Flower Nail Method

Decorating By tanya1120 Updated 10 Jul 2010 , 12:18am by meharding

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:06pm
post #1 of 32

Hello fellow cc'ers. I have used the flower method before and never had a problem. But, today when I baked two 8 in rounds, I used the flower nail and the cakes came out really thin. I'm talking almost pancake thin, ok a little over exaggerating but still they were really thin. And ideas on how this happened? I was using a smaller nail before but I recently bought a 7 size nail. Can a nail be too big for certain pans? I used a cake mix, the same I've been using. I just don't get how they can by so thin when I poured the same amount of batter as I always did before.

31 replies
AnotherCreation Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:17pm
post #2 of 32

I'm not really sure what happened? I use flower nails all the time but I don't use them on 6 or 8 inch pans. Just on 9 and up??

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:35pm
post #3 of 32

I just made three 6 in cakes using the same flower nails and they turned out fine. It was really weird though because I have never had cake come out so thin.

Joshua_Alan Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:38pm
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanya1120

Hello fellow cc'ers. I have used the flower method before and never had a problem. But, today when I baked two 8 in rounds, I used the flower nail and the cakes came out really thin. I'm talking almost pancake thin, ok a little over exaggerating but still they were really thin. And ideas on how this happened? I was using a smaller nail before but I recently bought a 7 size nail. Can a nail be too big for certain pans? I used a cake mix, the same I've been using. I just don't get how they can by so thin when I poured the same amount of batter as I always did before.




Are you sure you didn't forget to add something to the mix? I've done that before. Forgot the water or the oil several times. Damn ADD.

lilyankee5688 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:39pm
post #5 of 32

not sure what happened, but I never use a nail for 8 in pans.. I'm actually doing a 10 in now and it has 2.. I've only used the nail in 9 and 10 in pans..

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:47pm
post #6 of 32

joshua_alan I'm pretty sure I put all the ingredients in.
yankee why don't you use the flower nails for smaller pans? I can never get mine to be level when they come out of the oven so I always use the flower nail now.

lilyankee5688 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:50pm
post #7 of 32

my cakes usually dont come out TOO uneven but i always torte mine, so i cut them level first.. my next purchase is a Agbay.. I hear so much about it..

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 5:53pm
post #8 of 32

Did you use the same brand and flavor as always?

Different brands and different flavors with in the brands make different amounts of batter. So half of this batter may not be as much as half of another batter.

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 6:56pm
post #9 of 32

what is an Agbay? Yes I always use duncan hines cake mixes. My cakes always get a huge dome in the middle. And they pull away from the sides of the pan. Is that normal?

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:07pm
post #10 of 32

What temp do you bake at?

When the cake pulls away from the pan it is going from done to over cooked.

dchockeyguy Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:10pm
post #11 of 32

An Abgay is a device for levelling a cake. It works wonderfully.

I, too, have never used a nail for a smaller cake, only things 10" and up. I generally do not get a huge dome, but I'm also a scratch baker, which is going to give different results. Perhaps the mix was old on the shelf and shoudln't have been. Your problem does not sound like an issue with using the nail, but rather an issue with the batter. I don't see any way a nail could affect this.

If you are always getting huge domes, have you considered bake even strips? Some people swear by them.

sweettreat101 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:49pm
post #12 of 32

I use baking strips and never use a flower nail. Why do you need it on such a small cake? I have heard of people using the nail on large layers but not small one. It's supposed to help speed up the baking in the center of the cake. I bake up to 14 inch cakes using only baking strips and it bakes just fine.

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 7:57pm
post #13 of 32

I bake at 325. My oven is really old so I'm sure it's not the best thing to bake in. I have used bake even strips and they didn't work for me. It like didn't cook the cake on the outside. Idk it was really weird. Haven't used them since. I use the flower nail to not get such a huge dome in the center. Maybe I used the bake even strips wrong or something.

ycknits Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 8:09pm
post #14 of 32

I use insulator strips on 8" and over cakes and bake all my cakes at 325F. This pretty much eliminated my cake humps. I've considered using flower nails on the 14" and up cakes, but honestly have not had a problem without them.

Just recently I read that some of the experts press down their cakes as soon as the take them out of the oven. Who knew? It produces a very flat cake and eliminates a lot of the air holes, too. So that's my new standard.

I also started putting a 1 " strip of parchment across the pan after I brush it with cake release and before I fill it. It makes it so easy to remove the cake from the pan. I just invert it and pull gently on one of the parchment tabs... the cake falls out of the pan.

artscallion Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 8:16pm
post #15 of 32

Flower nails don't prevent a dome. Bake strips do.

Domes are caused by the extreme heat of the metal pan cooking the outer edges of the cake too quickly. This sets them so they can't rise. However, the pan full of batter has to go somewhere, so it rises in a dome in the center.

The way bake strips help with this is they cool the outer edges of the pan so the edges don't set too quickly. Then all the batter can rise evenly before the edges set.

The reason for using flower nails is that the center of the pan is the last place to get internal heat because it is farthest away from the heat conducting metal of the pan. So it takes longer to cook. This results in the center of your cake being less done than the outer parts, to the point of being raw in larger pans. A flower nail adds the element of heat conducting metal to the center of the pan, thus evening out the cooking times.

Personally, I use bake strips and flower nails on all of my cakes, from 6" on up. Perfectly cooked, perfectly level cake every time.

