Newbie Question: How Do You Get Your Tiers So Tall?

Decorating By CharliesMom09 Updated 11 Nov 2010 , 1:35am by JaeRodriguez

CharliesMom09 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 8:19pm
post #1 of 13

I'm a new hobbyist. How do you get your tiers so tall? What goes into each tier? Is it three layers baked in separate pans? Two layers in separate pans then torted, so four layers total? Something else? How tall is each layer? How tall is a total tier?

I've only made two layers with one layer of filling, and my cakes look so short. I'd love to build up the height as a step toward making my cakes look more professional.

Many TIA!

12 replies
TexasSugar Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 9:03pm
post #2 of 13

How tall are your layers that you start with?

I use two 2in-ish layers, torte them, so that I have three layers of filling and 4 layers of cake.

Mothersuperior Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 9:35pm
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

How tall are your layers that you start with?

I use two 2in-ish layers, torte them, so that I have three layers of filling and 4 layers of cake.




I do the same, so after leveling the cakes, torting and filling you should end up with at least a 4 in cake.

CharliesMom09 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 2:44am
post #4 of 13

Thanks, you two! I don't know how tall mine are... right now, I just have two, 9-in. pans that I divide the cake batter between. Depending on how much I have to slice off to level them, I get a slightly different size for each cake. They're definitely less than 2 in. each, though.

To get a 2 in. layer, can you use a 2" deep pan, or is it easier with a 3" pan?

Texas_Rose Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 3:27am
post #5 of 13

I use the 3" pans, but I still bake two layers for each tier. I like to use more batter than you usually would for a 2" pan so that I end up with a slightly taller layer, but there's nothing worse than having the cake overflow in the oven, so when I bought new pans, I only bought the 3" deep. I use a flower nail in the middle of each one to help it bake flatter so I don't have as much to slice off to level it, and I also bake at 325 instead of 350. My kids have been complaining that there aren't as many cake scraps as there used to be icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif because I don't end up with a big dome on the cake anymore.

Also, if you're using a cake mix, that has enough batter for two 8" pans but is kind of skimpy for the 9".

terrylee Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 3:47am
post #6 of 13

I devide the batter between two 8" pans....wrap the sides with a dampened strip of sweat shirt material, or you can use the wilton back strips. They will rise to 2" and a relativly flat top....not to much to trim off... (the scraps I free and use for cake balls). I torte and fill....and end up with a good 4" cake.

sweetheart6710 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 4:02am
post #7 of 13

I read somewhere here on CC that 'industry standard' for like, a wedding cake is 4in.. (Maybe IndyDeb said it?). When you buy cake dummies they come in 3in and 4in tall options, usually. I have been going with 4in, and love the way it looks. I usually go with 3 layers of cake, each just over an inch, with 2 layers of filling. Just another opinion.

TexasSugar Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 3:41pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharliesMom09

Thanks, you two! I don't know how tall mine are... right now, I just have two, 9-in. pans that I divide the cake batter between. Depending on how much I have to slice off to level them, I get a slightly different size for each cake. They're definitely less than 2 in. each, though.

To get a 2 in. layer, can you use a 2" deep pan, or is it easier with a 3" pan?




Ahhh, okay I know the problem. icon_smile.gif Cake mix boxes lie. That amount of battter the cake mix makes is not enough to give you two full pretty two in layers of cake when you divide the mix up in to two 8in pans or two 9 in pans or a single 13x9.

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Check out the above chart. To get a pretty full two inch layer of cake from a 9in pan you need to use 5.5 cups of batter. Depending on the brand that is one cake mix or sometimes less.

Cake mixes (undoctored, just basked off the box directions) yield between 4-6 cups of batter. It varies between the different brands as well as flavors. Betty And Phils tend to be between 4-5 cups of batter. DH is 5-6. White cakes mixes tend to be in the lower range of the amount, chocolate in the middle. The only mix I know that makes 6 cups is the DH Golden Butter.

So youll actually need to use a cake mix per each pan. You can also look into the doctored recipes to increase the amount of batter you get. The extender recipes (ones where you add a cup of flour, sugar, sour cream) tend to give you about 7 cups of batter.

CharliesMom09 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 6:27pm
post #9 of 13

Thanks for all the input! Y'all are the best!

I've actually never used a cake mix, only purely from scratch. I think I've been getting domes that are too high (so I'll try the bake even strips or one of the other suggestions, and a lower oven temp). I've just used one full scratch recipe divided between two 9" pans, and probably been having to cut off too much of the tops.

8" pans are on my Christmas list, maybe I'll specify 3" depth.

So hopefully, if I use one scratch cake recipe divided between two 8" pans, with bake even strips and baked at a lower temp, then torte the two layers to make four... then maybe I'll have a taller cake like everyone else seems to?? I'll measure how many cups of batter I get next time, too, and check it against what was mentioned above.

p.s. Out of curiosity, those of you that use three layers slightly more than 1" each... How do you get 3 layers? Do you bake in three separate pans?

TexasSugar Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 6:44pm
post #10 of 13

Next time you make the recipe, measure out how much batter it makes then make a note on your recipe. icon_smile.gif

And there is a 3in pan, so they could be baking in that, and torting twice.

LindaF144a Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:33pm
post #11 of 13

I was going to say the same thing as TexasRose.

Not all scratch recipes are alike. I know that they will say what size pans to use for the amount of batter. And I trusted this for the wedding cake I made, second tier. That one was vanilla and the others were chocolate, so I made 4 batches of the chocolate and divided that between the 12" and 6" pans. I made only 1 batch of the vanilla cake because the recipe said it made 2" 9" pans. What I got were 2 - 1" deep cakes. As a result the top tier is larger than the rest of the other tiers. The middle tier was torted and had 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of frosting while the top and bottom was not torted.

When I made the same cake for my DH's birthday cake, I used two batches and made cupcakes with the left over batter. I used bake even strips and my 2" pans and I still got a cake that was 3.5 inches high even though it was torted also. Even though the batter was higher, it was still not high enough.

I think I am going to have to do what OP said and get 3" pans. Then I can make it as high as I want and save the rest for cake balls, or something.

But I too am on a quest to get 4" layers. So now I am shopping for 3" pans, or at least 2.5" too.

Mikel79 Posted 10 Nov 2010 , 9:48pm
post #12 of 13

I usually use 1/2" foamcore board under my cakes. Normally my cakes will only be 3 1/2 inches once the 2nd layer is on top. This is because I level my cakes. Onced leveled my layers are about 1 1/2 tall.

My most recent cake I did 2 layers of filling and did NOT use the foam core board.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1862782.html

HTH

Michael

JaeRodriguez Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 1:35am
post #13 of 13

Just a thought- are you using actual 2" tall pans? The pans I was using when I first started were just regular cake pans from walmart and those are usually only 1 1/2 inches. That would also cause you trouble if you are trying to get taller cakes!

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