For the life of me I cannot level a (or Tort) a cake so I thought I would see if using the Wilton 8-Inch Easy Layers would make things any easier.
Does anyone have any experience using these? I'm wondering what the appropriate amount of batter is to put in them and what the bake time should be.
Or if anyone has any suggestions on how to get even layers that would be great. I was thinking of using these pans and right out of the oven using a towel and pushing down on them so they'd be flat.
One way to level cakes is after they have cooled return them to the pan and using a knife w/a blade as long as the cake is wide (you mention 8" rounds) rest the blade across the top and 'saw' away (turn the pan around cutting as you go).
The method of weighing down a hot cake can result in a mushy/gooey cake if it has not completely baked through :( I also have had most of my cakes I"ve tried this on develop cracks all around the edge (that's in the pan).
Other people bake shorter layers - using less batter - and put 2 or 3 of those thin layers together. I haven't kept up w/Wilton's newest offerings and have not heard of a 'easy layer' pan. I'm guessing it's nothing more than a pan only 1" high, which would be as I mentioned above.
First off I don't like wilton pans, I use Magic Line, they also have these 1" height pans, I own the 2" height and highly recommend those. I tried that towel pushing thing and it came out just as kakeladi said, would not recommend that either.
This works for me, I collar my pans with parchment paper or you can buy leveling baking strips for your pans. My cakes bake up even every time no need to level. Also to ensure all my layers are the same height I weigh my pans with the batter in them to ensure they have the same amount of batter. Give this a try before you invest in new pans. And as stated above using less batter in your pan is the key.
Now when you use less batter in the pan, your cake will not bake up to the top of the pan, so if you are like me and worried about the cake breaking when you take it out of the pan, this is what works for me. When the cake is cool I place a cake board ( the size the the cake pan) with parchment paper on top inside the cake pan and gently flip the cake, using my fingers on the inside of the pan to support the cake on the cake board. This way the cake is not dropping out when you flip it, kwim.
Weighing the amount of batter is a great idea. To ensure a moist, *level* cake try baking at a lower temp. I bake any size/shape cake that uses the batter of one mix for 20 minutes at 300 degrees F. then turn the oven up to 325 for about an equal amount of time. Learn to use your nose to know when your cakes are done......when you can smell that wonderful aroma of cake in the next room it should be done (using the time element above as a guide).Then I turn the oven off & let the cake rest in there for about 5-10 minutes (depends if I get side-tracked :) I seldom remembered to use those wet strips around the pans & didn't weigh my batters but learned what pans were just perfect for one mix, then went up from there: one 10R or 10" heart or 8" sq; & most Wilton shaped pans (ie: clown, hippo, flat castle etc, etc) OR One 8"R & one 6"R; 8x12 sheet; Use 1 1/2 batters for 12"R Or 10" sq; 9x13 sheet; OR many of the 'newer' Wilton shaped pans like the flat dino (that's all I can think of right now but there are many); Use 2 mixes to fill a 12"R Or 10" sq; or 11x15 sheet;
I could turn out 12x16 sheets or16" rounds w/o a problem as long as the cake bakes up flat. If there is a hump the cake probably will crack when turned out unless you are super quick to use another cooling rack and turn it right side up.
Yes yes ..... baking at a lower temp. forgot to mention that. That changed everything for me, and getting an oven thermostat, to give accurate temp. readings. Turns out my oven was baking hotter than its settings.
Thanks for the replies. I have tried weighing the batter and perhaps I'm doing something completely wrong or I'm not factoring something in but I'll often fill three or four pans with the same batter and by the time I get to the third or fourth pans something is off on the weight. For instance, if I fill the first two pans half way with batter I'll get a reading of say, 10 oz. By the time I get to the third or fourth, I'll fill it well above the half-way mark before it even comes close to 10 oz.
I've calibrated my scale each time so I'm wondering if something happens to the batter as it sits?
Pardon the silly question......are all your pans the same as in exactly the same brand? I may be a little OCD........I fill all the pans at the same time .......all the batter is in a large measuring cup, I start pouring 1/2 - 1 cup in each, depending on how much batter I am using and the size of the pans I am using. Then I weigh the pans as I go, if the weight is off by .3 oz or something I just leave it that way. Doesn't affect the finished cake. My scale is just a cheap one I got at Target, Taylor brand, I have never calibrated it.
How long is the batter sitting out? The time it takes to fill and weigh the pans has not affected my cakes. Maybe its your scale, try weighing something you are sure about, like a bag of unopened flour or powdered sugar, see if its accurate.
Pardon the silly question......are all your pans the same as in exactly the same brand? I may be a little OCD........
Hi, yes, all the pans are exactly the same and I've weighed the pans all prior to adding the mix and have my scale set so that the pans have a zero weight. I think I've had it happen twice where the first two pans will have about the same measurement and weight and I've waited maybe 5 or 10 minutes to fill the other two pans and those will be lighter for some reason even though they have more batter.
I was wondering if the batter is somehow heavier when first mixed and that was the issue.
the only thing I can think of is, perhaps the batter is not mixed completely at the bottom. You know like when I mix a huge batch in the KA, sometimes there is stuff at the bottom of the bowl that did not mix in well. So after I take the bowl off the machine I use a spatula and fold the batter by hand to make sure that stuff at the bottom of the bowl is mixed in properly. Hopefully someone on here will have an answer for you.