I'm having a bit of an argument with myself, and I'm hoping some people can share their thoughts!!
When making a tiered cake, I prefer to use two 2" high cakes to get a tier that is over 4" high once I've filled it. However, I'm seeing a lot of places selling "decorator" pans that are 3" high and meant to be torted and filled. These seem rather small to me...but maybe I'm just thinking of this wrong...using two pans gives me double the clean-up to do after all.
What are you guys doing with yours? I'd love to have some input!
The trouble I have with 2-inch pans is that they never quite produce 2-inch layers for me. After they're leveled, they wind up a little short for my taste. I find that, if I use 3-inch pans and fill so the cake rises but does not overflow, and press down when it comes out of the oven, after leveling and trimming I end up with just about 2 inches of perfect cake per layer. So in response to your question, I DO use the 3-inch pans, but not in the way in which you describe, because you're right, you can very easily short-change your cake with that method if only using one layer. That's just me ...
I use the 2" pans, but like you have seen the 3" ones and wondered the same. I think that as long as you have the tiers all the same size know one will notice if they are just under 2" each or 4" all together. I think for a wedding cake you would want to use two 2" pans and not just one 3" though. I think the big thing is to make sure you fill the pans with just enough cake batter to have them rise enough. I still have issues with this. Last 12" round cake I made it made a HUGE mess in my oven. I make notes for myself so next time I know how much to use.
Thanks for the thoughts guys. I've been cruising around and looking at pics on here and it looks like most people go for a 4" tier...I think that looks the best.