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Cake Leveling???Am I the only one who does this? - Page 8

post #106 of 121
I have shared this tip before regarding baking strips. I attach them to the pan with binder clips.
LINDA
Groveland, MA
Little? Ya, I'm only 4'9.25".
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LINDA
Groveland, MA
Little? Ya, I'm only 4'9.25".
http://www.winkflash.com/photo/public.aspx?u=TheVienneaus
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post #107 of 121
HI Everybody,

I'm new to cake decorating, like really new. My first cake was the teddy bear cake and I made that last week so that is how new I am.

Few questions:

Leveling cake - When you level a cake, what does it need to be level with? The top of the cake pan? I use a serrated knife but I'm not sure how much I'm supposed to cut off...I've just been cutting off the peak but that probably is not enough.

Leveling cake #2 - I baked a 6" cake and an 8" cake tonight and it seemed like it took forever to bake! I had my timer on 25 minutes and the cake wasn't no where near done. When I took the cake out it, I tried to push the top down on one of them (I was reading this board right before it was time to level it) and it wouldn't go down without cracking? Is the cake overdone? I don't know why I would need to use the rose nail method on a cake that small. I baked on 350 degrees and I have a gas oven. Please offer any suggestions.

Leveling cake #3 - When you level the cake and take the top off, do you icing the cake with the cut off part on the top or bottom? And, how do you keep the cake moist? I've found that using these Wilton pans have made my cakes dry....when I use stoneware they are so moist. I like moist cake. I've been using Duncan Hines mix for practice because a box is only .89 at Target. What would you recommend me using for cake batter, and for cheap while i'm learning.

Thanks for all your help.
post #108 of 121
Hi tamifaye and welcome to CC! Let me see if I can answer a couple of things for you!

1- When I level a cake I look at the cake out of the pan. For me there is usually a distinct area that just looks like it needs to go. I don't use the push down method but love my 2.99 wilton small leveler. I found it will tear up the cake if you try to level when the cake is warm-must be completly cool!

2-I would get an oven thermometer. Most oven temps are off and you have no way of knowing it without a thermometer. The crusty top is one reason I don't like the push down method. That top tastes different than the rest of the cake and I find my fillings don't work as well with that top still in place. My 8in cakes take up to 45 min sometimes depending on the recipe I use ( I always use doctored cake mixes-lots of threads on here about that!) You just have to get your oven temp right and learn how long your recipes take to cook. Also measure your batter (charts in wilton yearbook,on wilton site and this site)

3-When putting a cake together, this is the order I put them together: bottom layer,bottom down then filling/icing then flip the next layer over so the tops are now together and the bottom is up. That way you get a nice smooth top to ice! I also like to torte my layers but that is another lesson for another day!icon_smile.gif

4-Try experimenting with different cake mixes to see which one you like best/that turns out the texture and taste you like. Wal-mart sells a couple of varieties for .88/.89. Maybe once your oven temp is right that might help with less dry cake.

HTH!
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Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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Cake's a powerful food. Cake can actually bring people together. You know... "It's Bill's birthday" "Yeah, I hate that guy." "There's cake in the conference room." "Well, I should say hello."-Jim Gaffigan
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post #109 of 121
One further suggestion: get an oven thermometer and make sure your oven isn't out of wack. It is a valuable tool for anyone who uses an oven for anything!
post #110 of 121
I never use a leveler. I always use thread....it cuts through the cake like butter and all my cakes always come out level and no tears. I start at the lowest end of the cake and pull across and Volia!

I'd like to try this new method mentioned though just to see for myself if it works.LOL
I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.
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I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.
Philippians 4:13 KJV
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post #111 of 121
I use a serrated knife for levelling (incrementally and I use the slices to make my husband some "cake in a bowl" so he keeps his hands off the real one lol). I use the cake leveller for torting though, but the thread method is also a great idea and great for torting.
post #112 of 121
O.K. I used the push down method tonight and one of my cakes ended up with a wrinke all the way around the outside edge. Now there is a ridge that will probably stick out when I go to ice it. Any ideas why this happened? Did I push too hard on that one? How can I fix it? They're in the freezer now until Thursday....

Thanks for any help.....
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post #113 of 121
hah Yeah I'd guess you did push too hard... since they are already feezing, if it didn't already poof back out on it's own, the only thing left is to slice off the ridges and be sure to crumb coat that one.
post #114 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by kello

Now there is a ridge that will probably stick out when I go to ice it


Don't you turn the cake out upside down to frost it?
LINDA
Groveland, MA
Little? Ya, I'm only 4'9.25".
http://www.winkflash.com/photo/public.aspx?u=TheVienneaus
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LINDA
Groveland, MA
Little? Ya, I'm only 4'9.25".
http://www.winkflash.com/photo/public.aspx?u=TheVienneaus
Reply
post #115 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzycakes

I do it all the time!! I use wax paper and a smaller pan to push the tops down, although since I found out about the flower nail trick, I haven't had to do it to the larger cakes. I use my leveler to tort, not to level off tops.



What is the flower nail trick?
post #116 of 121
[Don't you turn the cake out upside down to frost it?[/quote]

The wrinkle is all around the outside edge. Not quite big enough to trim. I would have to trim off the whole side, or just crumb coat it quite thick to try to hide it I guess...
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post #117 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaptlps

Have you guys who don't squish yer cakes tried leveling it while it was still in the pan??
You would use a large serrated knife and use the top of the pan as your guide. I like the squishee method myself though.



This is how I level all my cakes.
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post #118 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaptlps

Have you guys who don't squish yer cakes tried leveling it while it was still in the pan??
You would use a large serrated knife and use the top of the pan as your guide.



This is the method I use and I've been decorating for 34 years. I find it works best for me, is very easy, and so much less frustrating.
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #119 of 121
Aobodessa, or chaptlps....how soon do you level it in the pan....or do you just leave it in the pan while it cools?
-Melanie
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-Melanie
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post #120 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkerton

Aobodessa....how soon do you level it in the pan....or do you just leave it in the pan while it cools?



I let it sit in the pan and "settle" for about 5-10 minutes. Then I take a serrated knife, hold it steady on the top of the pan edge, and turn the pan so I get a "score all the way around the top. Then you can begin to move in to the center and remove the entire crown.

After the crown is removed (I put it in a bowl; that way little hands don't mess with my baked cakes! They get lots of "caketops" instead), I flip onto plastic wrap, wrap securely, and turn right side up as if it were still in the pan. The "crust" on the sides and bottom help to hold the shape better, while the plastic wrap will help to keep it moist. If it's large, I will freeze the layer so I can handle it easier for stacking.
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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