How to Bake Flat Cakes

Regardless of the cake recipe you’re using, this simple tip can help you bake flat cakes that bake evenly and that are easier to frost. It’s truly the smarter, not harder method that will convert you into a cake baking pro.

overhead photo of round chocolate cake on a cooling rack

Why Cakes Dome

I know we’ve all baked cakes that dome at the top. Whether its an 8-inch, 9-inch or 9×13, cakes naturally get that dome shape because the edges cook quicker than the center. Since the edges are baked quicker and essentially are ‘set’ in their shape along the edges of the pan, the batter rises in places that haven’t baked yet: the middle of the cake.

To combat this, we need to come up with a way to bake cakes more evenly. Ender Cake Pan Strips. Have you heard of these before? They are essentially long, skinny pieces of fabric that you soak in water and wrap around your cake pans. The water helps stabilize the temperature around the edges of the pan and encourages even baking, giving you FLAT CAKES!

side view of damp paper towel rolled up lengthwise and placed on sheet of aluminum file

All You Need is Foil and Paper Towels

While you may have seen Cake Pan Strips on Amazon, this hack is like a homemade version of that. We will be using long strips of Aluminum foil and wet paper towels. Two super common household items that anyone has at any given moment. It truly is a great hack! Here’s how to do it:

How to Bake Flat Cakes

First, we are going to cut long strips of aluminum foil. We need it long enough to fit all the way around your cake pan. If you are making a cake mix and baking two layers (like two 8 or 9-inch rounds) then you will need two strips. For a 9×13, just one long strip will work.

Then we’re going to get some paper towels the same length as the foil and get it wet. Partially wring it out so its not soaking wet and then fold it into a long, skinny strip that is approximately the height of your cake pans. (A little taller is fine!)

Take the long skinny piece of paper towel and fold it up in the foil. You want to trap the water that is on the paper towel IN the foil. This will keep the edges a little cooler while things heat up in the oven to really get that even baking and ensure the edges don’t bake too quickly.

Wrap your cake pan(s) in this homemade cake pan strip and secure tightly with tape. If your strips are a little taller than the cake pans, simply form the edges over the top or fold back on itself. As long as it’s not going to interfere with the cake, you should be good to go.

Bake cake in the middle of the oven, according to recipe or package directions, then cool completely before removing from cake pans.

A Few Helpful Hints for Baking the Best Cakes:

  • Line the bottom of your cake pans with parchment paper and add cooking spray for added assurance that your cake won’t stick.
  • Cool cake in the pan(s) for at least 20 minutes before removing. Cakes aren’t as fragile when they are cool versus when they are warm.
  • If you are wanting to frost your cake, ensure cakes are completely cooled, at room temperature.
  • For a more professional look, freeze your cakes for several hours before frosting
side photo of chocolate cake batter wrapped aluminum foil wrapped and placed on oven rack

Video Tutorial

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