Do you want to bake cakes with perfectly even layers that are moist all the way through? With cake strips, it’s possible! Cake strips, also known as baking strips, are insulated fabric strips which are soaked in water and then wrapped around a baking pan before filling it with batter. This relatively simple trick can drastically improve the quality of your cakes, as it helps to ensure even baking and prevents the edges from overcooking before the center of the cake is done.
In this article, you’ll learn about the many remarkable benefits of using cake strips while baking and discover how to make your own strips at home.
Cake strips are a great tool for achieving an even layer of cake. They help keep the outside of the cake from baking faster than the inside, resulting in an evenly-cooked layer of cake. Additionally, they also help the cake keep its shape as it bakes, resulting in a consistent and pleasing shape for the finished product. In addition to this, cake strips can also prevent doming and cracking while baking, providing a much nicer cake with a smoother surface.
Why do cakes have a dome?
Cakes can develop a dome-shaped top for a few reasons:
- Uneven heat distribution: If the heat in the oven is not evenly distributed, it can cause the cake to bake faster at the edges than in the center. As a result, the outer edges of the cake set and rise more quickly, creating a domed shape.
- Oven temperature too high: If the oven temperature is set too high, the outside of the cake can set and rise too quickly before the center has a chance to catch up. This can lead to a domed top.
- Too much leavening agent: If the recipe calls for too much baking powder, baking soda, or yeast, it can cause the cake to rise excessively in the oven. The excess leavening agent creates more gas, which pushes the cake batter upwards and contributes to a domed top.
- Overmixing the batter: When the cake batter is overmixed, it can incorporate too much air into the mixture. The excess air can expand during baking, causing the cake to rise and dome in the center.
- Incorrect pan size: Using a smaller or narrower cake pan than what is recommended in the recipe can cause the cake batter to rise and overflow in the center, resulting in a domed shape.
What can you do to achieve even flat cakes?
To achieve even, flat cakes, you can follow these tips:
- Use quality cake pans: Invest in good-quality cake pans that distribute heat evenly. Avoid pans with dark or non-stick coatings, as they tend to absorb more heat and can cause uneven baking. Light-colored aluminum or stainless steel pans are often recommended.
- Prepare the pans properly: Grease the cake pans with a thin layer of butter or cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper. This ensures that the cake doesn’t stick to the pan and helps with easy removal.
- Level the batter: After pouring the batter into the cake pans, use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the batter evenly. Gently tap the pans on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Preheat the oven: Make sure your oven is properly preheated to the temperature specified in the recipe. This ensures that the cakes bake evenly from the start.
- Bake in the center of the oven: Place the cake pans in the center rack of the oven. This allows for even heat distribution and reduces the chances of the cakes browning more on one side than the other.
- Rotate the pans: If your oven has uneven heat distribution, you can rotate the cake pans halfway through baking. This helps ensure even baking and prevents one side from getting darker than the other.
- Avoid opening the oven door: Try to resist the temptation to open the oven door frequently during baking. Opening the door can cause temperature fluctuations, which may lead to uneven baking or sinking of the cake.
- Use baking strips: As mentioned earlier, baking strips can be used to insulate the sides of the cake pans, promoting even baking. They help prevent the edges from cooking faster than the center, resulting in a flat top.
- Test for doneness: Use a toothpick or a cake tester to check if the cakes are fully baked. Insert it into the center of the cakes, and if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cakes are done. If necessary, continue baking for a few more minutes and retest.
- Cool the cakes properly: Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling them in the pans helps them retain their shape while they set.
By following these tips, you should be able to achieve even, flat cakes that are evenly baked throughout.
What are cake strips
Baking strips, also known as cake strips or moisture strips, are tools used in baking to promote even and level baking of cakes. They are typically made of heat-resistant fabric, such as cotton or polyester, and are designed to insulate the sides of the cake pan.
What is the purpose of using cake strips?
The purpose of baking strips is to help prevent the edges of the cake from cooking faster than the center, which can lead to a domed or uneven top. By keeping the sides of the pan cooler during baking, the cake batter bakes more evenly, resulting in a flatter top and a more uniformly baked cake.
How do you use cake strips?
To use baking strips, you soak them in water for a few minutes until they are thoroughly saturated. Then, you gently squeeze out any excess water and secure the strips around the sides of the cake pan, making sure they are snugly fitted. The wet strips help regulate the temperature around the cake pan, preventing the edges from getting too hot and causing uneven baking.
Baking strips are particularly useful for larger or deeper cakes that take longer to bake. They can be purchased from baking supply stores or online, or you can even make your own by cutting strips of fabric and sewing them together to fit your specific cake pans.
It’s important to note that baking strips are not necessary for every baking recipe or pan size. They are primarily used for cakes that tend to have uneven baking, such as larger layer cakes or pound cakes. For smaller or shallower cakes, baking strips may not be required.
I do hope you find this useful and I do hope you will use them when baking.
To make your own cake strips, you can follow these steps:
Materials you’ll need:
- Aluminum foil
- Paper towels or dishcloth
- Measure the height and circumference of your cake pans. This will determine the size of the cake strips you need to create.
- Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil that is long enough to wrap around the circumference of your cake pan and wide enough to cover the height of the pan with some overlap.
- Fold the aluminum foil lengthwise a few times to create a long strip that is about 2-3 inches wide. The number of folds will depend on the thickness of the foil and the desired width of your cake strip.
- Wet some paper towels or a dishcloth and wring out the excess water so they are damp but not dripping.
- Wrap the damp paper towels or dishcloth around the outside of the folded aluminum foil strip, covering its entire length. Make sure the damp material is evenly distributed along the strip.
- Once the foil strip is covered with the damp material, wrap it around the outside of your cake pan, making sure it covers the sides evenly. Secure the ends of the strip with a paperclip or tape to hold it in place.
- Proceed with your cake recipe as usual, placing the pan in the oven for baking. The damp material on the foil strip will help regulate the temperature around the pan and promote even baking, resulting in a flatter cake.
After using the homemade cake strip, remove it from the pan, unwrap the foil, and allow it to dry completely before reusing. You can store it for future baking projects.
While homemade cake strips can be effective, commercially available baking strips are specifically designed for this purpose and may provide better insulation and heat distribution