I usually bake round layers, and will do two two-inch layers per tier. Generally I get layers a little over two inches, so my tier will end up being closer to four and a half inches tall.
So I just got square Magic Line pans (which I am SO excited to use!), three inches tall. When I bake with my three-inch round pan, I can kind of go either way, depending on the cake, and use only the one large layer or bake an additional two-inch layer for the tier (and in that case, get a pretty generous tier). But I only have one set of square ML pans in this case, and want to figure the best way to do this: should I bake one layer for each tier, nice and tall, and level it to three inches, leaving my tiers at three inches each, or should I bake a little shorter and stack as usual?
If it makes a difference, the cake I'm baking this time is a classic square three-tier cake ... I'm thinking I'm probably going to have to go ahead and bake twice with shorter layers, but I wanted to get others' opinion on the matter. Is three inches too short for a tier?
Sorry for making this so wordy! Thanks for any ideas!
If you want to get more height and dont want to bake more you could collar your pans with parchment paper and get a 4 inch high cake. I do this for topsy-turvys so I can use the one cut method. Just make sure you lower the temp in your oven cause it will have to bake for alot longer. HTH! Good Luck!
Oooohhhhh!!! I love that idea!!! I've never collared my pans before, but that would be awesome! I usually bake at 325 anyway ... how long would you go for a 4in-collared 12in square? And I would probably need a flower nail anyway, right?
Thanks so much for your help! I love this site so much!
I am not sure on the exact time but I would set a timer for about 1 hour, and then just check in 5-10 minute intervals after that. Yeah, using a flower nail would be good, but your cake will probably rise over it pretty quick, so I am not sure it would help too much?? I am not sure on that one. I have noticed that when I bake at 325 instead of 350, my cakes dont rise as much anyways. You could use some bake-even strips on the outside if you dont use a flower nail. If you don't have any you can make your own by tearing up pieces of a towel and soak in water and wrap around the side of the pan, then cover that in aluminum foil. It works great! I hope I havent confused you!!!
Thanks so much for your help! I haven't used baking strips yet, but will go on U-tube in a minute to look for videos of how to do this ...
Thanks so much for your suggestions!
The flower nail helps even if the cake rises over it. It's still directing heat to the center of the cake.
Personally I would bake twice and still use the flower nails.
Do you say you would bake twice because it's hard to get a nice tall cake? I've had good success in the past baking in a 4-in pan (never collared a 3-in before), as long as it wasn't with a chocolate cake, which tends to be more delicate in the "sinking-in-the-middle" sense if I'm not careful. I'll take all suggestions! I would rather not have to bake twice, but I certainly don't want to ruin anything by cutting corners.
The reason I'd bake twice is just that I don't have good luck when I try to do things to save time. Some people do, but I end up with cake that's tough around the edges, or cake volcano in my oven (complete with smoke! )
Maybe try first on the smallest tier and if it doesn't work well, you'll know before you get to the bigger ones.