Best cake tester

Bakeware & Baking Tools

The old standby for cake testing — a toothpick — is a good option, but a cake tester means you’ll never have to go scrambling through a crowded cabinet to find them.

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Which cake tester is best?

The quality of a finished cake depends on the perfection of its bake. There is a fine line between deliciously moist and bone-dry, but since you can’t see the interior of a baking cake, you’ll need help. A cake tester is a simple baker’s tool to help you create perfectly baked cakes, cupcakes and muffins every time.

The best cake tester is a combination of ease of use and easy-care materials. Both professional and amateur bakers like to have a variety of sizes, too, and the Patelai Stainless Steel Cake Tester is a good choice that meets everyone’s baking needs.

What to know before you buy a cake tester

Before you pop your cake up onto the cake stand for decoration, you’ll need to make sure it’s done. A cake tester is the best tool for the job.

Number of testers

If you are a home baker that makes one layer cake at a time, chances are good you’ll only need one cake tester. For more active or professional bakers, a set of cake testers is more appropriate. This allows you to test a number of cakes at once.

Materials

While many traditional bakers use a wooden skewer or toothpick to test a cake’s doneness, cake testers take a slightly more durable approach. The pick of the best cake testers is made of stainless steel for both durability and for preventing rust or corrosion. 

The top of the cake tester can be made of a variety of different materials, but is most often some form of plastic. If the cake tester top is plastic, make sure it is labeled “BPA-free.” Additionally, never let your plastic cake tester top come in contact with any part of a hot pan or oven. 

Size of cakes

Your cake tester needs to be long enough to reach the center of the cake without submerging the top (or touching the bottom). Most cake tester picks are between 5 and 8 inches. If you routinely bake tall cakes, go for the longer cake tester.

What to look for in a quality cake tester

Easy to use

You shouldn’t need an elaborate instruction manual to use your cake tester. Beware of fancy cake testers with excessive features you don’t need. Professional bakers agree: simple is best.

Easy to care for

Even though they don’t get very dirty, your cake tester should be easy to care for, as comfortable in the dishwasher as it is being hand washed.

Different pick point shapes and thicknesses

Many cake testing sets offer two pick point shapes: pointed and flat. Pointed picks should be used when you don’t want to leave any evidence of your cake tester.

Additionally, the thickness of your cake tester matters when you are testing delicate cakes. A fatter, flat pick can leave a noticeable hole in the top of your cake. If you are making an unfrosted cake, this can mar your finish.

On the other hand, drizzle cakes want larger holes to absorb the delicious syrup. Having many different pick shapes and thicknesses is key to expanding your baking repertoire.

How much you can expect to spend on a cake tester

Cake testers are one of the most affordable tools to add to your baking drawer. Expect to pay between $3-$10.

Cake tester FAQ

How do you use a cake tester?

A. Testing a cake for doneness is simple and easy.

Using an oven mitt to cover the hand holding the cake pan, slide the cake out of the oven and insert the cake tester into the center of the cake. As best you can, only insert the tester to the center of the cake (where it is more likely to be accurate in its result). 

Pull the cake tester straight up and look at the pick. If the pick is wet, your cake needs more time in the oven. If it’s clean, your cake is fully baked and ready to come out.

Keep in mind as you test that cakes with fresh fruit can be deceiving. If you insert your cake tester into a piece of fruit, it may come out wet. Test in multiple spots for the best results.

Remember to pay attention to the recipe you’re using, though. Some recipes instruct you to remove the cake when there are a few stray crumbs on the cake tester. In this case, carryover baking will occur when the cake comes out, resulting in a perfectly moist cake.

When do you replace a cake tester?

A. Cake testers don’t have complicated electronics that can fail, but you will need to replace them from time to time. Replace your cake tester when:

  • You notice rust on the pick
  • The plastic top is discolored or flaking
  • Any part of the tester breaks off

Wash cake testers by hand to prolong their life. 

What else can you use a cake tester for?

A. Cake testers aren’t just for cakes. Professional chefs and home cooks also use them to check baked potatoes and other vegetables for doneness. They are also good for testing the cook on meat. The cake tester helps to gauge the level of resistance, determining when vegetables are perfectly cooked and meat is at the proper  temperature.

What is the best cake tester to buy?

Top cake tester

Patelai Stainless Steel Cake Tester

Patelai Stainless Steel Cake Tester

What you need to know: These durable stainless steel cake testers come in four different sizes.

What you’ll love: The thin stainless steel tester is durable and will not rust. The handles are either silicone or plastic and protect your hands from burning. Testers range from 6 inches to 8 inches and work for the deepest cakes. Pointed testers leave no marks on delicate cakes.

What you should consider: Some users found them flimsy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cake tester for the money

Betty Crocker Cake Tester

Betty Crocker Cake Tester

What you need to know: The First Lady of cakes offers a simple, affordable cake tester.

What you’ll love: This stainless steel tester is a good addition to the beginning baker’s tools. The pick is stainless steel, and the top is made from BPA-free plastic.

What you should consider: This tester must be hand washed.

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Worth checking out

Wilton Bake It Better Cake Tester

Wilton Bake It Better Cake Tester

What you need to know: This cake tester does the job and is a favorite of home bakers.

What you’ll love: It’s made from stainless steel and features a comfortable handle. This tester comes with a cover to protect it in your utensil drawer.

What you should consider: This cake tester is barely over 6 inches long — too short for some cakes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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