Lots of variables come into play whenever you bake. Oven performance varies, baking pans are made of different materials, and ingredients differ, too. All these things can cause slight variations in the way batters and doughs behave in the oven, and that’s why we give specific doneness clues as well as time ranges in our recipes. Just to be on the safe side, though, it’s good to get in the habit of checking on your cakes and cookies a few minutes before the recipe indicates. And once they’re getting close to done, check on them often; some baked goods can go from underdone to overdone in a flash.