I seem to ruin my cakes when I try to bake different sizes at the same time...not a huge size difference but maybe 15 min difference in the oven. Yep, I'm totally new and don't know what to do with the left over batter after I've filled up the main pan (needing 2 cake mixes to make enough, yet I'm left with 3-4 cups of batter). The middle sinks if I have to take the smaller pan out of the oven earlier . I worry about the leaveners not being good if I wait an hour and then bake the left over batter in a different size pan. Any ideas? Wish I had a double oven.
Freeze the left over.
I've already frozen batter in a vacuum bag for a year, and when it thawed it was just fine.
freeze or make cupcakes and scored some points with your neighbors!
I freeze leftover batter in zip-lock freezer bags (labeled & dated.) Later, I can make a bunch of cupcakes, or a 6" layer cake, or even a marble cake if I happen to have 2 flavors that go well together. I can use them for practicing new techniques, give them to the local fire station, donate them to a bake sale, or allow my family to devour them for dessert!
As previous posters have stated, freeze excess batter. Or refrigerate for a short time and bake when oven space is available.
But I'm not quite sure I understand about removing cakes from the oven at different times. Why does it negatively affect your other pans?
I definitely wouldn't recommend opening the oven before the minimum time necessary to bake has passed. This will cause the inner part of the cake to sink as you've experienced... I have no idea about the science behind this...
I read somewhere not to bake cake batter that's been left out for more than an hour, even with refrigeration.. But I'd love to try the freezing technique everyone is recommending..
If you don't want leftover mix, You could bake cupcakes and turn them into cake pops, then freeze the cake pops.
I freeze mine as well in ziploc baggies. I pour it in, the squeeze the batter out, and roll it up pop it in the freezer. Then when I need to use it (for cupcakes or little tasting cakes that I do), I take it out of the freezer and leave it on the counter for maybe 20 minutes to soften up a little and then cut the tip off of the bag and squeeze it into the pan Easy clean up too!
I hold batter in the fridge ALL THE TIME. As does probably every bakery in the country.
Cake mixes are very forgiving, and really shouldn't sink when you open the oven door too soon. Or maybe I've been lucky? I just baked a 6in and 10in in the same oven a few weeks ago, removed the 6in at its time, continued to bake the 10in with no problem at all.
If it is going to be used soon, such as when one pan comes out of the oven, I have left cake mix batter out, you can go ahead and get the pan filled ready to go. If it will be a while, then put it in the fridge. I've kept cake mix in the fridge and used it the next day with no issues. And I have frozen it, if I don't need it for a while, with no issues either.
Are you using straight cake mixes? Doctoring them any? What brand/flavor?
I keep a record as the the quantity I've used to fill each size pan. I also divide cake mixes into thirds by weighing them and do that since usually three eggs are needed in a mix. I do this when I need extra batter and then put the remaining mix in a zip log bag back in the box for another such occasion where I need something more, but not an entire mix.
Thanks everyone! Great info