Level Cake

Decorating By chrisviz Updated 28 Jun 2010 , 8:51pm by jayarr

chrisviz Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:31pm
post #1 of 33

I always have the hardest time getting my cakes level... (for years now) I usually try to level it out with icing, but I am doing a large fondant covered cake in a few weeks and I know that making the cake level with icing is not going to cut it... does anyone have any tricks up their sleeve to level out a cake (particularly a large size...say 16")?

32 replies
twinkie126 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 33

I use the wilton large cake leveler. They sell it at Michael's and cost about $23 if you have a 40% coupon then you will be better.'icon_biggrin.gif')

mpetty Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:44pm
post #3 of 33

I don't have an answer, just the exact same question and problem. Just finished icing a cake and decided that I need some serious help with this. I'm planning on buying a laser level at the hardware store, but would be interested in hearing any tips other have.

I just ordered Sharon Zambito's DVDs on buttercream, fondant, and stacking; maybe there'll be some great tips in there.

edited to add: I have the smaller Wilton level and sometimes it's great, and sometimes it seems to make things worse. ???

icer101 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:50pm
post #4 of 33

I use the wilton small leveler for small rounds, etc. I use the agbay for leveling larger rounds, etc. I have never had a problem with the little wilton leveler, never. But do not like the large one. That is why , i bought the agbay. Different products work different for all of us. That is good. We are all different and work different to get what we need done. hth

poohsmomma Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:53pm
post #5 of 33

I always add a little extra batter to my pan so the sides of the cake come all the way up the sides of the pan. When the come out of the oven, I use a long serrated knife and using the top of the pan as my guide, cut off the dome. Voila....level cake!!!

Also, I turn my cakes over so that the bottom of the cake is on top.

mamawrobin Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:57pm
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisviz



I usually try to level it out with icing, ........... ?





icon_confused.gif You can't "level" a cake with icing...you may can give the cake a more "level look" but it isn't "level".

The Agbay leveler is the best...but since I can't afford one and the Wilton leveler sucks this is what I do......

I overfill my pans so that I can cut off the dome and have a level cake. I use a very long (26" blade) bread knife and place it on the edge of the cake pan and cut my cake level with the pan. I also use the "push down" method for leveling my cakes. If your pans aren't overfilled you can use a clean rag and gently push the cake level to the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven. Either one of these methods work well for me and require no or very little more additional trimming to make my cakes level.

I also invested about $5.00 and bought me a little "level" at wal-mart. You can find them in the hardware department. You really can't just "eyeball" a cake to get it level. I do "eyeball" when I"m leveling them but I always check with a level to make certain. thumbs_up.gif I level every cake that I make...whether it's leaving my house or not.

RedDarlene Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:57pm
post #7 of 33

You really need to make sure each layer is level before you ice it. You can't get a level cake with frosting. When you stack another layer (after puting the filing in) on top, check to be sure your cake is level, again before you frost it. Also, if your suppports are the same height your cake should be level. So measuring them is very important. For example, my most recent cake was two tier stacked. I frosted the bottom layer as normal. I cut all the support straws for the bottom layer the exact same height and then put them into the layer. Stacked the iced top layer on it.

CakeWhizz Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:01pm
post #8 of 33

I learnt this trick at a cake workshop I attended and I hope I can explain it properly.

Once you've baked and cooled the cake, take the tin you baked it in and place in the centre of it a number of small round/square thin cards. Then pop the cake back in the tin and once you are happy with the height you want to trim it to, take a large serrated knife and using the edge of the tin as a guide, level your cake.

twinkie126 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:36pm
post #9 of 33

I did't get that. If you can explain better?. You put a piece of tin on the cake to mark the high that you want?('icon_confused.gif')

aej6 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:40pm
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeWhizz

I learnt this trick at a cake workshop I attended and I hope I can explain it properly.

Once you've baked and cooled the cake, take the tin you baked it in and place in the centre of it a number of small round/square thin cards. Then pop the cake back in the tin and once you are happy with the height you want to trim it to, take a large serrated knife and using the edge of the tin as a guide, level your cake.




I can not picture this....would you be able to explain it in another way?

Sherry1030 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:53pm
post #11 of 33

I believe Leah mentioned this same tip once - after the cake cools, put a couple of cake rounds in the pan, put the cake back in the pan and trim across the top, the rim of the pan guides the knife so that you're cutting evenly. Does that make sense? I think Leah explained it better!

cheatize Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 10:01pm
post #12 of 33

Indydebi does this.

Place cardboard rounds into the cake pan- as many as you need to lift the cake high enough so that the lowest spot on the top of the cake is right at the top edge of the cake pan. Place your cake back into the pans (on top of the cardboard rounds) and level your cake using the top of the pan as a guide.

