First of all, for the best results you will need a fan-forced oven (convection). If your recipe is for a regular oven take 20 Celsius degrees off. So if the recipe call for 180C, set you over at 160C fan-forced. Make sure you pre-heat the oven and that you use the right setting. You want top and bottom elements to be on. Refer to your instructions manual if you are unsure.
I bake most of my cakes at 160 Celsius degrees fan-forced.
Secondly, you need your two cakes to be equal. You can bake different size cake at the same time but you need to have the right amount of batter in each mould. Get your scale out and check out the table on this page of our blog for the amount to had to common size cake moulds! I can actually bake a 2 tier cake in only 2 batches (3 layers/moulds of each 6 and 8 in)!
One more step before putting the cakes in the oven! You need some insulation outside the cake. This will help the cakes rising evenly and the outside will not bake too quick compared to the middle. No more dome cakes! No more dry edges! You can read more about how to bake flat cakes on our other blog post. If you want to know how to make sure the cake will have a nice edge and release easily from the mould, read about the cake goop.
I use the foil and wet paper towels method. Read the comparison between 5 methods on Craftsy website to find the one that works best for you. *UPDATE* Since I first wrote that post, I treated myself to Wilton baking strips. Easier to use 😉 * 2nd UPDATE* After one year, my baking strips were in a bad shape…. I now use wet towels that I warp around the moulds and attach with a security pin. The results are a-m-a-z-i-n-g !!! See how I made my own!
The cakes need to be on different racks to enhance the air flow and heat distribution in the oven. Put them off center but not too close to the sides. One of the cake on the middle rack and the second cake on the bottom rack of the oven. You can actually bake up to 4 or even 6 cakes at the same time in the oven. Depending on the size of your oven, you might be able to fit 4 x 8 in tins or 6 tins of 4, 5 or 6 in. You will need to alternate the position of the tins. For example, on the bottom rack but a tin at the rear on the left and one at the front on the right and for the middle rack a tin a the rear on the right and one at the front on the left. I should probably take a photo of my set up!
Don’t forget to put the timer on! About half way, interchange the cakes from middle to bottom racks. For the total baking time, follow the instructions of your recipe but check your cakes about 5 to 10 minutes before your timer runs out. I bake my sponge cakes about 30 minutes and the mud cakes 55 minutes. You can always cook them longer but once they are over done you can’t go back! I like to use a metal skewer inserted in the middle of the cakes (yes, you need to check both). This way I don’t throw out a tooth pick every time (that’s my green consciousness!).
Et voila! you have two perfect cakes!