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Baking A Three Layer Cake
Posted: 13 February 2014 01:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi,

Does anyone know how to arrange the cake pans in an oven when baking a 3-layer cake? I never baked this cake before and need advice.

Thank you.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Best option is to fit them all on one shelf, but they probably won’t fit.  You can bake them on two shelves, one in lower third and one in upper third, but you will need to rotate both upper to lower and front to back.  Place the pans so that the shelf with one pan has the cake in the middle and the shelf with two pans has them separated with a space in the middle- to help with heat circulation.

I always find it a bit tricky to move and rotate pans gently enough to avoid making the batter fall.  It also has to be done quickly because if the batter begins to cool that can make it fall as well. 

The other option is to bake two layers on one shelf and put the third layer into the refrigerator until the first two are done baking.

good luck!

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Posted: 13 February 2014 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks so much Julie! The recipe gives me the option of making either 3 8-inch layers or 2 9-inch layers . I have 2 of the 9 inch heart pans which would work (it’s for Valentine’s Day) but I thought the three pans would be more extraordinary because the filling had a jelly/sugar glaze dripping down the sides of each layer. It is a Mississippi Delta Jelly Cake. Thanks so much for explaining the process. I’ll post a pic.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Julie:

Does the availability of convection change your advice?

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Posted: 13 February 2014 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Flour Girl - 13 February 2014 01:35 AM

Hi,

Does anyone know how to arrange the cake pans in an oven when baking a 3-layer cake? I never baked this cake before and need advice.

Thank you.

Do u really need to bake them at the same time ? If it was me, I will bake them individually unless time is an issue. Last week when I made that three layer Super Hero cake, this is what I’d did. Let us know how they came out. Good luck..

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Posted: 13 February 2014 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Charles [and Flour Girl],
If you have a convection oven, then it doesn’t matter where you place the pan, because there is a “fan assist” function that flows in the oven and heats evenly, at least in theory.
I don’t bake a lot in convection, because I don’t really need it, but when I do- I find that it does bake evenly, and I don’t need to switch the pans and all that.
But, you have to remember to lower the oven temp by 25 degrees [so if the recipe for a conventional oven says to heat the oven to 350- you should heat it to 325].

BTW that cake sound extraordinary!

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Posted: 13 February 2014 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Flour Girl - 13 February 2014 09:36 AM

Thanks so much Julie! The recipe gives me the option of making either 3 8-inch layers or 2 9-inch layers . I have 2 of the 9 inch heart pans which would work (it’s for Valentine’s Day) but I thought the three pans would be more extraordinary because the filling had a jelly/sugar glaze dripping down the sides of each layer. It is a Mississippi Delta Jelly Cake. Thanks so much for explaining the process. I’ll post a pic.


FLOUR GIRL:
  Good afternoon. I have read your posting with much concern. Judging from the suggestions you have received from a few of our learned members, I thought I would weigh in with some information that will help your baked product.

It is optimum to begin your baking when the cake batter is at 70 to 73 Degrees. So the third pan can be placed in the fridge for a spell till ready to bake but moniter it not to let go to say lower than 68 to 69 degrees. remove it from the fridge so that when you are ready to place same in the oven it will be in the 70/73 degree parameter.
I hope I explained it well enough for you to understand it.

Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

  ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I will chime in as well.  I have found when I overload my oven (basically bake on more than one level) the results are compromised—from cakes to cookies, I’ve noticed it doesn’t work.  When I made a 6-9-12” wedding cake plus a 9” carrot cake and 14” cake for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I had to do 6 separate bakings in the oven.  It was incredibly time consuming because I made a fresh batch of batter for each round of baking as I didn’t want variations in the texture.  In your case, though, with 2 - 9” heart pans, can you fit both on the same rack in the oven?  If not, you may be able to stagger so that they are offset and because you are only baking two cakes (as opposed to 4 pans) you may be able to get away with a quick pan rotation.  Also, I’m not familiar with the Jelly cake…is there additional leavening?  If you are dealing with only egg-foam leavened cake, you don’t want to open the oven or move pans as it increases the risk of collapsing. 

You don’t necessarily need 3 -8” pans to get more layers.  If your cakes bake up to about 1.5” - 2” in height, you could bake 2 - 9” pans and using 2 cakes that are split into 4.  It looks really nice with 3 layers of filling (I actually prefer 3 layers of filling to 2 for aesthetic reasons…don’t ask me why…) and you could get away with fewer pans in the oven.

Can’t wait to see your end results. 

