Sheet Cake Misery....what Am I Doing Wrong??

Baking By ybeal Updated 11 Jun 2010 , 5:18am by cheatize

ybeal Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:17pm
post #1 of 14

I am making a large cake so I bought 11x15 inch pans and I'm using WASC recipe. I turned them out on the counter and it was a disaster, the cake stuck, came out in pieces and when I tasted it it was dry! I've never had WASC not work out and I'm not sure what I did wrong! I greased and floured the pans, used a nail head in the center because I was worried it wouldn't cook evenly, turned down the heat in the oven.

Any ideas? I'm going to have to try again tomorrow with the WASC and then do it all over again with the Darn Good Choc Cake recipe...if either doesn't turn out I'll be in a serious time crunch!

Any help appreciated icon_cry.gif

13 replies
poohsmomma Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:21pm
post #2 of 14

Try lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. It works for me.

meharding Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 10:54pm
post #3 of 14

I am only a hobby baker but when I make large cakes like that I cover a cooling rack with Saran wrap, place it on top of the cake in the pan and then flip it over. I then wrap it up in the Saran wrap and refridgerate it. Cooling it seems to firm it up and makes it easier to handle.

I usually put three nails in a cake that large and coat the pan and nails with the decorator's release of equal parts, vegetable oil, shortening and flour mixed together. Hope you get a better result with your next batch.

moxey2000 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:07pm
post #4 of 14

I make the 11 x 15 all the time. I use shortening and flour to prepare the pan. I use two flower nails sprayed with Pam. I put a cooling rack on top and flip the whole thing over, after the cake has cooled in the pan for about 10 minutes.

I don't use the WASC recipe so I don't know why it came out dry. If you can get it to come out complete from the pan then you can use a simple syrup to make it moister.

Good luck. It can be so frustrating when things don't work out.

ybeal Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 12:10am
post #5 of 14

Thanks for the tips, I will try the parchment paper, can I use wax? Not sure I have any parchment....

I'll also try flipping onto the cooling rack, it didn't work so well on the counter with the flower nail in it.

If my pans are 11x15 and 2' deep, what temp would be best and approx. how long if they are 1/2 full with batter?

Sorry, It's my first disaster icon_smile.gif

leily Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:21am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

Thanks for the tips, I will try the parchment paper, can I use wax? Not sure I have any parchment....



Yes you can wax paper for cakes. Since all of the wax paper is covered you shouldn't have any issues (unlike when baking cookies using wax paper can create a big mess, and horrible smell since some of the wax paper is uncovered)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

I'll also try flipping onto the cooling rack, it didn't work so well on the counter with the flower nail in it.



Like suggested, before turning the pan over putt he cooling rack over the cake and then hold onto both and flip. Then you can adjust your cooling rack around the nail too so you don't have to worry about hitting the rack with it. If there is a large hump on the cake though make sure you have another cooling rack (or cake board) to flip it over right away again so it's not resting on the hump, otherwise it may crack on you since the edges aren't resting on anything, gravity will do it's work

Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

If my pans are 11x15 and 2' deep, what temp would be best and approx. how long if they are 1/2 full with batter?



I use these wilton charts as a reference point on how long and what temp to bake at.
http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm
This one has rectangle pans on it
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Loucinda Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:43am
post #7 of 14

I use the homemade pan grease (flour, oil, shortning, equal parts) and no flower nail in a pan that size. Be sure it is cool enough before turning out of the pan, or it will fall apart. I make this size with WASC all the time (and 12x18's too) and never have a problem. I bake at 325.

Jenniferkay Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:49am
post #8 of 14

I've found that with WASC I have to use parchment. I think b/c it's kind of a sticky cake.

indydebi Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:01am
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

I turned them out on the counter and it was a disaster,


Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

I'll also try flipping onto the cooling rack, it didn't work so well on the counter with the flower nail in it.




I'm confused. Does this mean you remove a hot cake from a pan and put it directly on the counter to cool? No cooling rack under it? icon_confused.gif How do you move it? How do you elevate it so it doesn't get all soggy on the bottom? I've never heard of doing it this way. icon_confused.gif

rlc23 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 2:02am
post #10 of 14

I just baked some WASC cakes that size last night... I always use the baking spray (I can't remember what brand, its a blue and white can), two flower nails, and add a little extra sour cream to the batter. I found that my cakes stick and break apart if I leave them in the pan longer than ten minutes - so flip them out onto wire racks at ten minutes. HTH!

JanH Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 3:09am
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ybeal

I turned them out on the counter




You can't beat gravity!

With no support (cooling rack) under the cake pan to hold the inverted layer in a stable position - the cake layer had no choice but to free fall from the pan to the counter when you turned it out.

And once on the counter, the cake layer was resting on it's hump - so its own weight (gravity) caused it to break apart because it wasn't evenly supported.

Additonally, the cake couldn't cool properly because it wasn't raised up from the counter (on a vented cooling rack) so it probably glued itself to the counter as it cooled - which would also have made it pretty impossible to flip over in one piece.... (if it hadn't cracked).

You need at least three cooling sheets to make a layer cake. One to immobilize the cake layer in the pan while turning, then another to (again stabilize the layer) as it is returned to its original (hump up) position.

As the first cooling rack is busy with cooling the 1st cake layer - you'll need two more to repeat the aforementioned process on the 2nd layer.

HTH

Cargen Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 3:35am
post #12 of 14

I haven't done it, but my instructor in my first class told me if your cake develops a crack, you can immediately put icing in it and stick it back together. Then as the cake cools, the icing become like a glue.

Mindy1975 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 11:46am
post #13 of 14

Another thing......when you take the cake out of the oven, take a clean oven pad, and smash that hump down in the middle to even out your layer. And If I bake two sheets at the same time, I rotate them half way through baking time, because one always gets the soggy top if I don't. And I always use parchment. I always screw myself if I don't. Why take the chance? ANd, also, that way, If for some reason, I can't get right to getting those cakes out of the pan within 10 minutes, I can let them cool completely in the pan because I lined the bottom with parchment, and I can just let them sit while I do something else.

cheatize Posted 11 Jun 2010 , 5:18am
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cargen

I haven't done it, but my instructor in my first class told me if your cake develops a crack, you can immediately put icing in it and stick it back together. Then as the cake cools, the icing become like a glue.




Huh? To me, the icing would either melt into a puddle or melt into the cake- not act as glue. I've never heard of doing it this way. I know wayyy back in the day, when I iced a warm cake, the icing melted into the cake and made it soggy.

If I have to repair a crack, I always used buttercream on a completely cooled cake.

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