Bake Even Strips

Decorating By Candes Updated 26 Mar 2008 , 7:58pm by superstar

Candes Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 9:07pm
post #1 of 32

How long do you soak your strips? I like the way Indy's cake rise evenly above the pan but I can never get my cakes to do that.

I've followed her steps. I've tried this twice and get the same results. May be I'm not soaking my strips long enough?

Please help.

In a 2" pan the edges are more like 1" and the center may rise to 2"

31 replies
indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:24pm
post #2 of 32

what kind of oven and what temp are you using?

Sometimes I lay the strips in a pan of cold water to soak while I'm doing other things. SOmetimes I hold them under the faucet until they get wet enough.

When I switched to a convection oven, I had to make a few adjustments .... a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to add moisture; lowered the temp to 275; strips had to be more 'dripping' wet than what I was used to doing.

Lil_Belle Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 10:28pm
post #3 of 32

I run them under cold water for about 5 minutes, mine don't drip. Oven temp is lowered to 325 instead of 350.

tracey1970 Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:17pm
post #4 of 32

I soak mine for maybe a half hour - before I even turn on the oven or begin mixing a single ingredient, I pop them in a sink of cold water. I give them a slight squeeze to wring out the excess water, and I'm set!

LeanneW Posted 24 Mar 2008 , 11:26pm
post #5 of 32

I haven't tried this trick yet but I heard from a Wilton instructor that she puts hers in the freezer after she wets them.

shisharka Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 12:21am
post #6 of 32

Good olâ cut-up cotton kitchen towel strips take a couple of seconds under running water⦠Iâm never baking without them â and a flower nail for heating core â ever since I saw this trick here on CC Iâve had completely leveled cakes, and I LOVE itâ¦. I intended to buy the actual strips, but they seem to get very mixed feedback on the whole soaking issueâ¦

Sugarflowers Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 1:02am
post #7 of 32

I soak mine in very warm water for about 5 minutes and then wring them lightly. I know the instructions say to use cold water, but the warm water works very well and my cakes come out nice and even.

This is just how I do them. I started this when I was short on time and had some warm water set out to warm up some eggs. I noticed that they soaked up the water very quickly, so that's what I've done ever since.

Michele

ranbel Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:03am
post #8 of 32

I have been worndering how these things work....

As for the ol kitchen towels.... do you just have a single strip of cloth or do you fold it over and over to the width of your pan??? oh, what do you attach it with???

What keeps them from drying out a catching on fire??? silly ??? but, wondering mind wants to know.

Do you leave them on during the entire baking time?

Thanks

funbun Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:11am
post #9 of 32

ranbel, thanks for asking about the kitchen towels. I have been wondering that myself.

Molly2 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 3:27am
post #10 of 32

The first thing I do when I start mixing my cake is soak my strips in cold water then I prepare my cake by the time I'm ready to bake my cake they are pretty well soaked and my cakes come out pretty even also you might want to put a leveler in your cold oven to see it your oven is sitting even.

Molly2

anna_bananna Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 4:27am
post #11 of 32

Hi! i also use kitchen towels. I use Large safety pins to hold them in place.

milissasmom Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 5:11am
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranbel

As for the ol kitchen towels.... do you just have a single strip of cloth or do you fold it over and over to the width of your pan??? oh, what do you attach it with???
Do you leave them on during the entire baking time?




If my towels are very thick, I just use a single strip...if they are thinner, I fold them over (make a LARGER cut and fold it to double it) to the size of the pan and use a safety pin to attach it and leave them on the entire time I am baking. I use bake even strips too though depending on what pan I am using. As long as you dont ring them out too much they wont dry out (that goes for the strips and the towels). To be safe you can just run the strip/towel between your thumb and pointer fingers really quick as to not ring out too much water! I never bake without them...soak em in cold water as soon as I get into the kitchen and they work like magic!

pjaycakes Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 9:59am
post #13 of 32

Has anyone used the bake even strips with a scratch carrot cake recipe? I use them on all my box mix cakes, but am sort of afraid to try it with the carrot cake because it seems so moist and dense as it is.

lorrieg Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 10:44am
post #14 of 32

pjcakes, I use them with my carrot cake. This last weekend though I forgot them until after the cake had been in the oven for a bit so I left it. I wish I had put them on because I would have liked to give the cake a few more minutes but I was afraid I'd dry out the edges. The middle was just barely cooked. I used a whole recipe in one pan so the cake layer was deep otherwise I might not have missed them.

