Does anyone bake their cakes in a convection oven? I was wondering if it helped bake the larger cakes evenly. As long as we are talking about baking larger cakes, do you bake those at 325 or 350?
Thanks ahead of time for your help.
I bake cakes in an electric convection, but larger cakes 14" + I like to bake in a regular gas oven @ 300.
I don't like convection baking for any baked goods. But in a few past jobs I had no choice. Convection ovens have hot spots so rotating pans is still necessary. And the temperature needs to be reduced 25-50 degrees for small cakes. For larger cakes reduce the temp 50 degrees.
It depends on your oven. You need to purchase an oven that specializes in baking. Both my home and commercial oven are designed for baking. No hot spots and fans don't blow delicate batters. Kitchenaid has a great home oven and Deluxe has a commercial baking oven.
I never use convection for baking cakes. It increases the rate of heat transfer so the cakes bake faster. I find this causes the rising of the cakes to be more rapid and very non-uniform. They bake faster on the edges (even with baking strips) and bottom and more of the rising happens in the middle of the cake, causing bulges and cracking (and dryed out edges). You can counter this by dropping the baking temperature. I already prefer to bake my cakes at 325F when using conventional baking, so I guess I'd have to go even lower with convection.
In my opinion, convection is wonderful for roasting - not baking.
I personally have a Bosch convection oven, and I love it. I do use bake even strips, but without having my convection on (in my smaller cakes) it just never seems to rise evenly even with a reduced temp. When I have my convection running they always come out much more even. I have yet to try baking my 16" pan in my oven without convection on. I hate to make something that big and not have it turn out the way I want.
The thing is all the word convection means is that there's forced air movement. It really depends on the quality of the oven. The lower end there is literally just a tiny fan in the back middle that moves some air, but not enough quantity to reduce hot spots and make a difference. The higher end models will have closer spaced and hidden heat elements, elements around the fan itself to maintain air temp, and larger fans that actually pull air out of the oven and force it back in around the sides rather than blow onto your food. So if you were really interested in them, I would definitely pay attention to the fan details. (I used to sell high end residential appliances and there is a HUGE difference out there in ovens that the public just doesn't ever get to hear about)
My convection oven bakes far superior to my conventional (calibrated and no hot spots). The conventional is a great oven, but cannot touch the finished product from the same batter that is cooked in my convection. If you study before you buy, ovens are built for certain kinds of cooking. An oven meant to cook the chicken at Applebee's at breakneck speed is not meant for baking.
I forgot to mention that sometimes depending upon my recipe (a cake that tends to be more dry) I will put a roasting pan full of boiling water in so I have some steam moving around in the oven too. Only if I have convection running.
Thanks everyone for being so helpful. I see that there is a difference in opinion. The stove I have is the Frigidaire Gallery series, so I suspect it is the low end of convection ovens. Thanks for the quick education, Im sure in the next couple years we will be looking to replace this one and Ill better know what to ask.
Unfortunately anything Frigidaire will be the lower end. If you're serious about baking I wouldn't go with anything less than a GE monogram, Kitchenaid Architect, or Bosch 800 series.
Several years ago I bought a GE profile convection oven. Their advertising stated that it was perfect for three rack baking. Yes! I was so excited. After the oven arrived I tried every configuration of three rack baking but nothing worked right.
Their technical support told me it was not meant for baking, the convection was best for meats. (I'm a vegetarian.) For cookies I should only use two racks and preferably turn off the convection. Then customer support told me it was my fault since I used margarine. When I responded that I used butter, they said that was the problem.
Eventually they sent a truck to pick up the oven and told me I was not allowed to purchase any more GE cooking products. I was banned from GE!
Good for you MimiFix. With that kind of customer service, that's a good thing.