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How I Upped My Cake Baking Game for $10

by Andrea Kummer 4 days ago in cuisine

These strips of fabric tricked people into thinking I was a professional

How I Upped My Cake Baking Game for $10
Photo by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash

I love cake. Tied with brownies, it’s probably my favorite dessert. It’s also my favorite thing to bake. Chocolate, vanilla, carrot, red velvet, strawberry, you get the picture. You name it, I’ll bake it. However, there’s one little problem that’s been plaguing me since the first time I ever took a cake out of the oven.

Domed cake layers. The bane of my existence. They're the reason all my cakes turned out wonky and uneven. Sure, you can trim them with a serrated knife or a cake trimmer, but who out there can successfully trim their cake layers evenly? And while it may be fun to snack on the cake scraps after trimming, I’d much rather have those scraps stay a part of the cake. And don’t even get me started on the crumbs. No amount of buttercream has saved me from stray crumbs caused by trimming.

My dreams of making a perfect cake seemed futile. But as I resigned myself to a life of uneven cakes and neverending crumbs, my life as a baker was changed forever. One day, my aunt (who is also a baker) got me a pack of Wilton’s cake strips and my cakes have never been the same since. Gone are the days of uneven cake layers and crumbs. These little strips of fabric upped my cake game and tricked people into thinking I was a professional.

So what exactly makes a cake dome in the first place? The answer to that question lies in how things bake. During the baking process, the cake batter rises, and after losing enough moisture, it sets. Because the oven bakes things from the outside in, the edges of the cake lose moisture and set fairly quickly. However, the inside has more time to rise before losing moisture, causing a dome to form on the cake.

So now that we know why it happens, how do we get it to stop happening? Well, we need to keep the edges of the cake from baking too fast and give the inside of the cake time to catch up. That’s where the cake strips come in.

Before baking, soak the cake strips in water, squeeze out the excess, and wrap them around your cake pans. The wet cake strips keep the edges of the cake from heating up too fast, giving them more time to rise and allowing for a more even bake.

And the best part is, the cake strips are adjustable. So whether your cake pans are six inches or ten inches, you can have flat cake layers that make cake trimmers obsolete.

You can get a 2-pack of Wilton’s cake strips for $10. But if you want proof before forking over the cash, you can easily make your own cake strips at home. All you need are paper towels and tinfoil.

First, you measure out the correct length of paper towel and tinfoil you’ll need to fit your cake pans. Second, you wet the paper towel and wring it out. Then you roll your strip of paper towel in the tinfoil, making sure the foil covers the entire paper towel. Lastly, you wrap your homemade cake strip around your cake pans, pinching the ends of the foil together to secure it in place. And there you have it! Your own homemade cake strips!

Get them here

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Andrea Kummer

Actress, singer, writer, and voice actor living it up in NYC.

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