Ask Nancy

Do You Have a Question?

I'll be answering ten questions each month... and if your question is chosen, I'll post a personalized response!

Submit Your Question

Ok I am a novice "cake-maker". I tried my skills at my first sheet cake 12 x 16 last night. I did one box mix of white and chocolate so it was half and half. Is it possible to pre-heat your oven too much? I set my timer for 30 minutes and checked it at 17 minutes and the white side was done, the chocolate seemed done but when resting it sunk in and seems gooey? How do I fix this and what are some tips for next time.

Kayla - from Akron, IA

If you haven't checked the temperature of your oven lately, buy an inexpensive oven thermometer from the grocery store and see if it is accurate. Some ovens have a difficult time maintaining a constant heat, so it is possible that the oven got hotter than it should have. Ovens can also have "hot spots," parts of the oven where the heat is higher. Next time you bake a cake, set a time for half way through the baking time and rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Finally, when doing a side-by-side cake, make sure that the chocolate and white cake mixes have the same baking times. If not, you can always bake the cakes separately, put them side-by-side, and ice them together.


Return to General Baking questions

The Public Television cake decorating show providing easy projects for special celebrations. Not intended to replace instructional classes.