Thula's Cake Lab

DIY Bake Even Strips

Basics, Tutorials | July 16, 2016 | By

 

10 steps to succeed in baking


This article is part of a series, 10 steps to succeed in Baking

Let’s talk Science ! How does a cake bake? Once the pan containing cake batter enters a pre-heated oven, the cake bakes from the outside- in. The batter in contact with the hot metal pan- the sides, bake faster than the batter in the center of the pan. This sometimes results in a cake with a dome /mound in the center, cracks, side crusts and so on….

Why is “doming” a problem for cake designers? When decorating and stacking a cake , the layers need to be level so it looks presentable and most importantly not slide off. A cake with a dome creates an uneven stacking surface which needs to be fixed by serrating and discarding that extra crown. This is when “Bake even strips” come into play !

What are Bake even strips & How do they work ? For those of you unfamiliar with “bake even strips”, these are fabric strips with little side belts for size adjustment. When these damp strips are wrapped around a baking pan, it provides insulation (the sides don’t get as hot, causing the center and sides to bake at the same rate). This in return helps with even baking, preventing any domes, cracks or crusty edges from being formed.  A cake that bakes evenly eliminates that hassle of leveling and the best part-NO WASTE OF BATTER !

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I came across commercial bake even strips- Wilton, at a local craft store and decided to give it a try. It works  fine for my 2-inch pans.  Here is how you use them…

  1. Wrap the bake even strip around the cake pan adjusting the strap to fit the pan.
  2. Remove the strip and run under cold water or submerge in cold tap water for about 2 minutes. Lightly squeeze to remove extra water while keeping it damp
  3. Wrap the strip around the pan and tighten so it is snug. Pour in batter and bake at required time and temperature.

There are many brands out there, so If you want to invest in these strips I suggest looking up product reviews before picking one.

DIY Bake Even Strips

I found that the Wilton strips don’t necessarily help with the bigger 3-4 inch height cake pans (at least in my case). So I decided to make my own strips using a towel (material that absorbs and retains water well). These strips work great and serve the purpose !

baking stripsYou will be needing….

  1. Cake pans
  2. Measuring ruler
  3. Office Pins/safety pins
  4. Towel
  5. Scissors

METHOD

  1. Measure the height and circumference of the pan.SONY DSC
  2. Cut out towel strips that slightly overlap around the pan (circumference +1 inch).SONY DSC
  3. Soak the towel strips in water for two minutes. Lightly squeeze out excess water leaving the towel damp. Wrap this tightly around your pan and secure with pins.SONY DSC
  4. Pour in your batter and bake your cakes at the suggested temperature and time.SONY DSC
  5. Out from the oven comes your evenly baked delicious cake!SONY DSC 

Tips

  • Make sure the height of the strip matches with the height of cake pan. Giving it a hem will secure any loose strands.
  • The towel strips need to be “damp” and snug. Secure with two pins if needed.

 Go ahead , try and let me know how it worked for you. Your feedback is valued as it will help me tailor future tutorials keeping your needs and interests in mind …..and please remember to share ! 

 This article is part of a series, 10 steps to succeed in Baking

  1. may
    August 3, 2016

    Thanks for the tip! I use heating cores to prevent dome formation in a 12″x18″ cake. But never liked the hole in the middle of the cake. Going to try this method next time.

    • Thulashitha RD
      August 4, 2016

      Hello May, Anytime !
      Yes, I switched from heating cores for the same reason . Bake even strips won’t let you down 🙂 Let me know how it worked for you!

    • Roma Gupta
      August 13, 2016

      U knw….I had been wonderg since lonnnnggggg as to where m I going wrong…. Dat d crack on top of d cake appears evrytime I bake one…. Bt today fnally I hv gt an answer…thank u so so much…plz kp sharing ur tips and experiences…so dat we all can learn frm u 🙂 love U

  2. dhanya
    August 17, 2016

    hi
    i have a doubt,i did baking today chocolate cake came out really out and it came up to the brim of my pan without even a single crack in my cake or dome,i was super excited as it was hubbys bday and i was planning for blackforest..my toothpick came clean,i removed it.kept for cooling..then after sometime i inverted it in my cooling rack..tadaaa,..i even kept flower pin for even cooking…the base of my cake and sides came separately and also my cake slowly became flat..u was sin upset and then also when it cooled completely,,i slowly inserted serrated knife and found inside of my cake was goey..

    where i went wrong..

    i used condensed milk based eggless chocolate cake;taste was good,since i use whirlpool jet cuisine oven,i baked for 190degree for 35min and preheated for 20min
    the same recipe was success for me before only thing it formed cracks on top ,i prepared dry ingredients measured on the day before,so it ll be easy for me ;only thing i used a different brand butter.(nilgiris)

    pls help