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Layer Cake Advice?

5 years ago

I bake bread and pies without serious issues. At my advanced age, I finally decided to try learning to bake cakes. I have only tried two 2 layer cakes without much success. I did make a successful upside down cake in cast ironnusing the folded egg white approach but it is single layer. The top (now bottom) turned out flat but my layer cakes were domed.

My issues with layer cake were that in both my trials that the tops were severely domed and in the first case at least, very lopsided. I saw an on-line site that suggested insulating the outer pan edges to prevent them from cooking faster than the center, but since I never hear about this in common usage, I assume none of you experts do that.

I also found that I probably under baked them even though a tooth pick came out clean. The texture was good but one edge stuck badly and I never got really good release from pans with any layer.

I would not be trying to make a fancy, special cake; just something basic that can be duplicated. I know that annie makes many cakes and mentioned that she usually follows some basic approach that creates a cake that is not too delicate to easily work with. I assume that that is what I am looking for. So, multiple questions:

I see that there are multiple creaming methods, or none at all. annie (and anyone else with basic methods) what is your basic method? What, if anything gets creamed?

Do you all just grease and flour the bottom, or do you add wax paper or parchment, or something else?

Is your batter so liquid that equal volumes are obvious in the pans? If not, how do you pour equal amounts in each pan? I recall someone recently saying that she smacks the pan on the counter to level the batter. That certainly suggests a batter thick enough to make equal pours at least iffy.

I follow basic instructions on cake removal from pan. Do you wait longer or shorter than often suggested? Do you over bake by a couple minutes to play it safe or something?

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