for me, the thermapen is the #1 choice, get it if you can, but if you can’t, there are less costly thermometers, either made by the same manufacturer or by others. the ones i own are the ones i have listed on my amazon.com store. please don’t confuse this with an infrared which are great but practical for other uses. to test cake doneness, i prefer a tip thermometer (one with a needle tip), as taking the temperature with an infrared would only register the surface temperature and you instead need the temperature of the cake center
because i do a lot of new cakes and experimentation, specially baking in different pan shapes, the toothpick method isn’t reliable for me. the thermapen (or similar others) make me think i am using a high end toothpick with a digital readout.
i will be posting my last youtube segment for genoise rose, sometime in the near future (need to view it one more time on my editing machine), and you can see me testing the temperature of this cake several times, just to get the point across that 200oF is much better to notice than a clean/unclean toothpick.
happy baking everyone, and so great that electronics for kitchens are now affordable!