Leveling A Cake With Out Cutting It.

Decorating By SarahB52 Updated 22 Oct 2011 , 8:07am by rara1975

SarahB52 Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:10pm
post #1 of 17

I have read several posts on how people cut their cakes to make the level. I think this is just sheer silliness. This is for two reasons: the first being it is never reliable AND it dries the cake out.

The next time that you are facing the need of leveling a cake think about this method.

Directly after your cakes come out of the oven BEFORE you remove it from the pans place a piece of parchment or a clean tea towel over your cake that is still hot and in its pan, place something heavy and flat on top of the parchment or tea towel. You must leave it in place for 10 minutes. After the time is up remove to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.

Viola! You have a perfectly level cake that wont be dry or cause you headaches.

16 replies
TexasSugar Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:20pm
post #2 of 17

How does leveling a cake dry it out? You level it, stack it with filling, then put a crumb coat on it to let it settle.

I level cakes all time, they are always the same height because I cut them on the same setting and never dry.

To each their own though.

kakeladi Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:27pm
post #3 of 17

.....I have read several posts on how people cut their cakes to make the level. I think this is just sheer silliness. This is for two reasons: the first being it is never reliable AND it dries the cake out........

I very much disagree with you on those statements.
1) why do you call it UNreliable? If you use a cake cutter/knife that is as long as the cake pan is wide (ie: 2" knife to cut/level any cake up to 12" (round or sq). Run the knife across the cake while it is still in the pan; the edges of the pan hold it up so it is *perfectly* level every time.
2) Once a cake is leveled by cuttiing you put the cut side down on the cake board and it will not dry out. In 35+ yrs of decorating I have never had a leveled cake dry out if handled properly.

.........Directly after your cakes come out of the oven BEFORE you remove it from the pans place a piece of parchment or a clean tea towel over your cake.... place something heavy and flat on top of the parchment or tea towel. You must leave it in place for 10 minutes. After the time is up remove to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack..............

Yes this method has been suggested and used for may years now. BUT.......I have never had to leave it for 10 minutes. In a busy bakery one does not have time for that. You put a cake board or cookie sheet on the cake and push down gently but firmly - hold for maybe 30 seconds, then remove the sheet; depan you cake to the cooling rack. Here again one is using the top edge of the pan to help level the cake.
I don't care for this method because every time I have tried it the cake developed cracks at the top - where the cake side and top meet - this becomes the top of the cake when you turn your cake out onto a cake board. Those cracks can weaken a cake that will be a tier in a lg wedding cake icon_sad.gif

mariacakestoo Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:31pm
post #4 of 17

What does a musical instrument have to do with cake?!?!

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:33pm
post #5 of 17

Leveling a cake via the "push down" method as it's known, does not level a cake as precisely as cutting it. Plus, if your cake has risen over the top of the pan, even if it's very slight, the cake sort of folds in on itself and you can't hide that permanent bulge with icing. Additionally, the tops of the cakes will still have a round component to them that will either cause a bulge between the layers, or a non-flat top depending on how you place them.

mariacakestoo Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:33pm
post #6 of 17

But seriously, I gently pat down the tops of mine with a paper towel, for a few seconds, and that's it. I'd rather not put something heavy on my just baked cake for 15 minutes. I want it as tall as possible, and light and fluffy. Not compressed.

BlakesCakes Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:42pm
post #7 of 17

Well, I guess everyone is welcome to their own opinion........ icon_confused.gif

But I don't think it's at all necessary to make sweeping statements, about a process many bakers use, describing something as "sheer silliness".

And the statement that cutting a cake to level it dries out the cake and is unreliable is just...........sheer silliness. Ooops icon_redface.gif

I use my Agbay to level and split my cakes. It's very reliable.

I don't let my cake sit out for any length of time with the cut top exposed to the air. The cut top has the cake board applied to it. Any splits get a dam applied and the filling added.

There's just NO TIME for the cake to dry out.

For me, it's most effective to cool the cake, wrap it, freeze it, defrost it, level it, split it, fill it, crumb coat it, allow it to settle, final ice it, decorate it.

Do what works for you, but don't try to sway people to your way by degrading what others do.

Rae

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 10:48pm
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes



But I don't think it's at all necessary to make sweeping statements, about a process many bakers use, describing something as "sheer silliness".

And the statement that cutting a cake to level it dries out the cake and is unreliable is just...........sheer silliness. Ooops icon_redface.gif






For me, it's most effective to cool the cake, wrap it, freeze it, defrost it, level it, split it, fill it, crumb coat it, allow it to settle, final ice it, decorate it.


Rae





thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif

AnnieCahill Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 11:53pm
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Quote:

What does a musical instrument have to do with cake?!?!




ROFL.

josefina20 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 12:28am
post #10 of 17

woaaoooooooooo icon_confused.gif

milkmaid42 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 12:35am
post #11 of 17

Oooooh, I just now got it! icon_redface.gif A little slow here, as I automatically corrected in my mind. Was worth re-reading!

Jan

BlakesCakes Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 12:43am
post #12 of 17

dup post

BlakesCakes Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 12:43am
post #13 of 17

Voila............Viola.............whatever.............just sheer silliness icon_lol.gif

Rae

SarahB52 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 1:52am
post #14 of 17

Firstly I posted this because there were posts stating that some were having issues with their leveler.

Secondly, as I have previously stated that I think that it is sheer silliness. If you have your own methods that work for you way to go. And as for the "bulges" I have done this many times and have never had an issue with it.

In no way was I "degrading" anyone or their methods. Just simply throwing out another method for those who like myself have had absolutely no luck with leveling a cake via the cutting method, because I found this method to work for me and it may work for others.

Obviously for those who own/run a bakery you needn't change your methods because what you're doing is working for you. So why waste your time ranting on some newbies post about how they shouldn't "degrade" others and their methods.

BlakesCakes Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 1:59am
post #15 of 17

We're "wasting" our time ranting at the "newbie" because when the "newbie" calls our method(s) "sheer silliness", it comes across as "degrading".

If the "newbie" did some forum searching, the "newbie" would see that the smoosh method she favors has been talked about, off and on, in the forums here FOR YEARS.

Welcome to CC.
Rae

siuingme Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 7:34am
post #16 of 17

I'm newbie icon_biggrin.gif and had big problem with leveling, not now after I bought Agbay. I'll cry if someone tell me to push my beautiful cake to make it level..LOL

rara1975 Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 8:07am
post #17 of 17

It's definitely about personal preference I think, I have used both methods (minus setting heavy object on top). I usually press gently with a clean towel. Both work equally well I find, and cakes never dry as the buttercream coating would put moisture back in, even if cutting did lose a little.

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