Friday, September 6, 2013

The Art of Building a Layered Cake

Ever try to build a layer cake to only have it be lop-sided and higher in the middle so an earthquake style crack forms? You know you have been there, at least I have, many times.

When I finally decided to tackle a hummingbird cake recipe I had been eying for months I knew I did not want it to crumble right in front of me. Therefore, I decided to do some research and practice on the art of building a layered cake.

7 Steps for Making a Layered Cake

Step 1: Prepare the pans
Buy (or use if you have 3-4 laying around) disposable round cake pans, I used 9 inch. Butter and flour the pans so the cake will come out easily. To flour the pan, (after spreading the butter on) I sprinkle flour in and roll it around until it is covered. Prior to this I just used the non-stick spray; I noticed a difference when I started using the butter/flour technique.

Step 2: Pour the batter
Pour your cake batter evenly into the pans. Some people weigh them; our you can use measuring cups or your handy-dandy-trusty eyeball and eye it.

Step 3: Set the temperature
To avoid the dome top your cake naturally forms, drop the temperature and reduce the baking time. If the cake calls for a 350 degree temperature, drop it to 300 and increase the time. Make sure to keep an eye on the cake. For instance, if the cake calls for 60 minutes of bake time, up it to 90- but watch it!

Step 4: Cooling phase
Upon taking the cakes out of the oven, allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes; then turn them over to cooling racks. Once completely cooled, I like to wrap them in plastic wrap and allow them to cool in the fridge overnight.

Step 5: Let the frosting begin!
To avoid the frosting from running over or oozing out the sides, pipe a thick layer to form a rim around the edge. Then fill in the middle- don't skimp on the filling :) Continue this process for as many layers you needs

Step 6: Crumb coating
After your layers are stacked and filled, you will want to create the crumb coat. This coat will hide and seal in any crumbs before putting the nice, "official" coat on the cake. It is okay if it is messy, you will cover it up. Put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool and harden the frosting.

Step 7: Time to frost!
Now it is time for the second and last coat of frosting. The best way to do this is with a cake turntable. Make sure you have lots of icing. I find the more icing you put on the easier it is to spread out evenly. Continue piping and spreading until you have reached your desired look.


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