Everytime I cook a cake it always pulls away from the edges as it is cooling. Is this normal? If not, how can I keep this from happening. I have been using the Sylvia Weinstock recipe baking at 350 until they spring back. I know that scratch cakes do not rise like box cakes but my cakes will rise then sink when they are cooling. This means I never get a 2" cake. I also use the flower nail method.
The cake will shrink some as it cools...depending upon how much shrinkage you are getting. Is the cake really dense and gooey when it's finished or dense and moist...light and fluffy? It could be you just need to increase the amount of batter to your pan and provide "sideboards" to prevent overflow using strips of parchment paper. You will have to experiment. Measure out your batter each time you bake to see how high it bakes up in the pan. If you increase the depth of the pan with the parchment paper, and add a little more to your pan each time you bake with that pan, you will eventually get the right amount of batter for that particular recipe. Unfortunately, it may not be the same amount for a different recipe. I also wanted to add that you need to make sure that you are getting it baked completely. If you are not letting it bake until it is completely done, it may shrink a lot on you too, thus the gooey center.