Last Updated on March 17, 2023
Cakes are a delicious dessert, but sometimes they can be tricky to get right. So, you may have wondered, can you put a cake back in the oven? For proper flavor and texture, a cake must be fully cooked before enjoying it.
When baking a cake, the time and temperature you bake it will vary by the recipe. In addition, since not every oven is the same, the baking time may range by a few minutes. This can make it hard to know exactly when your cake is done, as you don’t want to under or overbake it.
Can You Put a Cake Back in the Oven?
If you pull out your cake from the oven and notice it is not done, you can still put it back in the oven. However, if you don’t notice that your cake is underbaked until it is fully cooled, it is too late to put it back in the oven.
If the cake is hot and fresh out of the oven, you can put it back in if it is not fully baked yet. Depending on how underbaked it is, put it back in increments of 2-10 minutes until it is done.
If your cake is fully cooled and you only just realized it is underbaked, it is unfortunately too late to put it back in the oven. At this point, it will dry out the parts that are baked, and the raising agents won’t be active anymore, so it won’t rise.
How to Tell if Your Cake is Not Done Yet
Fortunately, there are some handy tips to tell if your cake is not done yet. Knowing the difference between a cake that is underbaked, done, and overbaked can help save you stress in the kitchen.
Toothpick Still Has Batter on it
One of the oldest tricks to tell if a cake is done is to insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the cake is done, it will come out clean or in some cases, with a few crumbs. However, if the toothpick comes out with wet batter or lots of crumbs, it needs more time in the oven.
The Cake is Pale in Color
When done baking, white or vanilla cakes will have a golden brown color to them. If your cake is pale in color with no browning at all, it likely needs more time in the oven.
It Does Not Bounce Back Slightly
When a cake is done baking, it should bounce back slightly when you gently touch it. If your cake does not bounce back at all, it is oftentimes a sign that it needs to bake for longer.
It Does Not Have a Spongy Texture
If your cake is dense or thick, it could be a sign that it needs a bit more time in the oven. In most cases, cakes should have a light, fluffy texture.
How to Ensure an Even Bake On Your Cake
To save you the stress of an underbaked cake, there are some steps you can take to ensure a delicious cake. Carefully following these steps can help ensure an even bake.
Preheat Your Oven
Preheating your oven is a step you don’t want to skip. To allow your cake to bake evenly, you want to make sure that your oven is already at the right temperature. If you put it in before the oven is done preheating, you risk underbaking.
Avoid Opening the Oven Door
It can be tempting to open the oven door to check to see how your cake is doing. However, you want to keep this to a minimum, as it can cause heat to escape the oven and even prevent your cake from properly rising.
Check Your Oven Temperature
If your baked goods seem to take a while to bake, you may want to check your oven temperature to ensure it is reaching the right temperature. You can purchase an oven thermometer that will give you an accurate reading of how hot your oven is.
Be Sure to Properly Measure All Ingredients Carefully
Be sure to measure out all of your ingredients carefully. Too much flour and your cake will be dry and dense, too much liquid and it will be thick and stodgy. For the most accurate results, it is best to weigh out your ingredients with a kitchen scale.
Avoid Using Old Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Leaving agents are vital ingredients in cakes as they give them a fluffy, light texture. If your baking soda or baking powder is old, it won’t activate in your cake batter, so your cake won’t rise.
Is it OK to Leave the Cake in the Oven After Baking?
With some baked goods, you can leave them in the oven. However, the cake is definitely not one of them! As soon as the recommended baking time is up, you should remove your cake from the oven. This is because if you leave your cake in the oven, even when turned off, it will still be hot and your cake will still be baking. This may lead to a burnt, dry cake.
Cake Not Cooked in Middle: What to Do
If your cake is not cooked in the middle and you realize it before it’s completely cooled, you can cover the cake in foil and place it back in the oven. Bake for around 10-12 minutes. Check after around 7 minutes to see how it’s baking.
