I’ve been asked many times how I get my cake layers to bake evenly and level. There are many approaches you may take, and today I’d like to offer my greatest tips and tactics for baking equal cake layers.
We’ll go through how to uniformly distribute cake batter in pans, how to use a cake leveler, and some other techniques and tips.
These baking hacks and ideas will assist you in creating a stunning cake that you can be proud of.
Before we begin, please view the video at the bottom of this article. It will show you how to measure, weigh out the batter, and use a cake leveler.
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- SUPPLIES NEEDED TO BAKE EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
- TIPS FOR BAKING EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
- OTHER TIPS:
- GETTING EVEN CAKE LAYERS AFTER THEY’VE BAKED:
- OTHER THINGS TO NOTE & A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT:
- VIDEO FOR HOW TO BAKE EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
SUPPLIES NEEDED TO BAKE EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
Okay, first let’s go through some of the items you’ll need to achieve even cake layers.
You’ll need some nice frying pans. The truly inexpensive ones will not bake as evenly. Wilton pans are OK, but I prefer Magic Line Pans. They really make a difference.
Whatever pans you choose, ensure sure the edges are straight and do not slant in or out.
Baking strips are not required, however some people use them. I’ve never used these myself, but some people swear by them, so I thought I’d share them. Wrapping them around your pans allows your cake layers to bake more evenly.
Some people wrap and pin a moist towel around their cookware. I don’t do it either, although other people swear by it.
For big cakes, I like to use magic line pans with a heating core (which I’ll go into in a minute). Those things have been sufficient for me to get beautiful and even cake layers, but you should do what works best for you and experiment with alternative approaches.
A heating core is quite useful for baking a huge cake layer. This will help your cake bake evenly by providing some more heat to the cake batter in the pan.
Simply set the heat core in your prepared cake pan. (On layers bigger than 10 inches, I prefer to utilize a heated core.) If the heating core was moved when you added the batter, return it to the center of the pan.
Simply add some batter to the heated core. You don’t need much batter since it will puff up, but add a little amount.
Once the cake layer has been cooked and cooled, remove the heating core, take the cake out of the heating core, and use it to seal the hole in the center of the cake layer.
Something to keep in mind: To get that piece of cake out of there, coat the inside of your heating core with nonstick spray or butter it. When you take out the heating core, you’ll need it to replace the little hole in the centre of your cake layer.
This really aids in the even baking of the cake. I believe that once you try it, you will get the hang of it, and it will be quite useful.
Instead of a heated core, some individuals utilize a flower nail (the metal flower nails used to pipe buttercream flowers on). I simply don’t think it works as well as a heated core, but to each his own, right?
CAKE LEVELER OR LARGE KNIFE
Okay, this is something you can do AFTER you’ve cooked your cakes. If your cake has a dome, you’ll want it to be flat so you don’t have problems putting it together and decorating it.
You may use a cake leveler or a knife to do this. There are many types of cake levelers, and I just possess the affordable Wilton wire leveler, which works fine for cakes under 10 inches. (We’ll go over how to utilize a leveler in more detail later.)
If you need to level a bigger cake, you can either spend more money on a sophisticated leveler or use a very large knife.
GOOD CAKE RECIPES
The last thing you’ll need are some nice cake recipes. You may make your own cakes or purchase mixes, whatever you choose, but you’ll need some reliable ones.
Here are some of my favorite scratch cake recipes for moist, tasty, and trustworthy cakes. Some will bake with a little dome, while others will not. (I’ll get to my opinions on it in a moment.)
- Favorite Vanilla Cake
- Chocolate Butter Cake
- Moist White Cake
- Classic Yellow Cake
TIPS FOR BAKING EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
WAYS TO BAKE EVEN CAKE LAYERS
To bake uniform cake layers, make sure you have an equal quantity of cake batter in each pan.
There are several ways to do that.
You can eyeball it (which is what I do the majority of the time). This isn’t very accurate, but if you’re excellent at guessing, go for it. Me?I’m not great at eye-balling, but I do it anyhow.
The other alternatives are to divide the batter equally across the pans or to weigh it out.
So lets look at those options.
MEASURING OUT YOUR CAKE BATTER
After you’ve mixed your cake batter, take around a cup measuring cup and scoop the batter into your pans, rotating between each pan until all of the batter is gone from the mixing bowl.
You won’t get it quite right, but you’ll come close.
WEIGHING YOUR CAKE BATTER
This one will need some thinking, but it will be lot more exact.
To obtain the weight of the empty bowl, weigh your mixing bowl without any cake batter in it. Make a note of that number.
Now, make your cake batter and weigh your mixing bowl with the cake batter inside. Subtract the amount you already noted. (That was the weight of the dish.)
You now know how much the cake batter weighs on its own. Divide that number by two to get the amount of cake batter needed for each pan (if you’re using two).
You may now just place a pan on your scale and tare (zero) it before adding any batter. You must zero it out (use the tare button) so that it does not account for the weight of your pan.
You may now add the batter till you reach the specified quantity. Place the second pan on the scale, zero it out, and add the remaining batter. (I suppose you don’t need to weigh the second half unless you want to double-check yourself.)
If your pans are too big and you can’t see the measures on your scale when you place them on it, you may always use a bowl, zero it out, then add the batter in the right quantity to that bowl, and then add that to your cake pan.
Also, if you’re using three pans instead of two, remember to divide the batter’s weight by three rather than two.
SMOOTH THE CAKE BATTER
After you’ve put the cake mixture to your pans, be sure to smooth the surface.
A very liquidy batter will probably be OK, but if your batter is on the thick side, go ahead and smooth and level the top as much as you can. You may as well help it bake as much as you can.
