Cake Height...?

Decorating By samy1234 Updated 6 Oct 2011 , 4:36pm by nanefy

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samy1234 Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 12:06pm
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Iam super super new to all this - just baking coz i enjoy to do it at home!

I am just trying out fondant for the first time today - so taking it very very easy! Made a Betty Crocker Choc cake in a 9" springform round pan....while baking i had a dome so i sliced it off after it cooled but i didnt take it off completely - still had a little "uphill" on the sides....

and then I torted it into 3 layers and after slicing it - I KNEW i had done them too thin!

So i have a few basic Questions - generally stemming from ALLL the fondant decorated cake pics I have seen

The cakes that look so fancy and pretty - are they just made in ONE pan (ie one cake) and then torted and iced? or are they 2 cakes - torted and then iced and covered with fondant
coz when i make this same cake again - i will definitely just torte in half cuz i cant manage super thin layers - and at the same time id like my cake to have some height (not like normal bakery cakes) and when sliced - id liked it to show 3 layers....

so pleaseeeeeeeeeeee help icon_smile.gif

SAm icon_smile.gif

20 replies
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sillywabbitz Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 12:29pm
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Sam there are different options. From what I can tell most of us bake 2 layers in separate 2 inch pans. Then torte to get 4 layers. Each layer would be approximately 1 inch tall. Others prefer baking in 3 inch pans and torting twice again into 1 inch layers and filling that way. I'm not sure the height of a spring form pan but I know grocery store cake pans are rarely a full 2 inches in height. I hope that helps.

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TexasSugar Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 2:18pm
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Generally, my finished cakes range from 4 to 5 inches tall, 2 two inch layers that are torted. I do have an 8x3in pan I will use and torte for a quick cake that looks a little large than just a 2 in layer.

This link is a good link for how much batter your 2in cake pans need. For a 9x2in round you need 4.5 cups batter for a good 2in tall cake. That's really a full cake mix. So to me, that amount, even in a spring form pan would give you about a 2in tall cake, maybe a little taller.

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kel58 Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 2:30pm
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Sometime I torte my 2-2" layer but honestly sometimes I don't. I just do cakes for friends and family and every time I make one, SOMEONE in the room makes a comment on the icing being sweet. I use "Julie's less-sweet buttercream" and more people love it but you can't please them all. I find if I am only filling with BC then having 4 layers of it is a little much. I guess I just let the cake stand on its own.
Anyone else do this? am I a strange one?

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sillywabbitz Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 5:23pm
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I torte cakes occasionally but mostly I just do a decent layer of filling between the 2 cake layers. I have less bulge issues and I can get straighter sides etc.

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CreativeCakesbyMichelle Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 6:35pm
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I only do occasional cakes and I hardly ever tort my layers. I usually do 2 pans to get two layers and then just level them and put a layer of buttercream in between. I use American buttercream so more than one layer between would probably be a bit much on the sweetness. Sometimes I'll use 3 pans to get three layers and don't fill them quite as full with batter but I usually just stick with the 2.

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katboss Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 7:08pm
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I have 2 of each pan I use, so i just take the batter and divide it into 2 pans and bake @ 325* for about half the time as a full batch in one pan. My layers come out level and I don't torte because they are each about an inch tall. It might seem like extra baking but I would rather have my oven on for an extra 20 minutes than have to torte!! lol

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coleslawcat Posted 30 Sep 2011 , 8:35pm
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I don't torte. I bake thin layers if I want more layers. I do gluten free baking and find my cakes crumble if I torte them. Generally, I bake in 2 inch high pans and do 1 layer of filling in between the layers. I have tried torting and it didn't go well.

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Rylan Posted 1 Oct 2011 , 5:40am
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It really does depend. I usually like to use 2 inch pans and torte the baked cakes in half. I don't have a fancy torting tool like the Agbay so I prefer this method. Most of the time, my cakes will end up a 4 or 5 inches.

