This question is coming from a beginner...so bare with me I am looking into making a tiered cake...not my first, but read somewhere that in order to successsfully bake a 14" round, I should have a heating core? Help! Have no clue....
There are a number of suggested ways to bake a large cake.
I baked for 25 years using nothing. I greased-only-no-flour'd my pans and they did just fine. I discovered baking strips about 5 years ago and I wont' bake a cake without them now. They reduce (not eliminate, but REDUCE) the doming of a cake. Metal is a conductor of heat, so naturally the edges of the cake (that is next to the hot metal pan) cook faster than the center of the cake. The wet baking strips cool the edge of the cake pan, so the batter bakes evenly and uniformly.
Some use the heating core with good results. Some use one or two upside-down-flower-nails in the pan. what these do is help conduct the heat to the center of the batter so it cooks evenly; helps avoid the result of overcooked edges and underdone centers.
I just turn the temp down and bake at about 300. Bigger layers I also like in a gas rather than an electric oven, if you have the option. I've never used a heatng core and don't plan to start. I have used the bake even strips, but I wasn't as impressed as Indy is.
Some people have been successful not using one. I would suggest you use one just in case.
Looks like we all have our own method! I bake at 325, homemade pan grease/parchment, 3 rose nails, no bake even strips.
Thanks for the tips. I do use the baking strips, but was afraid of not using the heating core. Thanks for the encouragement!
I bake my 14 inch round without a core. I have used it before but find it is just too much trouble. I just bake at a lower temp and for a little longer. The bake-even strips help a lot.
Yes I used to have problems too getting the middle part too cook all the way - all i did was turn the oven down 25 degrees and problem solved. I don't used any heating cores though.
I have been reading here in several threads to use upside down flower nails, I will try that when I do a larger cake later this month. I will be using a 11x15 pan with 2 nails.