How do you get a cake to bake fairly level? Mine always have the hump in the middle. I don't even know where to begin with this one so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Try searching the forums and you may find TONS of posts on this topic, but I know that the search results aren't always easy to sift through, so here's my advice:
-Bake at a lower temp, 325°.
-"twist" the filled pans around a little bit to push a little more of the batter towards the outside of the pan
-add maybe 1 T Merengue Powder to batter (for 2 8 or 9" pans) to help it rise nice
And when all else fails, just cut off the hump! There's no shame in that!
I use the bake-even strips .. you soak them in water, run your fingers on each side of the strip to take out the excess water, wrap them around the outside of your pans, pin with a all metal type of pin and bake... it helps to take out most of the hump in your cakes ...
another method I use is right after your cake comes out of the oven, place a folded clean dish cloth over the top of your cake .. be careful not to burn yourself!! press down on your cake to push the hump out of the middle .. you can only do this on a hot cake right out of the oven!!
im not sure how to bake them to be level but i always use a cake leveler. just cut off the top bump and its even! alot easier then trying to figure out how to bake it to be level.
I add the tablespoon of meringue powder like czy. It really does help everything to raise evenly. Never thought of "twisting" the pan before. Good idea!
I do the 325 degree oven and the bake even strips. Then once the cake is out of the oven, if there is a small hump I put a piece of wax paper, or paper towel over the cake then put a cutting board or cookie sheet over the cake for 10 minutes - levels it right out!
I used to cut off the bump but then I noticed my cakes are so tiny! I used bake even strips for the first time last week and I like them, they are definitely worth buying. My cakes are a little uneven but only because my oven isn't level and my apartment maintenance people won't fix that
I use to think it was my oven not being level too. I would have a hump on the front side of my cakes. Since the bake even strips, the 325 degrees and putting the cakes more toward the center of the oven - I haven't had that problem.
....My cakes are a little uneven but only because my oven isn't level and my apartment maintenance people won't fix that
Noreen, you can fix that yourself! Wood shims are sold in packages at the hardware store (they're wedges of wood that you can use to level all kinds of stuff with). If you don't have a level, put cold water in a clear baking dish so you can see if the water is evenly level from the top edge. Whichever side of the the water is "deeper", put a shim under the legs/feet of your oven unitl the water is level and even from the top of the baking dish all the way around.
Alternatively (if, for instance your oven is a wall oven, not a fredstanding range), you can make your own oven wedge using the same principal. Figure out how much higher your rack in the oven has to be and on which side, cover your shims (tightly secured together) with aluminum foil and make sure the edge of your cake pan sits on the homemade shim every time you bake.
Or, if you don't want to go to all that trouble, go back and turn your cake every 7-10 minutes or so, which will help somewhat.
(Ohmygosh ... I just realized ... now I sound like MRS. FIX-IT! AAAAAaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh! )