MadSci Network: other

Re: Can you bake a cake at 650 f for 20 min instead of 350 f for 40 min?

Date: Wed Mar 15 08:14:29 2000
Posted By: Jill Irvin, Staff, Food and Nutrition, Ohio State University
Area of science: other
ID: 952282742.Ot

No, you can't. You would end up with a burned outside and soup inside.

Most people think that, while a cake is in the oven, nothing much really goes
on. But, there are a lot of things that happen in the oven when a cake is
baking. For example, the fat (shortening or margarine or butter) that was added
has to melt and then coat the flour - this helps make the cake tender. There is
a chemical reaction that takes place to produce gas into the cake batter - this
is what makes the cake rise. And, the water that was added (either as water or
milk) has to heat up enough to evaporate. The final structure of the cake is
from all the proteins that are in the batter - things like eggs, the protein
that is in the flour, milk perhaps. These eventually are cooked enough to be a
permanent structure - this makes the difference between having a springy cake
and soup.

All of these things take time, so baking only 20 minutes just wouldn't be

The other problem would be the high temperature. It would burn the outside of
the cake before the insides could be cooked. The higher the temperature, the
faster this would happen. At 350 f, there is enough time to get all of the
things I mentioned above completed before you would burn the outside. At 650 f,
the cake would burn too quickly and the rest of the stuff wouldn't be able to
get done.

So, you pretty much have to stay with the temperature and time mentioned in the
recipe if you want to have a good cake.

Thank you for a good question.

Jill Irvin
Ohio State University

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