Where Do You Place Your Oven Rack For Cakes?

Decorating By itsmylife Updated 4 Jul 2007 , 6:18pm by Sugar_Plum_Fairy

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itsmylife Posted 3 Jul 2007 , 3:31am
post #1 of 9

I'm sure this is an insanely idiotic question, but where should it be? I baked a couple of cakes this afternoon and the tops are browner than how it was in my old oven. The edges were really done, but the center was still liquidy, so I had to keep them in a little longer - once the center was done, they were browner than I would like.

I now have a Maytag freestanding double oven - little oven on top, big on bottom - no convection - I've been using the bigger bottom oven for the cakes. In my old oven, I would put the rack on the third position up from the bottom (old oven was a Maytag freestanding traditional....with the drawer on the bottom).

In this oven, there are 5 rack positions, and I put the cakes on the third one. If I move it up will it brown more, or will moving it down brown it more?

Thanx in advance for any ideas/help!

8 replies
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JoAnnB Posted 3 Jul 2007 , 5:17am
post #2 of 9

The center of the oven is normally preferred for cake baking.

for large layers, a heating core/inverted flower nails are highly recommended, and bake even strips, if you have them.

Also, even new ovens can be calibrated wrong. Get an oven thermometer to check the temp. It may be too hot.

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LittleLinda Posted 3 Jul 2007 , 11:54pm
post #3 of 9

I agree, the center of the oven ... so the third rack sounds like you did the right thing. Use baking strips to keep the edges from overbaking before the middle is done.

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Antylucifer Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 4:11pm
post #4 of 9

I use the center rack also, but saw a helpful hint on the food network although I can't remember what show. They say if your cakes are getting too brown to place a pan of water on the rack above your cakes and they will bake evenly....I tried it a few cakes ago, and so far, so good.
Good luck,

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EricaT Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 4:22pm
post #5 of 9

center of the overn would be best, its probably just going to take some time and testing out till you and your new oven get properly acquainted and learn to work together

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 4:24pm
post #6 of 9

Yep, the center is the way to go. Have you purchased an oven thermometer? It might be a good idea as your oven might run hotter and you might need to adjust the temp. along with the placement of the cake.

Also, just off the top of my head, I was thinking that if it's browning so quickly, maybe moving it down one position might help. And lowering the temp a bit, but cooking a little longer might help.

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itsmylife Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 5:14pm
post #7 of 9

Thanx for all of the responses. I always use the bake even strips (on regular shaped pans....which these were). And...I do have an oven thermometer...so I know my temp is right.

I think I'm going to try the flower nail and the water above the cake - that's a new one to me.

I just really wasn't sure if I moved it up one rack position or down one - if it would mean more or less browning in either direction. I'm not sure if the browning is from heat being radiated from the metal at the top of the oven (i.e. the closer it is to the top...the more brown) even though the heating element is at the bottom or if there is some other reason for it. Maybe Alton Brown would know icon_biggrin.gif .

Thanx for the suggestions!!

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Sugarflowers Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 5:19pm
post #8 of 9

In my oven, the cakes happen to bake better on the second from the bottom. If I bake them in the center as they should be done, then they do not bake properly. I'm not sure why this is, I have a digital oven thermometer, so I know the temperature is correct.

Anyway, try lowering the rack by one to see what happens.


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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 4 Jul 2007 , 6:18pm
post #9 of 9

Oh, something else I've done when I had a hard time getting the center to cook on some cakes is to put a piece of tinfoil on the top of the cake, dull side up.

I just sort of place the piece of foil on top of the cake just to help keep it from browning too much while the inside is still cooking. I've done this twice on some cakes that decided to be difficult and I think it helped a bit.

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