When you learn how to bake cake, the next thing to learn is how to level and tort the cakes for cake decorating.
Baking tasty cakes is one thing and decorating the cakes to have a professional look too is another thing. It is easy to bake a tasty cake with any recipe but you need to practice to get professional-looking cakes. The easy one is to use bake even stripes, these strips are wrapped around the cake pan before baking to give you flat even baked cakes every time. The strips also reduce the caramelization around the cake When you have flat cake layers, cake decorating becomes easy and you achieve straight and sharps edges on your cakes.
How to Make Bake Even Strips at Home
You can make your own bake even strip for free in two ways, the first one is from using scrap material (old T-shirt or kitchen towel) which you wet, squeeze excess water and wrap around the cake pan with secure with safety pins before baking. The second method uses a wet paper towel wrapped in aluminum foil, then wrapped around the cake pan before baking. The disadvantage of using baking strips long baking times for the cakes (about 10 to 15 minutes more time).
How to Level or Torte with a Serrated Knife and Turntable
Even after getting a flat top on the cakes, you still need to torte them which is dividing the cake horizontally into layers to be able to add filling and stack the cakes for a professional look. But if you still need to level your cakes, that ok because the same method for torting the cake will work for leveling as well.
The first method is using a serrated knife with a turntable to level and tort the cake. There are different types of turntables with different price points and any type of turntable will work. If you have lazy Suzy you can use that too. Place the cake on a turntable so that you can turn the cake all around whiles cutting. When leveling a cake, gently place one hand on top of the cake and use a serrated knife to score the top of the cake where the dome start. Slowly turn the turntable while cutting into the cake and moving the knife inward, back, and forth towards the center in sawing motion. Keep the knife as level as possible.
Remove the dome from the cake, if it is a large cake a cake lifter or cake cardboard circle will be handy to separate the dome and layers to prevent breakage. Repeat the same process for the rest of the cakes you have to tort.
How to Level and Tort Cakes with a Leveler
A cake leveler is a metallic cutter with an adjustable blade that slices through cakes easily and smoothly. It is very easy to use to achieve perfect layers due to the height markers. When using the cake leveler, position the feet on a level surface, then adjust the notches at the desired height. Cut into the edge of the cake using a sawing motion till you slice through the cake. When you are done cutting, use a cake lifter or cake cardboard circles to separate the tort layers to keep them from breaking. Some home bakers also like to use a cake slicer for leveling their cakes.
How to level cakes with cake pans
After reading through the two methods described above, are you confident to use any of them? If no, do not worry this third method may be for you. This is simple to do to achieve the same great results just like with other methods. The only tool you need is your serrated knife and your baking pan, you first place the baked cake back into the baking pan then using the pan as a guide to level the cake using a sawing motion. If your cake is not up to the rim of the baking pan, then just add the same size of cardboard circle into the pan before placing the cake on top of the circle. This will add help raise the cake to the rim for easy leveling.
Using Thread or Dental Floss
When researching other ways for leveling and torting cakes, I came across the use of floss for leveling. I think is it a good idea especially if you want to use any of the methods discussed previously. I have used thread to divide cinnamon rolls dough and other pastries before baking but not on cakes until today. It worked fine but I prefer other methods to this threading method.
ruler and toothpick are used to create marks and stick the toothpick in the cake all around. The toothpicks give you a visual guide to see where exactly you need to cut. Wrap the thread or floss all around the cake while resting it on the toothpicks. Take the two ends of the thread, cross them and pull till they go through the cake.
Tips to Level and Tort Cakes Successfully
- Always use completely cooled cakes.
- Use a sharp serrated knife.
- If you plan to decorate more cakes, then invest in a cake turntable.
- Soak the bake strips in cold water and squeeze the extra water out before wrapping the strips around the pan.
Other Baking Tips
If you have any questions about this post, I will love to hear about them in the comment section below. How do you level and tort your cakes, snap a photo? Tag me #theduchezkitchen- I love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook? Find me @theduchezkitchen.
Thanks for reading. As always, know that God loves you and stay blessed!
Happy baking and decorating!!