Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Make a Layered Cake

Making a layered cake is fun, but it can also be extremely frustrating. Believe me, I have had my fair share of cracked and crumbled cake disasters. However, with lots of practice, and helpful tips from other bakers and bloggers, I am slowly perfecting my layer cakes. 
For my tutorial I used Sweetened with Honey's Carrot Cake Recipe {pinned here} and added a vanilla pudding cake filling. 
Step 1: Prepare your cake pans to make sure the cake slides out nicely after baking by using wax paper. Using the bottom of your cake pan as a stencil, trace and cut out wax paper to place in the bottom of your pan. Grease the bottom of the pan, add the wax paper, then grease the entire thing. Sprinkle the pan with four until the pan is completely covered. 
Step 2: Make the cake batter and pour an equal amount of batter in each pan so that each layer is the same height. 
Step 3: Bake your cake with perfectly level layers! There is no way to prevent your cake from slightly raising in the middle, however I learned {from Annalise} that you can reduce the heat from 350 degrees F to 300 degrees F and increase the baking time for a more even layer. The lower temperatures bake the cake slower, which prevents it from doming. A good rule of thumb when you reduce the temperature is to bake it for one and a half times as long as the recipe originally suggests. So if the recipe says 60 minutes at 350 degrees, it will take approximately 90 minutes at 300 degrees. But keep an eye on it! Check it periodically after the original suggested time to be sure you don’t over bake it.
Step 4: Let your cakes sit in their pans for at least 10 minutes. To remove your cake, first run a knife around the edge and turn them out onto a wire rack {wax paper side down on the wire}. Cool on the racks completely.
Step 5: Chill the layers in the fridge overnight in plastic wrap if you have the time. If not, chill for at least a few hours. 
Note: if your layers are still uneven, you can use a cake leveler to cut the tops.

Step 6: Unwrap the layers and prepare your icing and pudding {optional}. Your icing should be at a consistency where if you drop your spatula straight into the bowl, it should slightly bend one direction, not stick straight up. 

Note: you can use any flavor pudding mix, but make sure you do not purchase the instant mix. Make the pudding according to the packaged directions, using only half the milk that it calls for.

Step 7: Place your bottom cake layer on a cardboard round {so it is easy to transport to a cake stand later} and pipe along the rim of the cake to keep the pudding in place. 
Step 8: Spread on the pudding filling. Although icing is the most common {and easiest} filling, pudding is a great secret for making your cake a little less sweet. 
Step 9: Add your top layer, or repeat steps 7-8 until for each additional layer.
Step 10: Once all of your layers are stacked, it is time to frost the cake! Your first layer should be a crumb coat, a thin layer of icing that seals in any loose crumbs. Using an angled spatula, spread the icing over the top first, then the sides. Place cake in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes to harden the icing, allowing for a smoother second coat. 
Note: To keep your icing crumb-free, always wipe crumbs off your spatula before dipping it back into the bowl.


Another Note: Using a cake turn table will make the icing process much easier! You can get a cake turn table at Walmart or Michaels for about $10 {I promise it's worth it!}

Step 11: Spread on the second coat of icing, and move cake to plate or stand. 
Step 12: Add the finishing touches using the back of a spoon while spinning the cake.
Step 13: Sprinkle cinnamon on top!
Enjoy your cake with family and friends!
The carrot cake I made for Easter 2012


I used a bunting printable {pinned here} as my cake topper


22 comments:

  1. Cute and very helpful!! My icing is always "crummy".
    xoxo Amelia Beck

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  2. Cute and very helpful!! My icing is always "crummy".
    xoxo Amelia Beck

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  3. The perfect cake! Love your tutorial - I have never tried the spoon idea - love the look of the detailing!

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  4. New follower here! :) Your cake is so picturesque! I bet it tastes just as wonderful as it looks. My goal is to be more domestic... I'm thinking this should be added to my to-bake list! Thanks for the great directions.

    xo

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  5. Look at you go! For someone who is danger in the kitchen this is beyond helpful... love the spoon trick! :) Very cute and you know I'm a fan of the flags!

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  6. My mouth is literally watering! I'm SUPER craving this cake now!! Gorgeous job!

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  7. Gorgeous cake!! Love the bunting! Nice trick with the back of the spoon - will definitely try that! :)

    Have a lovely day!
    ~Dana

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  8. Cannot wait to try this! Thank you for the helpful tips :)

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  9. Love that spoon trick dude! I will definitely be doing that. I love making layer cakes if I have plenty of time but it can be exhausting!! Yours is beautiful.

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  10. This looks so delicious and you made it sound so simple that I might just have to try :)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Oh my gosh - it looks fantastic!!! Way to go, girl! You might have just inspired me to make Jackson's 1st birthday smash cake!! I'm wanting that exact same look, but with mexican themed banner flags across the top to match his party (first fiesta).

    This is awesome!! YAYYY!

    But now I'm afraid you're just really gifted and this is going to be super challenging for me?! Yikes.

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  12. Such a great tutorial and the cake looks delicious!!

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  13. This cake is adorable! I love bunting!

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  14. Carrot Cake was the first layered cake I ever made. It was so much fun! I need it to be my wedding cake! :)

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  15. Just found your blog through Pinterest and I am in love! :)

    Thanks for sharing this post. I remember my Grandmother making layered cakes all.the.time. when i was a little girl. I have been too intimidated (silly, right?) to try one myself.. Maybe this post is what I need to conquer that fear! :)

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  16. Thanks soo much!! This will totally help me with staking
    my brother's birthday cake.
    Thanks!!!

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  17. i was planning on making jeff a carrot cake for his birthday this week and this is absolutely perfect!! you were reading my mind friend...cannot wait to try this!!

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  18. very easy explanation done in this tutorial good way of briefing and thanks for sharing this online...

    Food Manufacturer

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  19. WOW! This looks absolutely nice..Very Nice post. cake look so yummy... I use to do buy online wedding cakes as its time saving.very informative post about cakes.thanks for sharing this.

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