Don't be afraid to try it. It does work for me.

Pghnana Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 1:53pm
post #15 of 32

This is really great info on the baking strips and the towels. I am using the baking strips and not having any luck. Mostly, my cakes don't seem to completely bake. They come out kinda spongey and seem too heavy for regular cake mix. And the strips are so dry that they stick to the pan. I thought I was soaking them for a long enough time but maybe I'm not. Years ago I used the strips all the time without any problems. Don't know why this new set doesn't work right. Must be me.

I will try the towels next time. Maybe that will work better for me.

BTW, I saw on Kitchen Krafts that they sell bake even strips with velcro. Anyone have those? I'd love to stop using those thin little pins that bend when I put them into the strips!! What a pain!

Sandra

Maire Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 1:58pm
post #16 of 32

this is a great conversation. But I have a question about the bake even strips:

have you ever noticed that they effect the flavor of the cake?

I started using them when I took my Wilton classes but I noticed that there was a funky smell (like from the fabric on the strips) while I was baking and frankly I thought the cakes picked up a taste similar to that smell. After that I stopped using them because it was ruining the flavor of my cakes.

I like the kitchen towel idea. I too would be worried about them catching fire though.

has anyone else ever noticed a smell/ related taste change from using the baking strips?

kettlevalleygirl Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 2:31pm
post #17 of 32

I don't notice that they affect the smell/taste of the cakes..
I soak mine in cold water when I start, sometimes I throw in a few ice cubes...
I do wash them occasionally with soapy hot water, one day, I threw them back into a warm oven, and one slipped through, and basically burned to a crisp, good thing nobody was home, pretty embarrassing...didn't start a fire, guess that was a good thing...
But I do love them enough, that I bought a third set ( I bake/decorate in two locations), just to have handy in case I need extras..

Brujalita Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 3:20pm
post #18 of 32

I soak mine in a pitcher with a plunger. When I pull my cakes out of the oven, the strips are still a little damp and cakes are level. I like to see the air bubbles coming to the surface and this way I know the water is getting into the strips and not just wetting the outside of them. I also run the strips between two fingers to get the excess water out. I haven't noticed an odor/taste affecting my cakes - I've had these strips for over 5 years now. I've purposely bent the pins to make it easier to attach the strip to the pan.

MacsMom Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 3:24pm
post #19 of 32

I don't soak mine. I run them under the faucet long enough to get them wet, but I have never left them soaking and my cakes turn out great! (They are dry when I take the cakes out of the oven).

They have flat tops and rise above the pan just as Indydebi instructs. You really have to be sure there is enough batter in the pan, filling them at least 2/3rds full (mine are more like 3/4). And yes, adding a flower nail helps even more.

tracycakes Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 3:49pm
post #20 of 32

Before I start anything on the cake, I soak mine in cold water. I put them in a bowl, squeeze out the air and put a small saucer on top to hold them under. If it is a large cake, I will put some ice cubes in the water also.

sasporella Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 3:54pm
post #21 of 32

This may be a daft question but....... If cooking foil or baking/greaseproof paper was folded in half for thickness, could it be wrapped around a baking tin to get the same results as the baking strips? or am i way off of the mark icon_redface.gif

Sugarflowers Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 4:11pm
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sasporella

This may be a daft question but....... If cooking foil or baking/greaseproof paper was folded in half for thickness, could it be wrapped around a baking tin to get the same results as the baking strips? or am i way off of the mark icon_redface.gif




It's a valid question, but I don't think the results would be the same at all. The wet strips keep the sides of the pan from getting hot as fast allowing the cake to rise and bake evenly.

