My Cake Leveller Wrecked My Cake!!

Decorating By The_Sugar_Fairy Updated 28 Apr 2010 , 11:19pm by PattyT

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:33am
post #1 of 38

Hi all! I'm making a wedding cake. This is the first time I've had to make a 12" round cake. I usually use my small Wilton cake leveller (the one with the silver string across), but it is too small for a 12" cake. So this time I used my Wilton large cake leveller (the one with the serrated blade) and it wrecked my cake. It cut at a slant (and yes I had it set on the same notches on each side) - the blade kind of twisted on me. So now half the cake is at about .5" and half of it is at 1", ahhh! I'm so angry, what a waste of time and money! What do you all use to level larger cakes? I will probably have to buy another leveller and don't want to waste my money on another crappy one. I live in Canada so I don't have the same selection as in the States. Advice anyone? Thanks so much!

37 replies
LBenson123 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:47am
post #2 of 38

I know how those levelers can be. Not only do the not give the best leveling job but they've also wrecked the sides of my cakes. I use a long bread knife. Mine isn't serrated and is very sharp. I only use it for just bread and cake leveling.

tyty Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:52am
post #3 of 38

The Agbay leveler is the way to go. One of the best investments I made.

dynee Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:54am
post #4 of 38

I don't know if this will help as I don't know how you handled the leveling, but what I do is start by cutting in about an inch or less and then turning the cake and repeat this all the way around. Then when it is scored all the way around, continue through the middle. I saw back and forth no more than 6 inch strokes and don't force it. Let the blade do the work. Make sure the legs stay flat on the table. Hope this helps.

kake4me2 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:54am
post #5 of 38

I feel your pain... although I do a worse job if I try to "freehand" it. Agbay is next on my list!

chassidyg Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:00am
post #6 of 38

Long time ago I worked as a mgr for Quizno's, we had these beautiful long serated bread knives, and I use that for my cakes, works beautifully!

heavenlys Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:07am
post #7 of 38

For my round and square cakes I use a bread knife.

For sheet cakes I use a wilton leveler until Friday when my agbay is scheduled to get here!!!! Yipeeeeeee!! icon_biggrin.gif

peg818 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:11am
post #8 of 38

The agbay is the way to go, but using what you have now. Take the little wilton leveler and come at the cake from all sides, then when the cake is scored take a piece of dental floss (non flavored) and wrap the floss around the cake at the score mark and pull both ends in opposite directions You know like you are strangling the cake. it will cut right through.

tesso Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:29am
post #9 of 38

the floss is the way to go!!

peg818.. I also have used it to cut my cakes when serving. People are amazed at how clean the pieces are. icon_biggrin.gif

Spills Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:30am
post #10 of 38

I feel your pain as well... When I'm using that large leveler, I make sure I have some of that rubbery stuff you put in drawers to keep things in place under my cake (whether it be on a board or a cutting board getting ready to stack)...then I take my leveler, place it against the cake, and take the handles of that horrible thing and pull out to the sides (tightening it) as I cut. Works 90% of the time... I just put up with it until I too have saved enough money to get the Agbay.

keonicakes Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:35am
post #11 of 38

Take a machete' to a frozen cake. It's the best and quite therapeutic. lol. Seriously, this big beast of a knife/weapon is the best thing I've found for leveling. All my levelling tools got thrown across the yard a long time ago. icon_mad.gif

mbark Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:39am
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynee

I don't know if this will help as I don't know how you handled the leveling, but what I do is start by cutting in about an inch or less and then turning the cake and repeat this all the way around. Then when it is scored all the way around, continue through the middle. I saw back and forth no more than 6 inch strokes and don't force it. Let the blade do the work. Make sure the legs stay flat on the table. Hope this helps.



