I'm making a strawberry cake from scratch. The first one I made, I think I overcooked a bit - I cut off some of the top layer and the edges and they were a bit burnt. So the second layer I did (this is a 9x13 by the way), I watched it really carefully. The edges were brown and the top was even getting brown and a little "crispy". I cut off the edges of this cake, and then I cut off part of the top - and the cake is really really pink and moist. I'm not sure if it's just really moist, or if is undercooked.... it's not soupy or anything... it's holding it's shape.... do you think it's just really moist and pink?
If, when you remove it from the oven, you touch it in the middle and it pops back into shape, it's done.
Have you tried using baking strips around the pan? That may be a good idea.
Or put some flower nails in the cake for distributing the heat better. I think 2 (each at 1/3 of the pan marks) down the middle would work.
You say it's a strawberry cake from scratch; if it has fresh strawberries in it then it could just be the juice coming out of the fruit. If this is the case, I wouldn't worry about it, it'll keep the cake moist and yummy.
As well as the bake even strips and flower nail techniques suggested by cutiepiecakes, you can also add a piece of aluminium foil over the top of your cake in the last 30 min or so of baking. That'll stop the top 'catching' and browning/crisping too much.
Thanks everyone! I've eaten several scraps and I seem to be okay - I think the first layer just cooked a little longer, so it was a little drier. That's a good tip about the foil over the top though. I'll have to try that next time.