This is my first attempt at a stacked cake. I used the Durable Cake for 3D and Wedding Cakes recipe. I made two 12" cakes and only used 1 recipe for each pan because it was about 3/4 full. I cooked it for about 50 minutes and the toothpick was clean. As soon as I put it on the cooling rack, it started to flatten out and pull away from the sides. I did use a rose nail in the middle. What did I do wrong? They both turned out this way! Very frustrated. I'm attempting an anniversary cake for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Pulling away from the sides is a normal part of the cooling process (basic 3rd grade science lesson ...... hot expands and cool contracts).
When you say the cake flattened, do you mean it fell and created a crater in the top of your cake, or you do you mean you have a nice smooth flat top that won't require any trimming?
I actually push down the tops of my cakes to get them to flatten out a bit.
Unless the cake is raw inside, I'd say you mastered how to make the perfect cake! It's contracting a bit to help you get it out of the pan easier and it's flat on top, like we all strive to get our cakes to do!
Redsoxbaker - I'm so sorry about your problems - especially with your time pressure. I use this cake recipe all the time with good success. I make two batches to fill three 8" pans or two 10" pans - so my guess is that you underfilled the pans, although 3/4 full doesn't sound that way. My pans are 2" deep. I bake at 325F, insulator strips to insure flatness, and don't use a flower nail on round pans this small. My cakes usually just start to separate slightly from the edges - but the insulator strips would slow down the baking on the pan edges. I wonder if - with no insulator strips AND a flower nail - and if you baked at 350F for 50 minutes - if your cakes might have been seriously overbaked? I watch mine carefully at the end to pull them out just as soon as they're done. I sure do wish you better luck on your next attempt.
indydebi, It did not fall in the middle. It was pretty even except the sides are a bit higher than the rest of the cake. It feels pretty firm but most cakes I've ever made usually dome and this time they didn't.
Even tho' I use cake mixes, I have found that depending on the size of the pan, I may or may not have a dome. I rarely have a dome on my 14" rounds, for example, but always have to trim 8" and 10" rounds.
ycknits, thanks for the tips. I am going to try baking 2 10" round cakes today and now Im nervous about the recipe and thinking maybe I should just use the plain DH devils food chocolate cake mix without the sour cream and pudding without the rose nail! This is such a nerve racking process especially because it's for my family.
indydebi, thanks soooo much for your help. You are always there to lend a helping hand !
This concerns me. Do you mean when you say "pull away and flattened" that it pulled in toward the center and it's got a pruney look to the top of the cake? If that's the case most likely it's underbaked.
kansaslaura, no it did not pull to the center. It just pulled away from the sides and the cake looked normal just perfectly flat except the sides were a bit higher than the rest of the cake. I'm not sure if I should use them or try to make 2 new ones! This is all new to me
Since it's for family, to be really sure, I'd pull a plug out of the center of the cake and take a good look at it. If it's fine, just pop that plug back in and no one is the wiser...
That's a good thought! I think I will try that. I still have others to bake so I should make sure!