Layer cake recipe help

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Sparrow, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    Hello baking community!

    Newbie here

    Can anyone help me with a recipe for a (tall) 8 inch layer cake?

    I am fairly new to baking and obsessed with all these lovely tall, buttercream covered layer cakes that are everywhere at the moment!

    My pans are 8inches across by 3 deep, but on my first attempt I just ended up with totally flat sandwiches I think it was a combination of bad baking and the wrong recipe.

    Does anyone know a recipe with quantities that will allow me to create deep cake layers so that I can achieve the height?

    Thanks in advance
     
    Sparrow, Mar 10, 2018
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  2. Sparrow

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hello, welcome to the forum

    I agree the double barrel cakes are beautiful. But using an 8” x 3” pan will produces an extraordinary amount of cake. In cake alone that’s 8 - 1 1/2” layers! Double barrel cakes are usually bake for events. And 2” deep pans are usually used.

    If this cake is just for your family a 6” barrel made with 6 layers would be a better choice.

    But if you want to stick with an 8” cake, I recommend you purchase two plain untreated aluminum 8 x 2“ cake pans.

    Three inch deep pans are problematic for a number of reasons, including the problems with even baking given the volume of batter.

    Also, most recipes are scaled for the standard cake pan is 2” deep pan. There’s a math formula for scaling the recipe up. But you can’t use it with a recipe in volume measurement. If you want to know the formula I can post it for you.

    Below are links to recipes on King Arthur Flour’s website. I selected these recipes because overall they are pretty dependable.

    Another reason is you can select the type of measurement. As a new baker I assume you bake by volume and not weight. The site allows you to select volume, metric, or US measurements.

    Lastly, since your pan dimensions are in inches, I assume you’re American. There’s a marked difference between American and European flours. So A recipe formulated with European flour will not necessarily reproduce well with American flour.

    Here are a few tips to achieve good results.

    Read through the entire recipe before you begin. As obvious as that seems many people neglect to read through a recipe. To avoid mistakes it’s important you understand each step
    in the process before you begin.

    Use the ingredients as listed and follow the directions exactly the first time you use a recipe. If a recipe calls for whole milk, use whole milk. Baking is all science. It’s based on the ratio of all the ingredients, fats, sugar, eggs, liquid, against the flour. Something as simple as changing the percentage of fat in the milk actually changes the ratio of the fat to flour in the whole recipe.

    Measure out all your ingredients and prepare your pans before you begin mixing.

    If you do not own an oven thermometer I would strongly encourage you to purchase one. You have to think of temperature as an ingredient. Cake is a result of chemical reactions. The chemical reactions does not occur with out heat. And not just any heat. The right amount of heat, for the right amount of time is critical for the success of a cake. So temperature is very much an ingredient.

    Understand your pan. Is it untreated natural metal? Is it anodized aluminum? Is it non-stick? It dark metal?

    Untreated natural metal is the best baking surface for cake. If your pan is anodized aluminum, non-stick, or dark metal you must reduce the oven temperature by 15° – 25°. And you may have to adjust your bake time. Those types of pan conduct heat much more intensely than a natural untreated metal. So they will inhibit rise, over bake the bottom and edges, cause the top to dome and crack, and produce a dry cake.

    Temperature can also cause a cake to dome. To prevent doming, wrap the cake pan with strips of wet cloth. Wilton sells them but you can make your own. See link below.


    The correct way to test a cake for doneness is to insert a instant read thermometer into the cake. Toothpick test can be very wrong. And if you are going to use those 3” deep pans it is even more critical you test by temperature.

    For a butter cake, The internal temperature should be between 205° – 210°. Do not let the cake go to 212°. At sea level water boils at 212°. If the cake temperature reaches boiling, too much moisture will evaporate and the cake will be very dry.

    Barrel cakes are not single cakes. They are in fact two 4” layer cakes staked.

    For a double barrel you will need a total of eight layers.

    So bake four 8” x 2” cakes. Then slice each cake in half to create the eight layers.

    The cake must properly supported and stack to create the illusion of a single tall cake. Below is a link for a tutorial on supporting and stacking a double barrel cake.



    Chocolate Cake

    https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/favorite-fudge-birthday-cake-recipe


    Vanilla Cake


    https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tender-white-cake-recipe


    Cloth baking strips


    http://thulascakelab.com/2016/07/16/diy-bake-even-strips/


    How to support and stack a double barrel cake






    I swear by cloth strips. My cakes always bake level with them.

    14496145-1830-49B0-BB43-F0FB7055B635.jpeg 6D8EA519-438F-4DFD-80D0-A3D89B6550CB.jpeg 8BD9CB83-EB7F-46EF-8215-E1496976BBF6.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Mar 10, 2018
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  3. Sparrow

    Becky Administrator

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    Very good advice above, so I won't repeat it, but I wanted to say welcome to the forum @Sparrow :)
     
    Becky, Mar 10, 2018
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  4. Sparrow

    Teeth Brusher Well-Known Member

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    Omigod those cakes look AMAZING. I am both drooling and dying of envy. Those edges look so clean!
     
    Teeth Brusher, Mar 10, 2018
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  5. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    Wow this is fantastic! I’ll be back to reply once I manage to get my little one down
     
    Sparrow, Mar 10, 2018
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  6. Sparrow

    Sparrow New Member

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    Thank you so much for the warm welcome and for taking the time to answer my question so thoroughly!


    Yeah when I bought the pans I didn’t really think that through, I just thought deep pans = tall cake ‍♀️


    I would like to get some 6” pans soon because you’re right, 8 inch is far too big for a small family gathering and I am just a hobby baker - for now though I will practise using the 8” ones I have before investing in more. (If the depth will allow me)


    The pans I have are Wilton and apparently pure aluminium not adonized - does this come under the untreated metal category?


    I’m actually in the U.K. - I just used inches because it seems that most things I read (including the listing for the pans I bought) seem to use imperial.


    Thank you for the recipe recommendations and useful advice - I am so grateful and will be taking it all on board ready for my next attempt! I’ve found it so helpful to read all of your comments, I’ve never thought of baking as a science which is crazy because of course it is.


    I will look into an oven thermometer, I did have one but I found it very hard to read because you can’t see through my oven door and the second you open the door you could see the temp gauge fly down.

    Forgive my ignorance but what is a read thermometer?


    The cakes in the pictures look fantastic!
     
    Sparrow, Mar 10, 2018
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    Becky likes this.
  7. Sparrow

    Becky Administrator

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    Re oven thermometers, you can get probes on a wire attached to a read-out, meaning that you can shut your oven door and get a reading. They are also useful for cooking meat :)

    It's a thermometer that gives an instant temperature read out. I actually got one recently and there is a topic about it here: https://www.baking-forums.com/threads/temperature-probes-for-cakes.4829/
     
    Becky, Mar 12, 2018
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