or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › How to avoid that dome look on the top of a cake after baking
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to avoid that dome look on the top of a cake after baking

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ever baked a cake and expected to have it come out level and perfect, when it really rises too much in the middle and has that ugly dome look? There's an easy way to fix that. Take a towel (one that you can cut up), and make sure it is long so that it can be wrapped around the outside of the cake pan. Cut the towel long ways and fold it in half like a hot dog. Damp the towel in water and make sure its not dripping wet. Wrap the towel around the outside of the cake pan as tight as you can, and pin the ends together (make sure it's really tight). Fill the cake pan with the batter and bake. Check the towel's wetness every now and then. If the towel is dry, then wet it again (it shouldn't really get dry. depends if the towel is thin). The cake should come out level. 

post #2 of 21

Baking strips... it ALWAYS works..

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

haha I didn't know they make those. I picked that tip off of a friend that took a cake decorating class. Thanks for that :) I learn a new thing every day!! 

post #4 of 21

Also I bake my cakes at 325 and this minimizes the dome.  With that and the strips, I get a nearly flat surface with minimal waste.  Don't smash the cake when it comes out of the oven.  A lot of people do that to make it level but all that does is destroy the perfect crumb you try to achieve. 
 

post #5 of 21
IMO if you have a balanced recipe and use proper techniques along with the best ingredients you can afford, you will have no need for baking strips and flower nails and all the other " invaluable" tips found on the Wilton forums.
Yes, from time to time you will fall in love with a recipe that will bake off with a "hump".
Eh, no worries, just shave it off and go about your business.
If you plan to do a lot of baking I suggest you save all your pennies and invest in an agbay
You will need one eventually if you will be doing a lot of torting.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 

I would like to improve on my knowledge of cakes (especially decorating). When I use the storebought Buttercream from Sam's in my culinary class, nomatter how much I whip it, it is still very stiff and hard to pipe out of the bag. This makes my hands shaky and messes me up with roses and close detail. how do I make the buttercream light enough to work with? Does the amount of buttercream in the pastry bag affect the control of the piping? Or do i need to find a way to whip the buttercream more?

post #7 of 21

I have tried thousands of recipes and none of them bake up perfectly level.  That may be fine for someone who just needs a dessert cake, but for tiered, stacked cakes, you really need a level cake.  The baking strips not only help the cake bake more level, but they also insulate the outer crust and keep it from over-browning or getting hard (for some recipes).  There are plenty of professionals who use baking strips and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I have some really old cake books which recommend using strips so they have been in use for a long time.  Obviously you don't have to use them-you can just slice off the top if you want.  The flower nail thing is just strange.  I haven't been over on the Wilton forums in a long time but I know there is a lot of unconventional "wisdom" out there on da internetz.  An Agbay is a wonderful thing for sure.  It's the Cadillac of levelers.  Here is more reading if you desire:

 

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/06/why_cakes_dome.html

 

Whipping buttercream isn't going to make it less stiff.  To thin it out you need to add liquid.  Add a little at a time until you get a good consistency.  I have been baking/decorating for over 15 years now, so I don't pay attention to how much liquid I am adding.  I just start pouring it in slowly and then I move it around with a spatula and see if it's workable.  I took two Wilton classes 15 years ago, and they are all about the stiff/medium/thin consistency.  I think mine is a medium-thin for most everything.

 

Also, you should actually make a batch of buttercream instead of using the store-bought.  Use the Wilton recipe with all shortening and water to thin.  It's not fit for human consumption but it's definitely good to practice with.  You can also re-use it without having to refrigerate it.  But for the love of God, don't eat it.
 

post #8 of 21

Right when they come out of the oven,  you may also use a spatula, the one you use for frying food,  push down the center gently ..

post #9 of 21
Wow. Thousands of cakes and not even one has been level?
Probably is a world record of some kind.
Sorry to have set off what is obviously a touchy baking equipment issue of yours.
There are lots of fresh, self taught bakers coming up and into the biz and some are a bit too trusting .
Quite a few will be warned that without this or that they will never be able to achieve even a modicum of sucess.
In the almost 30 years that I have been in and around bakeries I have realized there are 2 things to always remember. Work clean and dont over mix the cake because all that air will leave you with a hump on top that will have you reaching for a tool to level it off
Now go kick yor feet up and enjoy Rose's book..
I loved it.
Her outlook on life is so so very Rose!
post #10 of 21
I am at Rose Barenbaum also.
post #11 of 21

All cakes come out like this. Thats why pastry chefs start by turning cake upside down to decorate . Level the bottom with a serrated knife and your ready to go.

