The worst part of a wedding cake for me is the baking. I never seem to be able to get it right and generally end up baking multiple batches just to get two layers that are usable. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
I live at 4,700 feet, so I have adjusted my recipe for high altitude, but am still at a loss. The cakes appear to bake up beautifully, have a little bit of a crown to trim. They test done and when I pull them out of the oven, they fall! How is that possible?? Getting them out of the pan is not always pleasant either. The sides are greased/floured and the bottom is lined with parchment. I don't know if my recipe is somehow flawed, or if I'm mixing it too long, or not baking it quite long enough or hot enough (300 degrees until it tests done - 45 min. or so), maybe leaving it in the pan too long after taking it out of the oven (10 min. at least)
The silver lining is that all of the mistakes taste great!!! My kids are happy at least!
AI don't like to bake cakes under 325 degrees at the lowest temp. Depending on size I do 325 or 350, maybe that's it?
ADo you always use the same recipe? I bake between 350 and 370F and leave them in the pan for about 10 mins. I also use parchment like you on the bottom. Before I take them out, I run a clean knife along the edges and then I flip the cake over onto a rack. The recipes which didn't work for me end up in the no no corner
You seem to be doing the right thing really.
I'd say check your quantity of leavening in the recipe. Sounds like (not sure) the cake rises with the heat but then collapses when cooled. Could be the baking powder.
I'd suggest try a few different recipes in small batches not just your own but others as well. Have you tried making a recipe without altering it ?
Also I use cake strips on the outside of my cake pan to get them flat along with the Parchment papers below and on the sides.
Hope this helps. <3
For getting them out of the pan, I always use the Wilton cake release, I've never had a problem with them sticking since I started using it. And use the cake strips for even rising as mentioned earlier in the thread.
I agree with AmyJ and think it might be that you're baking it too low. I just did a test on a white cake recently and baking at 300 degrees took me well over an hour and a half. You baking for only 45 minutes seems way off. Of course it could be from other factors, like maybe baking in wide and shallow pans? Mine were in 3" tall pans (a 7" and 5") with cakes ending up 2+ inches tall. And recipes are different: here's the one I used: The Perfect White Cake.
It also could be the recipe - have you tried others? I had to try three or four to find a winner. Some were flat and hard, some were too fluffy and fell, but the one I finally ended up with was just right. Goldilocks would be happy.
And lastly, overbeating the batter as you mentioned could do it. That can incorporate too much air into the batter, then that plus the leavening makes it rise beautifully, but once taken out and cooling, the soft center can't hold and collapses while the more crusty edges can hold and stay high.
I don't use any grease or flour to prepare pans. I HATE scrubbing pans, and apparently aren't good at it since they always end up with a fine layer of brown sticky gunk on them after a while, no matter how I scrub. Now, I simply line the bottom and sides with parchment and nothing else. Cake slides right out and there is minimal washing - anything left in the pans just wipes right out with one swipe of the soapy dish sponge. Another nice thing about lining with parchment: I always cut it a couple inches taller than my pans and have not had one more accidental batter overflow since. (Only thing I hate more than scrubbing pans is cleaning the oven. No more! :) )