Here are some fabulous tips shared in the Wilton Method of Cake Decorating – Decorating Basics Class which I had the privilege in taking last month at the Wilton headquarters.
How to Bake a Great Cake
Baking a great cake that is ideal for decorating is laying the foundation to a beautiful cake. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you bake a cake.
Choose the Right Pan
It is crucial to use a quality pan. Anodized aluminum pans bake evenly and won’t warp/rust. I personally love my Wilton UltraGold pans. Note that a pan with a light finish will produce a lighter color crust.
Prepare Cake Pans
Grease with shortening or cooking spray and flour before adding batter or use such products as Bake Easy! Non-Stick Spray or Cake Release from Wilton. A pasty brush is recommended for brushing on Cake Release or shortening. There should be no silver spots showing after you grease and flour. To achieve even cakes without a crown try Bake-Even Cake Strips. You can pin multiple together for larger pans. I didn’t even know these existed an d plan to buy them on my next trip to Michael’s.
Mixing the Batter
Pre-heat your oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to scrape sides and bottom of bowl and measuring all your ingredients, using exact measurements before you begin. Remember that baking is a chemical process and properly leveling all ingredients is important. Be sure to spoon flour into measuring cup instead of scooping with the measuring cup or the measurement won’t be exact.
If you use a cake mix, keep in mind that one box equals 4 1/2 to 5 cups of batter. That will fill the following round cake pans:
- Two 6 inch or 8 inch
- One 10 inch
Duncan Hines was the recommended brand by my Wilton instructor.
Filling Cake Pans
Fill greased pans half full and bake immediately as close to the center of the oven as possible. Allow a minimum of 1 inch of space between pans.
Baking and Testing for Doneness
Do not open the door within the first 20 minutes of baking or as stated by our instructor Anne, wait until you can smell it! Test for doneness while they are still in the oven by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean it is done. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack/cooling grid.
Place waxed or parchment paper over the cake to avoid breaking the crust or leaving lines on your cake. Sandwich the cake between two cooling grids and remove top grid and cake pan. Cool completely on remaining grid.
Next week I’ll cover the importance of icing consistency for cake decorating so make sure you are a subscriber. You don’t want to miss out!
If taking a Wilton decorating course FREE for yourself and a friend along with supplies sounds exciting (and it should!), be sure to stop by Baby Loving Mama to enter to win this amazing giveaway worth over $300!
Disclosure: This post is not influenced by any monetary compensation. Wilton invited me to learn The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating at their headquarters which was all expenses paid. All opinions shared are my own and yours may differ.