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 8:18pm
post #16 of 32

Maybe I'll give the bake even strips another try. How wet do they actually have to be? Maybe when I used them, I didn't have them damp enough.

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 8:19pm
post #17 of 32

Have you tested your oven to see if the tempature is correct on it? Older ovens espeically can be off, or running too hot.

The bake even strips shouldn't leave your cake undone on the sides, but they will not be darkly browned. I'd say if you have them give them another try. Soak them in cold water then run them between your finger and thumb. You want them damp but not dripping wet.

The idea behind the strips is that it keeps the sides of the pans cooler longer so that it doesn't bake fast, causing the rest of the cake to rise up highen in the center because it is still baking.

The flower nails or heating cores help the middles of the cake bake faster, thus baking closer to the same speed as the outside of the cake.

Both help give you a flatter cake, since they are based of helping the cake cook my evenly.

I use a flower nail in anything from an 8in pan and up, along with the bake even strips and I bake at 325. The only time I use more than one nail is when I am doing the larger sheet/rectangle pans.

ycknits Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 8:30pm
post #18 of 32

I wet my insulator strips with hot tap water because they seem to wet-out better than with cold. Then I run them under cool tap water and just give them a squeeze to take out the excess moisture.

tanya1120 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 9:39pm
post #19 of 32

No I haven't tested my oven. But I know for a fact that it gets really really hot! It may not even be insulated. Next time a bake a cake I will try the bake even strips again. Thanks for everybody's advice.

lyndim Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 10:07pm
post #20 of 32

When taking out the flower nail, do you just pull it out of the cake? Won't that leave a big hole? If baking a big cake and trying to turn it over with a flower nail in it sounds kinda hard to do with the nail sticking out. Thanks for any insight on this! icon_smile.gif

Ellie1985 Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 10:26pm
post #21 of 32

How do you turn your cake out of the pan with a flower nail in it??? I used a flower nail with a 10 inch pan and when I turned it over it split right in half.

artscallion Posted 8 Jul 2010 , 11:10pm
post #22 of 32

Here's how I do it.

First, the prep... I grease my pan. Then I place the flower nail in the pan. Then I take my circle or square of waxed paper and press it down over the flower nail so the base of the nail is under the waxed paper.

This way, when you flip your cake out, only the nail part is baked into the cake, the flat part isn't. Makes it much easier to pull it out of the cake without damage or big holes.

Now, flipping the cake out with a nail in it... First I place my cooling rack over the pan, with the nail poking out through the rack. I hold the rack tight against the pan and flip it over, still holding it all up, not placed on the counter.

So now, the pan is upside down on top of the rack I am holding in front of me. By this point the cake has dropped down onto the rack. I place the rack on a basket I keep on my workspace. The two sides of the rack rest on the sides of the basket, with the nail now sticking down into the empty basket.

At this point, I can let go of it all, lift the pan, pull the nail out, place another rack onto the bottom of the cake, grab both racks and flip the cake over so that it's not resting on any dome it may have.

You don't have to have a basket to do this. just two things of equal height that the sides of the rack can rest on. It sounds really complicated, I know. But it actually couldn't be simpler once you've done it and see what I mean.

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Ellie1985 Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 12:06am
post #23 of 32

artscallion, thank you so much for your excellent answer!!! I'm like, duh, why didn't I think of that. This is why us newbies love CC. Thanks again!

mommynana Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 12:27am
post #24 of 32

i had that happen to me with ducun hines cake mixes before where the cakes came out flat, and my brother-in-law asked me to check the date on the box and sure enough they were almost expired, now i dont no if that was the cause but i`ve learned to look at the date, and it has`t happened again

lyndim Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 12:59am
post #25 of 32

Thank you, thank you artscallion! How clever! thumbs_up.gif I've been racking my brains out, trying to figure that out.

meharding Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 1:09am
post #26 of 32

There was a thread on here a couple of years back about DH cake mixes. Some of them have a U in a circle followed by a D on the front bottom left. Others just have the U in a circle. I remember people saying that the ones with just the U had a tendency to fall. I mostly use the French Vanilla ones which have the U and D on them so I can't really speak to the others. Maybe someone can find that thread.

ddaigle Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 1:15am
post #27 of 32

Meharding....I had to go look at my boxes, as I've never heard that. My white DH cakes have the U in a circle followed by a D. My chocolate and Yellow only have a U. What do those codes mean?

meharding Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 1:22am
post #28 of 32

I don't know. I have been Googling it for the last few minutes. If memory serves...it was the difference between kosher and non-kosher mixes. I would love to know though is someone has that information.

lilyankee5688 Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 1:48am
post #29 of 32

i jsut baked a 12 in cake (i thought it was a 10 in at first. whoops! haha) but i used 2 nails, and i sprayed the pan, and the nails, then poured the batter in.. when it was time to take the cake out of the pan, i got a piece of cardboard and put over the cake, the nails stuck in it and i flipped over.. then i used a fork to pull them out since it was hot still.. and i dont have but 2 super small holes in it.. i never had problems with the flower method this way..

tanya1120 Posted 9 Jul 2010 , 2:29am
post #30 of 32

thanks artscallion for the instructions for bigger pans. When the cake is completely cool is when I take the nail out because the nail gets really hot. So when it's cool I just tip it over into my hand and take the nail out. I haven't had any break yet. (knock on wood)

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