HTH

Michele

superstar Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 4:20pm
post #23 of 32

I love my baking strips, I make sure they have soaked for 30 minutes or longer & just gently run my thumb down the center to get out some of the water. I have also used the towel method & it also works well.

PattyT Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 4:49pm
post #24 of 32

I do like the others. Soak as long as I can in cold - you can see on the back if the fabric is fully saturated...they'll be all one color not patchy. Run between my fingers so they're still pretty wet but not dripping. Even with that mine come out of the oven dry.

Also like the rest have never noticed it affecting the taste at all.

brujalita, if your pins break (which mine have) the T-shaped pins at the sewing store are bigger and stronger. I keep the little pin box with the strips.

shisharka Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 5:05pm
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranbel

I have been worndering how these things work....

As for the ol kitchen towels.... do you just have a single strip of cloth or do you fold it over and over to the width of your pan??? oh, what do you attach it with???

What keeps them from drying out a catching on fire??? silly ??? but, wondering mind wants to know.

Do you leave them on during the entire baking time?

Thanks




Mine are fairly thick, folded over, so there are two layers of fabric around the pan, all the way to the rim of the pan, so a 2â pan=2â strip. Mine are 100% cotton, something synthetic is likely to melt in the heat. I just use a metal paper clip to secure. Strips are left for the entire baking time and when I pull the pans out theyâre almost completely dry.

I donât think they can catch on fire⦠I accidentally brushed one edge of the strip over the batter once, and was in too much hurry to deal with it, so just wiped it and stuck in the oven. As a result, the leftover batter on it burned black, and made the strip unsightly, I threw it away, but otherwise no issues, the cake was unaffected in any way, the strip didnât actually catch fire, just the batter burned to a crisp over the edge.

In another unintended test, I had one side of the strip slip under the pan once, needless to say that side overbaked, and the otherwise level cake looked like someone stepped on it where there was no strip aroundâ¦

As I said, bake even strips and flower nail are the best trick Iâve discovered here on CC, and Iâm never baking without them⦠Donât be afraid to try it, youâll love the results!

stephi17 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 8:13pm
post #26 of 32

Ok, so do people use the bake even strips WITH the flower nail? I have tried them both separately. The strips work well, except I have issues with them not getting done and/or not coming out of the pan. And the flower nail by itself didn't really work for me. I never thought to try them together!! Is this how most of you do it? Thanks!

cakedout Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 8:18pm
post #27 of 32

Just a word of warning...it IS possible for the towel strips to burn! icon_surprised.gif

My favorite story:

Way back in the beginning of my cake baking days (20 years ago), I used the towel method and a wooden spring clothespin to secure it. Yes, indeedy, that's what my instructor had used so I figured it was OK.

Well, one day I had used that sorry little scorched pin just ONE too many times... I started to smell smoke...then my kitchen filled with smoke.
I ran to the oven, through open the door and there, to my horror was a ring of FIRE around my sheet cake pan! icon_eek.gif The clothespin had caught on fire, which spread to the towel!

I can tell you after THAT I purchased the Bake Even Strips! icon_lol.gif

MacsMom Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 9:28pm
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephi17

Ok, so do people use the bake even strips WITH the flower nail? I have tried them both separately. The strips work well, except I have issues with them not getting done and/or not coming out of the pan. And the flower nail by itself didn't really work for me. I never thought to try them together!! Is this how most of you do it? Thanks!




Yes, I use them together except for smaller cakes. I never have to trim!

tracey1970 Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 10:30pm
post #29 of 32

I don't use the T-pins that come with the strips. I use those binder clips you can get in any stationery department. They are all metal (oven safe) usually a black clip in a nubmer of sizes) with silver foldable handles. The clip really tight, don't bend, and are super easy to get on and off, especially important when hot. The handles of the clips are easy to grasp with oven mitts on.

superstar Posted 25 Mar 2008 , 11:05pm
post #30 of 32

Stephi17, your cakes need to be baked for a longer period of time when using the strips.

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