sarahbakestudio Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 1:18pm
post #1 of

No matter what I do my cakes are NEVER flat. It's not that I have a huge dome, but it's domed enough. I've tried lowing the temp and baking longer. I've tried lowering the temp and than gradually raising it. Both tips I received from other bakers, and still my cake's are not flat.

 

I long for the photos of flat cakes that I see! Any tips or words on wisdom on this?

 

Thanks!

27 replies
yortma Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 1:57pm
post #2 of

Level them after baking, when cool.  Most recipes don't result in perfectly level cakes, or the height needs to be adjusted anyway.  There are many levelers out there, but if you can, get the Agbay, you will love it.  Worth every penny.

ddaigle Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 2:16pm
post #3 of

I don't mind the dome.....dome = cake scraps to munch on or cake balls.   I am more concerned if I do not have a dome and don't get a nice 2" layer. 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 2:21pm
post #4 of

I've never understood the obsession with flattening out the naturally domed tops of cakes.

Then again, I've always preferred homemade cakes to professionally baked ones.

Norasmom Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 2:27pm
post #5 of

Use baking strips around the pans.  Or make your own with towels, which is what I have been doing.  They keep cakes very flat.

sarahbakestudio Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 3:16pm
post #6 of

I don't like cutting off the dome because this usually makes it worse rather than better. I've never actually used a leveler though, just a knife. I suppose practice makes perfect. I will definitely look into the Agbay.

 

I've seen those baking strips but have never tried them. They actually work?

 

Thanks for the input everyone. This gives me some other options to try!
 

leah_s Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 3:26pm
post #7 of

Agbay.  Seriously - the best money you'll ever spend on a cake tool.

 

I really don't like cakes with a domed top.  They just scream homemade, but not in a good way.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 3:54pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s 
I really don't like cakes with a domed top.  They just scream homemade, but not in a good way.

I agree that they "just scream homemade," but I don't agree about the "not in a good way" part.

 

But I'm also the guy who makes no secret of preferring dense, stiff, hand-mixed BC (which also screams homemade) over whipped BC.

bct806 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 4:10pm
post #9 of

I have the same problem. I mash it down when it comes out of the oven. Usually with a cake board. It gets rid of the dome in the middle.

AZCouture Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 5:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl 

I've never understood the obsession with flattening out the naturally domed tops of cakes. Then again, I've always preferred homemade cakes to professionally baked ones.

DO you mean the cake itself, like before it's taken out of the pan, like right out of the oven? Or do you mean once it's all decorated and looking pretty, except it's got a big ugly hump on it? You like that hump? You don't really mean that do you?

remnant3333 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 5:40pm

One video I saw a woman put a clean kitchen towel and gently pushes down the cake all around so cake is even without the dome. I ended up buying the strips to put around my cakes when baking and it does work pretty good!! If you make a tiered cake you have to get the dome out because your cake will look crooked.
 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 5:54pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 
DO you mean the cake itself, like before it's taken out of the pan, like right out of the oven? Or do you mean once it's all decorated and looking pretty, except it's got a big ugly hump on it? You like that hump? You don't really mean that do you?

What's "ugly" about a smoothly domed top on a cake, if that's its natural shape?

AZCouture Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:13pm

Again, which are you referring to? 

AZCouture Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:15pm

'm not trying to argue withyou, I'm trying to think of a single incident where I've seen a cake with a hump that looked nice, to which I can't recall, so I'm wondering if you meant that, or while it's still in the pan?

cupadeecakes Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 6:34pm

I cut my cake humps off with a big serrated knife after they've cooled a bit.  I think it might be hard stacking 5 or 6 tiers of cake when each tier has a big hump on it.  You wouldn't build a house on a humpy hill would you?  You would want a nice level surface to start with, I would think.
 

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 7:49pm

Understand, I'm not talking about anything that could be described as lumpy, or deeply cracked, or lopsided. I'm talking about the smooth, gentle, even doming that's normal for typical emulsion-type cakes, baked in layer or sheet pans. And by extension, the slight hourglassing of the sides that occurs naturally, from the draft angle of the pans, when stacking two untrimmed layers bottom-to-bottom. Nothing "ugly" about those characteristics, any more than there is anything ugly about the slight irregularities to be found in almost any hand-made articles.

