How to Bake a Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow this easy guide for mixing, prepping and baking a 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
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.

Sifting
Use a mesh strainer if your recipe calls for sifting. Just tap the sides and take your time.

Parchment-Paper Lining
Trace the cake 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 — this will help your cake release perfectly — 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. Remove excess flour when prepping the pan.

Preparing a Bundt Pan
With Bundt pans, take care to butter all the nooks and crannies, then flour the pan. You're ready to add your batter.

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

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

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

Toothpick Test
A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.

Cooling
Cool in the pan on a rack for five to 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Be careful — the pan may still be hot.

Bundt Cake Cooling
For a Bundt cake, invert onto a platter. Perfect baking can be a piece of cake! Watch our how-to video for more.

Step-by-Step Photos

How to Bake a Cake 03:00

For cake bakers, here are the basics of mixing, prepping and baking.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Frost a Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple tips from Food Network to perfectly frost a cake and your homemade cakes will look bakery-worthy without all the fuss.

How to Make Milk Bar's Famous Birthday Cake

We stopped by Milk Bar's test kitchen location in Brooklyn to see how the masterpiece comes together.

How to Make a Basic Tomato Sauce: A Step-by-Step Guide

Read these simple steps for making a delicious tomato sauce, then watch our how-to video.

3 Common Baking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Plus the Only Cookie Guide You Need

Cookie Love by Mindy Segal is the perfect cookbook for home cooks who want to take their cookie game to the next level.

7 Tips to Organize Your Decorating and Baking Supplies

Much of the organizing of decorating and baking supplies comes down to labeled bins you can nest and stack.

How to Make an Apple-Pumpkin-Pecan Pie — Holiday Baking Championship [INFOGRAPHIC]

Learn how to make an apple-pumpkin-pecan pie inspired by Holiday Baking Championship on Sundays at 9|8c.

How to Make Pan Gravy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Read these simple steps for making perfect pan gravy, then watch the how-to video.

5 Showstopping Carrot Cakes to Bake for Thanksgiving Dessert — Fall Fest

Crunchy carrots may be a go-to for snacking, but this in-season root vegetable brings a whole lot more to the table when it's brought into your baked goods.

How to Grill Steak: A Step-by-Step Guide

These grilling tips will help you get delicious steaks every time.

How to Assemble and Cook Kebabs: A Step-by-Step Guide

These tips will help you grill your kebabs to tender perfection.