Level Cakes

Baking By MamaGeese Updated 6 Jan 2019 , 1:24pm by jchuck

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MamaGeese Posted 4 Jan 2019 , 4:08pm
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Advice please.....it doesn't seem to matter what I do my cakes will always have a low side. I use baking strips, the look totally level, I even use a level to check everything. If I have several tiers to stack, that's when I notice it most, and then you can't fix it. I always double check to make sure my dowels or straws are the same size too. I read somewhere you should ice cake between layers, then put a weight on top to let it settle before icing sides or stacking. Does anyone else do this ? My cakes are delicious and pretty, but as we all know things like having a low side look too amateur ish. 

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cakefan92 Posted 4 Jan 2019 , 4:55pm
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You're not going to be able to get them perfectly level without trimming. I have a very simple way to level my cakes.  I fill the pans a little more so they have a definite dome when they cook.  As soon as I pull them out of the oven, I lay my knife on the top of the pan and cut straight across, keeping my knife against the pan. I have my cakes out of the oven, levelled and out of the pans in less than 2 minutes. Plus, hubby gets to eat the parts I cut off.  He seems to think he's entitled to do that - silly guy.

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Freckles0829 Posted 4 Jan 2019 , 6:19pm
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Like cakefan92 said you have to physically level them yourself with a knife.  For me I grab a ruler, a serrated knife and my turntable.  I mark the height I want with the knife/ruler and then slowly slice into the cake as I spin the turntable.  You don't want to go straight through because your cut won't be level so you want to do a steady cut around the cake until you hit the middle.  But cakefan's way is a great way as well.

As for weighing down your stacked cakes, I have never done that.  I do stack, fill, crumb coat, and final coat and then usually let them sit typically over night since I would do final stacking of tiers and decorations the next day.  So I guess I do let them settle but I don't weigh them down besides and nice press with my hand before I crumb coat.

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SandraSmiley Posted 4 Jan 2019 , 11:30pm
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If my cakes round up above the cake pan, I trim them as cakefan92 suggested, while still in the pans or trim them using the turntable as Freckles0829 advised.  Even if you have already stacked your layers, if you have not added dowels or straws, you can correct a slant by placing a cake board on top and pressing down firmly with your hands on the high side.  Be sure to use a level.  Discovering this trick make me a happy camper!

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MamaGeese Posted 5 Jan 2019 , 3:25pm
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I forgot to mention that I do use a cake cutter thingy, so many of the cakes young brides see on Pinterest, etc are styrofoam dummies and of course those look perfect. Mine look good, but when I stack the tiers and walk around and look at it, there always seems to be a high side or something just a little off. I've tried using the pro froster to give it sharper, level tops, but I cannot get the hang of that darn thing to save my life, I make the biggest mess! I have the acrylic discs too, haven't given them a fair chance yet, seems like a lot of flipping involved, which would be hard to do on a larger cake.

thanks y'all 

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jchuck Posted 5 Jan 2019 , 4:47pm
post #6 of 11


I also dome my cakes and cut across the pan when cake comes out of the oven. I make a parchment round using my cake pan as a template. I lay on top of the cake to trim the sides of my cake. And the cut off from the cake I always save and freeze. I can add the sliced cut off in the middle of my sliced cake while adding my filling to increase the height of my cake. I also use the cut offs and trimmings to make cake spackle. That can be added to the top of your cake to level it. I use to use buttercream to make my cake spackle, but now I use ganache. Better consistency, and hardens to a better finish. I also do the upside down method. That really helps creating a smooth, flat top. Difficult on a bigger cake..10”-14”. I’ve had hubby do the flip on the bigger cakes. I’ve also used the filling of the cake and icing the top using my cake pan and freezing the cake. Pretty good results. Got that from Wicked goodies. Here’s the info. There is a two part video. Well worth watching.


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MamaGeese Posted 5 Jan 2019 , 6:24pm
post #7 of 11

Thanks!!!! Gonna check that out today....what would we all do without each other

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jchuck Posted 5 Jan 2019 , 11:45pm
post #8 of 11

Ha Ha...so true MamaGeese

We are al here for each other...

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SandraSmiley Posted 6 Jan 2019 , 12:27am
post #9 of 11

My best help for getting a straight, level cake is my six inch level.  I just put a cake board on top of each tier as I finish it and measure it in sever al directions.  If there is a high spot, I press it down with my hands.  Works a charm.

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MamaGeese Posted 6 Jan 2019 , 5:15am
post #10 of 11

Have y'all seen those video links jchuck posted above? Really sound advice, I'm gonna try the method of building layers in a deep pan and freezing. Makes sense. Have already ordered a pan. Thanks jchuck

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jchuck Posted 6 Jan 2019 , 1:24pm
post #11 of 11

Your welcome MamaGeese. Wicked Goodies has lots of great cakey advice on her site. I’ve learned a lot from her.

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