The cake looked perfect, baked to the brim of the pan, the stick came out clean. Perfection. Then, the cake started to shrink up all around the edges, and I could see the edges inside pulling away from the pan looking all gummy and loose crumbed. I don't know how else to describe it. After determining the sides were undercooked, I put it right back into the oven for 10 minutes. It seemed set up, but once again when I allowed it to settle the sides fell apart. So, I baked as much as I could without sacrificing moisture and the center being overdone...I flipped it upside down onto saran wrap, like a video taught me to. The sides had a weird ring that fell right off, of cake about 1/4 inch thick. I have a cake now, that is firm in the center, crumbly around the edges, and smaller than 10 inches due to loss of the edge.
My thought is that it was the bake strip overlapping. I omitted the strip for my 6" cake because that too would have overlapped and I am not ready for part two of my nightmare just yet! We will see how the next one comes out sans strip. If it repeats, I may have overmixed my batter or something. Ugh. Makes me wonder why I do scratch cakes. I would have been done HOURS ago with a box. Ugh.
Needing encouragement and perhaps insight. I use wilton's butter cake recipe, btw here:
Stay tuned, others are in the oven now....God Save Me!