Sorry to bother folks with a stupid question, but I am just starting out doing "fancy" cakes, although I have baked basic ones for years. I got some different pans (Wilton) for tiers and was wondering, do I follow the temperature for the recipe, or the time and temp listed on the directions that came with the pans. Sometimes they are quite a bit different! Thanks all.
Buy an oven thermometer, first. Ovens are not all the same, they DO have hot spots and you'll need to know your oven's quirks before you begin to experiment with times.
I'd run small cakes at different times (6inch) of new recipes. It's really going to be a not an easy question for anyone here to answer for you.
I CAN tell you that any doctored recipe using a box mix as a base, ignore the box temp and cook at 325 to begin with. It will help you get a 'flatter' cake as the higher temp causes the sides to be done when the center is still wet so you end up with a huge dome.
I agree w/the advice to get a *good quality* oven thermometer right off!
If you bake regular box mix cakes at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn it up to 325 for an additional 15-20 minutes you will get a great tastiing, moist, level cake without that nasty hump in the middle that needs to be cut off.
Thanks guys. I make all my cakes from scratch rather than boxes. I am just a hobby baker, so I have time to play with recipes. I do have a decent oven (well one decent one and one not so good one) but I do check it periodically. I appreciate the answers! I have gotten the hump in the middle and the opposite with a sunken spot in the middle. Ughh.
Follow the directions of your recipe. Always
minutes you will get a great tastiing, moist, level cake without that nasty hump in the middle that needs to be cut off.