Ugh! I cannot consistently get a 4 inch depth... should I kick my 2 inch pans to the curb and just suck it up and buy the 3 inch sets? What's the best way to get that perfect 4inch tall tier?
Well, what i try to do is fill my pan 3/4 full with cake batter. That helps alot for me. HTH
I use 2 inch pans, too. I never quite get to 4 inches unless I do 4 layers...Maybe I need to buy the 3inch pans, too. yuck!
I've used my 3" pans & fill them w/ about 1/4-1/2 c more batter than the recommended Wilton chart for a 2" tall pan. I think they rise a lot better in my 3" pan & I even have to trim mine down b/c they rise so much more.
I don't think you need 3" pans. To me, I think it's all in the amount of batter you put in the pans. Here's what I have found...if you use cake mix, 1 box IS NOT enough batter to leave you with nice, full cakes (unless you are using 6" pans or less).
What I have started doing with boxes (if I use the directions on the box) is using 1 box PER PAN.
Now, if I use an extended recipe, this will increase the batter enough to give me tall cakes. If I use a scratch recipe, I will double it and just use leftover batter for cupcakes or a smaller 1-layer cake.
I fill my pans a little over 1/2 full, so about 3/4 full. I bake at 325 for a longer time...the sides will rise first, then the center will rise and they come together nicely to create a flat top. If I do have to level, the cake is still pretty high, so I'm still at least close to 2".
I don't like my 3" pans. I find it really hard to get the inside to bake before the outside gets overdone. It takes a long time, and results in a dryer cake. I follow all directions to a "tee" and don't overfill the pans. I'd like to get them to work - but for now I just make a lot of layers in my 2" pans.
Fill your 2" pans 3/4 full, use bake even strips, bake at 325 and for 10" or larger use a heating core (I use flower nail upside down). When cakes are completely cool put back in pan and level to top of pan.
I gave away my 3" pans becasue I really didn't like the way they performed. I bake two 2" tiers by filling the pan 3/4 full of batter. Then I level with my Agbay. I always have four layers of cake and three layers of filling per tier.
After much trial & error, this is what works for me. You can use 2 in just fill 3/4 instead of just 1/2 and bake 25 degrees less (ex: if 350 go to 325 instead) and as for almost same baking time or just a few minutes more. As soon as you remove from oven lay out food grade plastic long enough to wrap around cake loosely, turn your cake pan over remove pan cover with plastic wrap and push down to even out and flatten center. What this does is removes air pockets and avoids from having to level your cake and it's so moist you'll love it. Once it cools you can even put in freezer or frig like this just add foil, it works just fine. Tried it over and over and it works everytime. People always wonder how my cakes sytay so moist, well that's my secret. Hope this helps, and sorry so long.
Leahs, do you have thin layers of filling? I get a 4-4 1/4" tall cake w/ 2 layers of cake & 1 layer of filling.
Edited to say thin layers instead of small layers.
How do you account for your filling size, too? For example, my cookies & cream is a pretty thick layer, but a thinner filling (like a pudding like) is never that big? Sometimes I add a ganache layer in there...no one wants an inch of ganache (well, I do...but that's another matter entirely.)
And how do bakeries not have that edge of icing dam on their cakes?
I trim my layers to 7/8" (with the Agbay - it's that precise) and measure the amount of filling between each layer, so that I get the same amount every time. I use a portion scoop to measure, so its easy. So 3.5 inches of cake and just shy of 1/4" in each of three fillings. That's close enough for SPS, assuming that's the issue with the 4" tall tiers.
For cookies and cream, and I don't know how you make yours, but I just sprinkle crushed Oreos on top of bc and they squish into it.
I do a mix of whipped cream, gelatin, and a small amount of powdered sugar and fold in cookies. Once refrigerated, its pretty dense and I've never had it melt/break down on me (which I was so worried about!)
Sheesh! You guys are just a font of knowledge! Lol! I have not been brave enough to truly torte my cakes because I don't have an Agbay, just the little Wilton leveler, so I just split each cake into two, so two pans would be four layers with 3 layers of filling. And my filling always smooshes down pretty flat. I'm a shorty caker! lol
I want an Agbay!
I have the little wilton leveler and torte all my cakes. I use fishing line for the bigger ones.. I mark around the cake with the little leveler and then use the fishing line and viola.. it's done.
I do the same thing that Leah does (minus the Agbay.. I'm saving my pennies for one though). Four 7/8 inch cake layers and three 3/16 inch filling layers and the BC on top makes pretty damn close to a perfect 4" tier. I use my BC dam as my guide.. a little shorter than the dam (which is about 1/4 of an inch) and you have the right amount of filling.
I have a cookies and cream filling, and I just make sure the cookies are crunched up nice and small.. no worries about it being too thick.
I swear by my bake even strips, and lower the temp. I first stared using the strips with the bigger pans to avoid using cores. I have more of a problem of my cakes being to tall, they bake so level I don't have to trim them. I use the small Wilton leveler and I have the larger one, but the blade on it seems to bow, does the Agbay you ladies were talking about do that on the larger sheet cakes?
The Agbay does not bow. It is perfect. And that's probably why it costs so much. Because it's perfect.
The Agbay is a monster, it does everything!
I use a steady hand, a long knife and a turntable to level and torte my cakes.
I have the baking strips but I've never noticed a difference when I use them and don't.
I too use a long knife, turntable & a million toothpicks to get my layers as even as possible. I use to use the Wilton leveler, but hate that thing b/c it ALWAYS came out uneven. If I start selling cakes, an Agbay will be on my list.
Leahs, have you used the agbay to level the tops of cakes? Mine come out flat most of the time but every once in a while I need to trim the top. Or do you just use it to torte? Does it work on semi-frozen cakes? I am considering purchasing one but had a few questions. Thanks.
I have the delux (two blade) Agbay. One pass and it levels the top and tortes.
Leah, not to change the subject but can you give me any advice on using the 4"sps on a 3 tier, fondant covered cake, height wise and assembly wise? Like going through the fondant icing with it?
Fondant or bc, makes no real difference. You use SPS the same way. If you need the instruction sheet, just send me an email and I'll send it your way.
On a fondant cake, after marking the placement for the legs, I do take a knife and cut an X so that the legs push easily thru the fondant. Don't want any tearing!
Thats just what I was worried about...tearing the fondant. And you already sent me the instuctions on the sps...Thanks again for that too. I purchased a few and they should be arriving today. I cant wait.