I'm making my first "decorative" cake for my son's baptism. I have watched a lot of tutorials and want to get my cake leveled perfectly so I can get perfect buttercream icing. I'm doing a small three tier square cake (10-8-6). I bought a cheap cake leveler and I set it to the lowest corner on the cake and cut and it took off about half of the cake! Now I have to bake more cake.... Am I leveling incorrectly or am I baking the cakes wrong somehow? For instance, I used one box of cake mix for an 8" square pan and I do try to get the batter level prior to baking and still have pretty low corners. I know I can fill in with icing if I don't cut off as much, but when I see tutorials, they have a perfectly flat cake top...
Here's a old thread that discusses this.http://cakecentral.com/t/720821/help-leveling-and-crisp-corner-cakes
A couple of things that I would suggest are already in this thread.
Make sure your oven is level.
Use bake even strips or a homemade version.
If the corners are lower than you want to level the cake to, build up the corners with some of the cake you removed from the top.
I had to get some shims to put under my oven to make it level. My oven is in a very old building that was converted to a kitchen, and the leveling legs on the oven were not even enough to get it level.
I wasted a lot of cake cutting off that dome before investing in bake even strips. They make a world of difference.
Ok, I think this idea came from Debi Brim. Slightly over fill your cake pan so that when baked the whole cake rises above the sides of the pan. Leave the cake in the pan (or return it to the pan for leveling) take a long serrated blade to slice off the dome using the top edge of the pan as a guide. Your cake layer will be exactly 2 inches high and very level. Now if you want to torte the layer, all I can say is good luck with that.
Also use the bottom of the cake as the top. The cut side is hard to frost.
Narie that is exactly what I do. The pan works great as a guide. I torte with the cheap Wilton leveler which everyone hates but it works great for me! Once I torte I put a toothpick on each of the torted pieces, remove the top one, fill and then replace the top matching the toothpicks. This will make sure that you will have both pieces in the same place as before you torted.
Here's a photo tutorial showing an example of the process explained in the link above...
AI do the overfilling pan trick. I find you waste less cake than attempting to trim by eye. Like the toothpick comment, I draw a line down the side of my cakes with food pen so they slot back together.i also use a wilton sliding ruler to make sure all of the tort layers are even. Xxx
Thanks everyone! I know better for next time! Too late for this time around, but I have a ton of frozen cake now for future triffles!