I need advice and suggestions why this happened! I am doing a 3 tier, square cake for someone next month and this weekend baked a practice one from start to finish. The tiers are 6 in, 10 in and 14 in. I bought brand new Fat Daddio pans for the perfect square look. I've used the 6 in several times and love it (part of the reason I bought the other Fat Daddio ones!) But, when I baked the 2- 10 in and 2 - 14 in layers, I leveled them a little, filled and put the two tops together (as I'd always been taught to do), I realized that the tops (now in the middle) were not perfectly straight up and down- the cake totally bowed inward! I tried to just fill the void with some extra icing, which worked ok for the 10 in, but the bowing seemed much more severe on the 14 in. I considered trimming all the way around the edges of the cake to make it even, but my luck I would make it lopsided.
Soooo... what causes this? I'm a little disappointed that I spent so much on these cake pans and it still didn't turn out right. When the cakes were cooling in the pan, I didn't notice they had pulled substantially away from the edges, so I think it happened in the cooling process. What should I do? I'm glad I baked a sample cake, but I don't know how to fix the problem the next time around!
what temperature did you bake at? From what I have seen FD pans should be used at 325 or lower.
How did you prep the pan? Any flour/grease etc...?
I have that problem with Wilton pans. I switched to Magic Line and gave the old ones to my mother.
I couldnt figure out why my fondant was so wrinkly on the sides!. I thought it was something to do with the fondant, but it was actually the sides of my cake!
I take the cake once it has completely cooled, and put it on my turntable, and take my knife, and start at the top edge and go completely down. I saw in a zigzag motion while spinning the turntable slowly. It trims off the tiniest bit of bowing at the edge and gives it a cleaner look.
Sometimes it will bow inward because you are cooling it too fast, make sure when you take it of the oven the cake is not in front of an open window or near a fan.
I am going to put myself out there to be flamed but...FOR YEARS I have put 2 tops together...and most of the time its fine but sometimes I bulge...I have tried EVERYTHING! Trust me! A few weeks back I went to a Bronwen Weber class and she showed us what happens when 2 tops go together...and its compressions. Sides buckle and sometimes bulge. Your lines are not as crisp, so she says this..."Commit to a direction and do the whole cake that way." Most of us hate icing crumbs so now I do all tops down, it has been amazing! I have really seen a difference. could just be me, but I have paid alot of $ this year to travel and take classes with great teachers AND LEARNED SO MUCH! And feel like I should pass that on...IF IT HELPS!
If the cakes are not leveled before flopping them on top of each other, I donât think there is much that could be done to prevent bowing and bulging afterwards, and the heavier the cake (14â vs. 10â) the stronger the gravity pulls it down over the lower partsâ¦ I donât think the brand of pans plays a role in this caseâ¦
A couple of thoughts:
Maybe try using bake strips, or in my world wet kitchen towel strips, wrapped around the pans â I learned this trick here on CC, and I think thatâs the greatest thing ever for getting a perfectly level, evenly baked cake right out of the oven.
I also torte and level with a thread â score a line all the way around the cake layer so the thread starts out even, then wrap thread around the cake (the largest Iâve done this way is 12âx18â), cross and carefully pull in the opposite directions, slicing though the cake. Works like a charm to me, though it may take a few times of practice to get used to this method of torting/leveling.
iamlis makes an interesting point about the direction of the cakesâ¦ Iâve baked for half my life before I started decorating, and I always stacked layers in the same direction as she points outâ¦ Didnât start inverting the tops together and obsessing about leveling and sharp corners until the whole decorating mania struckâ¦ Either way works, I guess, just a matter of preference.
Thanks so much for all of your replies! I baked the cakes at 350 degrees, so I will try to lower the temp for next time. I always cool my cakes in the kitchen- no fan or windows are nearby. I used bake even strips (I didn't believe them would ever work until I tried them!) and I leveled with a cake leveler. I did everything that I normally do with cakes, but assumed there must be something to do with the bigger pans because it's never happened to me before.
I am going to try to bake a set with both tops facing down like you suggested and see if it makes a difference. I also had a teacher once tell us to always put the BOTTOMS together in the middle, but we all got so frustrated with the crumbs, I went back to my old ways!
I hope that works for you...trial and error I guess GOOD LUCK! I always bake at 325, if that helps too!