Does anyone know why cakes are not flat when baked?
Cake mixes and homemade cakes contain a leveling agent such as baking soda or baking powder. If you want to decorate the cake, remove from baking pan when cool and turn it over, so the rounded side is on the bottom and the bottom side is on the top. And if it's too rounded on the bottom, use a serrated bladed knife and remove some of the cake so it sits flat on your cake plate.
In order for the edges to cook at the same time the center does, take an old towel and cut strips. Wet the strips (I use one twice the width of the height of the pan). and put is around the pan and straight pin or safety pin it in place. This slows the cooking of the edges and keeps the cake flat. I learned this in a cake decorating class. If they are now completely flat, put slightly rounded side down and fill in with frosting making to flat.
The cake bakes at the edges first and then the very middle is last to bake. This allows time for the center to rise for a longer time than the outside.
Bakers always cut their cakes to make them flat, then they place the cut side down and frost the "bottom" of the cake. That is why you always see a "flat" cake in pictures and at the bakery. The dental floss is good to use, especially if the cake is warm. The part you cut off makes great snacks for little fingers.
Running dental floss through it cuts great, too, with no crummies to make a mess.
I have a baker friend and she showed me a couple secrets - all her cakes come out rounded, but she uses the cooling rack to smash them down, right when they come out of the oven. Then she wraps the hot cakes in plastic wrap for a day (yes, a whole day) to cool, but not release any moisture. Then, when she goes to decorate, she cuts of the smashed part to a level surface AND flips the cake over and cuts off the top/bottom as well. Now you have a flat and very moist cake.
Use wet towels or wet Pan-wrap pinned around your cake pans because the outside is baking too quickly. It also helps to turn the temp down 25 degrees.
Nothing will flatten a cake faster then kid slamming doors, any kind will do.Cupboard's, kitchen door .Slam some drawer's & also the oven door. This will happen as your cake starts to rise. My mother used to warn not to slam the doors .I found out when I had my own kids just how well this works. Also using egg whites 2 egg's whites only equal one egg for recipes.For some unknown reason I could never figure out why my cakes would turn out flat when I used this method. But it too works
Good Luck! if I lived near you I would slam some door's for you. Happy slamming! Darlene
I found a detailed chemistry explaination of this ... We're never too old to learn new things ;-)
An old catering trick I have used for years and it takes no effort is, just a simple trick. When you pour the batter into the pan, use your spatula to push the batter up higher into the corners and leave the middle with little batter. It works every time. Heat makes the center cook the slowest and the batter naturally moves towards the center while cooking. The same applies to most baked items. If you make a pizza and leave the center 2 inches bare, when it is done cooking the topping, sauce, and cheese will have moved towards the center filling it up and cooking evenly.
Reduce your oven temp by 10º and also reduce your flour by 1/4 to half a cup. You will have a flat cake.
i want to try one of those wrap things. i think i will go on amazon to see about getting one. i hope they make them for 9 x 13 pans. if not, i will try the towel trick. thanks for that tip.
I just cool the cake in the pans and trim off the excess.
Use a long knife and the edge of the pan as a guide.
It's a snack for the hubby or kids who will then let me be while I finish the cake.
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