For baking, heat needs to come from the bottom of the cooking space, not the top, though many people swear by fan-assisted baking (aka a convection oven), which makes the heat come evenly from all sides, including top and bottom. You need to adjust baking times if you have a fan-assisted oven.
Does it matter which rack I use in the oven?
The short answer is Yes! You want your food to be in the center of the oven, which usually means the oven rack should be in the center of the oven.
What is the best oven setting for baking cakes?
The majority of cakes are baked in a regular oven at 180c (350F/Gas Mk 4), on the centre shelf of the oven.
Gas ovens that contain their heating unit in the bottom may save the space as a broiler drawer. This is often a very narrow space that acts as a broiler and fits baking sheets and casserole dishes. It’s ideal for browning the tops of casseroles, caramelizing chicken skin, or even roasting vegetables.
“The bottom drawer is for storing oven trays and other cooking utensils,” the manual says. “It can get very warm, don’t store anything in it, which may melt or catch fire. Never store flammable materials in the drawer.
Can you bake cakes on both racks in the oven?
Using Both Racks
When baking cakes and cookies, for example, you can certainly bake two pans at once. For cakes, if the pans are small enough that there is at least an inch of air space between the pans and the oven walls and in between the pans, you can bake them on the same rack.
What is the correct method to check for cake doneness?
The idea behind this test is you can insert a toothpick or paring knife into the center of the cake to see if the crumb has set. If the tester comes out clean, it’s done. If it comes out gummy or with crumbs clinging to it, the cake needs more time in the oven.
Rather than using the middle racks, place your baking sheet directly on the floor of the oven. This will “provide the hottest, most even and direct heat possible.”