Need Help!!

Baking By cel.vela Updated 2 Sep 2015 , 9:59pm by Shockolata

cel.vela Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 6:08am
post #1 of 15

55e540d0c6449.jpeg I found this cake on Pintrest and I thought it would be perfect to make for my niece's first birthday! I'm curious to know how many layers o should make each layer. Any input and tips are very welcome! Thanks!

14 replies
Norcalhiker Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 8:18am
post #2 of 15

Standard tier height is 4",  but you can scale as you please.  A layer is usually 1" (touted 2" cake).

A tier over 4" is going to be unstable, so you need a cake board in between.  

I use a sheet pan, then cut layers with a cake circle.  This gives very uniform 1" layers; no torting; no leveling.  Eliminates the outside crust which can be drier and darker than the rest of the cake.  Building the tiers in a cake ring with an acetate strip produces level layers of cake and filling, so sliced cake looks symmetrical. Top of acetate serves as a guide to level icing and gives clean sharp edges.

cel.vela Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 2:50pm
post #3 of 15

Thank you!!! I will try that!

Shockolata Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 3:47pm
post #4 of 15

I usually bake in a round tin and tort my cakes using a cake leveller. Then when I fill them, they end up 4 inches tall. You can do 2 layers or 3 layers - depends on what you prefer: more cake, less cream or equal amounts of cake and cream or more cream than cake. You decide. To support the top layer, you will need to sit the cake on a thin (single card) cake board and use dowelling rods underneath it with the dowels all cut to the same height. Both cakes will have to be dead level to successful stack. Best of luck with your project!

@Norcalhiker  excellent piece of advice! I don't use an acetate strip because I fill to the top of the pan that I baked in and then warm it up a bit and remove the ring. A piece of acetate would guarantee integrity whilst removing the pan. I'll be trying your way from now on!


Norcalhiker Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 4:28pm
post #5 of 15

shocoklata, yes, do give it a try, you may find it a good method.  I love the the sheet cake method for several reasons: 

uniform layers 1"

no torting

no leveling

layers can be made with multiple pieces and used as center layers

no dry outside crust

cut leftovers into 3" or 4" circles, wrap and zip-lock, note cake type and date, then pop in freezer.  You now have tasting cakes ready without having to bake a special batch.  Not to mention the tasting cakes are already paid for because they were cut from an event cake you already sold.  Efficient and cost effective.

Brookebakescake Posted 1 Sep 2015 , 5:12pm
post #6 of 15

I don't make my layers in sheets like you, norcal, but I do bake up a quick sheet to use for tastings, or just to give to friends.  I have a cute little box that is perfect to put an individual tasting cake in.  They make such cute  mini-cakes, and are very fun to test out new piping tips and tools on :)

I will have to try baking layers in sheets, just to try it. However, ever since I started using the baking strips on the outside of my pans, it's changed my life and made torting or just leveling so much nicer!

kakeladi Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 1:52am
post #7 of 15

Cutting shapes out of sheet cakes seems to me will result in lots of waste :(  No different than cutting a dome off :(    If one bakes at lower temps for longer times you don't get a dome nor hard, dry edges.  INstead you get a moist, level cake that is super yummy.

Brookebakescake Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 3:56am
post #8 of 15

you make a valid point, kakeladi.  However, sometimes the time saved is worth the product wasted. And NorCal uses a lot of the "waste" anyway.  Could just be a trade off: better product, fast assembly, great consistency, etc, is worth a bit of waste.

Shockolata Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 8:21am
post #9 of 15

I made these out of a cake sheet and cut them out with food rings. It was much easier than torting. The cake sheet also cooked faster and cooled faster. There are methods for everything and they are all good! I wish I had some acetate sheets because then I would have poured the jelly over the assembled pastries instead of having to set it in a swiss roll pan and then cut it with the ring cutters and struggle to transfer it onto the pastries. But you know what? I had so much fun making these!


55e6b170d8138.jpeg

pastrypet Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 7:50pm
post #10 of 15

The circles cut out of sheet cake not only waste a lot of cake, but it makes the layers harder to ice because you don't have the stability of the denser edge. I use bake-even strips on my round pans and I never have domes - always flat cakes. You just vary the thickness of each layer by how much batter you put in the pan.

Brookebakescake Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 8:36pm
post #11 of 15

I've never had a problem with needing a dense/hard edge to ice, so I'm not sure what you mean, pastrypet. As long as my layers are even, I don't have any trouble icing. I guess to each his own! Whatever works for you is the best way for you!

I just heard something shatter in my kitchen! I think a glass fell from my cabinet and exploded onto the floor.  Guess I'll be working on that for a while!

Brookebakescake Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 8:37pm
post #12 of 15

Love those, Shockolata! That's similar to what I make with scraps and they certainly are fun to make!

forpetescake Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 8:44pm
post #13 of 15

The acetate idea seems very interesting. Can someone give me me specifics on the method? Where to buy, how to do, etc... TIA


kakeladi Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 9:20pm
post #14 of 15

No we don't all have to do things the same way but.......when it comes to wasted cake I can't see that method.  As I said, you get a great moist *level* cake by baking at lower temp.  Y ou don't even need to wrap the pans, don't have to spend time cutting (shapes or humps), don't have hard edges but just firm enough ones that allow for easy icing. 

I don't see where sheet cakes bakes &/or cool quicker than the average round. 

Shockolata Posted 2 Sep 2015 , 9:59pm
post #15 of 15

@kakeladi, they bake and cool faster because there is a lot less filling in the pan. There are times this method is good, other times I prefer the traditional method of baking in one pan and torting. What you see as wasted cake, some of us see as tasty bits for breakfast, or quick tasting bits to ensure all is when with our cake and frosting, or cake pops to give to children... :)

@forpetescake  I bought my roll of acetate from a catering shop. I am not sure how Norcalhiker does it but there are two ways to use them: 

1) if you are making small pastries, wrap one outside your cutting ring and secure with a bit of tape, then assemble the cake slices in it with the frosting, etc. Either present the pastry with the acetate intact, or remove after chilling. It will help to build the layers properly and not end up with a tower of Pisa ;)

2) if you are making big cakes, measure the inside of your cake tin with the acetate strip (sides only), pull out, secure with tape, put back in. Then build the cake inside the strip and over a thin cake card. This would work well with pourable fillings such as mousse, cream cheese frosting, ganache, jelly as they tend to find their own level. Chill each layer before applying the next one. When you are done and your cake is secure, just remove the ring and either leave the cake with the acetate strip for a naked cake effect, or remove it gently and proceed to decorate with fancy piping.

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