Making a Layer Cake

I love to cook and love to bake and most of the time, I do an excellent job. As I get older I find I have more time to do so. One thing I have never been able to master is a layered cake.

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Firstly, I purchased good Wilton pans and I grease and flour, but still can't get the cake to release from the pan. Secondly, once the cakes are layered I can not get it frosted for all the crumbs coming off the cake into the icing. If anyone has any advice or tricks please tell me. Nothing is too small. Thanks.

By Paula from MO

April 22, 20100 found this helpful

What you need(and they are hard to find) is layer cake pans that have a lever on them that you slide around when you are ready to take the cakes out of the pans. You slide the lever all the way around and this enables the cake to slip right out of the pan, when you tip it over. This was something I learned from my Mother when I was just a little kid. She wouldn't have any other kind of layer cake pans.

I don't know what to do about the crumbs, we never had much trouble with crumbs getting in the frosting. Maybe you are trying to smooth the frosting out to be too smooth. We always used a table knife to make fancy swirls in the frosting around the sides of the cake and on top. It was never nice and smooth. I think you need a special type of frosting to get a nice smooth finish. Back then the smooth finishes weren't really in,

To find the cake pans with the slider on them you might try looking at vermontcountrystore.com, or go to amazon e-bay and type in cake pans and see what you can find. I know I saw some of those pans advertised someplace in the last month.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I grease my pans, line the bottoms w/parchment paper, then grease again and flour. After they're cooled and out of the pans, wrap them well in foil or plastic wrap and freeze them. The trick to frosting them (my friend is a professional cake decorator) is to brush off any loose crumbs then put a thin coat of icing, this will seal any other crumbs. Then frost as you would normally do. The cold cake makes the frosting adhere better. It helps to have the right tools, which I don't but these tricks helped me. I also stumbled on a great site: baking911.com Hope this helps some. Hope to hear if it works for you.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I was going to post similarly to keeper60, except I didn't know about freezing them. (You learn something new every day!) I use Baker's Joy for my pans, it's a non-stick spray that has flour in it. It's great for Bundt pans, and I've never had any problem with my regular layer pans, either. I think they call applying that first thin layer of icing "crumb coating." That extra step really does help.

I hope your cakes are beautiful. Best of luck!

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Grease your pans well, flour lightly - tap out the excess flour. Cool in pans as recipe directs (5 mins-10 mins) then turn out onto racks.

For crumbs, before frosting, rub your hand lightly around the sides to remove crumbs. Also, do not let the bare knife touch the cake when frosting! Always use a sufficient amount of frosting between the knife and cake. Maybe it's your frosting! Make sure your frosting is the right consistency - too dry or thick and it's going to pull the crumbs up off the cake.

Using these tips you shouldn't have any problems. Good luck!

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Anonymous Flag
April 22, 20100 found this helpful

Other than what is suggested here I will add to cool them on racks too :-)

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

I decorate cakes as a hobby and have taken numerous classes. I either spray the pan with PAM and then put a wax paper circle cut the same size as the pan in the bottom and then spray it or grease (with shortening) and then flour the pan. When you take the pans out of the oven, let them sit about 10 minutes in the pan. A trick to get a flat top: As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, cover it with wax or parchment paper and set a heavy pan on top. Press down firmly for a minute of two and the dome will flatten right out. Then set your cake rack on top and flip it over. The cake should come right out.

After they are cool, wrap them in plastic and put in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 30 minutes or overnight (still upside down). If you are using canned frosting, you'll need about a can and a half to cover the average 8" round two layer cake. Place the first layer on the plate upside down. Put the layers together with about 1/3 can of frosting - so that both layers are upside down. The first thing to do is brush off the loose crumbs and then "crumb coat" the cake.

Mix about 1/2 can of frosting with a little (teaspoon or so) of milk or water and blend thoroughly. This will make the frosting a bit softer than the regular frosting. Spread a very thin coat over the top and sides of the cake - the cake will still be showing through the frosting. Put back in the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes. When you frost the cake, dump all the frosting on the top and carefully use the spatula to pull the frosting from the center of the top down the sides, a small section at a time.

