Trimming Cake Edges

Decorating By lovinspoonfull Updated 2 Jun 2013 , 3:06pm by DeliciousDesserts

lovinspoonfull Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 6:00pm
post #1 of 13

I was wondering how many of you out there trim your cake edges so that the darker crumb does no show. I have never done it, and was curious about how common this is.

12 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 7:16pm
post #2 of 13

I will trim off thin "line" at the very top edge if it is crusty, but that's all.

I have seen the entire sides of cake layers cut away by 2 prominent cake people and personally, I think it's SILLY.

My opinion is that if a cake is baked that dark (and by my standards, overdone), then that's a much bigger problem.

I think it's a waste of time and product, but then again, my cakes NEVER come out as dark as some that I've seen on "teaching" videos and some TV shoes. I also think that it degrades the structural integrity of a layer because you've, in essence, cut away the supportive "skin" that the baked rim forms.

I also don't cut away cake cardboards after placing the cake on them icon_confused.gif I WANT my cardboard a bit bigger than the cake because it makes a wonderful guide applying icing and for cutting against after applying fondant.

A very slightly "off-round" cake can be made perfect with minor adjustments in icing.

JMHO
Rae

lovinspoonfull Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 8:02pm
post #3 of 13

I feel the same way about trimming the cake sides. I have never seen a need for it on my cakes. I was curious because I have seen it mentioned a few times in the forums. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something!

sillywabbitz Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 8:23pm
post #4 of 13

I agree with Rae, I don't trim the edges unless it's an absolute necessity (it's got some kind of bulge or something. I use the homemade cake release and ever since I started using that my edges are never super dark. They were when I used the sprays.

I will say that when I made a cake ombre inside, I should have trimmed the top and bottom of each layer because when you cut it, it just wasn't quite as pretty - you can see it here.
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2188634/pink-ruffle-cake

In this case, I think the extra trimming of the bottom would have helped the look but I do think it weakens the cakes.

LisaPeps Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 9:02pm
post #5 of 13

I trim my edges, but that may be a UK thing. We have cake boards which are 2-3mm thick. When the cake is baked the cake and the board are the same size, so I trim the tiniest bit off so that I have 1/4 of an inch to fill with ganache so I get a perfect covering. If the boards were bigger (ie exactly 8" round etc) then I wouldn't need to, but they are not made exact.

gatorcake Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 11:16pm
post #6 of 13

Folks may find it unnecessary but it is far from silly. First the crust on the side has no impact on the structural integrity of the cake. Evidence for this are cakes baked with bake even strips. Use these all the time, and on the cake where I use them, the sides never develop a firm crust and the cakes never suffer any structural defects.

Second whether or not it is dark, the crust on the outside is "tougher" than the rest of the cake. It is a texture that some may find worth getting rid of no matter how "dark" the crust is. This is not different than removing the top crust from a cake that as has a flat surface--I always trim the crust from the top even if the cake is perfectly flat.

As to wasting product see point 2. The outer crust even when not dark is still different from the rest of the cake. It is not wasting product as it is product that the baker has determined the crust creates an unfavorable texture/flavor. When I shave the crust I just "shave" the outer edge to remove the outer crust, it takes very little product. When I shave the sides, very little product is wasted because most of what I shave off is something I don't want people eating anyway. And just to be clear the crusts are not that dark, they are however, something that I find less than ideal in terms of the cake's texture/mouth feel.

Finally it can assist with the cake icing of a cake. Sometimes cakes just don't pull back far enough leaving very little room around the edges-the cake board-and this is with cake boards that measure the right size. Clearing that little extra crust, which is not good eats anyway, can create that extra room that enables the cake to better sit on the cake boards.

If you do not have to do it/want to do it, that is great, but there are legitimate reasons for trimming cakes. That one does it does not mean their cakes are over-baked or are engaged in a a frivolous, silly, unnecessary practice.

Apti Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 12:14am
post #7 of 13

It's just too much trouble. The couple of times I tried to trim the edges, I ended up with a cake about 1" smaller. In other words, it did not go well.....

I know this probably comes with practice, but I don't make enough cakes to sacrifice a lot of them to get the necessary mastery of "trimming".

I did just purchase an Agbay and will be trimming the tops and bottoms of my cakes. I LOVE that machine.

If I were selling cakes and charging top dollar, I might consider trimming the sides to create a superlative product, but since that's probably not going to happen....the sides remain.

sillywabbitz Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 12:33am
post #8 of 13

Apti, the Agbay is the BEST!

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 3:05am
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

..... the crusts are not that dark, they are however, something that I find less than ideal in terms of the cake's texture/mouth feel.




Well, everyone has a reason for their methods and thinking. I simply stated mine.

I'd think that, as with many things baking, the recipe, ingredients, oven temps/conditions, pan type, non-stick agent used/not used, baking strips used/not used, would all come into play as to whether the outer crust is noticeably different from the body of the cake.

As far as the sides of MY cakes, there is no appreciable difference in color, texture, or mouth feel, so, it would be, FOR ME, a waste of time, product, and ultimately, silly.

Rae

LoriMc Posted 1 Jun 2013 , 8:23pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake 

Folks may find it unnecessary but it is far from silly. First the crust on the side has no impact on the structural integrity of the cake. Evidence for this are cakes baked with bake even strips. Use these all the time, and on the cake where I use them, the sides never develop a firm crust and the cakes never suffer any structural defects.
 

 

Actually, it does give structural support.  The reason I know this is, I once tried to trim some of the dark brown section off a wonder mold cake. (They take forever to bake) When I inserted the Barbie, it formed cracks on both sides and I had to re-bake it. 

 

That's the only time my cake has ever cracked open, so in this case the outer layer does provide support.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 12:19am
post #11 of 13

ALori, that may have been caused by some other factor.

I used the wonder mold to carve Mr Potato head. I carved every single side of that thing to get the right shape & size. No cracking.

I've used the wonder mold for carving lots of cakes...& the ball pan. Never had a problem with cracking.

LoriMc Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 3:01pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 

Lori, that may have been caused by some other factor.

I used the wonder mold to carve Mr Potato head. I carved every single side of that thing to get the right shape & size. No cracking.

I've used the wonder mold for carving lots of cakes...& the ball pan. Never had a problem with cracking.

 

I think carving is totally different from shoving a doll into it though. You're not really exerting as much pressure.

 

I've done tons of Barbie cakes, and it's never happened until I trimmed the outer edge.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 2 Jun 2013 , 3:06pm
post #13 of 13

AVery true. I wasn't shoving a Barbie in the cake. I did have to insert dowels to hold Mr Potato in an upright position, but there was no shoving & no Barbie.

Original message sent by LoriMc

I think carving is totally different from shoving a doll into it though. You're not really exerting as much pressure.

I've done tons of Barbie cakes, and it's never happened until I trimmed the outer edge.

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