CHEFED
Reply
CHEFED
Reply
post #12 of 21

Not touchy at all.  Thousands was definitely an exaggeration but only to make the point that every recipe I have ever baked required some kind of leveling.  Maybe not a hump, but some degree of unevenness is expected. 

 

On another somewhat related note, new bakers would be wise to purchase a scale for baking.  Sometimes, even with proper mixing technique, improper measuring can ruin a perfect recipe.  A scale ensures consistency as long as everything else is good (ingredients, mixing technique, baking temp and time, etc.).
 

post #13 of 21
Not trying to poke the bear but CT is really not the most efficient site if someone needs the ABCs of basic cake baking, buttercream making and esp decorative piping and such.
There are scads of forums and tutorials just google search.
baking911. com (Sarah Phillips) has been around forever and if she dosen't have the answer at her fingertips, she will hunt it down for you and add the info to her site.
Known her forever... and just FYI is gluten intolerent and is adding new recipes as fast as she can test them.
post #14 of 21

Baking 911 is great!
 

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureBaker View Post

I would like to improve on my knowledge of cakes (especially decorating). When I use the storebought Buttercream from Sam's in my culinary class, nomatter how much I whip it, it is still very stiff and hard to pipe out of the bag. This makes my hands shaky and messes me up with roses and close detail. how do I make the buttercream light enough to work with? Does the amount of buttercream in the pastry bag affect the control of the piping? Or do i need to find a way to whip the buttercream more?
post #16 of 21
By adding some liquid. That should make softer and easier to pipe. Like warm milk or warm water.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! :D I've thought about adding the liquid to the buttercream and will give it a try. I will also try to find a great recipe to try (an edible one) for buttercream instead of buying one from the store. Pretty much when it comes to baking anything that rises, it doesn't really come out perfect, but that's what precise bakers are for right? :) I've got a lot of years on me and I wanna learn as much as my brain can take on baking and pasties :) Out of all the cakes I've made so far, the boxed ones have always been the worst. the best way to make a great cake is from scratch, but if the cake is absolutely needed quickly, then the boxed recipe is my last resort. If I were to be making a cake to have a real focus on taste and texture, I would make it from scratch. 

 

Boxed cake is for practice in my personal opinion :)

post #18 of 21
FB..
Google macsmom wasc recipes.
She has lifted altered box cake recipes to a new high.
Probably 300 different flavor combos and I swear on my antique wooden cookie stamp collection that 90% of the population would never guess they were boxed.
;-)
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Awesome :) I'll try it! Thanks :D

post #20 of 21
In Australia we use a mudcake generally for our decorated bases, I was told by an patient in the nursing homes to add foil to the top of my tin when baking to stop any bump and lose the crusty sugary top mad cakes can collect ( more so the white). Worked wonderfully. Not sure how it would go on a different type though, might be worth a try on a "family" cake
post #21 of 21

check the temperature, I think your baking temperature might be high... sometimes I adjust the temperature, from the temperature the recipe calls for to another, depending on the volume of the cake/ pan size I use. Sorry, but I don't find the strips thingy really helpful. I usually lower the temperature when baking a big cake. check out the Wilton website, I think they also have the rough estimate of the baking temperature to the cake size/pan size (I can really remember since I just have a rough scan on it since I was more concerned on cake portions that time.) If you do adjust the temperature, also be prepared to get the right timing on the actual baking. Do not rush and have fun experimenting, I believe people learn more through experience. Hope this helps and enjoy baking.
 

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply

Information w/o testing and validation is just data.

Information comprehended w/o testing and validation is just opinion.

INFORMATION COMPREHENDED WITH TESTING AND VALIDATION IS KNOWLEDGE.

I don't just read/write recipes and try them out; I study, analyze, test, validate and revalidate them. :)

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pastries & Baking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Pastries & Baking › How to avoid that dome look on the top of a cake after baking