 of 19

I put it directly under the pan and I always use the rack in the lower third of the oven.

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