Alternative To Expensive Baking Strips!! Thank You!!!

Decorating By PatrysV Updated 13 Aug 2008 , 7:03am by PatrysV

PatrysV Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 11:25am
post #1 of 27

I just want to say thank you!! I read in a thread here that instead of baking strips (which are a bit "unknown" in South Africa, apparently! icon_surprised.gif ) you can cut strips from an old towel and keep them in place with a pin. I did this and it works wonderful!! No more bulges in the middle of my cakes, and no off-cuts going to waste (to the dissapointment of my DH, DD and DS!!! icon_wink.gif ) and best of all - it cost me nothing!!! thumbs_up.gif

26 replies
deliciously_decadent Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 11:29am
post #2 of 27

hi i am in aus and have read about 'baking strips' several times but have no idea what they are!! we use baking paper here (wax paper) is that similar?

JanH Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 11:46am
post #3 of 27
PatrysV Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 11:47am
post #4 of 27

icon_smile.gif I'll explain, as I gathered from the cc-members (because here in SA everybody also said: "What's that???" ) icon_confused.gif

It is a long strip of cloth which you wet well and then wrap around the outside of your pan before you put it in the oven.
You bake the cake with it still wrapped around the cake.
For some mysterious reason (don't know the science behind it icon_redface.gif ) your cake then bakes evenly, without the bump in the middle. The corners and bottom sides of your cake is also then nice and moist and not dry and crispy, as sometimes happen.

You MUST try it!!! icon_cool.gif

kello Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 1:23pm
post #5 of 27

I haven't tried the towels yet, but I did read here that you can use wet paper towel covered in foil. Then wrap around the cake pan.....it worked great! I was so amazed!!!

I will give the towel a try tomorrow....

kansaslaura Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 1:36pm
post #6 of 27

The way it works is really simple and when it was explained to me long ago I said.. DOH!! Makes perfect sense!

The outside of the pan gets hot quickly and the batter next to the pan begins baking and rising before the batter in the center. The wet strips keeps the outside of the pan cooler, allowing the batter to warm and bake evenly and therefore rise evenly.

HTH

I won't be without them!

isista Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 1:43pm
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrysV

I just want to say thank you!! I read in a thread here that instead of baking strips (which are a bit "unknown" in South Africa, apparently! icon_surprised.gif ) you can cut strips from an old towel and keep them in place with a pin. I did this and it works wonderful!! No more bulges in the middle of my cakes, and no off-cuts going to waste (to the dissapointment of my DH, DD and DS!!! icon_wink.gif ) and best of all - it cost me nothing!!! thumbs_up.gif



PatrysV,
Don't laugh at me but the towel to be used is cotton towel right, not the paper one.. icon_redface.gif I wanna try that to...

cakedout Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 1:56pm
post #8 of 27

Yes- a cotton towel.

I've always told my students to cut a piece of towel 4 1/2 inches wide, fold it over, then sew together 1 short side and the long edge-leaving the one end open. Now turn it inside-out and sew up the opening. You will have an approx 2" strip ready to use.

The reason for this sewing is because otherwise you may get loose threads on a raw edge that can catch on fire when it's in the oven! (speaking from experience icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif )

Also- the newbies to this method do realize that the towel is to be soaked in water, then slightly rung out before pinning (quilter's T pins) around a cake pan?! icon_wink.gif

Happy baking!

mclaren Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:04pm
post #9 of 27

i used this method (wrapping a wet towel around the pan) for the 1st time last wknd and boy did i get the most even baked cake (wahoo)...

and it's sooo much cheaper than buying wilton's bake even strips. i'm glad i read about the towel method here whilst contemplating buying the strips.. saved me a lot of money.

murf Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:19pm
post #10 of 27

Hi All,
As an alternative to bake even strips, you can use wet newspaper. Tear into long strip and wet thoroughly then wrap around your pan and VOILA!!

isista Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:57pm
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout

Yes- a cotton towel.