 

As to the steeply ridged, deeply split surface that forms on a pound cake baked in a loaf pan or a Bundt mold, well, that's usually the most flavorful part of the cake, and in the case of a Bundt mold, it's the part that, conveniently enough, normally ends up on the bottom anyway, where it's out of sight. Nor am I speaking of the lumpy, deeply-fissured surface that forms at the top of an Angel Food pan (and again, if not cut off, generally ends up on the bottom of the finished cake).

soldiernurse Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 7:57pm

As someone said before, right after they come out of the oven, I use a clean dish towel and firmly press down the dome..works every time!!  But it is hot!!

Annabakescakes Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 8:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by soldiernurse 

As someone said before, right after they come out of the oven, I use a clean dish towel and firmly press down the dome..works every time!!  But it is hot!!

I would never do this. I set some cakes upside down before leveling once and they flattened quite a bit. When cut, it was too dense in the middle, where the bump was, but was still regular on the edges, so it was very inconsistent after mashing.

punkin90 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 9:03pm

I learned this not long ago on CC. Someone posted about using parchment strips around the pan to get 2" tall cakes and level cakes. It's supposed to make the cakes taller and more level. I have to say I have tried it a couple of times and my cakes are taller and I did not have to level them.

Jess155 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 9:49pm

I  bake everything at 325 for a longer time and I cut off any dome because my kids and DH like cake scraps.  Just to make sure, OP, you are flipping your cake upside down and using the nice flat bottom as your top, correct?

bct806 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155 

I  bake everything at 325 for a longer time and I cut off any dome because my kids and DH like cake scraps.  Just to make sure, OP, you are flipping your cake upside down and using the nice flat bottom as your top, correct?

lol. The first time I pressed the cake down in the middle and got no dome, my DH was upset. He thought I ate it without him. The first tip I learned on here that he didn't like!

sarahbakestudio Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:10pm

punkin90, what do you mean by using parchment strips around the pan?

Annabakescakes Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bct806 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155 

I  bake everything at 325 for a longer time and I cut off any dome because my kids and DH like cake scraps.  Just to make sure, OP, you are flipping your cake upside down and using the nice flat bottom as your top, correct?

lol. The first time I pressed the cake down in the middle and got no dome, my DH was upset. He thought I ate it without him. The first tip I learned on here that he didn't like!

LOL!

denetteb Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:12pm

I bake at 325, use home made bake even strips and a flower nail if over 9 inches and rarely get a hump.  If I do, I use my cheap Wilton wire leveler.  I understand that the Agbay is fabulous, but as a hobbyist have no need for the expense or an extra thing to store. 

Annabakescakes Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 10:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by bct806 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155 

I  bake everything at 325 for a longer time and I cut off any dome because my kids and DH like cake scraps.  Just to make sure, OP, you are flipping your cake upside down and using the nice flat bottom as your top, correct?

lol. The first time I pressed the cake down in the middle and got no dome, my DH was upset. He thought I ate it without him. The first tip I learned on here that he didn't like!

LOL!

punkin90 Posted 26 Jun 2013 , 11:19pm

There is a thread on CC but I don't know the title. The OP said that she put parchment paper in the bottom and cut parchment strips around the inside edge of the pan. I tried it using just the strips along the inside edge of the pan. I put a little baking spray to get the edges to stick were they meet.  My cakes are taller and more level. I also started baking at 325 instead of 350.

MBalaska Posted 9 Sep 2013 , 3:04am

Quote:

Originally Posted by punkin90 
 

There is a thread on CC but I don't know the title. The OP said that she put parchment paper in the bottom and cut parchment strips around the inside edge of the pan. I tried it using just the strips along the inside edge of the pan. I put a little baking spray to get the edges to stick were they meet.  My cakes are taller and more level. I also started baking at 325 instead of 350.

Old thread,  Has anyone tried this recently? On cake such as a WASC?  but I've seen this a few times on the denser cake recipes that are cooked longer.  Also in the books from the UK.

tomsann Posted 9 Sep 2013 , 11:29am

I like having the dome and then leveling it....then you for sure have a full 2" cake....

the scraps are yummy too.....This is probably silly to some but if you are not going to tort your cakes

you can just level them with a piece of unwaxed dental floss while they are in the pan....super cheap

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