After the sides are completely covered, use the spatula to carefully and gently pull from about 1/2 " below the top toward the center of the cake which makes nice clean edges. Then smooth the top. If you have frosting left over, add about a teaspoon or so of cornstarch to stiffen it and use a pastry bag and shell tip to make a border around the bottom of the cake.

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

1. Do not overbake the cake. That will create more crumbs. 2. Always go from frosting to frosting - in other words, dollop on a pile of frosting then smooth it over to a frosting edge of some you've already put on. Never finish a frosting stroke over unfrosted cake. If your first dollop is about the size of a nickel or a little more, do not spread it yet. Add another dollop nearby and spread from the new to the old. Keep practicing!

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

When it comes to getting the cake out of the pans, I quit greasing and flouring years ago. The only way to go is to use Bakers Joy. As long as you don't miss any spots with it, the cake always comes out. They always tell you to let it sit 10 minutes before trying to take it out of the pan, but I usually find it will come out immediately. Love the stuff!

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful

In addition to all these great tips, my mother would also take the cakes out of the oven, turn the pans upside down on a rack, and put a damp dishcloth over the top/bottom for about 10-15 minutes. This allowed the cake layers to cool off and pull away from the pan slightly. This took care of the cake-sticking-to-the-pan problem.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Hi, try using coffee filters in the greased pans, helps get the cake out much better and also eliminates some of the crumbs.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

To avoid crumbs. apply a thin layer of frosting first. when you are done with that apply a second coating and there shouldn't be any crumbs. I read this in a lot of cook books and cooking magazines.

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

I haven't read the previous feedback, so maybe this is a repeat, but this is a trick my mom taught me when I was a girl! Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray, Then, cut a circle of wax paper (trace around the cake pan and cut out), place in the bottom of the pan, pour the batter over the top. When your cake is baked, let it cool a few minutes before flipping, then when you turn it, the cake will come right out! Simply peel off the waxed paper layer and TADA perfectly smooth cake! Hope this helps!

Pam

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Wow! I remember the slider pans. My Mother had them too! I am with the other folk but would like to add to it. If you use lard/butter to grease with, I use a plastic sandwich ziploc bag reversed to grease the pan then while holding it, reverse it back. I store it in the fridge for the next time I bake a cake. The key is to make sure to cover ALL of the baking area with grease and use about 2 tablespoons of flour tapping any extra out.

I wait a minute (literally) before turning the layers onto a cooling rack so they will maintain a fluffy texture. Once flipped out and cooled I brush off the crumbs before placing them on the cake plate. Dollop to dollop is the way to go when icing! If I'm in a hurry, I will freeze the layers to speed up the process. Happy baking!

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April 23, 20100 found this helpful

Try using greased parchment paper, cut a circle and grease the pan put it in and grease the paper. if you are using a mix try that instead of the flour. Save a tablespoon of so. Chill the cake in the fridge, put a thin layer of frosting on (a crumb layer) rechill. Lots of work but worth the effort. I also have with brush and brush the cake before the first layer of frosting.

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April 25, 20100 found this helpful

A friend and I took a Wilton decorating class last year. I dropped out because buying all of the stuff they said we needed was going to be way too expensive. But, I did learn that you need to do a "crumb coat". Brush off crumbs and put a thin layer of frosting on the cake, wiping the spatula off as you go slowly. Then you re-frost. That's how you avoid crumbs in the icing. Even the instructor had issues so I was pretty intimidated. But, that's the technique she taught. Good luck with your icing. I'm sticking to cupcakes...haha.

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April 30, 20100 found this helpful

Don't know if anyone else has suggested this but in culinary school we were told to use a crumb layer then wait three to five min, either in fridge or on counter. But also when applying the top coat to use a lot of icing to start then smooth out by dipping your flat spatula or knife into hot water when trying to smooth out the top layer. The heat and little moistness of the spatula really helps for a smooth finish. As for the sticking coat your pan in a even thin layer of crisco. We use it for scratch and box recipes and it works like a charm. Hope it works, Tabitha

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