How to split a recipe in order to bake layers separately
Posted: 21 October 2009 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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There is another thread with a similar issue, but this is slightly different

If I want to bake a single cake in two different batches in order to avoid baking two layers on different racks in a small over or baking them one at a time, is it simply a matter of splitting the recipe in half and mixing two separate batches one after the other?

Thanks

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Posted: 21 October 2009 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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For 9 inch or smaller BUTTER cakes, the cake batter can sit in the pan while the other pan is baking. Cover the waiting pan with plastic wrap and set it in a cool place. I usually don’t bother refrigerating. Sponge or egg foam based cakes need to be baked right away, so if you’ve got a recipe that makes 2 pans, you’ll need to make and bake 1 pan at a time.

How small of an oven are we talking about? I work with an oven that’s about the size of a large microwave, a tabletop oven often used in catering, and I can bake 2 cakes at a time in it.

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Posted: 21 October 2009 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hey.  Thanks.  Yes.  Its a butter cake.

I’ve been doing as you say and the results are satisfactory.  But I’ve read that Rumsford baking powder starts to act fast and that you lose some of your rise if you let a layer sit while the other is baking.

The oven is too small to put two 9 inch pans side by side.  When I stack them on two racks, the results are not so good.

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Posted: 22 October 2009 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Roxanne - 22 October 2009 12:56 AM

For 9 inch or smaller BUTTER cakes, the cake batter can sit in the pan while the other pan is baking. Cover the waiting pan with plastic wrap and set it in a cool place. I usually don’t bother refrigerating. Sponge or egg foam based cakes need to be baked right away, so if you’ve got a recipe that makes 2 pans, you’ll need to make and bake 1 pan at a time.

How small of an oven are we talking about? I work with an oven that’s about the size of a large microwave, a tabletop oven often used in catering, and I can bake 2 cakes at a time in it.

  Roxanne, will this not depend on the brand of baking powder or possibly some other factor for butter cakes as well??  I ask because using the Rumford brand of baking powder, I accidently left one of three 9” pans of yellow cake batter out of the ‘fridge during this past summer (oh well, 84 degree F kitchen) and it made a great SAD cake, whereas the refrigerated two pans rose beautifully even after 45 minutes of panning them when baked.  Is 84 degrees F too warm to rely on this for non-refrigerated cake batter, or do I ask the obvious?

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Posted: 22 October 2009 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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tdwyatt - 22 October 2009 04:39 AM
Roxanne - 22 October 2009 12:56 AM

For 9 inch or smaller BUTTER cakes, the cake batter can sit in the pan while the other pan is baking. Cover the waiting pan with plastic wrap and set it in a cool place. I usually don’t bother refrigerating. Sponge or egg foam based cakes need to be baked right away, so if you’ve got a recipe that makes 2 pans, you’ll need to make and bake 1 pan at a time.

How small of an oven are we talking about? I work with an oven that’s about the size of a large microwave, a tabletop oven often used in catering, and I can bake 2 cakes at a time in it.

  Roxanne, will this not depend on the brand of baking powder or possibly some other factor for butter cakes as well??  I ask because using the Rumford brand of baking powder, I accidently left one of three 9” pans of yellow cake batter out of the ‘fridge during this past summer (oh well, 84 degree F kitchen) and it made a great SAD cake, whereas the refrigerated two pans rose beautifully even after 45 minutes of panning them when baked.  Is 84 degrees F too warm to rely on this for non-refrigerated cake batter, or do I ask the obvious?

I find that any cake made with any brand of double acting baking powder has a shelf life of about 30-40 minutes if kept below 68 degrees. If the area is too warm, the baking powder will start to activate. If you need to keep the batter longer than 30 minutes, park it in the fridge, and then allow 10 minutes out of the fridge so the chill can wear off (the cake will rise more evenly that way).

I don’t use Rumford baking powder. I use Argo, which is aluminum free and performs very well in all kinds of situations. I’ve experienced no loss of volume with Argo.

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Posted: 22 October 2009 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Rose has addressed this issue - for the best rise, she suggested storing the filled pan in the fridge until you can bake it.  Add a couple of minutes to the baking time.  I’ve done it many times… works like a charm.

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Posted: 23 October 2009 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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hds123 - 22 October 2009 02:11 AM

...I’ve read that Rumsford baking powder starts to act fast and that you lose some of your rise if you let a layer sit while the other is baking.

Hi hds123, I think I might be the culprit you were reading that it’s wise not to let a layer sit while the other is baking. I was quoting from another source, a link I posted elsewhere on this forum on baking powder, and in general, that’s true. But it depends on the holding temperature.

Patrincia’s right. Experience is the best teacher, and Rose is the best authority. There’s a note from her on p 496 of the Cake Bible. “...cake batter, once poured into the pan, can be refrigerated for several hours before baking and will lose no discernible volume.” She uses Rumford.

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Posted: 23 October 2009 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s also good to note that Double Acting baking powder is designed to act twice, once when it gets wet during the ingredient mixing process, and once when exposed to the heat of the oven.

Happy baking.

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