How Do I Even Sides Of Cake?

Decorating By TPACakeGirl Updated 17 Nov 2009 , 7:49pm by TPACakeGirl

TPACakeGirl Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 7:48pm
post #1 of 22

I have crappy Wilton pans. I don't see how the pans can be exactly the same size and fit inside each other. That would mean that they either flair or that one is slightly bigger than the other.

Anyways, everytime I make a cake in any of them, I have to trim the sides to make them line up, and I can never get it right. Sometimes the entire cake breaks apart.

How do I do this so that I'm not trying to piece my cake back together? There must be some trick. Right now I align my knife along the edge of the smallest round/square and rotate it around the cake. It doesn't always work out.

21 replies
leah_s Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 7:50pm
post #2 of 22

Step 1: Throw out the crappy Wilton pans.
Step 2: Buy professional pans - Magic Line

Really, there's no other good answer.

indydebi Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 11:02pm
post #3 of 22

what leahs said ... in triplicate.

But in the meantime ...... I have a set of wilton pans that I sometimes have to pull out of the back of the stack on big baking days. Yes, they have a flair and yes, they dont' stack well because of it.

Freeze the layers. When they are solid enough to work with, set them on their sides (like a wheel) and with a sharp paring knife, run the knife around the outer edge, trimming the flair off.

No crumbling, you get a nice smooth cut when you do it while the cakes are frozen, and they stack fine.

scionmom Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 11:20pm
post #4 of 22

Oh my do I feel your pain! I luckily just bought my first couple of Magic line... yeah cant wait to use them. But when i do use my wilton ones, and the edges come out uneven, I would stack them and them use my big leveler and turn it sideways. It can be tricky and you will definately loose a little bit of the size, but it was easier for me to do it that way than with a knife... couldnt get it straight or even. Good Luck!!

dsilbern Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 11:26pm
post #5 of 22

This thread makes me happy I'm too lazy to do 2 layers per tier. I overfill 3" pans, tort em and call it a day! icon_lol.gif

TPACakeGirl Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:31am
post #6 of 22

dsilbern~~ I like your idea. I wonder if I can find 4" pans?

indydebi~~ Do you cut each layer separately? If so, how do you know that you are cutting them the same size? Or do you layer them and then cut them together?

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:41am
post #7 of 22

I'm just cutting the flared part off .... when you look at the surface area of the side of the cake, I'm cutting about 3/4 of it off ..... so the 'smallest' part of the circumference is what I'm using as my guide. I do each one separately. If they are not 'exactly' the same, it's no big deal .... icing smooths it all out.

I've got to do some baking tomorrow.....if I remember, I'll bake one of these & take some pics and show you what I mean.

TPACakeGirl Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:44am
post #8 of 22

That sounds great. I would really appreciate it.

DianeLM Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 12:52am
post #9 of 22

I rarely have a problem covering up the 'hourglass' shape that results from stacking layers top to top when icing with buttercream. My crumb coat fills the gap.

However, when I DO need to trim the sides so there's no gap, I have discovered that holding the knife crosswise against the cake (blade facing the table) and cutting downward yields the best results.

Intuition says that holding the knife parallel against the cake would work better, but that hasn't been the case for me.

Using a serrated knife on a chilled cake, just slice down, turn cake, slice down, etc. until it's even all the way around.

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:03am
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeLM

I rarely have a problem covering up the 'hourglass' shape that results from stacking layers top to top when icing with buttercream. My crumb coat fills the gap.




When I stack the wilton flaired cakes, they aren't hourglass shaped .. they are the opposite.

Bottom of cake is on the cardboard with the trimmed part of the cake facing up. 2nd layer is the trimmed side down, with the bottom of the cake facing up. If the cakes aren't trimmed, the flair is in the middle, causing a ridge right in the center of the side of the cake.

I want the bottom of the cake facing up because it's a nice smooth surface for icing.

DianeLM Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:11am
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Quote:

Bottom of cake is on the cardboard with the trimmed part of the cake facing up. 2nd layer is the trimmed side down, with the bottom of the cake facing up. If the cakes aren't trimmed, the flair is in the middle, causing a ridge right in the center of the side of the cake.




So, are you saying that when you stack leveled top to leveled top, the tier is wider in the middle rather than at the top and bottom?

That's so weird!

Which Wilton pans does this happen with? I used to use just the regular pans - not the Preferred or whatever the premium pans are called.

indydebi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 1:29am
post #12 of 22

Diane, that's exactly what we're getting.

The pans in question are the really cheap-o wilton pans. I refer to them as "the starter kit" pans! icon_lol.gif But yeah, any pan that you can nest 2 pans of the same size inside each other, odds are VERY good that you're going to have a flared edge.

crazydoglady Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:31am
post #13 of 22

linda mclure addresses the hourglass shape on a tutorial

//w w w.c r e a t i v e d e s i g n s c a k e s . com/whats_new_6.html

has anyone tried it?

i have crappy wilton pans but can't justify the cost of replacing them as i'm not a pro.

andlydle Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 4:53am
post #14 of 22

so, i'm basically new to this site and to decorating, i've taken a few classes and have a few pans, and am looking to expand my collection. where can i get the magic line pans? i looked a little on-line, but i prefer the instant gratification of buying from a store whenever possible. I too have problems with my sides, but didn't realize it was because i needed to trim my sides. i'll have to try that on my next cake.

JanH Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 5:13am
post #15 of 22

If your cake pans are stackable, that means the sides are slanted. (Narrowing from top to bottom.)

As has been said... Buy straight sided cake pans (won't stack) and you won't have to trim.

Even Wilton has straight sided pans.

Use Hobby Lobby or Michaels 40% off coupons and get yourself a new set.

HTH

crazydoglady Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 5:33am
post #16 of 22

my 9" wilton pans do stack.
the 6" & 8" do not.

AmandaGudi Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:10pm
post #17 of 22

My cakes usually are like indydebi described....when you put leveled top to leveled top the tier is wider in the middle than the top and bottom.

DianeLM Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 3:12pm
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Diane, that's exactly what we're getting.

The pans in question are the really cheap-o wilton pans. I refer to them as "the starter kit" pans! icon_lol.gif But yeah, any pan that you can nest 2 pans of the same size inside each other, odds are VERY good that you're going to have a flared edge.




Ya know, now that you've got me thinking about it, it seems that MY experience is the weird one! Flaring in the center makes sense where the hourglass shape does not, considering the shape of the pans.

I'm guessing the hourglass thing is caused by my cakes shrinking from the sides of the pan. Then, when I level the top, it's actually wider at the bottom.

Anyway, I don't care cuz I don't use Wilton pans any more! LOL

TPACakeGirl Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 9:04pm
post #19 of 22

CRAZYDOGLADY~~ Great video. Do you know where she got the plates with the hole in the middle? I trim my cakes the same way with the knife, but it usually turns out to be a disaster. The one I made this week broke apart while I was trimming it.

crazydoglady Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:59pm
post #20 of 22

sorry tpacakegirl,

i don't know where she got them.

it would probably be fairly simple to drill a hole in one.

i liked all of her tutorials. she also has a dvd on how to use a cricut machine for fondant/gumpaste that alot of people on cc have liked.

i think its easier to trim a cake that is well chilled.

momma28 Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 11:52pm
post #21 of 22

I am not sure I am understanding your problem. My wilton pans do not fit inside one another. The have straight sides. Are we talking about the same pans?

TPACakeGirl Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:49pm
post #22 of 22

MOMMA28~~ You probably have the preferred pans. My pans are older from years ago when I first dabbled in cake decorating. The regular Wilton pans are not the same as the Preferred or Premium pans.

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