veejaytx Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 8:20am
post #1 of

Last night I baked a half-sheet cake for my son's office...they like half chocolate/half plain (have to have it ready early tomorrow morning!) I mixed my two mixes, used my pan divider, applied my soaked baking strips, took out the pan divider, put in my core, and baked the cake. At 25 minutes it was still sticky inside, so waited 5 minutes, and the toothpicks came out clean!

I was so happy, both sides had risen the same amount, almost perfectly flat!!! (remembering another post in the last few days that had a problem with this.) I took the cake out of the oven, removed the core and fitted the cake piece into the hole, and as I was doing this, I noticed that both sides were kinda sinking, leaving a dip in the middle...well, darn!

I have now done the crumb coat, and the dip doesn't show, and it won't affect the looks of the cake, I know, but I sure hate to have that much icing on it, and I still have to decorate it with the logo, etc. I had intended to do a bct, but with this large a cake, I think I'll just decorate directly on the cake (using my projector), and do something smaller for my bct practice.

This doesn't qualify as a disaster...but darn it, just when it looked so good, it developed a problem. Any speculation on the cause/causes?

Janice

PS I made the half butter/half Crisco icing, it tastes great and is much smoother and creamier than the all Crisco one. It just didn't make enough for the half-sheet cake, have to get to the store for more powdered sugar, but thats what I get for letting my supply get too low!

PPS I have to make raindrops on this cake (you know, April showers!)
which tip will work best for that, 102 or 104 maybe?

29 replies
flayvurdfun Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 11:35am
post #2 of

I would think 102 or 104 would work great. I used them to make a daffodil, and they would have been great teardrops/raindrop, or even hearts without the flower cup part. But if you wanted them smaller I would use tips 2 or 3, I have also used them to make swishes and now that I think about it, I can see them looking like a raindrop.

Lisa Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 1:38pm
post #3 of

I don't know what could have caused your cake to dip. Maybe it had something to do with it being a half/half cake. I've had a cake do this but it was because I underbaked it (the tootpick inserted did come out clean but the cake wasn't really 100% done inside).

The half butter/half shortening BC does have the all Crisco beat! It's all I use.

I think either tip will make a good raindrop or like flayv said, you could use a round tip. What do you plan on making the rain out of? Piping gel tinted with a bit of blue makes really neat looking rain.

Best of luck with your April showers!

flayvurdfun Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:01pm
post #4 of

I WUV YOU LISA. Whenever I see that you agree with me I feel like a ..... a..... hmmmm ....oh I know a cake snob!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:10pm
post #5 of

I wuv you too flayv! It's easy to agree with you...you're right a lot-- icon_biggrin.gif LOL!

veejaytx Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:16pm
post #6 of

Lisa, I haven't used piping gel, what form is it in, a tube, and is it just clear you can color? I was only planning to make it with blue icing, but the gel sounds good! Janice

Lisa Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:24pm
post #7 of

Wilton has some ready made that comes in a small tub. It looks like it has a yellowish hue when it's in the tub but it's just because there's so much in there. It pipes out clear. You can color and flavor it the same way you do icing. There's a Dr. Seuss cake in the gallery that used piping gel for the water in the fish bowl. I'll look for it so you can get an idea of what it might look like.

Lisa Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:28pm
post #8 of

It's made by cjf aka Carol.
http://cakecentral.com/modules/coppermine/albums/userpics/10026/Cat_in_the_Hat.jpg

veejaytx Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 2:44pm
post #9 of

That is such a cool look, maybe I will have to try to find some today, it would definitely make the raindrops look real! Thanks a lot! Janice

veejaytx Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 4:04pm

Lisa, just had a bad thought, what if the cake isn't 100% done, will it taste ok? It's too late for me to slice into it to see! Oh boy, what if it is awful inside?...Was yours okay, the one you said wasn't completely done? Janice

Lisa Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 5:39pm

It was okay. Really, really moist in the center (not good moist but not too bad either).

veejaytx Posted 10 Apr 2005 , 6:57pm

Oh, thank you, I was thinking I was going to have to start over! Next month when it is time to do this cake again I do believe I will do two quarter sheets and put them together! Less stress and strain, maybe! I'm making my second batch of icing now, finally got to the store for the pwdrd sugar, so will get the icing on, and then maybe go see about the gel, although we have storms predicted to be coming in shortly. This cake may just have to have blue icing raindrops! Thanks, Lisa! Janice

veejaytx Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 6:03pm

Well, I didn't get the gel, I ran a temperature for a few hours and felt really lousy, so by the time I was feeling better, the raindrops were made from icing...and I was not pleased with them, but it was 2 am, so I went to bed. About 4:30 I woke up still not happy, so I thinned down the icing with light corn syrup, took off the "blobs", and made new drops with just a parchment bag and no tip, looks a little better. I just posted before and after pictures.
Janice

