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Can I Bake a Cake in a Toaster Oven?

Alma asks: I baked a moist 7-Up pound cake, but it turned out a disaster!!! The measurements I followed are:
3 C. all purpose flour
3 C. sugar (I used half the sugar)
5 eggs
1 C. Sprite (no 7-up available)
1 T. vanilla

Bake in 325 oven for 60+10 mins (1 hr.+10 mins). That was the recipe on YouTube I saw.

I preheated my oven @ 190 degree Celcius for 10 mins. I used a round cake pan (8 in. by 2 in.) and baked it for 60 mins+10 mins. Inside the oven, the cake was rising, but when my oven bell rang, I turned off the oven and took out my baked caked. It was heavy, unevenly cooked: toasted on the outside, uncooked inside. What do you think would be the cause of this??? Was it the oven? The mixing method? My oven is a toaster oven with rotisserie. Please help. I am desperate to bake a cake for my coming birthday.

Baking S.O.S. says: There are any number of things that could have gone wrong with your cake, but my guess is that the biggest problem was trying to bake a cake in the toaster oven, especially if the oven were set to “toast” rather than “bake” by mistake.

But let’s start from the beginning: The recipe itself could be part of the problem. If you have never made a recipe before, then you don’t know whether the recipe actually works or not. I have tried plenty of new recipes that I did not like the results, so rather than trying to make those recipes work, I simply scrap the recipe and move on to another one until I find one that produces the results I like.

In this case, the recipe does not call for any leavening agent to make it rise, such as baking powder or baking soda. Although traditional pound cake is made without any leavening agent, many recipes will call for some baking powder to help it rise a little bit. Since this recipe does not call for any baking powder or baking soda, that would explain why the cake sank after you removed it from the oven. There was nothing in it to make it rise and stay risen.

Also, since you cut the amount of sugar in half, that is going to affect the overall results, as well. Sugar provides not only sweetness, but some moisture to the cake, and it also helps the cake to brown evenly. Sugar caramelizes as it bakes, giving baked goods that lovely golden color. When you cut the sugar in half, it will certainly affect how your cake turns out. I always say that baking is a science: you must follow the recipe exactly the first time you make any recipe so that you know how it is supposed to turn out. Then you can experiment with adjusting ingredients to your own preferences.

Back to the problem of the toaster oven: You said your cake was baked unevenly–done on the outside, but not on the inside. My guess is that toaster ovens are not really designed to handle big baking projects like baking full-size cakes for over an hour. I cannot say from my own experience, but it seems as though toaster ovens are designed for smaller jobs–smaller items and baking for less time. Perhaps the toaster oven could not hold a consistent temperature for over an hour of baking time or when it was full of cake pans. If you have access to a conventional oven–even at a friend’s house–I would recommend baking your cake in a conventional oven.

Lastly, if your cake wasn’t fully done in the center at the end of the baking time, you can always leave it in longer and continue testing for doneness. The best way to tell if a cake is done all the way through is to insert a wooden toothpick in the center. If it comes out with wet cake batter, bake it longer. If it comes out clean or with dry cake crumbs on it, it is done.

Happy Birthday to you!

2 comments to Can I Bake a Cake in a Toaster Oven?

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