Hey all - I have my first "real" wedding cake coming up in two weeks. I've done tiered competition cakes, but nothing that needed to taste good (hah!) since they were for display only. This will be a 6-10-14 traditional round cake, each tier comprised of 2 layers (WASC recipe). This is my first time tackling the 14" round cake. I've read that I need to put an upside-down metal flower nail in the center of the pan to help the heat distribute evenly. Is there anything else I need to do to ensure it bakes all the way through without getting overdone? I did a couple of half-sheet cakes (13x18") for work a couple of years ago and didn't use the flower nail trick, and they seemed to bake well... but that shape pan might work differently than a round one. Thanks for the help!
Bake even strips will help, and lower your temp to 325 and bake longer. This will help it bake evenly and not crisp the edges.
I am not sure but I think I remember in a previous discussion that for the bigger size cakes you need to put 2 or 3 of the rose nails spread out upside down since it is so big. Hopefully the experts here will verify that for you. I know you have to grease them really good. I am sure you will do just fine!!!
I agree with both people that have responded. Lower the temp, bake for longer and I actually use at least 5 flower nails in a 14 inch round. I might be over doing it but my cakes always come out even :) Happy caking!
Flower nails - at least 3, (Ateco heat core nails if you have time to order them, they are really nice. They are flat on the bottoms and don't rust). After prepping your pan, set the nails in an evenly distributed pattern then put a circle of parchment on top of the nails with the ends poking through the paper. The paper holds them in place while pouring in the batter, and makes it very easy to remove the nails afterward as they are outside the paper. After the cake is baked and cooled, place a rack up side down on top of the cake with the nail ends extending through the spaces then flip over. Remove the nails and the paper. Turn right side up. I have never bothered to grease them. I also use the bake even strips on large cakes and lower the oven temp by at least 25 degrees. I have a convection oven, but i still turn the cakes half way through, to assure even baking. I have made a number of 14" round and 16" square cakes (the largest that fits in my oven) with no problems. I am a scratch baker, though, and have no experience with the mix based WASC cake. Maybe the extra steps make no difference, but it gives me peace of mind and is easy to do. HTH
Thanks all for the advice/confirmation! I'll pick up a few more flower nails this week (I only have one metal and one OLD plastic one... haha. I don't do flower-nail flowers often.) I'll report back to let you know how the cakes turn out!
for a cake that large, I prefer to bake thin layers so that i don't have to torte it. it bakes up quickly, no nail required, and is much easier to handle, as well.
Well... I ended up baking the 14" layers with one flower nail in the center of each one (poked it through my parchment liner in the bottom so it didn't move) and a single wet towel strip pinned around the outside, like a bake-even strip. Worked like a charm!
This was my first wedding cake and I think it went well. I'm not happy with the unevenness of the lines, but otherwise it was good. (The ducks were intended to be a topper, last-minute decision by the couple, but they painted one of the ducks so I didn't feel comfortable putting it directly on the iced cake. Thankfully they were fine with the alternative base placement.)
Hey, I think your cake is beautiful!!! I like the way you did all the lines on the cake. I like the Mr. and Mrs. duck I see. They are too cute!!!! You did a wonderful job!!!
I'm not sure what you mean by "unevenness", I think you did a great job!!
Thanks for the flower-nail tip, I have never heard of that!
Your cake looks great! you should be really proud of it. You said you did layers, how many for each tier? I'm making a 12" mudcake and am really worried about it not cooking in the middle and not cooking evenly. I have never made one this size before, I'm just new at this. Your advice would be appreciated.