How to Ice a Cake Smoothly

How to Know When Your Cake is Done Baking

No matter how experienced you are at baking, it can sometimes be tricky to work out if a cake is ready to be removed from the oven. Learn how to tell when your cake is done with Betty Crocker™.

How to Tell When Your Cake is Done

New to the baking game? How are you supposed to know when your cake is ready without opening the oven every five minutes? It might seem tricky, but there are a few simple ways to test if your cake is fully cooked.

The edges pull away

One of the tell-tale signs that your cake is ready or soon to be ready, is the edges. These are usually the first area to be cooked and will move inwards away from the cake tin as the mixture begins to tighten. Before you open the oven, have a peek through the glass and see if this has happened yet. There should be a slight gap between the tin as you notice the cake pull away.

However, for some cakes, you are not required to grease the tin. Meaning that you won't be able to judge how ready your cake is from the edges. This is true for sponge cakes, as support from the pan is required to help the cake rise.

Check the colour

The colour of the cake is another good sign that you're ready to take it out of the oven. Although there are many cake variations, how do you tell the difference between a sponge cake and a chocolate cake, for instance?

If you are cooking a lighter cake such as a sponge cake, the top should be golden brown, and typically the edges will be slightly darker as they are the first area to properly cook.

There are slightly different signs for a darker cake. For instance, if you are making a chocolate cake, you will not see it golden brown as you did with the sponge. Once a chocolate cake is baked, it will typically be a shiny matte-looking finish.

You can use these signs paired with other tips in this article to check that your cake is done.

The spring test

Another way to check the texture of the cake is by using the spring test. This is useful if you have tried a few other techniques but would like some reassurance that it's actually ready.

The best way to check if the cake is springy is to gently press down on the cake with two fingers, it should naturally spring back. This is a good sign that the cake is properly cooked in the middle and ready to take out of the oven.

However, if you notice that your fingers leave indents when you press down, this is a sign that you should put the cake back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again.

The toothpick test

If your cake passes all of the other tests, Great news! But you can also check how well the centre of the cake is cooked by using a toothpick, or even better, a paring knife (if you have one handy).

Insert the toothpick or paring knife into the middle of the cake, right to the base (don't worry, the cake will be fine). When you pull it back out, it should come away clean.

But, if you pull it out and it has remnants of wet batter stuck to it, or it appears to be a bit gummy in texture, then the cake needs further baking time in the oven.

Check with a thermometer

One other way to see if your cake is cooked is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your cake. For most cakes, the centre should be around 98°C/210°F.

Making a Perfectly Baked Cake

Baking a cake can be difficult at times, especially if you are new to the cake-making scene. We have rounded up our article into 5 simple ways to tell if your cake is perfectly cooked.

  • Check the edges of the cake, they should slightly pull away from the cake pan.
  • Check the colour – golden brown for lighter cakes, or a shiny matte look for chocolate.
  • The spring test – your cake should spring back after lightly pressing down
  • The toothpick test – a toothpick or knife should come out clean after inserting into the centre.
  • The internal temperature should be around 98°C/210°F.

How to Know When Your Cake is Done Baking