The oven should be moderately hot, it should be heated up before the cake is ready to go in. One way to tell if the oven is right is to put a small spoon of flour in the oven if this turns a nice brown in about five minutes the oven is alright, another way is to try it with a little of the dough. Do not open the oven door often when cake is in the oven the cold air won't do it any good, if the oven is too hot put a paper over the cake and try and regulate your fire. Be very careful not to jar the cake while baking, it will fall if you do. The best and easiest way to tell when the cake is done is to stick a broom straw in it if the straw comes out clean the cake is done. You can tell when layer and small cookies or cakes are done by pressing the finger down on them just a little if the cake raises back not leaving the impression made, the cake is done, but if the impression stays there the cake must bake longer. Cakes with molasses or fruit in them do not need as much heat.