FYI…I have a convection but don’t use for baking as there is an element in with the convection fan and I find things too close to the fan get overdone even with reductions in temp.—it’s ok if I can frequently open the oven to stir/move around food (like potatoes).  Also, I don’t believe convection isn’t a friend to delicate egg foams.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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CharlesT - 13 February 2014 10:57 AM

Julie:

Does the availability of convection change your advice?

Well, at the end of the day it depends on the oven.  My convection function (before it broke) never did a very good job of eliminating hot spots.  It also did not improve results when baking on two shelves as much as rotating pans did.  But it sounds like some convection ovens do much better, like McBrownie’s oven.  smile

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Posted: 13 February 2014 04:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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McBrownie - 13 February 2014 02:21 PM

because there is a “fan assist” function that flows in the oven and heats evenly, at least in theory.

My convection oven does a pretty good job distributing heat when cooking on one shelf; I’ve only used multiple shelves once or twice (cookies only) and haven’t drawn any conclusions about how well that works.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I wish I read this thread before I baked today.

Thank you, all, for your help with this endeavor.

I baked three 8 inch layers. I found I could place all three on one shelf since the pans were only 8” each.

Big mistake.

Next time I make this I will surely bake no more than 2 layers and put the third in the refrig and monitor the temp so it doesn’t get too cold.

This cake seems to be similar to a foam cake. It baked at 325. Supposedly, it should have taken 25-30 min.

I rotated the pans mid-way.  The pan which was in the back at the start of baking has the best color.  The other two layers never attained a golden color on the sides. All three layers were golden on the top. After 25 minutes, one layer was done and the other two were like soup. I had to bake the two layers situated in the front 20 minutes longer than projected. I put the layer which browned the most on top because I felt the jelly glaze would drip on it more than the other layers and, hopefully, camouflage the color difference.

All three layers were encircled with cake strips. The cake that baked the best and was baked soon and had the best color was the one with Rose’s cake strip around the pan. The other two layers had Magi-Strips around the pan.  All tops were level.

Sherrie, I should have just baked Rose’s cakes and tort them as you suggest. That would be the smart thing to have done. If you remember the discussion on cake knives a while back, I bought the AGBAY cake leveler/slicer. It would have been fun to tort since I don’t get all that much opportunity to use it . Not that these cakes are bad. If you like super sweet, this one is for you.

I don’t have a convection oven. My micro has a convection feature but I don’t know how to use it.

Thank you Julie, Charles, Prettycake, McBrownie, ~FRESHKID and Sherrie. I really appreciate your help. All this information is so valuable to me.  Thank you!! I have all the Baked books. Their cakes are almost exclusively 3-layers. This is the first 3-layer cake I ever baked. This recipe comes from the book Southern Cakes. It is called the Mississippi Delta Jelly Cake.

Here are some pics of the finished cake.  I know it is far from perfect but my family won’t even notice, I am sure. I am always concerned about the crumb and then my husband will take a piece of cake, put it in a cereal bowl and pour milk all over it LOL

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Edited to add: My husband could not wait for Valentine’s Day. As soon as he got home he wanted a piece. He loved it. His exact words were, “That is good cake”.  After cutting him a piece and one for my son and one for my husband to take to work tomorrow, half the cake is gone. So I guess I will be making it again but I won’t bake the layers at the same time. Thank you!

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Posted: 13 February 2014 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Baking strip are always a big help. It works.

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Posted: 13 February 2014 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Flour Girl, the cake looks gorgeous!
At the end of the day, the taste is what matters; and if the cake was almost half eaten in less then a day, I guess you did a good job!

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Posted: 14 February 2014 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Flour Girl.

If you strive for taste and appearance,  it just means you are a good baker because you go one step further.
IMHO, it should taste as good as it looks, not one way or the other (but that’s just me).
If both can be achieved,  then that is really great.  And this is a great example.
I am very huge on appearance and taste at the same time, and it is really not difficult to achieve w/ a little bit more work.
Not all beautiful cakes are tasty as well as not all ugly cakes are good (JMHO).

You did well Flour Girl. Keep baking smile

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Posted: 14 February 2014 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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prettycake - 13 February 2014 09:49 PM

Baking strip are always a big help. It works.

I agree. I usually forget to use it but with three layers I didn’t want to turn it into a tipsy turvy cake.

On this occasion Roses’s Heavenly Cake Strips did a better job then the Magi-Strips.

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Posted: 14 February 2014 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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McBrownie - 13 February 2014 11:41 PM

Flour Girl, the cake looks gorgeous!
At the end of the day, the taste is what matters; and if the cake was almost half eaten in less then a day, I guess you did a good job!

Thank you McBrownie! I only tasted a crumb. With 4 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, 108g oil and 533g sugar, I will stick to my Wowie cake tongue wink. But those ingredients don’t stop my husband. He really liked the cake a lot.

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