Jan 10, 2015

Cake Strips to the Rescue

If you bake a lot of cakes there are two issues that need fixing. One is that they rise too much in the center and the other is that the edges get over-baked and dry. A cake strip will fix that. Here is my yellow cake baked with no cake strip. It’s domed in the middle and the edges are overdone and dry.

IMG_6051And here it is with a cake strip – perfectly flat and the edges are soft and evenly baked.

IMG_6091 copyA cake strip is easy to use. You just soak it in water for about 15 minutes, then press out the excess water and wrap it around the pan just before baking.

bcake_wrap

It protects the edge of the pan from getting too hot and the cake will bake evenly. If you can’t find one, you can fashion your own using fabric. I have never done that but you can find lots of how-to’s in the internet. They’re also called baking strips for cakes.

While working on this recipe I was surprised by something I learned about cake pans. It’s about the color. I always knew that a dark pan absorbs more heat so baked goods will brown more than in a light colored pan. But I baked two cakes, both with cake strips, in two different pans that I considered light colored. But look at the difference…

Cake Pans1200_6284The pan on the left is my more expensive Williams-Sonoma Gold Touch pan that I never thought of as dark. The pan on the right is a cheaper silver colored pan (with no brand name so I don’t even know where I got it) but the cake in the cheaper silver pan came out perfectly. The edges were velvety soft and the cake didn’t brown too much. The one on the left was okay but the edges pulled away a bit and it browned a little more. Bottom line: use a silver colored pan and a cake strip for a perfect, soft, yummy cake.

Speaking of cake, this simple yellow cake is one of my easy-to-make healthier cakes and it’s my go-to cake for all kinds of frosting and filling. It’s soft and not super sweet… and it’s made without butter. I’ll be posting the recipe soon, so get your cake strips ready! – Jenny Jones

23 Comments on "Cake Strips to the Rescue"

  1. Saoirse

    I’ve used the cake strips, but feel they sdd too much moisture to the oven. Also, I believe the best baking tins are made with anondized aluminum like Fat Daddio’s or Alan Silverwood’s.

  2. Debra Krause

    Hello. I. Will. B. Making. Square
    Cake. Pans. The. Same. Wit. Them
    To. Wit. Strips. My. Sons. B -day
    Is. 3/28/. Me. Want. To. Bake. Him. Good. Cake.
    P. S. Would. Love. To. Know. More. What. About. Cup. Cakes
    &. Not. So. Sweet. On. Icicing. For. The. Cakes. &. Any. Cakes
    Please. Will. B. Looking
    D. L. K.

  3. BECKY

    Granny always said to read the recipe first. Start the preheat. Then place all the ingredients on or around your work surface. Read the recipe again. Keep your recipe near you. Unless there are notes from a prior attempt, your recipe should turn out exactly as pictured withe same great taste

  4. vt.lady

    These cake strips are available from http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

    They won’t work for bundt cakes. If your bundt’s are getting too dark on the outside, reduce the oven temp 15-20 degrees, so it will bake longer and slower.

  5. NeutronBoy

    I don’t think the differences in cooking are due to the color of the pan. That would only matter when there is a light source that is heating the material – like if something were out in the sun. Our ovens don’t heat with a light source, so the difference comes down to the materials. Looking at your photos, it seems like the Sonoma pan is thicker and therefore has will store more (heat) energy, making your cake cook faster. Kind of like the difference between an aluminum pan and a cast iron pan. Some of the coatings can also affect the heat storage and transmission too.

    Just an engineer’s viewpoint!
    p.s. love your recipes

    • christine beniwal

      Well Neutron Boy, you may call yourself an engineer, but in the kitchen you are not one. The color of the cake does make a difference in how a cake comes out. In the darker color cake pans you have to reduce the heat by about 25 degrees and cook longer in contrast to a silver light colored pan. I used dark colored pans for years and couldn’t find out why they always came out too done. I finally read an article in King Arthur I believe and they set me straight. It has nothing to do with outside light vs inside light, which is crazy when it comes to baking a cake. Like my aeronautic engineer husband used to be extremely smart, but you had to tell him to come in out of the rain.

  6. Linda

    Do the baking strips work on bundt pans?

    • Jenny

      I don’t think they are wide enough but you might find more info with a google search.

  7. Carol

    Jenny Jones – you are a legend. You are great to share all your fabulous recipes. I made your banana bread & took it out to one of my elderly friends today and he just loved it. Your recipes are so good. Perfect just follow exactly. Again – thank you ☺

  8. Barbara

    Enjoy your blog! I have a big collection of Williams Sonoma Goldtouch bakeware. I have discovered, however, that because of its nonstick properties, I need to treat these pans as if they were “dark” and lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Also, I often have to reduce the baking time slightly to get the results I want. My 35 yr. old silver pans, while not as attractive, do not require any special treatment. Hope this helps.

    • Jenny

      This is great information. I never thought of reducing the heat with the Goldtouch but I will next time. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Julia Lindsay

    I plan on making baking strip out of an old tea towel. Thanks for the idea. Love the pics to show the differences between the cakes. You are great!
    Julie

  10. jack

    Can you make a chocolate cake with out vegetable oil. Can you do any recipes in pounds and ounces. Would you like to share some good recipes in bigger amounts.

    • Jenny

      Can I make a chocolate cake without vegetable oil? – No. Can I do any recipes in pounds and ounces? – No, but I have posted a metric conversion chart in my blog. Would I like to share some good recipes in bigger amounts? I am only sharing the things I cook at home… this website & videos are just a hobby.

    • Maddisen Barnes

      You can use applesauce instead of oil but I don’t know how that would taste with chocolate cake. I know it’s good with the yellow cake tho

    • Mido=i9

      Instead of Oil you can substitute sour cream or bananas in the same measurement as the oil

  11. Diana

    I would love to see more how to video’s. I love watching you, you are so funny. Please, please make more!
    Thanks,
    Diana

  12. Chen

    Jenny, I have never heard of the cake strips. I will definitely buy some cake strips for sure because my cakes came out darker at the edge.
    Thank you 🙂 for this very useful tips!

  13. Granmama11

    I ordered some of the cake strips and they work just like you say! Can’t believe I’ve baked all these years without them.
    Also I did find where I could download your cookbook (it didn’t show up on my iPad but was quite obvious on my computer)… However, your cookbook which I ordered from Amazon came today and I am so glad I ordered it. Loved your photography and your personal comments. Of course the recipes are great, too!
    I had breast cancer in 1991 so very glad to see the proceeds go for that cause.

  14. Pat Mazurowski

    I’ve never seen a cake strip or even heard of it. Whats the science behind it’s use? I understand it needs to be wet but how does it prevent the cake from rising in the middle and browning too much on the sides? I’ve never even seen this item in stores that sell bakeware. Give us more videos. Love watching you cook and bake. Thanks Jenny.

    • Jenny

      When you bake a cake the regular way, the outside edge of the cake bakes faster than the middle because it’s against the rim of the pan, which is hot so the edge of the cake gets more of the heat. That’s why the edges tend to be dry and over baked. And by the time the middle starts to cook through, the batter has nowhere to go but up, which creates the dome. By putting cold, moist material around the outside of the pan, you’re helping cool the outside, allowing the cake to bake more evenly.

  15. Penny

    Jenny,
    many thanks for your videos
    hope can see more videos of all yr recipes.
    Can tell me which place I can get all those wonderful bowls,cups, spatula which u used. they are beautiful.
    thanks

    • Jenny

      I find most of my colorful items at places like Sur La Table, Pier One, World Market, Target, and even some hardware stores.

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