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My oven has five rack positions. When baking a cake mix, at what height should the oven rack be placed at? If it helps, I usually bake using two 9" round pans. The box of cake mix typically doesn't specify. Is there a norm?

Also, at what height should the oven rack be when baking cookies (e.g. chocolate chip)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Mid height for cakes in non-convection ovens, slightly above mid height for thin cakes, top for cookies. In a convection oven it doesn't matter because the airflow distributes heat evenly throughout the oven's volume.

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Are you putting one pan of batter in the oven, or two? If two, then they should not be on the same rack - put one second from the bottom, for example, and one two levels up from that. Put one almost all the way to one side and the other almost all the way to the other side. That way the lower one won't block airflow and create a cool "shadow" above it that would interfere with cooking the upper one.

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