Are cake strips worth it?

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I'm having an issue with my favorite cake recipe doming and the edges overbrowing, I came across an article that described cake strips as solving those issues at least to some extent. Does anyone have any experience with them? Thoughts? I almost impulse bought 4 but then I saw some mixed reviews and eased back.
 
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If you don't want to make the investment right now for cake strips, you can also easily make a DIY version that's virtually just as effective.
 
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It’s not just baking strips, to bake perfect cake (assuming you have a good formula) you need three things:

1. Correct oven temperature: 325°F (162°C). Most recipes state 350°F and that is too hot. Cake batter bakes from the outside in towards the center. The batter in contact with the metal will bake and set first. If the oven is too hot, the pan is too hot. The hot pan bakes the batter in contact with the metal first; it sets, but the center is not baked, so will continue to rise. This is the first cause of the low sides and domed center.

2. Plain metal: Use plain metal as it does not conduct heat too well— and this is exactly what you want in baking cake. The anodized aluminum, dark metal and non-stick are WRONG because they conduct heat too intensely. That intense heat causes the sides of the cake to set too soon, while the center continues to rise. This is the second cause of a domed cake. these are also pans that causes a disgusting dry brown crust.

3. Baking strips: Baking strips insulate the sides of the pan, keeping it cooler. The cooler sides allows the batter in contact with the pan to bake more slowly. Since it is baking more slowly, it bakes more in time with the center. The sides do not set prematurely and rise evenly with the center.


This was a demonstration I did to show how the cake pan makes the difference in the quality of your cake. Both cakes are from the same batch of batter; baked in the same over; baked at the same time. The only difference is the cake on top was baked in a Fat Daddio anodized aluminum cake pan. The oven temperature, type of metal, and the baking strips together produce a soft crumb, no side and bottom crust, and a level cake.

9A7E1134-B151-495E-892A-6F7F1B77E7C8.jpeg



These are how my cakes always turn out. I haven’t leveled a cake in 20 yrs. Leveling a cake is a waste of ingredients and labor.
2CE4197B-6E2D-45EB-80F6-1DB39DE57690.jpeg


F3840498-6F5C-4B80-BBCA-DB5FD00BCCF6.jpeg
 
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It’s not just baking strips, to bake perfect cake (assuming you have a good formula) you need three things:

1. Correct oven temperature: 325°F (162°C). Most recipes state 350°F and that is too hot. Cake batter bakes from the outside in towards the center. The batter in contact with the metal will bake and set first. If the oven is too hot, the pan is too hot. The hot pan bakes the batter in contact with the metal first; it sets, but the center is not baked, so will continue to rise. This is the first cause of the low sides and domed center.

2. Plain metal: Use plain metal as it does not conduct heat too well— and this is exactly what you want in baking cake. The anodized aluminum, dark metal and non-stick are WRONG because they conduct heat too intensely. That intense heat causes the sides of the cake to set too soon, while the center continues to rise. This is the second cause of a domed cake. these are also pans that causes a disgusting dry brown crust.

3. Baking strips: Baking strips insulate the sides of the pan, keeping it cooler. The cooler sides allows the batter in contact with the pan to bake more slowly. Since it is baking more slowly, it bakes more in time with the center. The sides do not set prematurely and rise evenly with the center.


This was a demonstration I did to show how the cake pan makes the difference in the quality of your cake. Both cakes are from the same batch of batter; baked in the same over; baked at the same time. The only difference is the cake on top was baked in a Fat Daddio anodized aluminum cake pan. The oven temperature, type of metal, and the baking strips together produce a soft crumb, no side and bottom crust, and a level cake.

View attachment 3438


These are how my cakes always turn out. I haven’t leveled a cake in 20 yrs. Leveling a cake is a waste of ingredients and labor.
View attachment 3434

View attachment 3441
Well I'm a dope, Im baking my cakes in dark non stick pans at 350. Never even crossed my mind that that might be an issue but it seems so blaringly obvious now. Thanks for the advice.

By the way have you ever posted any of your recipes? Would love to try them with your recommendation in mind, those cake layers look disgustingly perfect haha.
 
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Well I'm a dope, Im baking my cakes in dark non stick pans at 350. Never even crossed my mind that that might be an issue but it seems so blaringly obvious now. Thanks for the advice.

By the way have you ever posted any of your recipes? Would love to try them with your recommendation in mind, those cake layers look disgustingly perfect haha.

Well thank you. I’ve been a baker for 20 yrs, and have had a lot of training, so I can turn out some decent cake. But I still have my kitchen flops now and again. A few months ago that I was getting ready to box and delivery a cake and dropped it on the floor as I pulled it out of the refrigerator. Fortunately it was for a friend, so he was very understanding.

My go to cake is chiffon because it is so light and airy. It is a bit fussy, but worth the effort. The light color cake in the photo is elderflower lemon chiffon. Someone just asked for a chiffon recipe yesterday, so I posted the basic recipe (thread below).