This is how I do it too, but prefer a bread knife. I too bought the large Wilton leveler and was so disappointed in it, the blade totally bends & it doesn't cut an even "level" layer like it's supposed to. I'd love an Agbay but it's kinda pricey for me.

southerngal Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:49am
post #13 of 38

Call me crazy but all i use is the wilton cutter.. there is no way i can afford the agbay right now.. but here is my secret with the wilton... i place the cake on a board and put it flush against the wall on my counter then I take the leveller while holding the blade where it meets the lil feet (that is how I hold mine straight) and just drive it through making sure the feet r always flush on the counter.. I get a straight even cake slice... i hope that makes sense

obabassa Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:57am
post #14 of 38

I had the same problem with the large wilton leveler. The blade twist and cuts uneven layers and the legs need to have a wider base so it doesn't rock. I emailed the company and they said that they would pass the info on to the product development department.
Maybe if everyone send an email they will make the improvements that are needed. Since the only choices that I'm aware of is this one by Wilton and the Agbay which for now is out of my price range.
I would be willing to pay a little more for the Wilton one if it did the job right.

leah_s Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 1:57am
post #15 of 38

It's Wilton. Seriously, what did you expect?

If you can't afford the Agbay, then a long bread knife works well.
Use the sides of the pan as a guide to cut off the dome.

Take the cake out of the pan. Put in enough cardboards to raise the cake to the place you want to cut. Using the sides of the pan again as a guide, cut.

Try to visualize. It was 2 for 1 margarita night. icon_smile.gif

mbark Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:00am
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerngal

Call me crazy but all i use is the wilton cutter.. there is no way i can afford the agbay right now.. but here is my secret with the wilton... i place the cake on a board and put it flush against the wall on my counter then I take the leveller while holding the blade where it meets the lil feet (that is how I hold mine straight) and just drive it through making sure the feet r always flush on the counter.. I get a straight even cake slice... i hope that makes sense




THANKS, THAT'S SUPER HELPFUL! thumbs_up.gif

lardbutt Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:08am
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

It's Wilton. Seriously, what did you expect?

If you can't afford the Agbay, then a long bread knife works well.
Use the sides of the pan as a guide to cut off the dome.

Take the cake out of the pan. Put in enough cardboards to raise the cake to the place you want to cut. Using the sides of the pan again as a guide, cut.

Try to visualize. It was 2 for 1 margarita night. icon_smile.gif



I have my heart set on an Agbay, but until then.....this is BRILLIANT!!!
Thanks so much for the idea!!!

ATCakes Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:17am
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

It's Wilton. Seriously, what did you expect?

If you can't afford the Agbay, then a long bread knife works well.
Use the sides of the pan as a guide to cut off the dome.

Take the cake out of the pan. Put in enough cardboards to raise the cake to the place you want to cut. Using the sides of the pan again as a guide, cut.

Try to visualize. It was 2 for 1 margarita night. icon_smile.gif


Can I have a couple of those??

aundrea Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:23am
post #19 of 38

i feel your pain.
i too purchased the large and small leveler. and i find that it does more damage to my cakes. what a waste!
for now i use a serrgated ?sp knife. and eye ball it. it kills my knees getting to the eye level.
probably if i ever attempt a topsy turvy cake the wilton leveler would work....haha..........NOT!

Sherry1030 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 2:48am
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

It's Wilton. Seriously, what did you expect?

If you can't afford the Agbay, then a long bread knife works well.
Use the sides of the pan as a guide to cut off the dome.

Take the cake out of the pan. Put in enough cardboards to raise the cake to the place you want to cut. Using the sides of the pan again as a guide, cut.

Try to visualize. It was 2 for 1 margarita night. icon_smile.gif




Love this idea!! I usually 'eyeball it' and end up whittling my cake away - kind of like when I try to trim my own bangs before coffee, a little off on this side, now its not even, a little more off over here.. Never ends well! I'm going to try this next time!! Thanks Leah!!

