I just made two half sheets of Chocolate WASC recipe I found here. The cakes came out very soft and crumbly, I let them completely cool in the pan then flipped them over and because I dont have a fridge large enough for a half sheet sized cake I had to cut it to fit, needless to say thats when the major problem started, when I cut the cake, it crumbled, lots of chunks came off, I put the pieces back together and wrapped and froze the cakes.
BUT, now that its time to fill, stack and carve, I'm very scared I shouldn't use them and I worried about the cakes stabilization... PLEASE TELL ME WHAT YOU WOULD DO?
I would rebake.
Also, it's not a good idea to let your cake layers cool in the pan as the sides/bottom usually stick when the pan grease cools. Ten minutes on the cooling rack is enough.
Place cooling rack over top of cake pan and turn out cake layer. Then use a 2nd cooling rack to make a sandwich of your cake layer and turn so that the layer is right side up (hump side up). But be gentle because hot cake is very fragile!
Additionally, a very sharp knife is necessary to cut cake layers smoothly. Otherwise, you end up smooshing the cake down and apart - tearing the cake into pieces instead of slices...
Here's a thread that has kakeladi's and Rebecca's version of WASC, as well as other popular CC recipes for crusting American buttercreams and several types of fondant:
The above super thread also has Wilton cake baking help, as well as CC member contributed baking hints & tips (such as use of bake-even strips, inverted flower nails and pan grease recipe). Also includes cake decorating and assembly help.
How are you mixing/baking the recipe. Here's what I do.
One of the basic techniques in scratch baking is measuring flour accurately.
When measuring flour, do you use the "scoop and drag" method and then shake to level.... You should be aerating the flour prior to gently spooning it into the measuring cup and using a straight edge to level.
Also, when it comes to mixing, MORE (as in more speed or longer mixing time) is not BETTER. Overmixing will develop the gluten and result in a tough cake. Overmixing will also cause a cake to sink.
When I make any of the WASC cake recipes, I sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl, and mix all the wet ingredients in a second larger bowl.
Then I add the dry to the wet and beat for 2 mins. using an electric hand mixer at medium speed.
If using a stand mixer, I would mix at the lowest speed for 2 mins. or less.
Handy cake troubleshooting charts:
Bake at 325F, using both inverted flower nails and bake-even strips. Can use Wilton cake making charts as guideline but the WASC always cook past the maximum stated times...
Edited to repair broken link...
Thanks Jan, great response, I guess I have to rebake, its so much cake and time lost is frustrating.
Can you help with one more prob? I put two inverted flower nails in the middleof the pan, a trick I learned here, BUT the prob I have is my half sheet pan is not as tall as the cake nails, so its very difficult to sandwich before I flip because of the sticking out and longer nails, what do I do then??
Oh a cooling rack!! I'm sorry Jan I didn't read thoroughly! The cooling rack has holes, my gosh, I can't believe I did not think of that, I was using cake boards this whole time
When you initially turn the cake out of the cake pan and onto the cooling rack, the flower nails should be visible (so just take them out). Then use the 2nd cooling rack...
Wouldn't recommend flipping onto cakeboards because the cakes can't vent steam, it'll be trapped and make the bottom of the cake layers gummy (and cause them to stick) - which makes turning layers right side up a problem.
Cooling cakes on their humps will almost guarantee that the layers will crack.
Thank you Jan, this link you left me is not working:
I would really like to see the thread, can you resend the entire link, thanks!
Thanks the heads-up aDBakes.
I cut off part of the link when I copied it..