How to Bake a Cake

Flip through our guide for mixing, prepping and baking cake, then watch our how-to video.

Related To:

How To: Cake 101

Follow these easy tips for success every time you bake.

Prep Ingredients

First, set out your ingredients.

Measurements Matter

Take the time to be precise. Accurate measurements mean tastier results.

Bring All Ingredients to Room Temperature

Measure your ingredients while the butter and eggs warm up. Batter mixes best when ingredients are at room temperature.

Check Egg Sizes

Large eggs are the most common for baking.


Preheat your oven for at least 20 minutes. Use an oven thermometer so you'll know if your oven is running hot or cold.

Oven Racks

Position racks in the center of the oven.


Use a mesh strainer if your recipe calls for sifting. Just tap the sides.

Parchment-Paper Lining

Trace the pan on parchment paper and cut just inside the lines.

Butter the Pan

Butter the pan with softened butter or nonstick spray. Line the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

Flour the Pan

Coat the sides, bottom and corners of the pan, then remove excess. The butter and flour combination will help the cake come out of the pan easily once baked.

Preparing a Bundt Pan

With bundt pans, take care to butter all the nooks and cranies, then flour the pan.


Use the center rack of the oven. Only fill the cake pan to 2/3 high.

Rotate the Pan

Halfway through the cooking time, rotate the pan 180 degrees.


The cake is done when it's firm to the touch.

Toothpick Test

A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.


Cool in the pan on a rack for five to 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Bundt Cake Cooling

For a bundt cake, invert onto a platter.