Hi all !
For past few weeks all my cakes have been coming out uncooked in the middle ( I have been using wilton's oval cake pans as the quantity is large). While in the oven, the centre looks lumpy/gooey and edges cook earlier. I fill the pan between 1/2 to 2/3 with cake batter.
I even tried covering brownies with a foil paper, but by the time centre was done, the edges were overcooked. I did not use wilton pan (used some pan I picked up from a super market).
Bought a new oven thermometer, the temperature is fine ( I keep it near the oven door, hanging on the edge of the middle tray).
I always check with a skewer. But twice the skewer came out clean & I could not be happier. Turns out the top most layer of the cake was raw (not very raw but raw enough to be sticky and was yuck !)
I once put flower nail in the centre of a round cake pan , but could not taste the cake as it was for my husband's colleague.
I have been baking for quite some time now but I have never faced this problem before. Many years ago when carrot cake used to cook quicker on the edges than the centre, I would cover with foil paper and decrease the oven temperature by 10-20 C. However, I can't cover the pans now because top of the batter will touch the foil.
Please help !! My confidence is shattered ! I am running a small scale business from my home and I have no idea how to tackle this problem.
Bake Even strips or damp towels wrapped around the pan (to reduce the heat getting to the edges so that they cook slower allowing the center of the cake to catch up).
Flower nail for the center (gives the center its own 'heat source' like the side of the pan provides for the batter on the edges).
Dropping baking temp by about 25F
Any combination of these 3 should work, just have to try them out to find out which combo works with your unique situation (oven, batter etc.).
If you want to use a piece of foil over your cake while in the oven, tent it over the cake. Take the foil and fold in half, crease it and then open it back up a bit so the crease remains and the foil stands over the cake. It's called tenting.
I do this when the cake is almost done--I do it all the time and I even keep the foil over the cake after it comes out of the oven to trap that last bit of heat. If a little bit of the cake top sticks to the foil and comes off oh well. Oh yeah I also spray it with Pam so it really doesn't stick much if at all.
Your cake might be telling you that your thermometer is no good. Not the first time that has happened with a "new" inexpensive thermometer.
Or else your pans are too large for your oven--they might be preventing circulation of the heat. Keep the pans to the front of the oven and make sure there is at least 3" all around each edge of each pan.
Don't try to bake too many cakes at the same time unless you can use two racks and stagger the pans. They will then take a little longer than normal to bake.
Using foil on top of pans will mess up bigger cakes because they have more steam to vent after they have baked competely. Best practise regardless of pan size is to use the magic strips and to allow ALL cakes to cool completely in the pan before you try to remove them.
thank you. i will try using the foil paper the way you have suggested.
I am using only 2 cake pans at a time. Just threw away my old thermometre. I am in Dubai and the options are very limited when it comes to baking (as in buying baking ware). Have not seen any expensive thermometres here. I think I will order online. I have even kept the pans at the front. The funny part is, it has been just few weeks that my oval cakes are cooked in the middle. Every thing is constant: oven, temperature, pans, technique etc. Thank you !
You may have a problem with your oven. I had that exact problem a few years ago. The first clue was that the oven took a long time to heat up. It did reach the proper temperature though. But then my cakes were cooking so slowly, and even then, not cooking in the center. It turns out one of the electrical coils wasn't working causing slower heating and uneven distribution of heat. It is a Dacor electric convection oven, (which I love) and the problem was with the computerized control panel. One $500 house call later, it was fixed and has worked fine ever since. I hope your problem is not as expensive! If it had been a bad coil rather than the computer control panel, it apparently would have been a cheap fix. I also check every cake that goes out the door by leveling the top. Even if it doesn't need it, I take a 1/4" off the top to look inside for doneness, and also a taste test. (My teenage son appreciates the scraps!). HTH