Preheat oven to 350F. You will need approximately 6 2/3 cups batter. This Stand-Up Cuddly Bear cake bakes best using a batter that is firm, but not too heavy. We recommend using a pound cake mix and a 2-layer cake mix combined. Place mixes in a bowl, add all the ingredients specified on the boxes and mix. Measure batter and place in bear pan. Use any remaining batter to bake cupcakes. Note: some bakers prefer leaving the baking core inside the cake. If you choose to do this, do not grease the inside of the baking core and do not bake any batter in the core. Once the cake is cool, cover the metal tabs with icing when decorating.
1. Generously coat the inside of both pan halves and both the inside and outside of the baking core using Wilton Cake Release.
2. Fasten pan halves together with clips, making sure the halves fit snugly together.
3. Place pan on cookie sheet. Pour 6 cups of cake batter into pan. Cake fills out best when batter rises and overflows slightly while baking.
4. Insert baking core into center. Secure core by slipping tabs of longer prongs under the sides of the pan. Pour 2/3 cup batter into core. Bake 50-60 minutes. Do not overbake.
5. Remove from oven. Cool upside down on rack 5-10 minutes. Trim excess cake level with bottom of pan.
6. Lie cake pan on cooling rack. Remove clips and remove front of pan to release steam. Replace front of pan. Flip over and remove back of pan to release steam. Stand cake and pans upright and cool 15 minutes.
7. Remove pans; gently remove the baking core and the baked cake center. Set cake upright and cool 1 additional hour.
8. Place the cake center inside the bear, filling any empty areas with buttercream icing. Position cake upright on plate and secure to plate with icing or melted candy. Your bear cake is now ready to decorate