I often have trouble getting my cakes to come out levelBBBI need suggestions pleaseBBBthanks
Do you mean "come out" of the oven already level? Or you have a problem getting them level when you try to trim them level?
To bake w/o a hump: lower the baking temp. I am baking right now at 300 degrees for about 20 min then turn it up to 325 about the same amount of time. Of course, it depends on the size of your pan - this timing is for 10 rounds or smaller. (Any size using only one cake mix.) Alwasy be sure you have enough batter in a pan...that does make a difference.
To level after baking: Some people say to eleminate any hump that might have formed by covering the cake w/something flat right out of the oven and pressing it flat but I have found the cake is never 'right' when I have done that. Often cracks develop at the side/top edge
Instead invest in a cake leveler. No, you don't have to get an Agby(sp?) for hundreds of $$ but don't waste you money on Wilton's big one either.
Use a long sharp knife that lays all across the pan (from edge to edge) and hold it so it touches the edge as you saw thru any hump.
One other hint some have developed is to put cake boards into the pan to rise up the cake so there is enough to cut off. I guess they use this method mostly to 'torte' a cake.
I always bake my cakes with "bake even strips" from Wilton. Soak 'em in water really well, them wrap it around your pan b4 putting it in2 the oven. They work every time. (Try to avoid pans that have sloped sides though.)
Even with the BES I still level my cakes, cause it can never be as perfectly level as a leveled cake. I have both the small wire leveler & Wiltons large leveler. Love them both. I have no problems using either of them. I have tried to level manually with a large cake carving knife, & I just can't do it.
I work in the Equipment Rental industry & we have a saying "It's not the equipment, it's the operator" & I think that toatally applies to cake levelers too. I have read where people absolutely HATE the large Wilton leveler & then where people (like me) who don't have a single problem with it. Whatever works better for you personally. For me it's the levelers - no knife. For others it's a knife - no levelers.
I use flower nails in the pan and it works really well for me.
I use Bake even strips and flower nail, and it work really good.
The Agbay is the best cake leveler on the market. If you can't afford one yet, ask for it during the holidays. Several family members could contribute. Or save your cake money for one. You will not regret it. You will never regret buying great tools.
I actually use a kitchen towel cut into stripa , I wet them in cold water, wring them almost dry and pin them around the pan. Works great.