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At What Temperature Would One (or One's Friend) Bake a Cake?

My friend baked a chocolate cake. She baked it at 250C for 35 minutes. The top of the cake started to burn so she took it out and put it in the refrigerator for probably 1 hour. When she went to cut the cake, it was not cooked in the middle. What does she do now?

Oh, your friend baked a cake, did she? We wish we had a nickel (well, a quarter) for every question we get from someone whose friend has a cooking problem.

Well, ask your friend what in blazes she was doing baking a cake at 482F (250C) a temperature near the top of most household ovens. Most cakes are baked in the 300F to 350F range (150C to 175C). It is a rare cake indeed that bakes at 375F (190C) or above. At a reasonable temperature, the cake cooks all the way through without the outsides being incinerated.

If she was using a recipe that specified such a hot oven, she should get rid of it. If she was guessing at a good temperature, she should set her sights a lot lower.

What should your friend do now with a cake that is burnt on top and batter in the middle? We would throw it out and start over. There is probably not enough to try to salvage.

And in general, one does not take a cake from the oven and put it right in the refrigerator. Cakes are generally gently cooled on a rack at room temperature. Indeed, most cakes are not refrigerated at all.

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