Because of the efficiency of anodized bakeware, you may have to adjust your baking time and/or temperature. However, the benefit to anodized pans is that they cool quicker preventing overbaking when you take them out of the oven… unlike many heavy steel pans that retain heat or un-anodized aluminum pans.
What temperature should you bake at?
Unfortunately, that is the hardest question to answer and one of the most common questions that we are asked. The baking temperature depends on numerous variables, such as ingredients, pan size, oven, altitude, etc. You get the idea. There just isn't a 'one-size-fits-all' answer. Instead, we must go through a list of questions to help determine the answer. Remember, baking is science and like any science project we must experiment to achieve great results.
- Oven type ~ Are you using a standard electric oven, a gas or a convention oven? The oven type and the age of your oven play a large part in your temperature determination. At the Fat Daddio's Test Kitchen we have an industrial convection oven that bakes much faster than my electric oven at home. I have learned to adjust the time and temperature for recipes for both ovens. Slate.com has an interesting article that explains more about how oven temperature really works. Bake at 350 degrees?
- Pan Size ~ The general rule of thumb when baking is "the bigger the pan, the lower the temperature". You bake a chocolate 9" round cake for about 30-35 minutes at 350 F. But, if you were putting the same recipe in a 14" pan you need to lower the temperature to 325 F for 50-55 minutes. Also, if you put that same recipe in a standard cupcake pan, then your would bump the temperature up to 375 F and bake for 15-20 minutes (Learn more about pan size).
- Altitude ~ This may be one of the most complicated variables. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure, which greatly affects baking. Not only do you need to adjust the time and temperature, but also the sugar, liquid and flour. King Arthur has a great chart to help you out, High Altitude Baking.
- Ingredients ~ If you add any ingredients, such as an extra egg, the baking time may be affected as well.
So, what is the best solution?
Honestly, the best solution is to follow your senses. Of course, follow all the guidelines listed above, but pay attention.
- If your cake starts to smell good, it's probably getting close to being ready to take out of the oven.
- Look at it. Does it jiggle when you move the pan? It's probably not ready.
- If you lightly touch the top, does it spring back? If so, it's probably ready.
- Insert a cake tester, toothpick or knife into the middle. If it comes out clean, it's probably done.
Make sure that you check the cake when you first start smelling it. Set the timer to check it again and repeat as necessary. The most important thing is to keep track of all the things that you have done, and WRITE IT DOWN for the next time. Remember baking is science... record your results!