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Best Tips For Baking In A Toaster Oven

Baking in a toaster oven

Learning to bake in a toaster oven means that you can make a variety of delicious cakes and cookies with just your simple kitchen top appliance. Why would you want to do that? Well, it’s more energy efficient, for a start. There are many reasons people would prefer to use a toaster oven to bake and I wanted to explore them with you.

Using a toaster oven isn’t like using a toaster. If you thought that toaster ovens are just powerful toasters, you are just like me before I bought my first toaster oven. It turns out that there is a world of difference between a toaster and a toaster oven. And this obviously includes the ability to bake cakes.

But learning to bake cakes in a toaster oven after spending our lives using conventional ovens is a real cultural shock. You will have to use slightly different settings, slightly different timings, and slightly different approaches to baking. When you can do that, you will get excellent cakes (as well as anything else you fancy cooking in your toaster oven).

Table of contents

  • Can You Use A Toaster Oven To Bake?
  • Can You Bake Cupcakes In A Toaster Oven?
  • What Kind Of Toast Oven Settings Do I Need To Know About?
  • What Size Of Cakes Can I Fit In My Toaster Oven?
  • Conclusion

Can You Use A Toaster Oven To Bake?

Unless you haven’t already guessed it; yes, you can use a toaster oven to bake. Unlike your regular toaster, baking is easy with a toaster oven. In fact, almost all toaster ovens will come with settings programmed into the oven to help you bake your favorite cakey goods.

Because you can use a toaster oven to bake, you can always use similar settings to cook anything else that you would use similar techniques for. For example, here are two questions I’m often asked by people wanting to buy a toaster oven:

  • Can you cook meat in a toaster oven?
  • How do you cook a steak in a toaster oven?
Baking in a toaster oven

Yes and by learning how to handle your device in particular. Meat, lasagna, casserole, toast, bagels, cakes, cookies – you can cook them all in a toaster oven. This means that you will be able to cut down on the number of appliances that you need to have in your kitchen.

Effectively, toaster ovens are brilliant because you can cook (or, in this case, bake) anything that you can fit inside them. As long as you plan to cook appropriately sized dishes, you can experiment and try out new things whenever you get the chance.

Can You Bake Cupcakes In A Toaster Oven?

Yes, easily. Baking cupcakes is a particularly favorite pastime in my household and we have found it so easy that even our son can use the toaster oven to bake them for us. Because they are small, fitting them into your toaster oven is not a problem whatsoever.

However, you will have to make some small changes to your usual cupcake baking method. Here’s my recipe so that you can change your own recipes and still get fantastic results (without making under baked cupcakes like I did throughout my first few attempts…)

Baking in a toaster oven

My Toaster Oven Cupcakes Recipe

You will need to gather the appropriate ingredients for cooking cupcakes, but here is a list of the things I use if you do not have a list handy:

  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup of granulated white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Now, I’m not a pro-chef, so you might find that you need to look up a full instruction guide on how to mix cupcakes elsewhere. What I can say is that I basically mix everything together in a bowl and then put it into cupcake casings. If you need a more complicated recipe than that, you’re probably already a better baker than me.

Setting Up Your Toaster Oven

If you know the appropriate heat that you would set your regular oven to in order to cook cupcakes, I would use that. As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to meddle with heat too much. You can instead rely on timings.

If you don’t, set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, make sure to check the settings on your toaster oven beforehand. There should be a “baking” setting on the front (this may appear on a knob, as a button, or on an electric keypad).

When you have your toaster oven set to baking mode, only the lower element will fire up. This means that you will get a bottom up bake and you are less likely to burn the tops of the cakes.

How Long Do I Need To Bake Them For?

With something small like cupcakes, I add an extra 5 minutes to my total bake time. But, if you plan to cook a larger dish, you may need to add 10 to 15 minutes to make sure it is properly cooked through (which is especially important with meat dishes).

Then, all you have to do is let them cook and take them out when they’re ready. And there you have it, toaster oven cupcakes.

What Kind Of Toast Oven Settings Do I Need To Know About?

As well as the “baking” setting that I described above, all toaster ovens should come with these standardized settings:

  • Toast; this is the setting that uses both sets of elements (upper and lower) in order to get an even cook on both sides. This is best for cooking toast, sausages, and bagels.
  • Broil; this is the setting that uses only the top set of elements in order to focus heat down from above. This is excellent for dishes like pizza or grilled chicken to get an excellent finish.

That means that no matter what kind of toaster oven you buy, you will always get a toasting, a baking, and a broiling setting. This should cover you for most dishes, but you may find more expensive models come with additional settings for specific dishes. Shop around and find the toaster oven which can provide all the appropriate settings you need.

What Size Of Cakes Can I Fit In My Toaster Oven?

This really depends on the size of your toaster oven. You need to measure your toaster oven and think about the appropriate cake you want to cook (including accounting for the amount of rising it will do) before you start to think about cooking large cakes.

Baking in a toaster oven

If you have a particular interest in cooking sponge cakes, I have a perhaps slightly strange suggestion for you – get a toaster pizza oven. They have large, wide bases (usually around 12” in width) which mean you can cook a full-sized cake in your toaster oven.

If you don’t have a particular interest in cooking sponge cakes, then most standard toaster ovens should serve all your needs. You can then fit in as many cookies or cupcakes as your toaster oven can handle.

This might mean you will have to bake multiple batches to get quite as many as your conventional oven can cook, but some especially toaster ovens can cook two batches without using as much energy as a conventional oven.


Can you bake cupcakes in a toaster oven? Yes. In fact, baking anything in your toaster oven is as easy as cooking anything in a regular oven. You just need to account for some small changes and you will be baking delicious treats for your family in no time.

Remember, you’re probably going to need slightly longer to get a full cook. But this can be cut down by using the baking setting on your toaster oven and thinking about the size of the dishes you are cooking. Ideally, you want to bake small cakes and cookies, but specialized toaster ovens are available for more ambitious bakers.

Also, remember to play with the settings on your toaster oven. You need to understand your appliance in particular in order to get the very best results, so make sure you really understand how long everything needs to cook. When you understand that, you’ll be able to cook, bake, broil, toast, and fry pretty much anything you want to.

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