How to Fix Underbaked Cake
How to fix underbaked cake depends on which part of the cake is underbaked.
If your entire cake is underbaked, just place it back in the oven at the baking temperature of the recipe you’re following. Around 15-20 minutes is usually enough time, but be sure to check throughout and check whether it’s ready using the toothpick method.
If the bottom of your cake is underbaked, it becomes a little trickier. If you can turn off the upper and lower functions manually, simply turn off the upper and place it back in the oven. However, if you don’t have this function in your oven, cover the top of your cake in foil and place it back into the oven.
If the middle of your cake is underbaked, cover the cake with foil and place it back into the oven. Bake for around 10-15 minutes, but be sure to keep a watchful eye on it throughout. Use a toothpick to check when your cake is done.
How to Fix Undercooked Cheesecake
if you realize that your cheesecake isn’t cooked enough, there are a few methods to try to salvage what you can of your cheesecake. Let’s take a closer look.
- Time. Cheesecake should never be served immediately after being baked. The longer you leave your cheesecake, the firmer it becomes. Chilling for at least 4 hours is recommended before slicing and serving.
- Water Bath. If this doesn’t work, you can try to re-bake your cake in a water bath, but this isn’t often recommended as it can cause serious damage to your cheesecake. Wrap your cheesecake pan with foil and place the pan into a bath filled with an inch of hot water. Place into the oven at a low temperature. Check throughout. Remove from oven once your cheesecake is 150F.
- Slow Cook. If you don’t want to use a water bath, you can try placing your cheesecake back into the oven as it is. Low and slow is best for fixing underbaked cheesecakes. Check the temperature of your cake every five minutes or so. Remove from oven once your cheesecake is 150F.
What to Do With Underbaked Cake
If your cake is underbaked and there’s nothing you can do to save eat, just remove the parts that are underbaked and save the baked parts. It’s important not to eat any completely underbaked cake as this can make you ill. With the salvageable pieces, you can make cake pops, cake trifles, or even mini pieces of cake instead.
What to Do With Overbaked Cake
If you have overbaked cake and you’re not sure what to do with it, there are many ways to use it. Why not try one of the following ideas? And please let us know if you have more ideas of your own
- cake pops
- cake truffles
- chocolate cake cookies
- cake milkshake
- pie crust
- cake trifles
- cover in frosting, glaze, or simple syrup
Preventing An Underbaked Cake
As long as you catch it while the cake is still warm, you can put an underbaked cake back in the oven to finish baking. However, once it has fully cooled, it is too late to return to the oven.
Do you have any questions regarding whether can you put a cake back in the oven? If so, please ask any questions about baking a cake in the comments.
How Do I Know if My Cake is Undercooked?
If you insert a toothpick in the middle of your cake and there is batter on it, then your cake is undercooked. Other signs of an underbaked cake include dense texture, pale color and it does not bounce back when you gently touch it.
Can You Rebake a Cake?
If your underbaked cake is fresh out the oven and still hot, you can still put it back in the oven to bake. However, if your cake is already fully cooled, it is too late to rebake it.
Can You Put a Cake Back in the Oven After it Has Cooled?
No, you can not put a cake back in the oven once it has cooled. The leavening agents won't be active anymore and it will cause the parts that are baked to dry out.
What to Do With Undercooked Cake?
If your cake is fully cooled and you realized that is it underbaked, it generally won't taste the best to eat as is. However, you can use your underbaked cake to make cake pops or mix it into ice cream or milkshakes.
Ever since she was a young girl, Anna has been a lover of desserts. As an adult, she enjoys
baking a variety of desserts from cakes, cookies, brownies, bread, and more from scratch. She
enjoys sharing her passion for baking with others who also have a sweet tooth. From properly
measuring ingredients to making sure they are the correct temperature, Anna knows the
importance small details can make in baking. She wants to share her experience with others in
hopes they can make the most delicious baked goods. When she’s not busy blogging, Anna
enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen.