Kiddle Family - November 2012

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Baking Cakes

Okay, before I get into talking about my crazy morning of baking cakes, I've got a picture and little story to share....

Yesterday morning, Matthew goes rummaging through the pantry looking for something good to eat. He pops his head out and holds up a juice box and with a big smile says "Pretty please, can I please have this?" I'm about to tell him NO and he knows it's coming, when right before my eyes, his facial expression turns to this....
Well, he was totally playing the puppy dog look. I burst out laughing because I saw the sudden change in facial expressions and it was so funny to me. The more I laughed, the more he kept doing the look. Probably because he knew he had me. I didn't immediately say No and therefore, he stood a good chance of getting that coveted juice box.
What can I say? I'm a real sucker because I gave in. This little boy has got me so wrapped around his little finger... and I know it. I can't help it. Now, the girls on the other hand, they can't fool their mother like their little brother can.

Okay..... cakes.
This weekend I've found that I've got 3 different cakes to make. Originally I thought I had just two, which I thought was pushing it, until I noticed the cake for Sunday that I over-looked.
So, today I decided to bake them all and freeze them til I need them in a few days. Just so I'm not going CRAZY later. How many did I bake?? Check it out...

Okay, I suppose I could have cut my baking time down, had I filled my pans more full and just cut the cakes into layers afterwards, but that's such a pain. So, instead, I chose to bake each layer separately. It saves me from going crazy later.

While I was baking, I thought I'd post a little tutorial on how I get my cakes to come out perfectly every time... A lot of it is dependent on what I do in preparation. And no, baking cakes does not mean I just whip up a box of cake mix and throw it into a pan and be done with it. It takes a little TLC.

First off, I like to use shortening to cover the entire inside of the cake pans. Sides and bottoms. Then, I cut a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to cover the bottom of the cake. Then I cover the sides with flour and tap the excess out...

Have you ever baked a cake and the top domes? This next part is how you solve that and have your cakes bake perfectly flat.
The secret is "Even Bake Strips". You can buy them at Michaels. They're pretty inexpensive and they're something you use over and over and over. They're a good investment.
How do you use them?? First off, you need to soak them in water. When they're thoroughly soaked, I like to lift them up by one end and run my fingers down the strip to get rid of the excess water. You don't want them dripping all over and making a huge mess. Then you just wrap them around your pan and pin them in place.

Even Bake Strips should only be used on cakes that are 8" or bigger. Any smaller and it won't bake properly. If you do this, then your cakes should bake nice and flat. No need to cut off excess cake and try to make it level. So, your cakes should look something like this done...

Let them cool a few minutes in the pan before you flip them out onto a cooling rack. Don't forget to peel off the parchment/wax paper.

And if you're like me, you'll let someone lick off the spoons when you're done. Yum! I've heard you're not supposed to eat raw dough of any kind, but it's so good.


  1. I am so glad you started your blog! I feel like I can leech information from you without bugging you this way. And I eat cookie dough too, and I LOVE angel food cake batter (you wouldn't know anything about that). My boys come running when they hear the Kitchenaid turn on- they always think there will be something yummy to lick or nibble on, but it's weird how me making buns can seem so disappointing to a kid.

  2. Amber,

    I've been meaning to get those strips. Now I know exactly what you mean. I have no excuse! Love your blog. Thanks for sharing your passions with those of us a little(or a lot) less passionate. We need the help!