Does Anyone Use This Method To Level Cakes?

Decorating By debbief Updated 29 Aug 2010 , 1:34pm by vickymacd

debbief Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 9:57pm
post #1 of 19

I cant remember where I saw this tip to level a cake but Ive been doing it and it seems to work. Immediately after taking the cake out of the oven, place a clean tea towel over the cake and gently press to level the cake (making sure not to let the steam burn you). I do this but I also put a slightly smaller cake board over the towel so I dont get finger imprints in the cake. I guess Im asking because I havent seen anyone mention this method here. Im still learning so Im wondering, is there a reason it shouldnt be done this way?

I use baking strips and most of the time my cakes come out pretty level anyway, this just gets them flatter on the top. I dont smoosh them so much that it flattens them.

18 replies
CWR41 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:13pm
post #2 of 19

Yes, some call it the "push down method". There are several threads about this on CC. Here's one, if you care to read more:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-681489-push.html+method

cattycornercakes Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:22pm
post #3 of 19

I smoosh my cakes. I used to level them but I hated wasting that cake so I started pressing them down as I took them out of the oven. If I want it flatter, I then use the leveler but I don't waste as much cake.

debbief Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:22pm
post #4 of 19

Thank you CWR41! I'm surprised I didn't see this thread. I've been wondering about this for awhile and thought surely it must have been discussed somewhere!

TrixieTreats Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:24pm
post #5 of 19

I do this for all my cakes, then wrap immediately in plastic wrap. It not only levels the cake, but also makes the cake more dense and moist. Also, the condensation that collects and re-enters the cake from the plastic wrap helps with any dry or crisper corners and edges you may bet with the WASC or other similar recipes.

zespri Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:46pm
post #6 of 19

I'm so excited to have found this thread! This is why it's good for topics to come up again and again, otherwise newbies would miss them.

One day I decided to flip my cake upside down onto the cake rack as soon as it came out of the oven and leave it upside down covered in a tea-towel to help keep it moist. It flattens the cake quite a lot, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I haven't heard of this method though, I will try it with my next cake. To make sure I understand, I remove the cake from the cake tin, put a clean tea-towel on it, then something heavy like a chopping board on top of that. Is that correct? Do I have to stand there pressing on it?

TrixieTreats: Doesn't the plastic wrap make it wet? I use a tea-towel, which allows it to breathe but still keeping it from drying out.

cattycornercakes Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 10:59pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

I'm so excited to have found this thread! This is why it's good for topics to come up again and again, otherwise newbies would miss them.

One day I decided to flip my cake upside down onto the cake rack as soon as it came out of the oven and leave it upside down covered in a tea-towel to help keep it moist. It flattens the cake quite a lot, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I haven't heard of this method though, I will try it with my next cake. To make sure I understand, I remove the cake from the cake tin, put a clean tea-towel on it, then something heavy like a chopping board on top of that. Is that correct? Do I have to stand there pressing on it?

TrixieTreats: Doesn't the plastic wrap make it wet? I use a tea-towel, which allows it to breathe but still keeping it from drying out.




I actually press down on mine while they are still in the pan just after I take them out of the oven. You don't have to press for very long.

One funny thing...I do remember the first time I did this I was thinking "should I not be doing this?" lol

debbief Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:03pm
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Quote:

I haven't heard of this method though, I will try it with my next cake. To make sure I understand, I remove the cake from the cake tin, put a clean tea-towel on it, then something heavy like a chopping board on top of that. Is that correct? Do I have to stand there pressing on it?




No don't remove the cake from the tin. Do this before turning it out onto the cooling rack. Not a heavy chopping board. I just use a cardboard cake circle, like the kind you put under a tier. Make sense? It doesn't take long just press for a few seconds. the steam releases and it holds it's shape almost immediately.

zespri Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:06pm
post #9 of 19

Yes, this makes perfect sense, thank you for the clarification!

The problem with learning new things on here all the time is that I want to rush home and try them immediately, but there's only so many cakes I can justify making, and only so much tolerance my husband has for 'Hurricane Rachel' messing up the kitchen!


Quote:
Originally Posted by debbief

No don't remove the cake from the tin. Do this before turning it out onto the cooling rack. Not a heavy chopping board. I just use a cardboard cake circle, like the kind you put under a tier. Make sense? It doesn't take long just press for a few seconds. the steam releases and it holds it's shape almost immediately.


debbief Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:06pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cattycornercakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

I'm so excited to have found this thread! This is why it's good for topics to come up again and again, otherwise newbies would miss them.