Lisa Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 6:25pm

I do that too...poke at my cakes hours after I supposedly finished. I think your final rain drops look perfectly rainy! Nice cake thumbs_up.gif

veejaytx Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 6:38pm

Thanks Lisa, without your input I probably would have given up on this cake! My son gave me the design (he is an artist at Tic Toc) and I wanted to duplicate it as close as I could, he was sort of non-commital about it, but seemed satisfied when he picked it up this morning. He had a suggestion or two, and said he'd try to give me a better plan next time! Thanks again, Lisa

msmeg Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 6:51pm

I have a 12x18 pan that this happens all the time with. it has a very slight dent and I get a large dent in the finished cake every time I bought a new pan and does not happen with it.

My guess yours was slightly underbaked

veejaytx Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 2:37am

Yes, my pan is new (Magic Line) so more than likely it was underdone. I read in a post earlier that with DH mixes to lower the oven temp to 325 degrees (especially in the larger cakes), does that make sense?
When I looked at it at 25 minutes and it was still sticky, I did lower the oven to 325, maybe that was also a contributing factor, it was too late to be lowering the temp. Anyway, the cake is all gone now, guess it wasn't too bad! Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 5:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by veejaytx

Last night I baked a half-sheet cake for my son's office...they like half chocolate/half plain (have to have it ready early tomorrow morning!) I mixed my two mixes, used my pan divider, applied my soaked baking strips, took out the pan divider, put in my core, and baked the cake. At 25 minutes it was still sticky inside, so waited 5 minutes, and the toothpicks came out clean!

I was so happy, both sides had risen the same amount, almost perfectly flat!!! (remembering another post in the last few days that had a problem with this.) I took the cake out of the oven, removed the core and fitted the cake piece into the hole, and as I was doing this, I noticed that both sides were kinda sinking, leaving a dip in the middle...well, darn!

I have now done the crumb coat, and the dip doesn't show, and it won't affect the looks of the cake, I know, but I sure hate to have that much icing on it, and I still have to decorate it with the logo, etc. I had intended to do a bct, but with this large a cake, I think I'll just decorate directly on the cake (using my projector), and do something smaller for my bct practice.

This doesn't qualify as a disaster...but darn it, just when it looked so good, it developed a problem. Any speculation on the cause/causes?

Janice

PS I made the half butter/half Crisco icing, it tastes great and is much smoother and creamier than the all Crisco one. It just didn't make enough for the half-sheet cake, have to get to the store for more powdered sugar, but thats what I get for letting my supply get too low!

PPS I have to make raindrops on this cake (you know, April showers!)
which tip will work best for that, 102 or 104 maybe?



Hi there,
Just saw this about the cake. You mean 11x15 for half sheet right? Where did you place the toothpick to test, in the core or somewhere else?
Generally I have yet to be able to cook a cake like this in less than 45 minutes and even the minimum time I believe is 35 which is awfully low as far as I am concerned. Anyway, next time insert the toothpick in the centre part of the cake, but a bit away from the core. Also check that the sides have pulled away nicely. This sounds way undercooked. But there is no way this size of pan will cook in 30 minutes unless an oven is running really on the hot side. For some folks it goes all the way up to about an hour.
You got what is termed a false test result, yeah, the toothpick lied! Make sure too when you insert it that it goes all the way to the bottom and that no cake crumbs are attached when it comes out.
A lot of cakes for the 9x13 size take 35-45 minutes, so based on that, I would say go for a minimum of 35 and check again in time increments of 5 minutes.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

SquirrellyCakes Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 5:06am

Actually Wilton says to cook these sized cakes at 325F.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

veejaytx Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 7:11am

My pan is 12" x 18" Magic Line, and it was divided half and half (two flavors), so I inserted different toothpicks once on each side of the cake. Obviously I should have baked it longer, and at the 325F, and that is what I'll do next time. I'll be baking one of these a month for this office (at least if I can get the cake right.) I also think my oven may be just a tiny bit hotter than the gauge shows. Anyway, thank you all for your help and suggestions...next month we will see. Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 5:56pm

