Baking Large Cakes

Lounge By MissCakeCrazy Updated 31 Mar 2011 , 12:53pm by MissCakeCrazy

MissCakeCrazy Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 9:51pm
post #1 of 23

I have asked this question a few months ago and tried to act on as much advise as I could but no matter what I do, I cannot bake large nice evenly baked cakes. I am Ok with baking 6 and 8 inch cakes but when it comes to 10 and 12" cakes (let alone 14"!) its a disaster. By the time the middle gets cooked, the edges and corners get hard and crusty. Last time they got so hard that I had to trim the sides of a square cake off, then I suddenly realised after it had been iced that it was out of shape! don't know what to do. Someone suggected that I could bake in two batches which I done but they were still hard. I have tried the core and strips, no use. If it carries on like this, when ever I get a wedding cake order, I am going to have to purchase the large cakes undecorated from someone else..

22 replies
indydebi Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 10:39pm
post #2 of 23

How do you treat your pans and what temp are you baking at? is it a regular or convection oven?

When I first got my convection oven, I had to reduce the temp from 350 to 275 AND add a pan of water in the oven to add moisture. The first batch of cakes went straight in the trash. The one with the reduced temp and the pan of water were Mary Poppins cakes .... you know, "Perfect in every way!" icon_biggrin.gif

joycesdaughter111 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 12:19am
post #3 of 23

I had the same problem until I started using the wilton heating core on any cake over 8 inches. I looks like a little metal cup.

Or you can spray three flower nails with Bakers Joy, place them upside down in your cake pan and then add your batter. The metal helps the middle of your cake get done faster. Works for me. thumbs_up.gif

Renaejrk Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:15am
post #4 of 23

Also, you can do thinner layers and you just have to bake more layers - saves on torting but it is a trade off. icon_smile.gif I just did a 10 inch square and made 3 one inch tall layers instead of making 1-2 cakes - they baked up so beautifully!

Corrie76 Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 6:43am
post #5 of 23

IndyDebi's advice on the pan of water is really good, not only for the added moisture but also to help distribute the heat in your oven more evenly, and it sounds like from the description of your issues you may have problems with your oven's heating elements or general design...I've found that baking in older or low quality ovens tends to produce some spotty cakes or meals.

And I know this well from my day job, as a skills trainer, frequently has me helping my clients with cooking in their homes, which are usually condemnable trailers or funky old apartments with funky old appliances!

One thing to remember if you are going to use a shallow pan of water in the oven is to put the pan in first, on the bottom shelf, then add boiling water from a tea kettle, that way you don't accidentally slosh really hot water on yourself trying to manuever the shallow pan into the oven.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:27pm
post #6 of 23

Thanks everyone, inydebi, you always have the greatest wisdom! I will try out the water in the pan idea. I have actually done this before but I did not reduce the temp. My oven is a gas oven. By lowering the temp, isn't there more chance of the sides going hard?

Joyce, you mentioned the heating core but I think that sounds like it will be wasting alot of cake and you'll end up with a big hole in it. Reneajrk, I did what you said with the cake I had mentioned as the batter wasn't enough so I had to bake 2 layers but even with a thin layer of cake (about 1 inch high) it still was hard and crusty. It would have produced the same results if the batter was deep (I have experience of this also sadly icon_sad.gif I have also found out that if you bake 2 layers, you have to cut the dome off twice therefore having less cake. What can I do about this?

Narie Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:50pm
post #7 of 23

I would be very suspicious of your oven. Do you have a independent temp. gage in your oven? My old oven was ...ah ... tricky at best. Even once I knew how far off it was adjusting the temp didn't entirely fix the problem.

ShandraB Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 1:53pm
post #8 of 23

If you don't already have one, I would suggest purchasing an oven thermometer to see what's going on in there. If your oven temp is off or is fluctuating too widely, you can get strange results.

For larger cakes, 10" and over, I always reduce my oven temp, use flower nails and bake until done, not until the timer goes off.

I haven't tried the pan of water, but I think I will this weekend!
Thanks.

genevieveyum Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:12pm
post #9 of 23

I've been leaving my pizza stone in my oven on the bottom rack- and turning the temp down- this has kept the temp even throughout the oven. The flower nails and the strips are great- but if you don't have enough strips, you can fold wet papertowels in foil and wrap with that- no pins!

Sam_paggers Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:17pm
post #10 of 23

Hi,

Miss Cake Crazy- I share your pain, I currently have a gas oven and its a nightmare for cooking anything! Worst thing is that the grill has caught fire that many times, we cant even read the dial to know the Gas mark things are being cooked on! In this situation an over thermometer would be no good, as everytime I turn the damn thing I have to guess where the markings were. I just cook lower to be sure....

Can't wait until the day I win the lottery and buy some decent equiptment including a working oven!

Love the bowl of water idea.... hadn't heard that one before, will definatly give it a go!

