Cake Depth

Decorating By ashleyj Updated 21 Jan 2009 , 8:47pm by ashleyj

ashleyj Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:46pm
post #1 of 12

When doing tiered cakes, ex. 12/10/8 or 10/8/6, how do you acheive the depth of each tier? I have all of these cake pan sizes but mine are not this tall when baked. When baking a 12-in bottom layer, should I be baking two of those and placing on top of each other? Or is it just cut in half or maybe thirds and filled with a thick filling? I see all of these pictures of pretty cakes and each tier looks nice and tall. I appreciate any comments or suggestions!
Also, do you suggest freezing layers ahead to save time? If so, what's the best way to wrap them?
Thank You!

11 replies
Cakeonista Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:54pm
post #2 of 12

i actually had this exact question some time ago and most of my responses were "it's whatever works best for you and there is no right or wrong". the high tiers we see in most pics are 4" which i do by baking 2 cakes in my 2" pan and tort and fill each cake. i also sometimes make a 3" which is the 1 cake torted and filled, so whatever you are more comfortable with and doublecheck the serving sizing when someone orders a cake. lol

mjcakes Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:54pm
post #3 of 12

I guess it depends. I used to bake most of mine in 3" pans and slice into 2 and fill that. But I personally think that makes a puney (sp?) cake so now I bake everything in 2" pans and do 2 of them. My cakes end up being 4 1/2 -5" tall. There's nothing like a wimpy looking cake. Oh yeah, depepnds on what height boxes you use, too. Hope I helped.

newnancy Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm
post #4 of 12

Yes, you bake 2 of each size. To freeze my cake I wrap my cake layers in plactic wrap & then foil & then in a plastic bag. Thaw before filling & icing. HTH

aggiechef Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm
post #5 of 12

I personally like using 3" deep pans for taller tiers, but I still cut them in half or thirds and fill. You can get the same effect by making 2 layers in a 2" pan and stacking them with filling in between. There's also nothing to stop you from doing 3 layers in the 2" pan and stacking them.

freezing cake layers is the smart way to go, if you've got the freezer space. I usually wrap mine in 2 layers of plastic wrap, and then once in foil. I haven't had a problem with cakes getting freezer burn at all.

SpoonfulofSugar Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:56pm
post #6 of 12

most people tort the layers and then fill them...usually you have 3 layers of cake but I have issues with I have no patience and two my pans are 2 inches deep so I just bake 3 cake layers even them out on top rather than torting usually.

I'm sure other's have better advice b/c they probably tort theirs

about freezing.....I freeze all my cakes even for just a couple of hours....makes them very moist...just wrap them 2-3 times in plastic wrap and then in foil and they will be very moist

MacsMom Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 6:58pm
post #7 of 12

I fill my pans 3/4 full, use parchment on bottom and Pam around the side, and wrap the pans with Bake Even Strips. They bake up to the rim and with very little, if any, doming.

If you are baking a 12" round cake you simply have to make more batter to fill it full enough and it would be best to use a flower nail or two near the center of the cake (just plop them into the batter in the pan, pointy side up) to help it bake evenly and also to prevent doming.

For tall cakes, I torte and fill with 2 or 3 filling layers. For super-tall cakes, they are simply two separate cakes stacked on top of each other (with supports, like a normal tiered cake would be) and covered in icing of choice to hide the separation.

kweenofengland Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:03pm
post #8 of 12

I am not sure about the height of the cake layers cause i have wondered the same thing. but on the freezing part...I always freeze my cakes, even if it is for a few hours only. i dont know why, but i swear the cakes that i freeze and then thaw are much more moist than those cakes that i do not freeze. i get so many compliments on the moistness of my cakes that i refuse to not freeze mine. i also try and bake and freeze about a week in advance. i bake the cakes, let cool completely, put on wax paper on a board, stack them however is necessary to get them in my freezer, then i take a white garbage bag and put the board and cakes in it, push the air out and then tuck the bag under the board or tape the bag closed. then i pull the cakes out usually the night before i am to start decorating and let them thaw completely in the bag. then ice and decorate. also, i just tried this......i made a cake, prep'd the board, put a cake layer on, iced the top only and then put the other layer on top of it and then put in bag and froze. this way when i pulled it out, let it thaw, i was ready to ice the outside of the cakes and decorate! I did this to save me some time. it worked! everyone loved it and said how moist it was! people think i am crazy when i say 'freezing' is my secret to moist cakes, but it is!

__Jamie__ Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:11pm
post #9 of 12

I bake in two pans for each tier, don't torte unless requested and/or needed. I level each cake, and frost the top of one with the filling, use a dam, then put the other leveled cake on top of that. Makes for smoother sides and stable cake from the start. And, I rarely crumbcoat, because there arent fifty layers with all of their crumbs stuck all over everything.

Oh, and if you bake all the way to the top of your pan, assuming you have a 2 inch pan, you have already acheived 4" of height without even filling it. Level, and you are good to go. Nice tight cakes with less chances of bulges, etc.

leah_s Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:15pm
post #10 of 12

The standard is 4" tall per tier (however you achieve that height). Most of us do make 2, 2" tall tiers and put them together. Many of us (me, always) torte the layers so that the tier has four layers of cake and three layers of filling.

Every cutting chart I've ever seen uses 4" as the standard height. Also every caterer I've ever worked with uses either a 5" or 6" diameter plate to serve cake. If you make your cake taller than 4" it doesn't look nice on the plate.

For the easiest way to torte, invest in an Agbay (

gerripje Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 7:36pm
post #11 of 12

I make two cakes in my 2 inch pans. It's kind of a pain because I only have one set of the round tier and one set of square, but I don't make a lot of cakes. I do that because my torting skills absolutely suck!!! I would love an Agbay, but can't justify the cost right now. If I manage to be good enough one day to have my own shop then that will be one of my first business expenses!

ashleyj Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 8:47pm
post #12 of 12

Thank you to ALL that replied to my question about cake depth. Your answers are extremely helpful!!!

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