I’m an ex-BBC food production co-ordinator, and my department made The Great British Bake-off.
I learned the hard way that whether you’re an experienced home baker, or just starting out, sometimes your bakes don’t turn out quite the way you expected.
However, you shouldn’t doubt your ability – it may be your oven that’s to blame!
In this article I’m not just covering the best oven for baking cakes at home, but also common baked goods that you need a decent oven for.
Best Built-In Oven For Baking
Dimensions – H59.5cm x W59.4cm x D56.7cm
This electric oven by Logik is a bargain fan oven, with an energy rating of A and an interior capacity of 66 litres.
It has everything most people would need for a built-in oven for baking, if you’re not looking to spend a fortune.
It comes with 2 shelves and a tray that are removable and can be placed at 5 different heights, making it great for batch baking as you can rotate the trays and shelves as you need.
The oven itself heats up quickly and the fan allows for even distribution of heat for even baking.
There is also a double-glazed viewing window with an interior light so you can see how your bakes are coming along, without having to open the oven door and risking ruining them.
It has an enamel coated interior, so it’s easy to clean and has a cooling fan to ensure that the oven cools safely.
- Large interior capacity
- Removable trays with 5 positions
- Fan ensures even baking
- Viewing window
- Enamel coated interior
- Easy to use with dial controls
- 1 year warranty
- No built in timer or digital clock
- Interior is easily scratched by shelves
Best Oven For Baking Cakes
Dimensions – H59.5 x W59.5 x D56.7cm
With an energy rating of A+ and an energy consumption of 0.99kWh per cycle, this oven by AEG is energy efficient and great for baking cakes.
Whenever I’m next in the market for a new oven – this will be it!
It has 12 oven functions, including a steam bake option that allows for crispier bakes – perfect for pastries.
These options can be selected by an LCD touch display system that allows you to input exactly what you’re cooking. It has a usable volume of 71 litres along with 1 removable shelf with 5 shelf positions, allowing you to adjust the shelf.
One of my favourite features of this oven is the food probe that measures the exact temperature inside the food, which is great for cake batters that need to reach a certain temperature.
It also has a quadruple glazed viewing window, with an interior light so you can see inside. Another fantastic feature is the pyrolytic cleaning function, it turns any residue inside the oven into ash that can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth. Who wouldn’t love that?
- A range of amazing features, from a food probe to an auto cleaning function
- 12 cooking settings, including a steam bake option
- Quadruple glazed viewing window
- Interior light
- 71 litre usable interior
- Cool touch door with soft close
- 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee
- Timer can be difficult to use
- Glass can be hard to clean, but can easily be removed
Best Oven For Baking Bread
Dimensions – H59.4cm x W59.5cm x D56.7cm
This steam bake oven by AEG provides the optimum conditions for baking bread.
With the PlusSteam function, you can create the perfect humidity inside the oven to encourage dough to rise, just simply place some water into the cavity of the oven before you start baking – I love it!
The oven has a 71 litre capacity with 3 removable shelves and 5 shelf positions, allowing you to batch bake easily.
The additional heating ring ensures even cooking throughout the whole of the oven, yet it still remains energy efficient with an A energy rating and a consumption of 0.81kWh.
The oven has retractable dial controls as well as an LED display system and a programmable timer, so you won’t forget about your bakes.
There are also 9 oven functions, including a ‘moist fan baking’ setting, along with a wipe-clean enamel coating interior and a triple glazed viewing window and an interior light.
- 9 oven settings including a steam bake functionTriple glazed viewing window
- Programmable timer
- Available in 3 styles – white, black and silver/grey
- Food probe to measure internal temperature
- 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee
- Can be tricky to see the icons
- No grill pan handle supplied
Best Countertop Oven For Baking
Dimensions – H42cm x W51.5cm x D36.5cm
If you’re short on kitchen space, live in student apartments or love caravaning but don’t want to stop baking, this oven by Severin is a great solution.
It has an internal capacity of 42 litres, a single tray, with a convection function, a grill, and a rotisserie function.
