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Topic: FRUSTRATED!! Baking strips and 13x9" pan.....
pamzam70 08/06/2008 8:31 AM
Hi Everyone!!
I'm very frustrated, and don't know what to do...I want to decorate a 13x9 cake for my son's birthday next month, so I baked a cake for 'practice.' I used the Wilton baking strips cake came out 'skimpy!!' It's 'fluffier' (bigger?) in the middle, but around the edges, it's only about an inch thick. Looks awful!!

Do I need to make 2 boxes to fill the 13x9 pan?
Do I just add a 'little bit more' (instead of 2 full boxes)?
Am I not using the strips right? I followed the directions (saturate them in cold water, pull your finger over it to get the water out, and 'attach' to the bottom part of the pan. No such luck. SKIMPY CAKE!! you suggest I make TWO CAKES, 13x9, and just 'put them together?' I"m looking at pix in the Wilton cake books of 13x9 cakes, and they look THICK.

What am I doing wrong? THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!!!

mmumsie 08/07/2008 8:50 AM
Hi Pam - For the best results requires measuring your batter. You need approx. 7 cups of batter per layer. One cake mix will give you anywhere from 4 to 6 cups of batter. If you wish it to bigger, you may need to do 2 layers. The bake even strips are to help your cake bake level. (No hump in the middle.) It also keeps the side cool so not to be overcooked. Good luck. ; )
vanna 08/07/2008 8:53 AM
Pam, I replied to your second post, but then I saw this one. Realized it was the same, but something caught my attention. How are you putting the strips on? You mentioned attaching them to the bottom of the pan. Maybe I'm confused by the way you worded it, but just case I thought I would let you know they go around the side of the pan.
nissi01 08/07/2008 4:02 PM
I also had a problem with the baking strips. I made a 10 inch round cake for my course 3 finale cake last week, and when I removed it from the pan the cake looked uncooked. It did not have that golden brown crust. I dont know what I did wrong. I followed the directions in the package. My 6 inch cake turned out beautifuly and I made it with out the strips.(even though I had to level it)
Anyone have any sugestions.
jada1 08/28/2010 11:30 PM
how do you keep the strips on square pans?
CollectorEJ 08/28/2010 11:52 PM
T-pins. When I purchased my first set there were some in the box (I think). If there are no T-pins because you bought at a garage sale pick some up at a craft store or at Joann's.
lumifan4ever 08/29/2010 6:39 AM
I just bought the bake even strips and i love them. I just made a 13x9 cake for a birthday party. I wasn't sure about the baking times of putting two cake mixes in the pan at the same time, so i baked my layers separate. You will need two cake mixes to a make a 13x9 cake. Whether you make them as one layer or two is your choice. I have the bake even strips that go for the smaller pans so i have to use two of them to go around the side of the pans. And to keep them on, I use two of those black paper binders. Just clip them one on each side of the pan to help hold the strips on. My cakes came out beautiful. I barely had any hump on the top. Hope that helps.

And if anyone has the baking times on two cakes mixes in a 13x9 cake pan, I'd love to know. I hate having so use so much buttercream by putting it between the layers.
MARIE J 08/29/2010 6:47 AM
lumifan4ever - take a look here !! Wilton's chart for ALL their 2 inch pan sizes !!
cakes06 08/29/2010 10:09 AM
I've never used bake even strips for any of my cakes and they turn out fine. Maybe I've been lucky, but I always bake at 325 instead of 350 and that works better too. For a 13 x 9 pan, it takes about 1 1/2 cake mixes but I mix up two and use leftover batter for cupcakes.
lumifan4ever 08/29/2010 11:13 AM
MarieJ...thanks. Just finished printing it out. Now to get it laminated and put up in my kitchen over the stove. Thanks!!! :-)
whoknew? 08/29/2010 12:20 PM
Hi. I recently made a 4th of July Flag Cake using two cakes baked in my 9x13 WalMart pans. I used one cake mix for each layer. First off, all the 9x13 pans Wilton sells do NOT have straight sides, they are angled and just like WalMart pans. When I stacked both cakes, I had to trim the sides with a knife to get straight edges before I could crumb coat.