Of course, you would use cardboard squares for square cakes.

tokazodo Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 10:16pm
post #13 of 33

For years, I have 'eyeballed' the cakes. Held them flat on a surface, used a serrated edged knife and hacked away. Close, but not perfect.
Recently, I read where a rose nail placed in the center of the cake pan before the batter is baked will make a more level cake.
It worked! I sprayed the rose nail with vegetable cooking spray.
I have also seen the process for pouring a little more batter in the pan, and just using the edge of the cake pan as a guide for getting a more level cake. What a perfect idea! I plan to use that method next.

I have learned so much from the forums here at CC. Thanks to everyone who shares!

twinkie126 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:01pm
post #14 of 33

Now i get it. I will try it too. My cakes are pretty level because I level it with the spatula before I put in the oven and just a little dome on top and I cut it with wilton leveler, but the pan metod looks easier.

chrisviz Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:04pm
post #15 of 33

I apologize for using the wrong words as many have pointed out.... I try to make the cake "look level" with icing...be it in the filling or on top icon_smile.gif

Thanks for all the great suggestions...will be putting them into practice! Gotta love the Cake Central forum!

idocakes4fun Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:25pm
post #16 of 33

Another trick you might try is using a clean kitchen towel to press down the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You just cover and gently press all around. I haven't used a leveler since I found this trick online.

teresa61625 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:33pm
post #17 of 33

I think that CakeWhizz means that they put smaller circles into the cake pan itself so that the cake sits higher than the rim when they put the cake back in the pan...then they cut off the extra..maybe this is it...I hope?

edited to to add that I must have somehow missed the other responses before I responded...LOL

mpetty Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:42am
post #18 of 33

GREAT tips, everyone. I've used the towel trick which works well if I fill the pan fairly full. I love the tips in this thread; they'll definitely solve the problem. Thanks everyone!

aej6 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:36am
post #19 of 33

Now I get it, thanks!

Franluvsfrosting Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 1:38am
post #20 of 33

I had my DH remove the blade from the large Wilton leveler and replace it with a sturdy wire so it works just like the smaller one. I can't afford the Agbay either so I'm working with what I've got. icon_wink.gif

Btrfly578 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:18am
post #21 of 33

Some good ideas. Thank you all. I too have learned a lot from CC. It's the best baking site I have come across. Baking is my passion.

icer101 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:42am
post #22 of 33

franluvsfrosting, your new way with the large wilton leveler sounds great too. i,ll get mine out again, and have my husband make a sturdy wire. would love to see how it does. i also use a serrated knife and cut off dome of my cakes. i just do different things at different time. lol.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:02am
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by idocakes4fun

Another trick you might try is using a clean kitchen towel to press down the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You just cover and gently press all around. I haven't used a leveler since I found this trick online.




I heard that this makes the cake more dense. Does anyone know if that is true? Just curious.

idocakes4fun Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:27am
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by adonisthegreek1

Quote:
Originally Posted by idocakes4fun

Another trick you might try is using a clean kitchen towel to press down the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. You just cover and gently press all around. I haven't used a leveler since I found this trick online.



I heard that this makes the cake more dense. Does anyone know if that is true? Just curious.




It does. The cakes are always very moist and hold together well when carving or even just slicing. On another thread, a poster said that after pressing, she removes from pan immediately and then wraps and freezes. I press and then wait 10 minutes to remove from the pan. I haven't noticed any problem w/ the cakes trying to spring back up. Also, I follow the Wilton guide for amount of batter - even though the cakes don't rise above the pan, it is a very simple process. I seemed to butcher cakes w/ the leveler, so I went on search for an easier method. I found it.

mbark Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:02am
post #25 of 33

I use the push-down method, and always use the bottoms of my cakes as the top so it's nice and straight. I eyeball it & have rarely had a problem.

GabbyRM Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 4:06am
post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franluvsfrosting

I had my DH remove the blade from the large Wilton leveler and replace it with a sturdy wire so it works just like the smaller one. I can't afford the Agbay either so I'm working with what I've got. icon_wink.gif




How did you do that and what kind of wire did you use? I have the large Wilton leveler, too, and it always gives me problems! I can't afford the agbay one, though.

FlourPots Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:01am
post #27 of 33

Here's some great photos showing the leveling process mentioned several times on this thread: http://www.creativecelebrationcakes.co.uk/page40.htm

Margieluvstobake Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 5:26am
post #28 of 33

I also use the push down method. I put a little more batter than normal in the pan to make sure it rises at least up to the top of the pan all the way across. I also cook on a lower temp in the oven to avoid a large hump. When it comes out of the oven I put a piece of parchment paper over the top of the cake while still in the pan. Then put the bottom of a larger pan on top of it with something heavy enough in it to hold it down. This will make it nice and flat on top. I leave it that way for a few minutes to make sure it will not spring back. This is so easy to do and you don't have to cut off any cake.

tokazodo Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 11:18am
post #29 of 33

To Flourpots,

Thanks so much for posting the link! It is very helpful. Now there is no reason to not have beautifully level cakes!
Thanks Much!

(I'm getting addicted to cc! I love all the creative ideas we can share with each other!) icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

FlourPots Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 3:42pm
post #30 of 33

You're welcome icon_smile.gif

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