Thanks for the tip icon_wink.gif

Sam
xxx

MissCakeCrazy Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 9:52pm
post #11 of 23

Thanks you lot, I just have to see what I can do and maybe get a thermometer... What happens if the temp does actually fluctate? Can the oven get fixed? Or should I have someone check out my oven before I spend money on a thermometer?

scp1127 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 1:59am
post #12 of 23

The thermometer is only a few dollars and I keep them in my ovens. I just got two new ovens. I checked them and they were perfect. About the tenth time I used one of them, it was off by 20 degrees. The more you train yourself to always check the thermometer, the better your baked goods will bake. You just never know.

joycesdaughter111 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 3:07am
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissCakeCrazy

Thanks everyone, inydebi, you always have the greatest wisdom! I will try out the water in the pan idea. I have actually done this before but I did not reduce the temp. My oven is a gas oven. By lowering the temp, isn't there more chance of the sides going hard?

Joyce, you mentioned the heating core but I think that sounds like it will be wasting alot of cake and you'll end up with a big hole in it. Reneajrk, I did what you said with the cake I had mentioned as the batter wasn't enough so I had to bake 2 layers but even with a thin layer of cake (about 1 inch high) it still was hard and crusty. It would have produced the same results if the batter was deep (I have experience of this also sadly icon_sad.gif I have also found out that if you bake 2 layers, you have to cut the dome off twice therefore having less cake. What can I do about this?




The heating core is filled up with a few tablespoons of your batter and cooks along with your cake. Then when cool, you fill up the hole you just made in your cake with this tiny little uh, "cupcake."

Be careful, though, it's tempting to want to pop that yummy little guy into your mouth, hee, hee icon_wink.gif.

Kellbella Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 8:13pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

How do you treat your pans and what temp are you baking at? is it a regular or convection oven?

When I first got my convection oven, I had to reduce the temp from 350 to 275 AND add a pan of water in the oven to add moisture. The first batch of cakes went straight in the trash. The one with the reduced temp and the pan of water were Mary Poppins cakes .... you know, "Perfect in every way!" icon_biggrin.gif




Does the pan of water trick work with a regular oven?

Renaejrk Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:13pm
post #15 of 23

I don't have to cut a dome twice because I have no dome - I think like the others above you probably have oven problems!

indydebi Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:49pm
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellbella

Does the pan of water trick work with a regular oven?


Why not? Give it a shot and let us know what kind of differences you see! thumbs_up.gif

cabecakes Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 6:36pm
post #17 of 23

I was also thinking that you may have a problem with your temperature. Have you tried a different recipe? Maybe it isn't the oven at all...maybe it is the recipe. I would first buy me an oven thermometer (cheapest solution...only a few dollars). If you have tried different recipes, I would suggest starting from scratch. Look at the way you prepare your pans (I generally use cooking spray and parchment lined pans), are you using baking strips and/or flower nails. What is the oven temperature (I general go around 325 and cook until skewer inserted comes out clean...I don't generally go by cooking times). What type of pans are you using...3" don't generally bake well (or at least that is the concencuss that I get from reading on here). Just some ideas that might help, Indydebi usually gives pretty good advice, you might want to try the pan of water idea as well.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 9:58pm
post #18 of 23

I'll try it out once I get the time.....icon_smile.gif

Kellbella Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 11:21pm
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellbella

Does the pan of water trick work with a regular oven?

Why not? Give it a shot and let us know what kind of differences you see! thumbs_up.gif




I threw a pan on the very bottom of the oven while baking 3- 10 in round cakes....scratch marble cakes. The next day when I leveled the tops to fill and stack the layers....OMG!!! the cake was so very moist! I think I'll bake it again without the water just to say the difference, but I like how they turned out. Thanks again Deb for the tip. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 4:23am
post #20 of 23

So glad to hear it worked for you! Sometimes what works for one won't work for another so I'm glad to hear you found a solution! thumbs_up.gif thanks for sharing your results!

Caz0108 Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 7:18am
post #21 of 23

I had the same problem, until I baked my larger cakes in 2 pans. Also a tip that I got from an old cake decorating book is that you grease only the bottom of your pan and line with parchment paper, but do not grease the sides. Your cake will stick to the sides and will bake evenly in the middle. You will have to be careful in removing the cake from the pan...Do it with a spatula, very slowly and you will have a perfectly rounded or square cake that requires no trimming..Trust me I did that...

VanillaCoke Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 3:06pm
post #22 of 23

I've never even tried to bake a cake bigger than 10" without a heating core- it works great. You just grease it up and plug the hole it makes, and the cakes bake perfectly. Seems like the easy way to me.

MissCakeCrazy Posted 31 Mar 2011 , 12:53pm
post #23 of 23

I am still going through discussions with this bride (no order has been made yet). Now she wants an even bigger cake to be the bottom tier (16")!! I was getting stressed about the 14" but now its even bigger. I am not even sure a 16" pan will fit my oven, even if it does, there won't be much air space. Has anyone ever done a tier this big? If the worst comes to the worst, I can obtain a sheet cake from a baker (14" x 16" x 2 sheets) to cut out a round cake. With the remaining 8" left, will I have enough to slice inches off to put on top so it can be 4" deep? The sheet will be just under 3", maybe 2.5. With all this 'patchwork', will the structure of the cake loosen so that putting dowels in it would make it worse?

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