In my mind, that is way too short a time to cook a cake of that size. Yes, you want to do the toothpick test in the highest points of the cake, closest to the centre. These cakes that are half and half, well, you probably know this, but the two types of cake don't bake at the same rate, one takes longer than the other.
You might want to invest in an oven thermometer, to check your oven out. Sometimes the thermostat needs to be re-calibrated by a technician if it is really off. Also, a new pan almost needs to be seasoned before it bakes correctly. But by seasoned in this case, I just mean used. I find that the first time I use a brand new pan, I don't get as good a result.
Yes, if it is a monthly thing, you will certainly get your practice.
Hugs Squirrlley

SquirrellyCakes Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 5:59pm

Wilton shows with 14 cups of batter in this pan, 40-45 minutes at 325.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

veejaytx Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 8:52pm

I've used the pan a few times before, and the reason I was so pleased when it came out of the oven was that both sides were the same, it looked almost perfect (we'd had one in a posting earlier that was totally lopsided)! Well, anyway, I just called my son and he said the cake was "inhaled" and gone by the end of the day yesterday (he tells me that the cakes they've had before did NOT get eaten like that). If it was underdone, nobody seemed to notice, so all this worrying for naught!
I do believe it will work better for me to bake in two pans (and I'll lower the temperature), though, as long as they want two flavors!

Thanks for all the aid and assistance, and lessons learned. Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 2:14am

Heehee, I never do the two cakes in one pan thing, because there is never an extra pair of hands around to help hold a divider in place and I can't do it on my own, my left hand doesn't want to cooperate.
I always thought it was funny that some folks do this, mainly because of the batters not cooking the same way, but I know a lot of people like to do it and are pleased with the results.
There is a risk with undercooked cakes, in that if the eggs are not cooked enough, there could be food poisoning. Some people are more susceptible to this and some eggs are more at risk. Just thought I would mention that.
Hugs Squirrelly

veejaytx Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 3:00pm

I don't think the cake was undercooked enough to be concerned about the eggs and something else to be aware of! I'll check on the "inhalers' when I get offline.
Knowing I was going to be doing the half/half cakes, I purchased a 12" divider from Sugarcraft, it works great, and came with the butterfly clips to attach it and keep it in place until you've got the batter all in it and are ready to put the cake in the oven. Very neat! Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 3:09pm

Smart lady, I think all of you Americans are so lucky having these places available to you. Unfortunately, by the time we Canucks order anything, if the conversions prices don't kill us, the shipping charges and Customs' fees do, haha.
I am sure everyone will survive, it is just that folks are so cautious about the possibilities of food poisoning these days. Apparently there is less than a 1% chance of any risk from uncooked eggs, but I guess people like to play it safe.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

veejaytx Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 4:58pm

I know what you mean, the shipping, etc., from UK is awful too, so I usually try not to go there! I did purchase an "Easy Icer" from AlmondArt.com in the UK, recently. They were being sold on eBay and I kept losing the bid, so I went looking for it elsewhere, turned out to be less expensive to order it direct! Some people are still paying more for it on eBay though, makes no sense to me! (The Easy Icer has turned out to be a great help for my arthritic thumb...it has a lever that you press with your whole hand, not just the thumb!)

If you, in Canada, order from UK, I guess that really gets way on up there to ship? Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 6:31pm

I have yet to be able to figure out why things sometimes take longer to be shipped from places in New York State - which is only a couple of hours away from me, then they do from California which is thousands of miles away or from the UK which is even further. So far the one order I had from a tiny wee town in the U.K. that I received within 2 days of ordering, came in better time, better condition than anything I have ordered even within my own province here. Haha, go figure! Perhaps the U.K. should be where I order from!
Not familiar with the product you are talking about, but it surely sounds like a Godsend. I can relate to the problems you can have with tools that require just the use of fingers, I have tendonitis in my fingers and some days, you just get so sore using some of these things!
Sounds good to me!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

veejaytx Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 6:39pm

Take a look at Almondart.com for the icer, it is great for my hand! Might be really good for you too! The main drawback is that the cartridge is pretty small, so means refilling frequently if you are doing a lot of piping, but to me it is worth it! The set comes with the dispenser, three cartridges and 3 or 4 tips, cost me $44. and some cents getting it direct. Janice

SquirrellyCakes Posted 13 Apr 2005 , 6:47pm

Will do and thanks for the info!
Hugs Squirrelly

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