I've always told my students to cut a piece of towel 4 1/2 inches wide, fold it over, then sew together 1 short side and the long edge-leaving the one end open. Now turn it inside-out and sew up the opening. You will have an approx 2" strip ready to use.

The reason for this sewing is because otherwise you may get loose threads on a raw edge that can catch on fire when it's in the oven! (speaking from experience icon_redface.gificon_lol.gif )

Also- the newbies to this method do realize that the towel is to be soaked in water, then slightly rung out before pinning (quilter's T pins) around a cake pan?! icon_wink.gif

Happy baking!




wow.. cakedout that is very practical..will try immediateley ..thank you (and Patrys V of course for the topic)

how much do i learn from the people here.. I love CC..

staceyboots Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 2:58pm
post #12 of 27

i can't wait to try this technique over the weekend!!

staceyboots Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:25pm
post #13 of 27

can i use bulldog clips to clip the towels to the top of the pan?

cakedout Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 3:50pm
post #14 of 27

staceyboots- I'm sure you could use any type of non-flammable clip! thumbs_up.gif

and I say "non-flammable" because years ago I was using a ragged towel strip and an old spring clothes pin that had been in the oven one too many times! I smelled smoke, flung open the oven door to reveal a ring of fire around my cake! icon_eek.gif AAACCCKKK!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Needless to say, I switched to t-pins and new towels very quickly! icon_lol.gif

staceyboots Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 4:13pm
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout

and I say "non-flammable" because years ago I was using a ragged towel strip and an old spring clothes pin that had been in the oven one too many times! I smelled smoke, flung open the oven door to reveal a ring of fire around my cake! icon_eek.gif AAACCCKKK!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif





NO WAY!!!!!

Solecito Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 5:59pm
post #16 of 27

Have any of you ladies tried this method in a convection oven? Will it work in any kind of oven?

deliciously_decadent Posted 8 Aug 2008 , 8:35pm
post #17 of 27

wow that ia crazy! although i can remaber my great grandma baking her cakes with old school brown paper wrapped with newspaper around the outside and tied with string and i never knew why (though she was a bit dotty to be honest!) icon_biggrin.gif but i am not sure i wan to get rid of the small bump i get ( islow bake at a lower temp than most and as such don't get much of a bump anyway) but it allows me to sample each cake to make sure everything is fine. i had a lady once that ordered a 3d carved car cake for her son's 5th birthay and at delivery when the husband found out how much it was he had a fit. then the next day she emailed me to tell me she wanted a refund as it was to expensive. (she had paid for it two weeks prior to delivery so it was not like she did not know the cost which was all fine at the time) when i asked her if there was a problem with the cake she said it had been dry and horrible. having sampled the cake and me and my family eaten all the carved off cuts i could easily inform her that no it was not as i had personally tested it, she then said that yes it was fine she juste xpected it to be bigger (it was on a 13" board so you can imagine it was hardly small!) to which i replied if you were worried about the size you really should have asked me the dimensions which i would have happily supplied. she admitted i was completety right and left it at that (I personally think the husband had a mental breakdown and demanded she get the money back) if i had not tasted that sample i probably would have refunded her as i would never have known. since then i make a massive point of trying off cuts of every tier of every cake! (very hard work i must say lol!!!!!!)

staceyboots Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 1:35pm
post #18 of 27

Sorry that this post is long but I'm excited!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Ok...so I wanted to test the wet towels on a coconut cake that I wanted to bake so I went to the hardware store after work, purchased a cheap towel and cut and sewed the edges as recommended in the thread.

I then divided the batter amongst 2 pans (3 cups of batter per pan) and wrapped the wet towel around one of them. I have attached photos of the 2 cakes.

In the photos, you will see the obvious variance in height. The one with the wet towel actually did rise to the top of the pan (the pan is 3" high) but settled to 2.25" once I took it out of the oven. The cake without the towel rose a bit with the hump in the middle and had a height of 1.75" (I pressed the hump flat when I took it out of the oven). Also, there is no crust around the edges of the towel-wrapped cake!

