One of the hazards of baking cakes is that pesky dome that forms in the center of the cake during baking. Whether making a layer cake or decorating something a little more fun for your child’s birthday, a flat cake makes life much easier and prettier! With a steady hand and a long knife, you can certainly cut the dome off, but there is a fabulous and simple trick that eliminates the dome from the get-go.
A few years back my good friend Lindsay gave me a gift — three long strips cut from a pink towel with large safety pins attached to each strip. I said “Thank You!” as enthusiastically as I could, but my eyes betrayed me. I had no idea what she was giving me or what I was supposed to do with them! Lindsay laughed and said, “These are cake strips. They will change your life.” And she was right. When you use cake strips, cakes bake perfectly flat and evenly. It’s like magic. I was skeptical when she first explained how they work, but after using the technique many, many times, I am a firm believer in the cake strip!
Here’s what you do:
- Cut a strip of regular old terry cloth towel, as wide as the height of your cake pan and long enough to go around the circumference of your pan with some overlap.
- When it’s time to bake your cake, grease and flour your pan. Soak the cake strip in water, wring it out then wrap it around the outside edge of the pan, securing the strip snugly on the pan with a safety pin.
- Pour batter into the pan and bake cake as directed. Yes, the cake strip will be dry by the end of baking, but that’s okay. None of us have ever had a cake strip catch on fire and Lindsay’s family has been using homemade cake strips for ages.
- Remove cake from the oven and get ready to be shocked and amazed by your beautifully flat cake!
You can purchase cake strips, but why bother when an old towel and safety pin work so well? Here’s to level layer cakes!