How Long Does It Take to Bake a Cake?

Are you thinking about baking a yummy cake? Do you have all the essential ingredients and equipment, like a top-notch cake pan? That’s great. But now you need to know how long it takes to bake this delicious treat.

Most cakes will take around 30 minutes to bake. However, this time varies depending on the size and height of the cake. The type of cake can also make a big difference. It’s always best to follow along with your recipe and keep an eye on your treat.

Hey! I’m Michelle, and I love cakes – baking and eating them! I have made so many different types of cakes, from sky-high birthday bonanza cakes to German chocolate masterpieces. I’ve found out how long it actually takes a cake to bake.

Read on to learn how long a cake needs to bake!

How Long It Takes to Bake a Cake (3 Factors)

When it comes to baking times, there is no one size fits all answer. That’s because three factors will impact how long your cake needs to bake. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Size of the Cake

The first thing to consider is the size of your cake.

A small, four-inch cake will require much less time than a 16-inch cake.

Generally, a four-inch cake needs approximately 25 minutes to bake. You should tack on an additional five minutes of baking time for each larger size. That said, a 16-inch cake should take around 55 minutes to bake. 

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 4-inch cake – 25 minutes
  • 6-inch cake – 30 minutes
  • 8-inch cake – 35 minutes
  • 10-inch cake – 40 minutes
  • 12-inch cake – 45 minutes
  • 14-inch cake – 50 minutes
  • 16-inch cake – 60 minutes

Note: These timeframes are for traditional two-inch high cakes.

2. Height of the Cake

Size isn’t the only factor. The height must also come into play, too.

While most cakes will be around two inches tall, some prefer taller cakes to work with – which is completely fine. We all love a thick, tall, and fluffy slice of cake!

How does this impact baking time, though?

For every inch, add an additional five to ten minutes. So, a four-inch cake that’s three inches high will need about 30 to 35 minutes to bake, while a 16-inch cake will need up to 70 minutes.

3. Type of Cake

Lastly, you need to consider the type of cake you’re baking.

Not all cakes are created equal.

Take cheesecake, for example. Many recipes require the cheesecake to sit in the oven for upwards of an hour, if not longer.

That said, the best thing you can do is follow your recipe and watch your cake. 

How to Know When Cake is Done

As I mentioned previously, the best thing to do is to follow the recipe you’re using and to keep an eye on your cake. This does you zero good if you don’t know what to look for, though. Don’t panic – I’m here to help. Here are the top three ways to tell if your cake is done.

1. Edges Pulling Away From the Pan

The first indication that your cake’s done and ready to be pulled out of the oven is the edges pulling away from the pan. So, take a peek inside the oven window and check out your cake. Is there a small gap between your cake and the pan? Then you’re good to go!

2. No More Shininess/Golden Brown Appearance

Another way to check for doneness is to look at the top of the cake. 

For lighter-colored cakes, the cake should take on a golden brown appearance.

For darker cakes, the shininess of the batter will no longer be present. 

3. The Toothpick Test

The best way to check your cake for doneness is to utilize the famous toothpick test!

All you need to do is insert a toothpick into the middle of your cake. (No toothpicks? You can also use another object, such as a fork or a knife.)

If the toothpick comes out clean or with very minimal baked crumbs, your cake is done and ready to be pulled out of the oven.

So simple.


How long does it take to bake a cake? Well, it doesn’t take too long, but it changes depending on the height and size of the cake. The type of cake can also alter baking times! Before you leave this article, I recommend checking out some of these frequently asked questions.

Is it better to bake a cake at 325 or 350?

It is better to bake a cake at 350F. This is the ideal temperature for baking most cakes. However, it is always best to follow along with your recipe.

Should I use 350 or 375 for the cake?

Most cakes require a temperature of 350F. 375F is too high for the majority of cakes, and they will not bake correctly. 

Do you let cake cool in or out of pan?

Cakes should cool inside the pan for around ten minutes before they’re transferred to a cooling rack. The cooling rack will allow all sides of the cake to cool properly. Left in the pan, your cake runs the risk of being overcooked, which will end up ruining your pan.

Cakes Don’t Take Too Long to Bake!

Typically, most cakes take around 30 minutes at 350 F to bake. However, not all cakes are the same. You will need to adjust the time depending on the size and height of your cake. The ingredients can also play a role. That said, it’s best to follow your cake recipe and check for doneness regularly.

How long do you bake your cakes? Do you have anything to add to this post?

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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