WOW!!! icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

So, I have a few questions for those who have used this technique:

(1) How long did your cakes take to bake? My cakes (I used 6" round pans that were 1/2 filled) took almost 2 hours at 325 F!! Should I bake at 350 F the next time?

and

(2) Typically, if I were making a 6" round cake, I would prepare about 6 cups of batter and divide the batter equally amongst the 2 pans. Now that the cake with the wrapped towel rose so high in the pan, I probably wouldn't need as much batter to make a cake!

For example, take a look at the maths:

3-egg recipe = 3 cups of cake batter = 2.25" in finished height
therefore:
4-egg recipe = 4 cups of cake batter = an assumed 3" in finished height from 1 pan!

Ordinarily, without the towel, 6 cups of batter would yield about 3.5" in finished height...and I would need to use 2 pans to avoid spillage in the oven!

Did anyone have to change their ingredient requirements per cake when using the wrapped towel method?

I am so excited!!! Imagine...I can reduce the cost of my ingredients by about 1/3 and still charge the same price!! And I can reduce the cost of cake pans by 1/2!!
LL
LL
LL

CakesbyBecca Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 4:55pm
post #19 of 27

WOW, Staceyboots! Thank you so much for posting those pictures. I'm a very visual person and your post sold me on the towels. I'm definitely going to have to try them now.

moxey2000 Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 5:10pm
post #20 of 27

Standing by in anticipation of the answers to staceyboots questions....

staceyboots Posted 9 Aug 2008 , 9:09pm
post #21 of 27

Calling all "wet towel" experts!!!

cakedout Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 1:41am
post #22 of 27

I bake at 350 and yes, the cakes take maybe 15 minutes longer. I do like the fact that the pans take less batter. I guess over the years I've just kinda adjusted to that and know how much cake I get out one of my "batches" of batter. I certainly didn't go about it so mathematically!! I just kinda do it-math and I don't get along very well! icon_wink.gif

I had an oven that is a little finicky, so I began using one of those Pampered Chef baking stones a number of years ago...I tell ya-between the wraps and the stone, my white and yellow cakes come out looking almost white on the edges! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif Love it, love it!!!

Hey- those photos are great!! perhaps I can share them with my decorating students?

staceyboots Posted 10 Aug 2008 , 4:04pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout

Hey- those photos are great!! perhaps I can share them with my decorating students?





Sure!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

PatrysV Posted 11 Aug 2008 , 7:13am
post #24 of 27

icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif
I'm so glad to see that everybody else is just as impressed with this, as me!!

I also bake more cakes with the same batter, because you don't lose so much cake in trying to level. I would say in the end I get a cake twice the height it would be without using the towels, and almost no cutt-offs!

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

kello Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 2:47am
post #25 of 27

O.K. I tried ithe wet towel tonight and it was a disaster!!?? My cakes cracked right across. They did rise nicely, then the next time I checked, they were cracked...and deeply too! They were still gooey inside and still had a ways to go. I baked them at 325.....should I have baked them at 350 instead? Please tell me what I did wrong....I have to make new cakes now....I guess I will be up late!!

margaretb Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 2:49am
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout

I had an oven that is a little finicky, so I began using one of those Pampered Chef baking stones a number of years ago





How do you use the stone? Do you just put the pan on it? Do you let it preheat?

PatrysV Posted 13 Aug 2008 , 7:03am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kello

O.K. I tried ithe wet towel tonight and it was a disaster!!?? My cakes cracked right across. They did rise nicely, then the next time I checked, they were cracked...and deeply too! They were still gooey inside and still had a ways to go. I baked them at 325.....should I have baked them at 350 instead? Please tell me what I did wrong....I have to make new cakes now....I guess I will be up late!!




icon_surprised.gif I bake mine at 350 and they do bake about 15 min longer- didn't have a cake crack yet?! icon_confused.gif Did a sheetcake last night and it came out perfect with nice and moist edges below as well.

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