There are two desirable looks to the top of cake layers:1) slightly rounded for a one layer cake 2) perfectly flat to stack as a multiple layer cake Cakes dome in the middle for two reasons: 1) the metal on the outside of the pan conducts the heat faster so that the sides of the cake set while the center still continues to bake and rise higher than the sides. 2) the structure of the cake is too strong, preventing the leavening gases from escaping til toward the end of baking when they erupt through the center like a volcano. My recipes are created to have the proper strength or structure of the batter to result in level or slightly rounded tops. Solutions: If you are getting doming: 1) try silicone pans (silicone does not conduct the heat the way metal does making the center to sides more even). 2) wrap metal pans with moistened cake strips. you can make your own by wetting paper towels and wrapping them in foil or purchase cake strips that can be reused many many times. 3) use a weaker flour. i you are using all purpose flour switch to cake flour. 4) increase the leavening. if using baking powder increase it by 1/4 teaspoon; if baking soda 1/16 teaspoon. you may need to increase it further depending on the results. leavening weakens the structure of the cake by breaking through the cell walls created by the gluten formed by the flour when combined with liquid. 5) increase the butter: an extra ounce of butter will coat the flour more preventing the formation of gluten, weakening the structure.
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