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Unevenly cooked cake with convection oven -- Inside not done

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My wife and I just started a bakery. We bought a used Southbend gas commercial convection oven and we are trying to cook cakes in it with no success. The outside of the cake is consistently overdone and the inside of the cake is underdone. We've lowered the temperature by 50 degrees a couple of times, but it isn't seeming to help. We don't really know if the ovens are working correctly since we bought them used. Cookies seem to do fine in the oven, but the cake business is picking up, and we really need this oven to work for us.

We are very discouraged because we're on such a limited budget and don't have the money to afford another oven at this time.

Any help would be appreciated.

post #2 of 10
Invest $3 in an oven thermometer. It'll take all the guesswork out of figuring out the accuracy of your oven. Also, convection does bake faster. The temperature should be 25-50 degrees less than a conventional anyway.
post #3 of 10
the cake thing may be the least of your problems.....I am not a baker by any means but a little more info would help. What kind of "cake"? Baking in what? Half sheets, full sheets, using risers, cake rounds?

Call the gas co. and have the oven calibrated, and as momoreg said toss an oven thermometer in there. Lower the temp. Am not a fan of convections myself-can you turn the fan off? Try low?

more info.......
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Baking problems -- more details

We have been trying to cook 1/2 sheet cakes. We've been cooking with the fan speed on low -- haven't tried it on high yet. We've lowered the temperature several times, but we definitely haven't found the magic number yet. Thanks for all of the advice. We are doing quite well right now, other than the oven, although it's a lot of work.
post #5 of 10
I was to understand that convection ovens where not good for cakes to begin with which to me, sounds like what the issue is.

But if I'm wrong (which I usually am :rolleyes: ), it sounds like your baking at too high of a temperature, using improper cake tins, filling the tins with too much batter, or theres something wrong with the recipe.

I'd do a little research into the compatability of cakes in convection ovens but I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere the you should use them for cakes.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I did hear that convection ovens were not good for cakes

I did hear that convection ovens weren't good for cakes from someone else. We have a commercial Viking gas oven that we've been using for cakes, but we can only cook 4 cakes at a time.

We have two fan speeds. So far, we've only been cooking with low fan speed. Also, as you said, it could be the type of cake pans we are using. They work perfectly when we are using conventional ovens, but maybe the heat transfer is not correct in the convection oven. Most people have told me that the temperature is probably too high. We've lowered it several times, and our cooking time is now up to 1 hour with still bad results.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. We just opened our bakery Wednesday, and we've made a profit for all three days that we've been open. However, we have 12 cake orders due by Monday morning, and it sure would be nice to have our convection oven working for us.

People were meant to sleep for more than 4 hours a night.
post #7 of 10
People were meant to, bakers weren't! :D
post #8 of 10
still not sure what kind of cake your baking-sponge, high ratio, etc-but yes, lower the temp. On many convections you can't turn the dang fan off, sounds true in your case so low is best. Rotate your pans once while baking for a more uniform bake. This will help avoid the hotspots convections have, and allow for a more even cake. If working with a sponge, the fan tends to blow the batter to one side...giving a no so flat result.

1 hour bake for a half sheet does sound excessive though. Are you using pan risers? How deep are your cakes?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Finally found the magic formula -- thanks for the help

Basically, we used lowest fan speed possible, 200 degrees, rotated once, cooked for 1.5 hours.

It certainly been enlightening to me listening to the number of bakers that don't use convection for their cakes. I always thought that this was the way to do it in bulk, but I'm learning differently.

Thanks for all of the help. I hope to be able to contribute to the forums also.
post #10 of 10
I use a convection oven and love it for cakes, cheesecakes and cookies. I lower the temp by 50 degrees and my baking time is slighty less than a conventional oven baking times. Low fan speed is best and I always rotate the cakes a time or two and if the oven is really loaded up my baking time will increase a bit as well as with heavy batter cakes....ie carrot. I agree with the others on the calibration and thermometer...it really is worth it to have it calibrated and it won't cost an arm and a leg plus once the oven is working properly you've save on baking time.

Congrats on your opening! My shops been open three years ( I just do custom cakes/cookies) and just went by appointment only....woo hoo, now I have a life and can finally get some sleep! It is alot of hard work and a HUGE learning experience but so far no regrets.

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