Ok cake pros! I have a novice question here. My cake biz is starting to take off and I am having multiple cakes due on the weekends. What is your method for baking multiple cakes in multiple size pans? I usually take my list of cakes due, look at how much batter of each flavor I need and bake in various size pans to elliminate any waste. Is this the wrong approach? Tonight for instance I needed to bake a 3 layer 6" cake and a two layer 8" vanilla cake. So I made a batch that would fit all the pans needed. Obviously I can't bake all at once as I have only a regular residential oven. I try to limit how many batches I bake. How many 8" pans should I be putting in my oven? I can fit three but am wondering if this is the cause of some of the headaches I've run into where they sometimes do not bake even. Also, I have 3 8" pans. Two are 2" tall, one is 3" tall. I bake the same amount of batter in all three. I basically treat the 3" pan as if it were a 2" pan. This could also be the problem. Any advice as I am trying to not have wasted batter, as well as cutting down on my baking time by sometimes putting two different size pans in the oven at the same time. Please let me know suggestions as to an easier process.
Also, I notice when I fill my 2x8" pans with the 3 1/2 cups of batter Wilton suggests it domes over the top of the pan and cracks, even with bake even strips. The dome settles down a bit upon cooling but not to the point of level. I only do this when making 2 -2" layers that I am torting into 4 layers. Usually I make three layer cakes and put 2 1/3 cups of batter into 3 8" pans and they bake up even with bake even strips. Thoughts? Is this normal?
Hello! I make large batches of batter all at once and portion it out for whatever I need to bake. For example, I'll make 20q of vanilla then turn that into cakes of all different sizes and cupcakes.
Yes, 2" pans bake different then 3" pans. I suggest using all the same size pans, either 2" or 3".
I can't really help with your batter issues, as no 2 cake recipes are the same. I actually don't measure how much batter to put in the pan by cups, I measure by weight. I spent a LOT of time testing and making notes on each and every batter I make to nail how much batter I need in the pan to bake the height cake I want for each size pan that I use, and each batter is different. For example (and this is ONLY for my cake, your cake batter is probably totally different), I need 1lb 14oz of chocolate batter for 1 x8" round. But I need 2lbs vanilla batter if I want it to bake the same height in the same pan. Make sense?
So my best advice is to start weighing your pans and make notes.
It also sounds like your oven may be too hot (doming, cracking). Have you checked it with a thermometer?
Thanks fromscratchsf! My oven temp is right on. I think I am probably overcrowding the oven because I am impatient! I have started weighing my ingredients when I bake, so it makes sense I should start to weigh my pans before baking. I have seen some people let the cake dome over the top of the pan and then they use the top of the pan as a guide for leveling. I would just prefer to not have waste and try to get my cakes to bake flat/even. Your scratch WASC recipe does a good job of this with bake even strips. Time to invest in a 3rd set of 2" pans for more consistency, and time to convince my hubby to buy me a convection oven so I can load that sucker up when baking! LOL! Thanks again.
p.s. can I do that with a convection oven? Fill it/bake on multiple racks? I assume that is the draw for bakers to use them?
Yes, the purpose of convection is so you can load your oven up. So yes, you are probably overcrowding your oven too.
I want all my cakes to above the top of the pan evenly so I can use the pan as you said and level it to a perfectly flat 2". Yes you have waste, but you'll have that anyway. And I've started recycling my cake scraps so it works for me.
Recycling cake scraps? cake pops? That last comment has me intrigued.... ;)
I will have to do some experimenting with my batters. Any recommendations for how tall each layer should be when making a three layer cake? I just like the looks of a three layer cake, and it allows for more filling.
in the main, i find reducing your oven temp by 25 degrees will help prevent doming too
That has definitely helped me too. I bake at 325. But they still dome over the top if I follow Wilton's recommendation for the amount of batter in each pan. And the top always gets a crusty, thick top that has to be leveled off. I have better luck putting less batter in and making three shorter layers.
............needed to bake a 3 layer 6" cake and a two layer 8" vanilla cake. So I made a batch that would fit all the pans needed. Obviously I can't bake all at once as I have only a regular residential oven...............
Haven't read the other replies but why can't you bake those 5 pans in one oven at the same time? I did all the time. You must have a very, very small oven.
If one fills their pan 2/3rds full and bake at 300 degrees (for 20-30 minutes) then raise the temp to 325 for about an equal time - just until you can smell that wonderful aroma in the next room they should bake up w/o a hump and be moist and tender.
When I have ever baked on two racks I have great inconsistencies in results. Some edges and topped browned. Some were way undercooked. Some were dark on top not cooked in the center. To compensate I would have to constantly open the oven and rotate pans from bottom to top and then front to back to prevent over browning. And I've still experienced sinking and other disasters from opening the oven to do all the maneuvering. Not worth it. Things just don't bake evenly when I bake on more than one rack in my regular home oven.
Alice I just wanted to say I love your website!