The wonderful thing about chiffon is you can change the flavor just my changing the water. For the elderflower lemon, I use a combination of sparkling water, elderflower cordial, and meyers lemon juice.

I’ve used sparkling non-alcoholic wine, champaign, cara cara orange juice, grapefruit juice and sparkling water combinations. The limit is your imagination.

With chiffon cake, you must use cake flour. It is formulated to be baked in a tube pan, otherwise it will collapse. To bake it as a layer cake, you will need a heating core. The cake needs to be cooled upside down. Do not grease the pan.

For one 8” layer, I use 105g cake flour; 210g for two 8” layers.

If I want a slightly richer cake, I will add about 14% sour cream to the batter.




Chicago Metallic Commercial II UNCOATED cake pan is one of my favorites


This is the brand heating core I use. Other brands make them, but I find these are more solid and do not have the seam where the base and stem attach.



Parrish Magic Pan has a cult line following among event cake bakers. Some pastry chefs like Alice Medrich swears by their lose bottom pans. They do not have a website. They are only sold in specialty cake supply stores and restaurant supply stores. This is the only square pans I will use—the edge they give is sharp and clean like no other cake pan.

 
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Well thank you. I’ve been a baker for 20 yrs, and have had a lot of training, so I can turn out some decent cake. But I still have my kitchen flops now and again. A few months ago that I was getting ready to box and delivery a cake and dropped it on the floor as I pulled it out of the refrigerator. Fortunately it was for a friend, so he was very understanding.

My go to cake is chiffon because it is so light and airy. It is a bit fussy, but worth the effort. The light color cake in the photo is elderflower lemon chiffon. Someone just asked for a chiffon recipe yesterday, so I posted the basic recipe (thread below).

The wonderful thing about chiffon is you can change the flavor just my changing the water. For the elderflower lemon, I use a combination of sparkling water, elderflower cordial, and meyers lemon juice.

I’ve used sparkling non-alcoholic wine, champaign, cara cara orange juice, grapefruit juice and sparkling water combinations. The limit is your imagination.

With chiffon cake, you must use cake flour. It is formulated to be baked in a tube pan, otherwise it will collapse. To bake it as a layer cake, you will need a heating core. The cake needs to be cooled upside down. Do not grease the pan.

For one 8” layer, I use 105g cake flour; 210g for two 8” layers.

If I want a slightly richer cake, I will add about 14% sour cream to the batter.




Chicago Metallic Commercial II UNCOATED cake pan is one of my favorites


This is the brand heating core I use. Other brands make them, but I find these are more solid and do not have the seam where the base and stem attach.



Parrish Magic Pan has a cult line following among event cake bakers. Some pastry chefs like Alice Medrich swears by their lose bottom pans. They do not have a website. They are only sold in specialty cake supply stores and restaurant supply stores. This is the only square pans I will use—the edge they give is sharp and clean like no other cake pan.


Thanks for the recipe suggestions, always wanted to try making chiffon cakes.... Also ended up buying some of the pans you recommended. I've never used cake core heaters before though, but I ended up ordering them as well. How many do you normally put in your layers, just one in the center? Brief Google search shows varying suggestions and I've seen some people put as much as four in one round.
 
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It’s not just baking strips, to bake perfect cake (assuming you have a good formula) you need three things:

1. Correct oven temperature: 325°F (162°C). Most recipes state 350°F and that is too hot. Cake batter bakes from the outside in towards the center. The batter in contact with the metal will bake and set first. If the oven is too hot, the pan is too hot. The hot pan bakes the batter in contact with the metal first; it sets, but the center is not baked, so will continue to rise. This is the first cause of the low sides and domed center.

2. Plain metal: Use plain metal as it does not conduct heat too well— and this is exactly what you want in baking cake. The anodized aluminum, dark metal and non-stick are WRONG because they conduct heat too intensely. That intense heat causes the sides of the cake to set too soon, while the center continues to rise. This is the second cause of a domed cake. these are also pans that causes a disgusting dry brown crust.

3. Baking strips: Baking strips insulate the sides of the pan, keeping it cooler. The cooler sides allows the batter in contact with the pan to bake more slowly. Since it is baking more slowly, it bakes more in time with the center. The sides do not set prematurely and rise evenly with the center.


This was a demonstration I did to show how the cake pan makes the difference in the quality of your cake. Both cakes are from the same batch of batter; baked in the same over; baked at the same time. The only difference is the cake on top was baked in a Fat Daddio anodized aluminum cake pan. The oven temperature, type of metal, and the baking strips together produce a soft crumb, no side and bottom crust, and a level cake.

View attachment 3438


These are how my cakes always turn out. I haven’t leveled a cake in 20 yrs. Leveling a cake is a waste of ingredients and labor.
View attachment 3434

View attachment 3441
Hi would you recommend using heated baking rods in the middle of the cake whilst baking also?
 

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