Well, I'm new in cc and I'm new at the whole decorating thing. I just finished my first Wilton course and I am very excited to learn more. Anyway, I had somewhat of a disaster today and I need your expertise. This is why I'm posting. Well, here are my issues. I will be practicing my first fondant cake tomorrow. I want to make a small squared "gift" cake with a bow and all. I have only practiced making round cakes. the only squared cakes I've done have been the 13 by 9 sheet cakes. I have never used the small 8 by 2 squared pan, other than for making brownies. Anyway, first of all, I struggled a little with the baking. It should be 35 to 40 minutes, but I had to bake it for 45. (It may be my oven). Anyway, the cake didn't really rise too much so I had such a hard time leveling it. Like I said, it wasn't too much, but enough to need leveling. I couldn't even get the leveler to cut inside the cake. I made such a disaster by forcing it that the cake started to crack from the corners. By the way, the cake looked a little craked from the middle. It didn't look even by the time I was done. Then, when I cut it in half to do the filling, it started doing the same thing. I tried to be careful, but when it came time to pick up the top part, it broke off a little from one corner. I fixed it using the butter cream, but of course this caused a crumb problem which I wasn't too concerned with it because I'm covering it with fondant, but what if I was only using buttercream? I was a little frustrated. So here are my questions. Why did it crack when I leveled it and when I cut it in half. Why was it even cracked in the middle to begin with? Why couldn't I make the leveler go in the cake? And finally another question that is not part of this, but that I've noticed on all my cakes when I frost them? Why is the buttercream always coming off from the edges as I'm spreading it. Not that it comes off, but you can see the cake. I hope I'm making sense. Now, more importantly. How do I prevent the previoulsy mentioned problems from occuring? Round cakes seem easier or maybe because they rise more. I want to start experiment with other shaped pans and I don't have to have same problems. At least this was a practice one.... Thanks. I know, it's long but I had to explain.
Ok, first thing, the reason you had most of these problems is because the wilton leveler is JUNK. Do a search for wilton leveler and you will see what I mean. I use a long knife and have much better results. If you have the money buy an Agbay. I will get one the min. I can afford it. They are the best levelers on the market.
Now, Usually cakes crack in the middle because of uneven baking. If the outside gets done before the middle it can crack, dome, or both. Using bake even strips (or homemade ones from an old bath towel that you soaked) helps. Baking at a lower temp. for a little longer might also help.
I had problems when I first started making square cakes also. I have no idea why they are more difficult, but you can do it!
Welcome to Cake Central. First, in order to bake, you need to be sure your oven temperature is accurate. You can get an oven thermometer for under $10.
The wilton leveler does work, you just need to be careful. It sounds like your cake was overbaked. The thermometer will help correct that.
Also, using and inverted flower nail in the center of the pan can help as a heating core so the cake bakes more even. You may still need to level, but it will bake in the center.
It does take practice.
Thank you both very much for your responses. I will consider all of your tips and suggestions!
For the frosting it may be a little thick. Try thining it out a bit and see if that helps. Good luck.
Try using dental floss, its an old Martha Stewart tip that works everytime for me