One day I decided to flip my cake upside down onto the cake rack as soon as it came out of the oven and leave it upside down covered in a tea-towel to help keep it moist. It flattens the cake quite a lot, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I haven't heard of this method though, I will try it with my next cake. To make sure I understand, I remove the cake from the cake tin, put a clean tea-towel on it, then something heavy like a chopping board on top of that. Is that correct? Do I have to stand there pressing on it?

TrixieTreats: Doesn't the plastic wrap make it wet? I use a tea-towel, which allows it to breathe but still keeping it from drying out.



I actually press down on mine while they are still in the pan just after I take them out of the oven. You don't have to press for very long.

One funny thing...I do remember the first time I did this I was thinking "should I not be doing this?" lol




LOL same here, that's exactly why I had to ask icon_lol.gif

cakes47 Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 11:24pm
post #11 of 19

Yep .... remove from oven and smoosh!! Works like a charm!! icon_smile.gif

CWR41 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 12:07am
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by debbief

Thank you CWR41! I'm surprised I didn't see this thread. I've been wondering about this for awhile and thought surely it must have been discussed somewhere!




No problem. If you enjoyed reading the link, here are a few similar links that also discuss the push-down method:

Level cake:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=686008&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=press&&start=30
When using the push down method of leveling:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-685096-push.html+method
Little survey: what do you use/how do you do it:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-681571-push.html+method
Levelling - push down method:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-681489-push.html+method
Does anyone not level their cake?:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-664563-push.html+method
Tricks of the trade:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=660548&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=push&&start=15
Cake Squashers Anonymous:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-659473-push.html+method

Cindy619 Posted 4 Aug 2010 , 12:19am
post #13 of 19

I have to admit, the first time I tried the ol' smash method, I forgot that I had flower nails in the cake. Let's put it this way, when you take a cookie sheet and use it to smash down a cake with nails in it, two things will happen:

1.) You'll bend your nails
2.) The flower nails will then tip over and rip through the cake

Hope this prevents someone else from having a blonde moment like I did icon_wink.gif

zespri Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 9:53am
post #14 of 19

Cindy, I have been trying to find a flower nail, but the only ones I have ever seen are quite short, and the cake batter would competely cover the nail. Should they stick up out the top of the cake?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy619

I have to admit, the first time I tried the ol' smash method, I forgot that I had flower nails in the cake. Let's put it this way, when you take a cookie sheet and use it to smash down a cake with nails in it, two things will happen:

1.) You'll bend your nails
2.) The flower nails will then tip over and rip through the cake

Hope this prevents someone else from having a blonde moment like I did icon_wink.gif


mandyloo Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 10:38am
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

Cindy, I have been trying to find a flower nail, but the only ones I have ever seen are quite short, and the cake batter would competely cover the nail. Should they stick up out the top of the cake?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cindy619

I have to admit, the first time I tried the ol' smash method, I forgot that I had flower nails in the cake. Let's put it this way, when you take a cookie sheet and use it to smash down a cake with nails in it, two things will happen:

1.) You'll bend your nails
2.) The flower nails will then tip over and rip through the cake

Hope this prevents someone else from having a blonde moment like I did icon_wink.gif




I think mine say #9 on them...by the time the cake rises, they are completely covered (for me, anyway), but they are greased and floured and pop right out.

mimi4bye Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 11:45am
post #16 of 19

I love love love this site. I learn something new everyday! Thanks for all who contributed to this post. It really does help the newbies like me. You gals are wonderful!

Cindy619 Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 12:40pm
post #17 of 19

I think I use flower nails labeled #7. When place in a 2" cake pan, they stick up slightly from the pan. My mistake was made when the cake baked up, the dome hid my nails. So when I tried to "smoosh" my cake back to 2" for level, my hidden nails reappeared (in all the wrong ways!).

mommakabob Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 1:28pm
post #18 of 19

Oh, I am so excited to try this! I always feel bad wasting all that cake as well!

vickymacd Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 1:34pm
post #19 of 19

WASTING CAKE???? Is there such a thing????
I used to smoosh cake down, and it works well if you want that solid baked top on your cake. If not, level (cut) it and make cake balls! Or as I call it,
rewards for the work ahead of me!

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