What Temperature to Bake a Cake

Plenty of people enjoy baking cakes. Not only does it make your whole home smell like a sweet bakery, but homemade cakes are simply delicious! But what if the recipe didn’t come with a temperature? No worries – you can almost always bake at 350F with success.

Hey, bakers! My name is Michelle, and I am a self-taught baker. One of the things I enjoy baking most is cakes, whether it’s for a birthday party, an anniversary, or just because my kids and I want cake. 

Cakes can be a little tricky, no doubt about it. From the mixing and creaming to the baking and cooling, a lot can go wrong. But today, we’re going to focus solely on temperatures. Below, you will find what temperature to bake a cake and what can impact the temp.

Let’s talk about what temperature to bake a cake!

It Depends on the Recipe

The biggest factor when it comes to oven temperature is the type of cake. Most cakes will bake between 325F and 450F. For example, a biscuit roulade needs 450F while a pineapple cake goes down to 325F. But for your basic cake recipes, 350F is the golden number.

You should always follow the recipe from start to finish. If the recipe tells you to use 350F, then do it. Follow the rest of the recipe to a tee, too. The recipe was created, tried, tested, and trued. If you skip or change any of the steps, you might end up with a #cakefail.

If, for some reason, your recipe does not have a temperature listed, you will almost always be successful with 350F. This tends to be the most common temperature for cakes. Just keep an eye on it. Your cake might need a few more or fewer minutes to reach perfection.

Size Matters

When it comes to cake baking temperatures, size does matter. The general “rule” in baking is this: the bigger the cake pan, the lower temperature you need to use. 

So, if your recipe calls for a 9-inch round pan baked at 350F for 30 minutes, but all you have as a 14-inch pan, you will need to reduce the temperature to 325F and add twenty more minutes to the overall baking time.

I know this can be a little tricky to remember. That’s why I always stress the importance of following recipes. If the recipe calls for a certain size baking pan, it’s for a good reason. You might need to buy another cake pan – but it’s a great investment for future endeavors, right?

Oven Type

Another thing to consider is your oven type. Are you using a convection or conventional oven? If you’re using a convection oven, you will need to reduce the temperature by at least 25 degrees (although you may need to go up to 50 degrees depending on the cake). You will also need to turn the fan off. 

Altitude

If you live in an area with a higher altitude, then you know how altitude affects baking. That said, it’s no secret why you need to change the temperature to suit your needs. The easiest thing to remember is elevations over 3,500 will need to increase the oven temperature by 25F.

Incorrect Oven Temperature

Just because your oven says it’s at 350F doesn’t mean it really is. Your oven could be lying to you. To make sure that your oven is showing an accurate temperature, consider purchasing an oven thermometer

Oven thermometers are typically less than $10 and are a huge game-changer while baking. If you’re noticing that your baked goods keep coming out wrong, it may simply be because your oven temperature isn’t accurate. Use a third-party oven thermometer to fix it instantly.

FAQs

Alright, bakers! It’s pretty simple. Follow the recipe (including pan size, oven temperature, and ingredients). If your recipe doesn’t state the temp, you’re almost always safe at 350F. If you still have questions, then check out these frequently asked questions below.

How long should a cake bake at 350?

How long your cake needs to bake at 350F depends on the recipe. Some require more or less time. However, most cakes that bake at 350F will be done by the 40-minute mark. I would recommend checking your cake around the 30-minute mark and 5-minute intervals after that.

Can I bake cake at 180 degrees?

If we are talking about 180C, then you’re all set. 180C is about equal to 350F. If you live in an area that uses Fahrenheit rather than Celsius, simply use 350F as you normally would when the recipe calls for 180C.

Can I bake a cake at 325 degrees?

Yes, you can bake a cake at 325F even if the recipe calls for 350F. It might take a little longer, and the top will be flatter than normal (instead of the infamous subtle dome shape typical for cakes).

How long do you bake a cake at 450?

Most cakes are not going to bake at a temperature this high. They simply won’t bake correctly, and you will likely end up with a cake that’s burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, amongst other problems. However, some cakes bake at 450F and are in the oven for less than ten minutes.

What is the right temperature and time for baking cake?

While every cake is different, there is a “typical” temp and time that will work the majority of cakes. I say 350F at 40 minutes is the goal. However, check your cake for 30 minutes and check every five minutes for doneness.

Final Words

Most cakes will bake anywhere between 325F and 450F, with 350F being the most common temperature. If you’re unsure what temp to use, I recommend setting your oven to 350F and checking after 30 minutes. Make sure your cake temp is correct with an oven thermometer!

What temperature do you use to bake a cake? Share your thoughts and cake recipes with us below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Favour

    I baked my cake 150•c in a convection oven with fan on for 1 hr and 20mins. The cake came out burnt and not ready on the inside and yet i followed the recipe. What could have gone wrong?

    Reply
    • Michelle

      Hi Favour,
      Sorry to hear about your dilemma. There could be a few issues. Your oven may be too hot (or displaying an incorrect temperature, rendering it too hot without your knowledge). You may also be filling the pan too high, or using the wrong type of pan for your cake batter.
      Happy baking
      Michelle

      Reply