I Think My 3" Pans Might Be My Problem

Baking By tsal Updated 11 Jun 2012 , 4:59am by scp1127

tsal Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 4:43pm
post #1 of 21

My cakes take forever to bake and are sometimes underbaked even though they test done. I only have 3" pans and I'm beginning to think that they might be the problem. I have an oven thermometer in my oven so I know that temperature is not the issue.

Does anyone use 3" pans? I'm going to borrow a friend's 2" pans and test out a failed recipe to see if the result is different.

20 replies
Pearl645 Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:08pm
post #2 of 21

I also have 3" pans that I use to bake 8",9",10" and 12" round cakes. It is best to spread the batter evenly between the two 3" pans so you get about 2" high in each pan. I have an electric oven so it takes longer than a gas or convection oven to bake all my cakes. I know this because my teacher has a gas oven and her cakes bake way faster than mine. Then too she has 2" high layer pans.

I am going to invest in some 2" high pans soon to avoid the long baking times for 3" high pans. Everyone here on CC recommends 2" high layer pans. I have been looking at getting Fat Daddio's cake pans on GSA.

JanDunlevy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:33pm
post #3 of 21

I am very new to cake decorating and have bought almost all my pans in 3 inch. I had trouble at first until I bought a heating core. That was the answer for my troubles. I fill the core with a little batter so I can plug my hole and all is well. With 3 inch pans I feel as though I have the option to choose the depth of my cake. Hope this helps.

tsal Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 6:13pm
post #4 of 21

JanDunlevy: that was my reasoning as well. I liked that I could choose the depth as well. I have a ton of 3" pans too - ugh. icon_sad.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 9:33pm
post #5 of 21

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my 3" pans. As a matter of fact, I try to "trade up" from 2" pans whenever possible.

I'm not baking 3" layers, though. I'm looking to get a nice, full 2" layer.

I use flower nails for baking cores for every cake, even an 6" round. For larger cakes, like a 12", I'll put in 3 nails, for a 14" square, 5 or 6. I bake at 325F for nearly all cakes.

My cakes bake up very flat and right in line with the times suggested for that amount of batter cited in the Wilton charts.


tsal Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 9:06am
post #6 of 21

Rae: how high do you fill your 3" pans?

leah_s Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 10:22am
post #7 of 21

I hate, hate, hate 3" pans. I got rid of all of them. I use 2" pans and never have need for heating cores or nails, even in 16" pans.

I bake in electric convection, gas and gas convection.

Everyone's experience is different, I guess.

Chellescakes Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 10:56am
post #8 of 21

I only use 3 " pans . I never have a problem with them, I also fill them up very high so I can trim straight across the top of the tin for a full three inches of cake .

I don't use flower nails , but I do use a double layer of baking paper on the bottom and around the sides of the tin. I do start my cakes off on a little higher temp when I start and then drop it back.

BlakesCakes Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 1:20pm
post #9 of 21
Originally Posted by tsal

Rae: how high do you fill your 3" pans?

I use the Wilton chart for 2" pans, putting in X# of cups and usually add in an extra half cup for good measure. If using 2, or more of the same pan, I weigh the first one and then fill the rest with the same amount.


mplaidgirl2 Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:17pm
post #10 of 21

I LOVE my 3 inch Fat Daddio pans! I also bake 2 inch layers in them but I love the height to get a full 2 inches without having to cut any wierd edges off.

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 3:41pm
post #11 of 21

I love the 3" pans too...they're the only ones I don't have to line when I make red velvet cake to prevent overflow! I only fill them so that they'll give me a 2" layer, but there have been times when I was baking something that was fuller and it did take longer to bake, naturally. Maybe you're just putting more batter into the pan than you need to. You don't mention how tall the layer is when you take it out of the pan. Is it 2" or closer to 3"?

Pearl645 Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 9:45pm
post #12 of 21

I was hesitant to use 2" pans because I thought the batter would bake up too high and spill over. I guess I will have to measure out by cups how much batter to fill 2" pans with? What sites will give that info for 2" pans?

scp1127 Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 6:59am
post #14 of 21

Same as blakes and costumeczar. I love 3 inch pans. I too just want a full 2 inch cake. The drama of a 6 inch cake with four one inch layers is my favorite.

Imagenthatnj had a link for real heating nails and I got them. They bake 10x better than flower nails and are so worth the money. They are cheap, but buy as much as you need at once. The shipping is high. I forgot where They came from but Imagenthat should chime in.

These with baking strips and the patience to bake at 325 until done will make a perfect cake at any size.

Also, I mathematically plan my nails and I do use a lot. Strategic planning will give you a perfectly even cake with consistent crumb and no wet centers.

I already was a skilled baker, but these nails significantly add to the quality and "insurance" that the cake will bake right.

nanamama Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 10:33pm
post #15 of 21

Another trick for either height is to put "collars" on the pans. This is simply a 3 - 4 in. strip of parchment paper around the inside perimeter of pan. This prevents any accidental overflow or a hard rim around the top of cake.

JWinslow Posted 10 Jun 2012 , 11:37pm
post #16 of 21

This is such a timely thread. I am making a cake next week using 14" x 3" pans. You all have answered so many questions for me. From filling to how many heating cores to use (I have the Aetco heating nails). Thanks so much!

Norasmom Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 1:27am
post #17 of 21

I have 3" square pans and I find them to be pesky. I am going to try bake-even strips and a heating core next time I bake. However, I must say, 2" pans are my favorite. I don't like my Fat Daddio's pans, btw. The edges are not perfectly square, they're somewhat rounded. Magic Line is what I prefer.

costumeczar Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 2:58am
post #18 of 21

I prefer the fat daddios to the magic line because of those corners! Much easier to clean, and I usually end up trimming the edges of the cakes flat anyway.

Norasmom Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 3:35am
post #19 of 21

Good point Costumeczar. Makes me feel better about my investment in those pans!

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 4:35am
post #20 of 21

Here are the links for the Ateco heating cores, if anyone needs them. SCP, now they're at Sur la table, too.



scp1127 Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 4:59am
post #21 of 21

Thanks imagenthatnj. I have a huge stack of receipts because of getting ready for the retail store and I knew I wouldn't find it.

I can't say enough about the difference, but I'm one to try to perfect the smallest detail. They conduct the heat better than the flower nails, not to mention the dents and the deterioration in the flower nails.

They are about $5.00 for four, but my shipping was almost $10.00. I got two sets and should have gotten more. This is why I suggested getting all at the same time.

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