The Tea Towel Hack For Achieving Perfectly Baked Cake Layers

blue and white striped cake with candles
blue and white striped cake with candles - Ruthblack/Getty Images

Perfectly baked cake layers are every baker's goal. Attempting to ice or cover an uneven cake in fondant is complex. It doesn't yield excellent results but cake layers that are even, flat on top, and nicely round result in a decorated cake that looks like perfection. One method that never fails is to wrap cake pans in moist fabric while baking, which produces perfectly flat cake tops.

You can do this by cutting strips of heat-proof fabric; purchasing pre-made "cake strips;" or wetting a tea towel and wrapping it around the outside of your cake pan. All three methods work well, thanks to some simple science that makes sense when you break it down.

There are several ways to attain the perfect cake shape, but most are trial and error — which isn't worth betting on if you sell cakes for a living or need to make one for a big event.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Why Wrapping Cake In Fabric Works Every Time

cake with white frosting and blue rosettes
cake with white frosting and blue rosettes - Ruth Black/Shutterstock

It's said that baking is a science, and this couldn't be more true. Every aspect of baking requires careful measuring, understanding chemical reactions, and learning how different techniques work. The simple reason why wrapping soaked fabric around the sides of a cake pan results in flat layers is a matter of hot and cold.

When you pour cold cake batter into a cold metal pan and put it in a hot oven, it will take a short time for the outside of the pan to heat up and a longer period for the middle to reach the same temperature.

This unevenly distributed heat results in the middle having a longer time to rise, causing a domed top. You could heat your cake pan before putting it in the oven, but this is much harder (and hotter) than wrapping the pan in strips of soaked material. Any fabric will do the trick (as long as it's not pre-treated or made from synthetic materials). Soak the cloth for a few minutes, wring out any excess water, and wrap it around the sides of your cake pan, securing it with a knot.

Other Even Cake Layer Methods

cake leveller and leveled cakes
cake leveller and leveled cakes - tastyfood/Shutterstock

Nothing works to keep cake layers flat better than the wet fabric method, but there are other ways to even cake layers if you forget to wrap your cakes before baking. You can use a cake leveler to cut off the tops of any domed cakes. (A knife works, too, but you need a steady hand and critical eye to get this method right.)

Try baking your cakes at a lower temperature for a more even bake, or place the cake tins in a warm water bath. If you wind up with a domed top, do your best to level the cake and then stack the layers upside-down so that the flattest part is on top, making it easier to decorate.

But by far, the best way to bake perfectly flat cakes is to wrap them in a moist towel, cake strip, or other fabric.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.