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How to Bake a Perfect Cake

Ingredients

  • wax paper or parchment paper
  • 1 old towel
  • two safety pins or paper clips

Instructions

  • Line each pan with circles of wax or parchment paper. I like to place the pans on the paper, draw a circle, and then cut it out.
  • Butter the sides of the pan generously. If the liner is trying to curl up, use a smear of butter to tack it down so that it will stay flat.
  • Fill the cake pans with batter according to the recipe.
  • Take an old towel that you don't care about anymore and cut it into strips that fit the height of the cake pans. If your cake pan is 2" tall you need a 2" wide strip of towel. Each strip needs to fit at least once around the pan once plus a few inches. If the towel is very thin and threadbare, cut 2-3 strips for each pan. If the towel is very thick, cut 1-2 strips. I use 2 strips of thin towel for my pans.
  • Get the towel strips sopping wet in the sink and then squeeze them until they are wet but not dripping everywhere .
  • Wrap one towel strip around the pan until the ends overlap. Start the second strip on top of the exposed end of the first. Wrap it around the bottom strip. Secure the strips with a safety pin or paperclip.
  • Bake the cake as directed in the recipe. When the cake is 3-5 minutes from being done, remove the towel strips and put the cake back in the oven. This allows the edge of the cake to finish baking. If you do not do this, the edge will remain so moist that the frosting will fall off.
  • You can hand wash your towel strips and use them over and over again for many years.
  • Let your cakes rest according to the directions in the recipe. When it is time to remove the cake to the rack, loosen the sides with a silicone spatula. Use a plate or flat platter to flip the cake over unto its top. Thump the bottom of the pan once or twice and the cake should fall out of the pan. Lining the pan allows the cake to release easily and prevents most broken cakes.
  • Put the cake (rack and all) in a clean, unscented trash bag to finish cooling. This will help the cake remain moist throughout the cool down process.