I used the bake-even strips, and wrapped two of the strips that are supposed to go on 8" cakes around the 9x13 pan (just connect the two with the T-pins, then fit them as best you can on the angled edges of your pan). The second you remove your cake from the oven, use a thick towel and press down with your hands on the "dome" in the center of the cake until it is mostly even with the sides. It will not affect the taste or texture in any way (I believe it only eliminates the air bubbles in the cooked batter). After "smashing" down the cake dome, remove the strips, wait 10-15 minutes then remove cake from pan to cooling rack.

My finished cake came out beautifully, and was about 4" high. I did put a layer of filling in between the two cakes.
whoknew? 08/29/2010 12:25 PM
P.S. I also only bake at 325 degrees. In my first Wilton class, I complained to my teacher about the skinny, over-cooked sides and the high dome in the middle. She is the one who suggested the bake even strips for caked 8" or larger, and to bake at 325 degrees. Surprisingly, she had not heard of the "smashing" method and tried it and liked it.
lumifan4ever 08/30/2010 7:39 AM
How many extra minutes do you cook your cakes if you lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees??
Sugar Pie 08/30/2010 9:32 AM
I never use the bake even strips, but that's my choice.
I use 1 1/2 cake mixes for the 9X13 pan. I never measure the mix - I just take my hands and divide what I think is half of the bag. I leave the other half in the bag, seal it down, and put it in the freezer until I need it. I just do the math, and add the extra ingredients for half of a cake mix. If it says 3 eggs, I use 4 and an egg shell of water. It's very easy to do. When you put your cake mix in the pan, bang it around to get the air bubbles out, then kind of push the cake mix up in all four corners. I bake between 325 & 350 for approximately 35 minutes. The timing for me doesn't seem to be the same every time I bake, so just watch your cake and when it bounces back when lightly touched in the middle and the tooth pick comes out clean, your cake is done.

I was reading the other day that the professional way to do a cake is to take it out of the oven and flip it onto a piece of parchment paper to cool. Leave the pan on it so that the top will steam and adhere to the paper. Cool upside down for 5 minutes, remove the pan and let your cake cool upside down. After it has cooled, turn right side up, remove the paper and the crust will come off with it, leaving your cake top smooth and flat. I'm pretty sure I read that in the Wilton Way of Cake Decorating - Volume 1. This I have NEVER tried. It was an interesting read.

I hope you have better luck with your next cake.
gmoakes01 08/30/2010 1:28 PM
I bought some 9 X 13 pans at WalMart, I think they are Oneida brand. Heavy dark aluminum with beautiful straight, crisp corners. Love how well they work and are easy to decorate with.
mamajaejae 08/30/2010 4:51 PM

For some reason a cake mix no longer is enough batter for the 9x13 pan. I have no idea why.....I have used this size pan for years but for the last few years I have to use more batter.
You could mix 2 mixes and use the extra that you don't put in the 9x13 pan for cupcakes. OR
You could use a cake extender. There are a few selections on this Wilton forum....go into the recipe section....some are made using instant pudding and some are made using extra flour, etc.
bunnywoman 08/30/2010 5:11 PM
I put a cake mix extender recipe in mine and they come out just fine.
Mickeebabe 08/31/2014 10:14 PM
whoknew? - When you bake a 9 x 13 cake, do you also use a flower nail in the center? When you bake at 325 degrees, how long do you bake the cake?

gmoakes01 08/31/2014 10:23 PM
I like using 2 flower nails in a 9x13 pan along with the strips. Start at at least 45 minutes then test from there.
Mickeebabe 08/31/2014 10:26 PM
Thank you gmoakes01.