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samy1234 Posted 1 Oct 2011 , 4:48pm
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oh wow guys!!!

Thanks sooo much for all the info!!!!
You guys are super duper terrific!!!

As for alll that you guys have suggested......the pan i have is Kaiser and its definitely more than 2" but my issue is the baking - i got a nice big dome (lol!) so had to slice it off for a neater layer....but yeah now i know my mistake - i shudv just torted in half instead of thirds coz my layers broke while adding on!
but i like the idea of having 2 of the same pans - i have serious doubts with my baking so will need to practice more and learn more....

Now since i completed my cake - i have a few more questions - before covering with fondant - there should just be a crumb coat ya? not a proper buttercream icing cover?

thanks for all ur help guys!!!!

i may just have more and more questions!!! loool
have a greattttttttt day icon_smile.gif

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Rylan Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 3:27am
post #11 of 21

Hi Sam! It really does depend. Some people would use a thick layer of crumb coat, some people prefer a thick layer of buttercream. I personally use ganache and I only use a thin layer. Usually about 1/4 to 2/5 of an inch. I have done 1/4" to 1/2" and it worked out fine.

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southerncross Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 3:44am
post #12 of 21

I usually tort my two layers but recently tried the cakes from Sky High Cakes cook book. They use three layers untorted . I found that this is very nice if you want a tall cake with higher ratio of cake to frosting.

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samy1234 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 8:51pm
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Thanks Rylan - my only issue was (after frosting) that my sides were sagging!!! and as if the buttercream was oozing from beneath - although the cake was cold when i was covering it - so the logical explanation i thought was that I had put on more cream than required so the weight of the fondant was pushing the cream off!!!

southercross - thats actually cool - but like my oven isnt very big so i dont think i can fit in 2 round pans - can i cake 2 in levels (at the same time in the oven) or is it ok to leave the batter out (once mixed) for about 30 min or so depending on when the first cake gets done in the oven - then shove the other one in!!!

i think my main issue is figuring out the knick knacks of HOW to bake a good cake to be if you are using a 2 inch deep pan - but making 2 or 3 cakes depending on the recipe - in order not to torte them - do you just fill in the pan half way?? so it rises to about an inch or a bit more so u can use it as a proper layer?

coz the last time i put in the batter (8x2pan) the cake was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry flat and hard
and i thot it was becoz of the amount of batter - but again with so many variables it cud have been the butter creaming or the eggs or a lot of mixing after flour - which i dont usually do but anyday can be a bad day!

but really thnx guys for giving me time n sharing ur valuable input icon_smile.gif

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Rylan Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 2:00pm
post #14 of 21

Hi Sam, I'm guessing that your buttercream must have been extremely thick or the recipe couldn't handle the weight of the fondant. I love to use ganache. Since I used it, I never really had a big problem.

When filling the pan, it really depends on the recipe. I have recipes that only needs pans to be filled 1/2 way while some are 3/4. Also, I've used untorted cakes from a 2 inch pans. I just stack and fill once and ice.

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jewels710 Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 2:31pm
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Sam, what temp are you baking at?
The reason I ask is because of the dome.

If for instance you are baking at 350, reduce to 325 and bake just a lil longer.
Baking at higher temps is usually the main thing that results in a dome.
There are other things that can come into play when scratch baking that create the dome, but the majority of the time the temp is the first culprit.

I am not saying this will eliminate your dome completely, but I never have to take off more than a sliver at most (if at all). It also allows for the batter to be where it belongs giving you a lil thicker/more even cake for torting.

Happy Caking!

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inspiredbymom Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 5:54pm
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I don't know if this will help at all but for doming problems, I use a flower nail in the center of all my cakes (except 6") and wrap them with baking strips or towels cut into strips and wrapped around the pan. I use regular 2" pans and fill 2/3 full and bake at 325 until my tester comes out clean. I do not torte but I do make sure that the top is completely level.

