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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Convection Ovens

    I have a convection oven and was wondering what temperature I should use to bake cakes and also how long to bake a cake for?  

    I've just bought a copy of Kitchen and was wondering if the temperatures stated are for fan forced or conventional ovens? Thanks, Georgie.

    From the nigella team:

    Most large cakes will be baked at a conventional oven temperature of 170-180c, cupcakes and muffins usually bake at 180-200c. The baking time will depend on the size of the cake and the oven temperature but a cake is usually cooked when the cake has risen, the top feels firm, the sides of the cake are starting to shrink away slightly from the side of the pan and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

    Regular stoves and cookers can have convection ovens and some microwave ovens can also be used as convection ovens. The first point of reference should always be the manufacturer's handbook as this will provide specific information for your oven. Unfortunately we don't have much experience of the microwave and convection combination ovens so can't provide guidance on these. For convection ovens in regular cookers generally you need to reduce the oven temperature by 20c/50F if the recipe gives oven temperatures for conventional ovens - though if the oven has a digital control pad and a "baking" function then this may not be necessary (again consult your handbook for guidance). You should also check the cake 3-5 minutes before the stated baking time as the cake can cook more quickly, even with a reeduced oven temperature.

    Nigella's recipes always give temperatures for conventional ovens.

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