Make a Parchment Paper Liner: Place empty, dry cake pans on parchment paper. Use a pen to draw a circle around each pan and then cut around the circle. (Lining the pan allows the cake to release easily and prevents most broken cakes.)
Butter the sides of the pan and dust with flour. (You can dust with baking cocoa if you are making a chocolate cake.
Line each cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. If the liner is trying to curl up, use a smear of butter to tack it down so that it will stay flat.
Submerge cake strips in a glass of water or hold them under running water for a few seconds until they have absorbed all the water they can hold and there are no dry spots.
Gently squeeze water out of the strips until they are no longer actively dripping.
Wrap the strips tightly around the cake pan and secure with a safety pin.
Fill the cake pans with batter according to the recipe. A digital kitchen scale can be used to make sure the batter is evenly divided between the pans.
Bake the cake as directed in the recipe. When the cake is 3 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 can fall off.
To remove the safety pins I simply hold a wet cotton rag over the pin for a few moments. The cold water cools the pin enough that I can then open it with my hands and remove it. Alternately, I slide the entire pinned wrap down off the bottom of the cake pan and then put the pan back in the oven for several more minutes.
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.
You can hand wash your towel strips and use them over and over again for many years.