I am doing a three tiered cake with the bottom layer being a 12x12x 4 in square pan. The center is a 8x4in round and the top is a 4in square. My question is this: Do I need to cut the 12x12x4 pan in half to fill it or can I just to frost and fondant it? Please help!!!
Usually you are not dealing with a 4inch tall pan, but rather a 2 to 3 inch pan that you bake two layers of. Mine is 2 inch so by the time I bake two layers and fill between those layers I end up with 4 inches. If you do, indeed, have a 4 inch pan and can produce a 4 inch cake from it there is no reason you have to torte and fill it. You can just leave that in one piece if you choose.
I do have the 12x12x4 pan from Fat Daddios. Thank you so much for the advice. I really do appreciate it.
Baking a 12x12x4 layer is tricky. That's a lot of cake batter to get done at the same time. Do you plan to use the Wilton heating core? Flower nails would be too short, but the heating core is 4" tall.
If you choose to bake it as one layer, you still may want to cut it in half and put something in between--even just buttercream--because, otherwise, you'll have an awfully high ratio of cake to icing (not much icing, lots of cake).
Most people would want more icing with that much cake.
I use the deep pans 3 and 4 inch... while I have never tried the flower nail trick, I always use a heat core, As Rae said. The cake will not get done in the center before it is burning on the edges.
Who are you doing the cake for? Wouldn't that be their decision?
(I'd be too scared to bake a 12" in a 4" high, I stick with the 2" pans.)