I have made a few cakes, mostly using boxes mixes but I never seem to have the layers right. They are never tall enough and therefore my cakes are never even when I stack them. Can anyone help me with cake recipes that will give me those tall layers for 8", 9" and 10" pans? And how do you know how much cake batter to use for a sheet cake? How do you layer a sheet cake (top half chocolate, bottom half vanilla)? Do I make two Half sheets then stack.
One thing you could try is putting a piece of parchment paper around the inside of your pan, but you want to leave about an inch sticking up over the edge of the pan. This will allow you to fill your pans fuller, and thus create a thicker layer. The amount of batter will is sort of trial and error depending on the mix you use. You just have to measure out how much batter you use each time until you figure out how your recipe reacts to the size of pan you are using. I usually fill my pans anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full (depending on the recipe). If the cake bakes above the edge of the pan it will be caught by the parchment paper and be easier to level, and it will be a thicker layer. You can stack the chocolate on the white, but I usually cut in half and layer on top of each other. This way if someone doesn't like chocolate they only get white and vice versa. Just put some buttercream between the halves. You can also bake together, but I have never had much luck with that. They don't seem to raise right. If you would like to try this, simply put a strip of plastic (I use one of those generic plastic cutting boards from the dollar store) down the center of the pan and pour the vanilla on one side and the chocolate on the other at the same time. Then slowly pull the plastic strip out of the cake and bake. But I didn't have a very good white cake recipe then either. I haven't tried it since I got this new white cake recipe. It might work better...I'll have to try it.
Most scratch recipes do not rise as tall as cake mixes so you need to use more batter. Sometimes its just a matter of being familiar with how your recipes bake up.
You could also bake three layers of whatever cake you are making and then use two layers of filling.
Thank you for your help! I am making a christening cake for my nephew for this Sunday and I really want it to look professional. These ideas will help! I need to look at baking as an "art" and not an exact science...trial and error! Thanks again!