Preheat oven to 350ºF. We recommend hand washing pan in hot, soapy water. Generously grease inside of pan halves with Wilton Cake Release or solid vegetable shortening (do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil.
Be sure to cover all indentations. If using shortening, sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons flour inside each pan half and shake so flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn pan halves upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If any shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening and flour to prevent cake from sticking.
Make cake mix according to package directions, or use your favorite scratch recipe. (You will need a full 5 1/2 cups of batter.) Pound cake, yellow or chocolate batters, packaged mixes or your own recipe, are firm and offer the best results. Batters that contain nuts or raisins do not work well. Pour batter into the front half of pan (half without hole). The batter will come right to the rim, almost to the point of overflowing.
Snap the back half of the pan in place and tie pans tightly together in two places with household cotton string or wire, to prevent rising batter from forcing pans apart. Spread aluminum foil on bottom rack of oven to catch any batter that may seep through while baking.
Bake on cookie sheet on middle rack of oven for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in vent hole on top of pan comes out clean. <</p>
Top half of pan may be removed during last ten minutes of baking to check cake. When cake is done, remove from oven and place on cake rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then remove top half of pan and cool 5 minutes more.
Replace top pan, turn cake over and remove bottom pan. It may be necessary to tap pan with the handle of a spatula to free cake from pan.
Now, let cake rest in front half of pan, lying down, until completely cool. (At least four hours.) Remove cake from pan by placing one hand gently on cake surface and setting cake and pan upright on serving platter. Then carefully slip top away from cake.
If cake does not stand level, trim bottom or prop underneath with icing.
We recommend hand washing pan in hot, soapy water.