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Topic: baking a cake evenly, with no bump
scrapnana 06/30/2011 2:20 PM
I know this has been answered probably many times but I can't seem to actually find the answer. I have been baking at home for 40 years and I have always wondered how could I bake a cake without the big bump in the middle...or have the cake bake at the same rate throughout? Sorry to be redundant...please help!
LouE 06/30/2011 2:39 PM
Someone here gave me a tip to have a tray of water at the bottom of the oven, it works! Never tried the bake even strips though.
cakedujour 06/30/2011 2:44 PM
Welcome scrapnana! You're right, this has been well discussed but we can give you the low down on the up hump up, too.

You get the dome because the cake batter next to the metal bakes the fastest, and the batter in the center takes the longest to bake. The trick is to try to get them to bake at the same rate.

To do this, you need to purchase some Bake Even strips. You wet them, wring them out, and wrap them around the sides of the cake pan. This helps keep the sides cooler and slows down the baking of the batter next to the pan. Next, take a metal flower nail and prepare it the same way you prepare the cake pan. Set it in the center of the prepared pan, point side up. Add the batter and bake. The flower nail will conduct heat to the middle of the batter which will help it bake a little faster. Now you have slowed the outer part of the cake and sped up the center and when the cake is baked you should have little, if any, dome. foodguy just posted about a new product that is specifically to be used for this in lieu of the flower nail. Check for his post in the Products Section. You can also use a cake core. That leaves a much larger hole that you fill in with caked baked in the core. I like the little hole better.

Caution: If you use the nail, be careful when you flip the cake onto the cooling rack. Make sure the point is in a hole, not against the wire part of the grid.
whoknew? 06/30/2011 7:44 PM
Here's some links to a written tutorial and also a photo tutorial:
"Hard learned newbie advice on level cakes and smooth buttercream"


Bake Even Strips and Flower Nail on larger cakes --Photo tutorial
laura ann 06/30/2011 9:55 PM
Hi Scrapnana,

Welcome! I found that if I overmix the batter, thenI get the bump in the middle. When I use a box cake, and it says to mix for 2 minutes, I time it for 1 1/2 minutes, then scrape the bowl, and pour into pans. When I make a cake from scratch; I forget to time it and end up with a bump. LouE, I'm going to try your method next time. Good luck and have fun!
ponyjockey 06/30/2011 11:01 PM
The Bake Even strips are a gift from God. I get perfectly flat cake tops no matter the recipe, they are fantastic! They are worth every penny and more!
scrapnana 07/02/2011 7:05 PM
Thanks, Everyone! I can't wait to try these suggestions...or tried & true methods. I am so excited to bake a flat cake and not have to waste cake by cutting it off ...WOO HOO!!
chinasam 07/02/2011 7:39 PM
Bake Even strips always! Until you are baking a shaped cake... Yes, the tray with water at the bottom of the oven also works somewhat. My mother always used that.
cbronson1 07/05/2011 5:00 PM
Baking strips are the best way to go. I've used them four times and I no longer have to level my cakes.