Faffy Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:15am
post #21 of 38

I thought it was just me!!! icon_mad.gif I have this same exact problem. I will also try the suggestions as Agbay is not in my budget either. Thanks icon_smile.gif

KathysCC Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:26am
post #22 of 38

I thought I had my Wilton large leveler licked. I thought I could MAKE it work if I was careful. And it did for a while but I've noticed that the blade is getting looser with age and a few weeks ago, I massacred a cake! It did the same thing yours did, cut at an angle. Grrrrr! Wish there was an alternative to Agbay for hobby decorators like myself.

dalis4joe Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 11:11am
post #23 of 38

Love to dental floss idea.....

for large cakes... this is what I do... I only have the wilton small leveler...

When u sing the leveler... I start in one side... start moving side to side slowily... then I take it out..go to another side... start doing that side... I do that in 4 sides of the cake.... then once I get all the cake cut around... I pass it all the way though... (I know how it can mess up the sides of your cake) but when you do use it this way... you will begin on each side from the outside in...so your sides can't get messed up...

On a large cake I go all around the cake and mark the middle with toothpicks... then I use this "guillotine" (I don't know what it's calles... it's a wire that they sell at Mickaels (clay section) with a piece of wood attached to both ends... it's for cutting clay but I use it to cut my fondant when I buy SI in 20 lbs... so I take that "metal string with wooden sticks attached to each end) and I start doing as with the smaller cake... start in different sides aournd the cake and not go all the way through... until all sodes are done... then I take it and pass it all the way through.... I hope that makes some kind of mental picture as to what I am trying to say lol.... but when you do it like this and go slowily you will end up with a perfectly level cake everytime.... as far as the dome... I for larger cakes... the same thing.... with the toothpicks...
I do have a long serrated knife that I bought for this but my "eye balling" skills are not the best... I can't do it with a knife it always come sout crooked...

hth
go around the cake

Jennzoe333 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 11:51am
post #24 of 38

I love the small Wilton leveler, but the large one is absolute garbage! It destroyed a cake for me once too! Now, I just use a knife as well for large cakes!

cherrycakes Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:22pm
post #25 of 38

I have been searching for a thread that shows how someone modified the large Wilton leveler using plastic feet - seemed to really work but I can't seem to find the thread. In the meantime I came across this one where someone took the blade off and used a guitar string instead. Sounds interesting as there has to be a way to make it work! I just use dental floss and had my husband cut a one inch thick board slightly smaller than my large pans. I put the cake on top of that and use the pan as a guide.

http://imgsrc.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=604848&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=15

cherrycakes Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:25pm
post #26 of 38

I found the thread I was thinking of - this is the one with the added feet...

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=657696&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

Danielle1218 Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:48pm
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spills

I feel your pain as well... When I'm using that large leveler, I make sure I have some of that rubbery stuff you put in drawers to keep things in place under my cake (whether it be on a board or a cutting board getting ready to stack)...then I take my leveler, place it against the cake, and take the handles of that horrible thing and pull out to the sides (tightening it) as I cut. Works 90% of the time... I just put up with it until I too have saved enough money to get the Agbay.





That is exactly what I do. You would think Wilton could come up with something better than that stupid large leveler.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 12:51pm
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathysCC

Wish there was an alternative to Agbay for hobby decorators like myself.




http://www.globalsugarart.com/product.php?id=25495&name=Professional%20Cake%20Leveler%20by%20Fat%20Daddio's

Well, Fat Daddios has a new one out that is under $50 and has 3 blades. I cannot find any reviews yet though, so I'm waiting to purchase it until I can read some. I too am a hobby baker and only make a few cakes a year, so it's not worth it for me to spend $200+ on an Agbay, as nice as they are.

KathysCC Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 3:04pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrycakes

I found the thread I was thinking of - this is the one with the added feet...

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=657696&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0




I saw that thread but the problem is definitely NOT the feet. I always keep the feet of mine straight on the counter. The blade itself starts to bend downward when you are halfway through a large cake, gouging out the cake too deep. The blade is too flexible for it's width.

cakesbymark Posted 28 Apr 2010 , 4:18pm
post #30 of 38

i used my wilton big leveler once and that was enough for me...just horrible period........and with that just got off the phone with maureen and ordered my agbay... and the beauty of it is they are only like a 45 min ride for me but i'll have it in a day or so i cant wait.....

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