When I stack them, I put thickened butter cream around the edge and take a cake circle to make sure that it is level. Then I fill it and stack the other on top. I then cover with a thin layer of butter cream to "crumb coat" it and let it rest for a day. Then I cover with a thicker layer of buttercream (but not as thick as I would for a "just buttercream" cake) and then put the fondant on. I love working with Jennifer Dontz's chocolate fondant because it it forgiving.

As far as not having enough room in you oven for 2 regular 8" pans, you can refrigerate the rest of the batter for the short time that your first layer is baking. I've had to do that in the past and it came out fine. HTH!

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samy1234 Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 9:23pm
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WOW!!! u guys are awesome!!!!

jewels710 - we have celcius here - sure i can try bringing the temp down by 10degrees yeah.......ya i kno domes can come and theyr not lethal - but its sad if i have a lot of cake batter thats domed!!! that just means more to slice off leaving left overs for me icon_smile.gif

inspiredbymom - thanks for ur valuable input!!! abt the flower nail - the nail obviously has to be a little higher than the batter itself before putting in the oven yeah? i mean the nail shudnt drown in the batter and be invisible???

so if u use 2" pans - fill them around 2/3 full and they bake well - u wud get something close to a 2" layer generally in the cake pics that i see online - is that how it is? if its a 3 layered cake? 3 layers of 2 inches each and then butter cream in just trying to understand the height difference in a normal simple home baked cake and something that enterpreneurs bake and sell....

as for the buttercream coat - if you do use a little think layer after the crumbcoat then possibly my buttercream was soft.....thing is dubai is soooooooooooper dooooooooooooooper hot - even now - within 12 min ur butter can come to room temp n more than that can soften n melt it!!!

so maybe i need to work on that - to find out the right was n time to do that!!!

refrigerating sounds cool - i shall try that out when i bake again - just to check icon_razz.gif
but u know how they say that one of the reasons the cake did not rise can be due to a bigger pan - so if ur batter settles for being less than half of the pan - then that pan shud not be used for that amount yeah?

thnx for ur support guys!!!!

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inspiredbymom Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 1:34pm
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The flower nail is about 2" long so it will stick out of the batter when you put it in. I also forgot to say that I use a non stick spray on the nail before I put it in. Your cake should rise to/slightly above the top of the pan without going over. There usually a small dome but not much so there is little to no waste. I also forgot to say that you soak the strips in water before you wrap them around the pan. You can torte the 2" cake in half if you would like or you can just stack them with buttercream or a filling in between each layer. It would make a taller cake. (A 6" instead of a 4")

Where I live, it can get hot and humid but probably not as hot as Dubai! Because of that, I quit using butter in my decorated cakes. I still use it sometimes on cupcakes. I switched to sweetex and have not had a problem since.

If I understand the last question, you can still fill a pan with less batter but it will not be as tall. I would still use everything you can to not let it dome so you will not loose any more cake than you have to when you level it.

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nanefy Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 3:33pm
post #19 of 21

everyone is different, it's more about finding your own style. Personally all my cakes are 5" tall as standard (unless of course the design calls for a different height). All my cakes have 5 layers of cake and 4 layers of buttercream and I know this is quite different from how most people do it, but I prefer it that way and so do my customers. I generally bake two cakes for each tier and I use 3" tins, but I prefer to have more cake than less just in case anything happens, that way I have a bit of leeway.

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RheaCakeQueen Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 3:52pm
post #20 of 21

I know this is a little off from the original question, but when you start adding additional height to a cake, how does it affect the serving numbers? All the charts I have ever seen are for 4" high cakes. Thanks!

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nanefy Posted 6 Oct 2011 , 4:36pm
post #21 of 21

I had to sit and work out my own serving charts - let me tell was not fun!! lol. Took me seriously ages. My serving size is 1.5" by 1" by 5", which gives me 7.5 cubic inches. My cake servings are right in between a wedding serving size and a party serving size and is my one size fits all serving size.

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