TAP THE PANS ON THE COUNTER
Once you’ve added the mixture to your pans, just tap them on the counter a few times to release any trapped air bubbles in the cake batter.
BAKING LOWER AND SLOWER
Sometimes when you bake the cake lower and slower, it rises a bit less and has a lesser chance of getting a dome on top. Many of my recipes ask for 325°F instead of 350°F, which I believe is beneficial.
THE REVERSE CREAMING METHOD
My cake layers are more flat on top when I utilize the reverse creaming procedure while mixing cake batter. As a result, the recipes on my site that use the reverse creaming technique (such as my Vanilla Bean Cake) will have a flatter cake layer, which some people like. (And I’ll explain more about it later.) (You can find out more about that strategy in the video below.)
MAKE SURE YOUR OVEN IS LEVEL
Check that your oven is level. I used to live in an apartment where my oven was slightly wrong and one side of the cake was usually thicker than the other.
I didn’t understand there were small level things beneath the oven that you could screw in more to lower it or remove to elevate it up a little until my mother informed me. It’s a simple repair.
GETTING EVEN CAKE LAYERS AFTER THEY’VE BAKED:
Some folks squish their cakes. I’m not sure what that does to the texture of the cake, but I don’t want my cake to be even more thick, so I avoid it.
I don’t want to screw up my cake’s texture. I’m not sure whether it makes that much of a difference, but I find it’s not that difficult to smooth out the top using a cake leveler or a knife. (There’s more on this throughout the video.)
USE A CAKE LEVELER OR A KNIFE TO GET THE TOPS EVEN
It is really simple to use a cake leveler. Simply set it to the desired height and slice away. Wiltons basic wire one is my favorite. It is suitable for smaller cake layers. I’m not very good with a knife, so I like to use this when I can.
If your cake layers are very enormous, you’ll need to invest in a huge cake leveler or just use a large knife.
Joshua John Russell gave me the perfect technique on how to use a knife while slicing cake layers. He recommends keeping your elbow near to your body, holding the knife with one hand, and twisting the cake around with the other while slicing. By keeping your elbow close to your torso, you can maintain the knife level while you slice. It is quite beneficial.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE & A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT:
This is something I see all the time.People DESIRE to create flat cake tiers. I’m not sure why it’s so important to bake flat cake layers, but everyone is different.
Yes, your cakes must be flat on top in order to be decorated without difficulty, but there are simple solutions to this problem.
I just wanted to mention that if your objective is to bake flat cake layers and it’s upsetting you, stop worrying about getting your cake layers to bake entirely flat on top.
All of this slamming down the cake to make it flat and doing all of this additional thingsI’m not sure what that does to the cake texture; it might be nothing, but I don’t want to risk making my cake more thick. (Unless I have to create a carved cake or something.)
My argument is that it is simple to cut off the dome of a cake with a leveler or a knife. It is not a sin to have a dome on top of your cake. It does not imply that you did anything incorrectly or that the recipe was inadequate. It’s perfectly OK; don’t worry.
Cut that dome off, relax, and eat it with milk or whatever.
If you despise the concept of removing a dome or leveling your cake and have been flattening your cake layers for years, then go for it! I have no objections to individuals doing what works best for them, even if it differs from what I do. Everyone has their own personal style and preferences.
I noted before that I believe utilizing the reverse creaming procedure when preparing cakes produces flatter cake layers (at least for me). I also find that baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time helps. I would stress, though, that it is always advisable to follow the recipe’s directions.
If you want to learn more about cake mixing techniques and how to correctly prepare a scratch cake, read these posts:
- Flour Types for Baking Cakes, as well as Mixing Methods
- How to Mix Cake Batter
So, honestly, I’m simply trying to relieve some of your anxiety about achieving flat layers. If your cake layers don’t come out of the oven flat on top, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t be too hard on yourself; you’re not doing anything wrong.
If you follow all of the procedures above, your cake layers will be even. That implies one layer will not be much thicker than the other, nor will it be asymmetrical. And if they have a little dome on top, simply cut that off!
I hope you found this useful! do watch the video below to see these techniques in action, and do let me know if you have any questions. I’m delighted to assist!
VIDEO FOR HOW TO BAKE EVEN CAKE LAYERS:
Dont Forget to Pin it for Later!
Why are my cake layers uneven?
When a cake turns out uneven, the batter may not have been properly combined. To ensure a uniform distribution of components, sift or whisk the dry ingredients well. On low speed, carefully mix the batter to ensure that all components are well combined. Uneven heating might be caused by the oven itself.
How do I stop my cake from doming?
Line the outsides of your cake pan with a second layer of foil to prevent your cake from doming. Simply fold large pieces of foil to the height of your cake pan, then wrap them around the exterior. The additional foil slows the heating of the pan, causing the cake batter at the borders to cook more slowly.
How do you stabilize cake layers?
Here’s a quick method for keeping your cake stable—it also makes cutting the cake simpler. Are you making a layer cake? Insert and trim a straw into the middle. When you frost the layers, they won’t slide about, and the straw provides a point in the middle to slice to.
Should I level my cake layers?
While it may seem to be an extra step, level cake layers are vital to maintain the stability of your cake. A domed cake layered on top of another domed cake might ultimately exert too much pressure on the cake’s core, causing it to shatter straight down the centre.
How do you stop uneven baking?
How to Avoid Uneven Baking
To promote balanced air flow, use the middle oven rack.
Items should be rotated midway during baking.
Examine your oven for hot places.
Check that your oven is at the proper temperature.
Keep the oven door shut.