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how to make cake flat?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
The last few times i've baked a cake, the top is always bulky and broken sort of thing, does anyone know how to make it even so i can decorate it properly?
Or do i just simply cut the top part off?
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
The last few times i've baked a cake, the top is always bulky and broken sort of thing, does anyone know how to make it even so i can decorate it properly?
Or do i just simply cut the top part off?
The trick to having a flat top is to turn the cake upside down so that the bottom becomes the top. Check out the bottom (which was the top) and see where it is wonky, and then slice off a bit of it so that it sits flat. Voila! A nice flat cake that you can decorate.
post #3 of 17
Use a spring form pan so you get the sides and bottom perfectly straight and square, and use a wire to cut the top while it's still in the spring form. Or if it's one of those huge spring forms, you can use cellophane and wrap it around the cake (use some butter to hold it in place), and use that as a guide for wire cutting. If you have trouble finding the wire, cheese cutter wire works fine, or use a long bread knife, but knives tend to put waves in the surface.

This method will give you about as close to a perfect cylinder as you can get.
post #4 of 17
Every time I've had to bake and decorate a cake (doesn't happen often, trust me) I've always taken the cheese wire off the cutter and cut the top off the cake. I intend to be doing the same when I make our wedding cake.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
i dont have a cheese wire cutter!
post #6 of 17
I just made a layer cake for DH's birthday and I only cut the bottom layer. I left the roundness on the top layer but I also didn't do any decorating. If you don't have a wire cutter just use a very long searated knife and use frosting to smooth things out.
post #7 of 17
Don't cut off the top - do it the easy way. Put the cake on a plate. Put another plate on top of it and flip it over. You will have the nice flat bottom to decorate
post #8 of 17
After baking my cakes, I toss them in the deep freeze over night (often right in the pans.) They are much easier to handle frozen, when you level the tops by cutting (I just use a large serrated bread knife.) Freezing seems to make them taste much moister. It also helps prevent crumbs when frosting it!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Don't cut off the top - do it the easy way. Put the cake on a plate. Put another plate on top of it and flip it over. You will have the nice flat bottom to decorate
Ive tried that though and the lump is so big it doesnt stay straight.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
i dont have a cheese wire cutter!
If you don't have cheese cutter wire, you can use good old cotton thread, or fishing line, or even dental floss (the un-scented kind). Just be sure the cake is cooled if you use any of the above.
post #11 of 17
If its really too high in the middle, then you will have to cut it a little. Then flip it over and frost - that way you have a good clean surface
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
Ive tried that though and the lump is so big it doesnt stay straight.
Which is why I said to cut off the "lumpy" area so that it does sit flat on the plate.

My mom used to decorate cakes for a living and I've decorated my fair share. So really, I know what I'm saying
post #13 of 17
In a cake baking class, we were taught to slice the top off, but after doing so, I always had issues with the icing getting all these crumbs in it. Finally I just gave up.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by auchick View Post
In a cake baking class, we were taught to slice the top off, but after doing so, I always had issues with the icing getting all these crumbs in it. Finally I just gave up.
that's why you flip it.
Alton Brown did a whole episode on cake decorating. he sliced off the rounded tops, then flipped them so there was a flat side. then he also cut the sides so they were even. next, he applied what he called a 'crumb coat' - a thin layer of frosting.
i think after that, he let it harden, maybe?
anyway, then the final frosting was applied, along w/any decorative work.
post #15 of 17
My sister used to bake/decorate cakes for weddings etc. and she has told me that she also was taught to slice the top off to make the cake flat (many moons ago when she took cake decorating classes.)
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by auchick View Post
In a cake baking class, we were taught to slice the top off, but after doing so, I always had issues with the icing getting all these crumbs in it. Finally I just gave up.
That means you didn't use enough frosting.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
that's why you flip it.
Alton Brown did a whole episode on cake decorating. he sliced off the rounded tops, then flipped them so there was a flat side. then he also cut the sides so they were even. next, he applied what he called a 'crumb coat' - a thin layer of frosting.
i think after that, he let it harden, maybe?
anyway, then the final frosting was applied, along w/any decorative work.

After the "crumb coat" put the cake in the fridge to let the icing harden. A crumb coat should only be a quarter inch or so thick.
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