How to Cook Cake in a Glass Dish

by M.T. Wroblewski

Stores far and wide sell tempered glass dishes for baking and cooking – many marketed precisely for this purpose – and yet many cooks still wonder, “Are glass dishes safe?” There is no doubt that a shiny, metal pan is the instrument of choice for baking a cake because it will reflect heat from the cake to produce a light brown crust. By contrast, glass looks great and is convenient, even though it heats faster and retains heat longer. So what to do? Cook your cake in a glass dish with confidence by practicing good kitchen sense, just as you do with all the other tools and instruments in your kitchen.

Glass Dish Know-How

Read the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions for your glass dish. Ensure that the dish is intended for oven use. Check to see if there are any restrictions on heat. For example, a manufacturer might say that his product should not be heated above 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Take nothing for granted. A sturdy-looking glass dish might not be suitable for prolonged oven heat. If the instructions aren’t clear and precise, call the manufacturer for guidance.

Reduce the temperature on your oven by 25 F when following a cake recipe and using a glass dish. The lower temperature will counteract the fact that glass causes cakes to brown and bake faster.

Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack, warming pad or trivet – never on a cool surface or even a damp towel. An abrupt temperature change – known as thermal shock – could cause the glass to shatter.

Let Your Cake Rise to Success

Follow the directions regarding how to beat your cake batter. Under- and over-beating will affect both the volume and texture of your cake.

Ensure that you fully preheat your oven before putting your cake inside. Most ovens need between 10 and 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.

Place your glass dish in the center of the oven, unless the recipe says otherwise. In general, cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake leaves no crumbs or batter on the toothpick.

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Warning

  • Never place glass bakeware over a flame, in your broiler or in a toaster oven.

About the Author

If you can't see the world, then you may as well try to meet (or at least talk to) everyone in it. So goes the hopeful thinking of many journalists, including Mary Wroblewski. This is why you'll see her work in a wide variety of publications, especially those in the business, education, health care and nutrition genres. Mary came of age as a reporter and editor in some of Chicago's scrappiest newsrooms but softened up long enough to write nine children's books as well as one nonfiction tome.

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