Daksha says: I was quite impressed by your site & decided to seek your advice.
I have been baking in an old Belling electric oven (my mother’s) for the past 30+ years and have a couple of standard cake recipes that always turn out great. However last month I bought a microwave + convection oven. My problem is that my cake in the new oven is dense and slightly undercooked though I am cooking it for longer.
In the old oven I used to bake at 350 deg F for approx 30 mins and the result was fantastic. In this oven, 180 deg C for 40+ mins is not giving me a good cake. I am baking on ordinary + convection setting, (not microwave.) The batter is butter & sugar creamed and eggs and flour folded in afterwards one by one.
I thought that buying this oven would make my life simpler and I could replace the old oven! Do let me know if you have any ideas that could help.
Baking S.O.S. says: I had a similar problem several years ago when I bought a new electric home convection oven, thinking that it would produce better results for baked goods. (Commercial convection ovens bake beautifully!)
But unfortunately, the home convection oven seemed to work almost the opposite of what you would expect: Instead of baking products faster and hotter, it seems to bake slower and longer. And instead of giving my baked goods a nice golden browned color (like commercial convection ovens do), the home convection oven did not give my baked goods any color at all. It was completely maddening because I couldn’t understand why it didn’t work the way it was supposed to!
Even after reading through the owner’s manual thoroughly, I could not understand how the home convection oven was supposed to work……Did I need to adjust the baking temperature somehow since conventional and convection ovens bake at different rates? The owner’s manual gave no guidance.
I finally gave up using the convection setting all together and simply baked everything on a conventional setting. Do you have that option with your new oven–to switch back and forth between convection and conventional baking? If so, I would recommend never using the convection setting.
I also finally gave up on that oven all together and finally replaced it with a gas conventional oven, and now my baked goods turn out just fine every time.
But aside from going out and purchasing yet another oven (as I finally did), I would suggest that you try to set your oven temperature a little higher to see if it will bake a little hotter and faster. If your cake is not done all the way through and/or not rising enough, then the oven is probably not hot enough to bake the cake properly.
Daksha says: Thank you for the advice! Today I baked at 220 deg centigrade. The result was better. It actually felt like cake! It did take much longer than expected, approx 30 mins +. The texture was still a bit more close than I prefer. But it browned perfectly.
The oven has only microwave, microwave + convection & ordinary + convection settings. The fan cannot be turned off for normal baking.
Because my 12×12 square pans won’t fit in the oven if they have to rotate, I removed the glass plate before placing the stand so that the cake wouldn’t turn. This doesn’t seem to affect the cooking, it’s convection anyway.
Will experiment at 250 deg next time and update you. Thanks for your help, I was thinking of baking at a higher temperature but needed that push that I got from from you.
Baking S.O.S. says: Wow, I am surprised (and a little disappointed) that you do not have the option of turning the convection setting off. How frustrating!But I’m glad the cake baked better at a higher setting. Do keep experimenting with higher baking temperatures, and when you find the right temp that produces the results you are looking for, make a note of it. It may turn out that you will need to bake other items that much hotter, as well. (Whether it is 25 degrees hotter, 50 degrees, etc.)