Hi! Does anyone have a suggestion for making a flat-topped cake. Used to be that I wanted my cakes to be rounded but since I started playing around with decorating, I have found that I don't like cutting 1/3 of my cake off to make it flat. Can I add anything to the batter to stop this?????????
In my experience with my baking I have found that with drier cake batters you get a dome and the wetter ones you will get a flat cake. I baked a carrot cake which was quite a dense batter and I ended up with a huge dome. Then I have a chocolate and vanilla cake recipe which are quite wet and runny and they end up flat and I don't need to level them out. The chocolate and vanilla cakes I have to take away some of the milk that I normally add to get good cupcakes otherwise the cake comes away from the cupcake liners which I'm sure you would agree is not attractive.
There is a product on the market called Bake-even strips, but you can also make your own. Basically it is a strip of fabric that you wet, and wrap around the outside of the pan, this keeps the outside cooler so that the cake bakes more even. Also for the bigger cakes, I use a heating core. It is a cylinder the you fill half way with batter, and it sits in the middle of the pan. My cakes come out perfectly even. Also, I bake all of my cakes at 325degrees.
One great thing to do with the tops you cut off is to freeze, and then when you have enough, make cake truffles. HTH
A flower nail inserted into the middle of the cake will help with the dome. Also, I've heard bake even strips work wonders, although I haven't used them myself
Here's a thread on the science of why cakes dome and why baking strips work.
2 HUGE thumbs up for Bake even strips....no cake in my bakery goes in the oven without one!!! LOVE THEM!!
if there is still a small dome present.....
while fresh from the oven and warm and still IN the pan
use something (another smaller cake pan, a cake circle, really anything that will fit on top of the cake and be able to go down inside the pan....
and PRESS down on the cake -- even weight with a full can of coffee/shortening.
only needs to stay max of 5 min.
dome flattens, cake is even firmer.
if whole cake rises above edge of pan and has a dome -- then just use anything that is able to cover pan fully and press/weigh down.
will then be level with the top of the pan.
i've done this lots of times -- it works -- and it saves the waistline!
Well, after I posted the question about making a flat-topped cake I was in a hurry and tried baking the next cake at 325 degrees. It worked perfectly...I had a flat cake and it tasted wonderful. Little did I know that in my little bag of cake making goodies (my sister put together a wonderful set after I mentioned an interest in decorating cakes) I have cake strips!!!! I'm gonna try them the next time I make a cake. Again, thanks to all who responded.....all of the ideas were great!