It has a temperature range of 60 – 230°C and a timer that goes up to 120 minutes, as well as an internal light that allows you to see inside without opening the door.
Reviewers say they’ve managed to bake pizzas, bread rolls and 10 inch cakes in this oven, so it’s been tried and tested by similar-minded cooks.
- Compact design yet still has a generous 28 litre internal capacity
- Viewing window
- Temperature range up to 220°C
- Multiple oven functions
- 1 year manufacturer’s guarantee
- Takes a while to heat up, may have to cook things for longer
- The dials have different off positions, 1 at 12 o’clock and 2 at 9 o’clock, so can be easy to leave something on
- Large trays will not fit inside this oven
Best Electric-Only Oven For Baking
Dimensions – H88.7cm x W59.2cm x D57.5cm
This Hotpoint oven allows you to create beautiful bakes every time due to the circulation of hot air that allows for even cooking.
The oven has an analogue clock, LED display and a minute minder timer. The main fan oven has 74 litres of internal capacity, with 2 movable shelves and three functions.
The second cavity is a conventional oven with 1 shelf and a 42 litre capacity. Both ovens have internal lights, easy-clean enamel coated interiors, and an energy efficiency rating of A.
With a double oven such as this, you can create show stopping bakes as you can stagger the timings and have a different baking temperature in each oven, so there’s no need to wait for the oven to cool before baking a different kind of cake.
- Two separate ovens with a combined capacity of 116 litres
- Triple glazed viewing window
- Energy efficiency rating of A
- 2 colour choices – black or silver
- Extremely quiet fan
- Easy to clean
- Built in timer
- Analogue clock
- Not a cool touch oven door, so be careful if you have young children
- The grill has an automatic safety feature where it shuts off after about 10 minutes which can be frustrating
Which Oven Is Best For Baking: Gas Or Electric?
When considering purchasing a gas or electric oven for baking, it ultimately all comes down to personal preference and what you’re used to baking with.
The main difference between the two types is that a gas oven tends to have a more humid baking environment as water vapour is produced during combustion.
When baking breads or pies, the dryer heat of an electric oven is more likely to produce dry, or harder crusts that you may not want.
However, it’s said that electric ovens are more suitable for baking cakes due to the fan inside distributing the heat evenly around the oven.
Gas ovens are more likely to have a ‘hot spot’ and uneven temperatures inside, contributing to how evenly the food is cooked.
Overall in terms of baking, they’re pretty comparable – it just depends what you like!
What Is A Steam Bake Oven?
With the movement of hot air in a fan oven, steam adds moisture into your dishes at the right times and in the right amounts, meaning that steam cooking is a great way to bake cakes and breads that are moist, and there are now ovens that do this for you.
Most steam ovens contain a cavity within the oven to pour water into, and the heat from the oven turns the water into steam.
Steam ovens tend to significantly reduce cooking times especially when cooking in batches and the extra humidity ensures that the food doesn’t dry out.
The steam also ensures that flavours do not transfer, so you can bake a fish pie at the same time as a chocolate cake and with the extra humidity there’s less chance of burning too.
What Kind Of Oven Is Best For Baking Pizza?
The best kind of oven for baking pizza is a convection oven, which allows fans to circulate the hot air around your food and allow for even cooking.
Pizzas need heat at the bottom of the oven to cook their base, so it’s important to ensure that this is as hot as elsewhere in the oven.
In order for your pizza base to be crispy your oven will need to reach a temperature of at least 260°C (500°F), and it’s advised to let your oven reach this temperature at least half an hour before you put your pizza in.
You can also purchase pizza stones to cook your pizza on instead of a baking tray, which replicate the base of a traditional stone oven and absorb the moisture from the dough, allowing for a crispy crust without using a wood fired pizza oven.
When it comes to baking, different bakes need different things, which is why I would suggest that the AEG Sensecook is the best all rounder.
With 12 cooking functions, including steam bake and a food probe to check the internal temperature, this oven has everything you ever need to produce perfect bakes every time.