Baking Temperatures: The Do's & Don'ts


When it comes to baking temperatures, the first ‘do’ would be to follow the recipe. Cake baking temperatures in a recipe will have been tried and tested by the creator to ensure the perfect temperature for the perfect consistency. On a first bake of a recipe at least, it is worth following the instructions. However, if you have amended a recipe, created a recipe or your cake just hasn’t turned out the way you hoped, here is our guide to the dos and don’ts when it comes to baking temperatures.


DO check if your recipe temperature is fan assisted or non-fan assisted

Check with the recipe you are using as to whether the oven temperature for cake provided is for a fan or non-fan assisted oven. Fan assisted ovens tend to speed up cooking time, so you may need to reduce the temperature at which you cook the cake.  We would suggest doing this by around 10% and to keep an eye on it!


DON’T just rely on your temperature dial being accurate

Sadly, the temperature on your dial may not be properly corresponding to the actual temperature in your oven, which means your cakes won’t be turning out the way they should be. To get a more accurate reading, try using an oven thermometer. These are not expensive to buy. This will be much more accurate and therefore help your cakes turn out perfect.


DON’T underestimate how important the temperature is

Besides the most obvious points of not having an under cooked or burnt cake, what temperature to bake a cake at is important as it can have different effects on your baking. For a crust with crunch and a gorgeous golden hue, you are going to want a higher temperature. However, for a softer, fluffy sponge you will want to be using lower temperatures. Knowing this can also help you adjust recipes if you were not happy with how they worked out the first time.


DO consider the size of the cake


It may seem an obvious point but different size cakes will require different cake baking temperatures and lengths of time to cook. For example, a large dense cake will have a different baking time and temperature to the same mixture spooned into miniature cupcake cases.


DON’T forget to think about the tin

Not only does the cake baking temperature and time depend on the size of the cake, it also depends on the size and shape of the tin. Remember to keep this in mind when considering what temperature to bake a cake. For example, cakes in thicker tins may require a slightly higher temperature.


DO consider your fats

The different levels of fat in different cake recipes will alter the cooking time. Typically, cakes lower in fat will require more cooking time at a lower temperature. You also want to consider what you want your end result to be. For example, with a cake you want to typically contain the moisture, so you will want to keep the temperature lower. However, in other bakes you may want to remove the moisture by cooking it at a higher temperature, causing the moisture to evaporate.


DO think about the sugar

When you have a cake high in sugar, you are at more risk of burning it, therefore you need to consider the cake baking temperature carefully. Cakes high in sugar burn more easily as the sugar caramelises. This is also something to consider for cakes high in starch.


DO consider the raising agents

Some raising agents will only start to work once they hit a certain temperature. This means if they don’t hit that temperature, your cakes won’t start to rise…and nobody wants a flat cake!


DON’T cook cakes with lots of eggs at a high temperature

Eggs are protein rich so if you are using a larger amount of them in a cake it is best to stay clear of overly high temperatures if you do not want to risk your cakes coming our rubbery.


DO test if your cake is cooked

The easiest way to check your cake has been cooked at the right temperature for the right amount of time is by using a metal skewer. This should be inserted into the middle of the cake and then removed. If the removed skewer is clear from residue, you know your cake is cooked. If it is covered in uncooked cake, you will need to put it back in the oven until it is cooked and consider amending your baking temperatures in future.


DO consider our guide to the best cake baking temperatures:


Cake type

Time to cook (minutes)

Temperature (degrees)




Birthday Cake (round, layered)






Low fat sponge

45- 60



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