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Topic: If you don't have the Bake Even strips...
BlackWidowNor 02/07/2010 4:29 PM
Is there something else you could use/do to substitute?

I'm just getting started in the baking/decorating craft and I'm on a budget (read - broke like everyone else! tee hee) - What did people do before Bake Even strips were invented?

I want to start experimenting with making my own buttercream frosting and marshmallow fondant and I was just curious...

houmoore4 02/07/2010 4:45 PM
I don't use baking strips. I do bang my cake pans on the counter to remove air and level out, but that's it. My MIL has a kitchen towel (cut in half)that she uses. She gets it wet, then pins it to her pans. I personally don't think they are essential to having especially when money is tight. I'd rather use the little money I have to buy something else.
pastelitos 02/07/2010 4:56 PM
You know what I've used? I have cut foil ( enough to go around the pan) and then I put wet paper towels, fold it the width of the pan and secure. It seems to do the trick and inexpensive.
MARIE J 02/07/2010 5:31 PM
I use old towels that have been cut lengthways, soak them in water, then I fold them to the height of the pans, tie with butchers twine I have found that it is easier to do this all before you put the batter into the pans
sweetgrandma 02/07/2010 7:48 PM
I do the same as Marie except I use big safety pins to secure them.
cakes06 02/08/2010 2:35 AM
I've never used bake even strips for any of my cakes and they turn out just fine. I'm at sealevel though so don't know if that has anything to do with it. Also, baking at 325 instead of 350 works better too (takes a little longer) I do get a peak on the cakes, but that's okay. I just cut them off.
dottiepark 02/08/2010 6:23 AM
I do what pastelitos perfectly. I use binder clips to secure the ends but Marie's trick with the twine is a great one.
pld 02/08/2010 3:03 PM
I recently learned an awesome way to level cakes. When you first remove cake from oven sit on a flat surface (still in pan) lay a clean dish towel over the cake and firmly press down with your hand. This allows the air to escape from your cake and will flatten out the top. After about 10 minutes flip cake out of the pan and let it cool on it's top.

Since I have been using this technique I have had to trim very few of my cakes.
Bobbi 02/08/2010 5:59 PM
I use the damp terri towel method. 4" long stips of terri cloth towel. Wet cloth strips with cold water. Wring out. Double the towel in half. (2" double strip.) Use saftey pin to secure to the outside of the cake pan. Many times I put my cake pans on a cookie sheet and wrap the damp towel around the outside of the pan.

When I first told my friend about this method many years ago, I forgot to say outside. She put her damp towel strips on the inside of the pan. Oh my!!!!

Cassi'sCake 02/08/2010 7:06 PM
I used the bake even strips for the first time in my round 8in pan, I used 3 cups of batter like the pan directions instructed. Yet it still crowned up and over the edge of the pan and it still cracked. It's not a big deal I just leveled it out and I still have a 1 3/4 in cake, but what did I do wrong?
MARIE J 02/09/2010 8:52 AM
sweetgrandma - great idea about safety pins !! I'll have to give that a try

Cassi'sCake - were your strips wet enough ? Is your oven temp accurate ? You can always use a flower nail - metal one - in the center if all else fails !!
Spaffy 01/02/2011 8:08 AM
So if you use the old towel method instead of the bake even strips do you put the temp at 325?
MARIE J 01/02/2011 8:32 AM
Spaffy - the temp of the oven I leave the same - 350 - it just takes a little longer to bake the cake !!
bakingatthebeach 01/02/2011 9:25 AM
I take a flower nail and grease it and place it in the center of my pan if its over 10 inches, resting on its head, the 14 inch I use 2 flower nails. I fill it 3/4's full so when it rises it rises above the pan, I take it out of the oven and use a sharp kitchen knife and level it still in the pan before I take it out, using the pan edge to keep my knife flat, then you use what you just cut off for cake pops! I always bake at 325, it takes longer but bakes more evenly than at hight temps.
YOFJAB 01/02/2011 11:36 AM
I do use the bake even strips but sometimmes I just don't feel like BUT I want to say I have been using the method
pld describes above with using a clean dishtowel and as soon as you take the cake out of the oven, you cover the top of the cake and gently press some of the air out of the cake. This nt oly gets rid of the "dome" but also pushes out some air which can cause dry cakes