The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

how to bake cakes resulting in a flat even top

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bjames's picture
bjames

how to bake cakes resulting in a flat even top

Is there a technique for avoiding the "mountain bulge" in the middle of the cake when baking? How do you achieve a cake with a flat evenly baked top?

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I've never used them, but the people at King Arthur Flour sell cake strips which they claim accomplished your desired goal:


 http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/cake-strips


 


SteveB


www.breadcetera.com


 

plevee's picture
plevee

I do use these & they yield a flat topped cake.


They are also good for baking cheesecakes; they eliminate the need for handling pans of boiling water & the danger of splashing the water into the batter.


Recommended for those of us who aren't in the same league as Qahtan,  ;>)


Patsy

SteveB's picture
SteveB

I've never used them myself, but the people at King Arthur Flour sell cake strips which they claim accomplishes your desired goal:


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/cake-strips


 


SteveB


www.breadcetera.com


 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

The secret is NOT to beat the day lights out of the batter when you are adding the flour. FOLD it in, in  particula a sponge.


 Even a heavy fruit cake, gently does it....... qahtan 


 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 Picture of flat top fruit cake still in pan, and Swiss/Jelly roll  made with Genoise sponge that has to be flat to roll it.. ;-)) qahtan


 


ladychef41's picture
ladychef41

Qahtan, your swiss roll looks great; care to share the recipe with us?


 


Wendy

Glass-Weaver's picture
Glass-Weaver

Wedding cake bakers do two things for flatter layers: Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees, which helps a lot, and then plan on slicing off the slightly domed top for perfectly flat layers.  They have an adjustable frame that supports a "bow saw", but you can improvise with a long, clean hack saw blade and a couple pieces of wood.


I noticed those insulating bands on King Art's website.  Makes sense...the sides would stay cool and not set before the center.


Terri

LynnKay's picture
LynnKay

I was a manager for a retail chain that prepared and sold cakes and other baked goods. We used a wire bow to cut the hill off the top and then flipped the top layer over so the top was in the middle. I did this as well for all the wedding cakes. I never flipped the bottom because you need support for heavy cakes and my flipping it I found the bottom layer would would sag a bit.


I also found using the beater bar instead of the wire whip to help with the hills and cracking in making cheesecakes. Too much air gets incorporated otherwise.

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 


I don't do either............. qahtan ;-)) 

Barbp's picture
Barbp

Bjames....when I baked wedding cakes, I cut an old terry cloth towel into two inch wide strips (that's how deep wedding pans are) and then wet them and wrapped them around my cake pans, using safty pins to hold the strips together.  The batter would rise up evenly, creating a flat top....I wrapped the pans with two layers of towel strips and they never burned...they would scorch a little, but it worked.  I used the same strips for years....make sure you wet the strips throughly and wring them out, then wrap around pans.

ladychef41's picture
ladychef41

I learned the same trick as Barbp many years ago and still use it today. You get the round tops on cakes because the outside cooks faster than the center, thus allowing the center to continue to rise. If you DO happen to get a cake that still has a bit of a "bubble" on it, you can use dental floss to "saw" the offending top off. The dental floss works better than trying to slice it off with a knife as it makes a much cleaner cut.


 


Wendy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I don't believe no one has mentioned this...


Turn the cake upside down.   The bottom is always flat.


Mini

jdunivan's picture
jdunivan

I do the same thing. Nice and flat!!!

qahtan's picture
qahtan

But then if you had it as a rounded top you would end up with a space all around the bottom,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ;-(((( qahtan

qahtan's picture
qahtan

Genoise.


 6 whole eggs


 1 cup sugar


 warmed in large bowl and beaten till thick like custard.


 Fold in ½ cup melted butter  and  1 cups sifted flour alternating each.


 bake as you wish,  350 .                35 minutes.


If making Swiss roll. line pan with greased parchment paper, but get it to fit nicely. pour in batter  gently and smooth evenly over pan, bake 25  mins check to see if springs back when touched with finger. Do not over bake or it will crack when rolling.


remember to work quickly after removing cake from oven.


When done run knife round edge of sponge to release from sides,, turn out onto clean tea rowel that has been dredged heavily with sugar, remove parchment and useing the aid of tea towel roll up not too tight, place on cooling rack still in towel for about 10 -15 mins, gently unroll remove tea towel, reroll to cool, then when cool unroll, spread with jam, buttercream whatever, .  enjoy


 

ladychef41's picture
ladychef41

Thank you qahtan! Very similar to the one I use now.. But I will be trying this one soon and let you know if I notice much difference!


 


Wendy

caseymcm's picture
caseymcm

Joe Pastry agrees with the prior recomendations, he also says try better thicker cake pans.


 

Nicole's picture
Nicole

I was told by someone to bake cakes at 325 and not 350 if you wish to avoid a risen top, you'll just have to adjust the baking time a little bit.