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.

What Are Cake StripsAnd 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.


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

60 Comments on "Cake Strips to the Rescue"

  1. Margie

    My cake was level ( using baking strip) but while it cooled it fell! Any advice?

  2. Mary

    I have been using cake strips and my cakes are flat, but I have found that the outer edge of my cake is still mushy when the inside is cooked. Any comments or advice?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      Please provide more details about the recipe, the type of pan, and the time and temperature and I will try to help.

    • Gary

      I had the same issue. I found that by removing the baking strips a few minutes before the baking end time is reached solved this problem. For me, if the baking time was 27 minutes, I removed the strips at 23 minutes and then let the cake bake for the remaining 4 minutes.

  3. Dee

    I bought my cake wraps on a website called temu. $2.00 each work great.

  4. Maxxi

    I like my cake domed in the middle and more Brown Etc on the edges. I always bake in terracotta anyway. Never heard of a cake strip but I’ll keep it in mind

  5. Sheila kang

    Cake strips is the way to go. Been using them for years and the cakes don’t dome in the middle.
    I love them!!!

  6. Judy

    Thanks for the vido_-now i will have to make a cake strip.
    Thanks for sharing-i have been baking since i was 10 yrs. Old im now
    In my 70’s. Your never to old to learn something new well i better get off
    And make your cake!

  7. Patti Jo

    I have never heard of a cake strip and now I know! Thanks!

  8. Diana

    Just tried it for a small pineapple upside down cake – fabulous. I use parchment as a band I case it rises too much – works great.

    • Jeri

      Diana …. How do you keep the parchment paper together after you put it around the cake pan?

      • Lee

        Jeri, I found this easy to follow video.

        Watch “Super Quick Video Tips: How to Make a Homemade Cake Strip” on YouTube

      • Cheri


        What Diana meant is that she puts a tall strip of parchment paper around the inside of the pan, almost as if to heighten the walls of the pan in case there is too much batter and it might overflow. I would grease the pan anyhow, and it would stick to the greased pan without falling. Here is a video I found, but I personally wouldn’t bother too much with folding it over on the bottom so that it has an edge, I would just do a flat strip along the inside, and stick it to the greased sides to keep it in place. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StkMf8-vhKA

      • Therese

        If I understand, the parchment paper does not take the place of a cake strip, rather it acts as an additional protection around the inside of the pan to prevent spillover due to addition of pineapple.

  9. Becki

    I’d like to add that when you use cake strips with higher-sided cake pans, it’s important to use enough cake strips to be even with the height of the sides of the pan. Just because your batter may be at that low level doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way. It’s going to rise above the level of the cake strip. Then you have the problem of wider bottom and smaller, shrunken top of each cake layer. Not good! I learned the hard way.

  10. HitesMites

    I tossed all the hydrogenated oils a couple years ago — no more canola or vegetable oil. Think I could substitute walnut oil in this recipe? It may add a little something to the flavor, but I don’t see that as being a deal-breaker. I’m thinking more about how it would affect the texture.

    • Gail

      I switched to Avocado oil years ago. I even use it in shish -k-bobs marinade.

  11. Cynthia ortiz


  12. Elphie'sMom

    Years ago I took a cake decorating class and our instructor explained the difference between the light and dark baking pans. She also taught us to make our own cake strips, although I’m sure the ones of today are better. We cut an old terrycloth towel into a strip about 2″ wide and long enough to encircle the cake pan, with about an extra 2″ at the end. Soak the strip in water and wring out the excess water, wrap the strip around the pan and then pin into place using a straight pin (plain tipped, not with a plastic head). They did work, but the ends do have a tendency to scorch because they are “raw”. If you’re into sewing, you can sew the edges on 3 sides, turn inside out and sew the last bit of the seam. Then there are no cut threads to scorch.

  13. Jeri

    will the cake strips work on a silicone cake pans
    most my stuff is silicone

  14. Jessica Day

    Whaaaat. I didn’t know these existed. Now I won’t have to cut the top off of my cakes, lol.

    • Clymela

      Where do I find the wonderful cake strip. Never knew that there is a solution to the ‘cake dome’. I am so excited.

      • Tabatha

        Wilton makes cake strips. You can usually find them at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Amazon, Wilton’s website or sometimes at Walmart. Some of my pans are to large for just one strip, so I use a metal paperclip or straight pin to secure two together.

    • Cynthia ortiz

      I didn’t know that cake strips existed either.?

  15. Karen


    I love that you are giving recipes that make smaller portions. That is the way life used to be, before America started Super Sizing everything!
    Thank you for that. If we need to we can always double the recipe!

    Waste not want not!

  16. Susie

    Love your recipe!! It is easy and fast to make it for after dinner or afternoon tea.

  17. FRED

    My kind of cake! Granny called it ” just plain cake ” and it was delicious! Sometimes ice cream, sometimes fresh peaches, blackberries. She would make a syrup and pour it over the top. It was the best because she made it. I cook it all the time to this day. Grannies receipt was just about identical to yours. Thanks. Take care. P.S. great to see you after all these years. I loved your show.

  18. Jill

    I always burned the thanksgiving dinner rolls until i used a light silver colored cookie sheet. No more dark or burnrd rolls..

  19. Em

    Do I have to use the cake strips??

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

      • FRED

        Good one! That was funny and informative.

      • Franca Genio

        I have been a baker all my life and with my experience the aluminium pans are the best to use for any type of cakes, cheesecakes etc. I never get any burnt sides and I never have to reduce my oven. Happy baking and Jenny your recipes are very good. Have done many!

    • Sarah

      I found your comment interesting. Your theory that the left-hand pan is thicker is difficult to verify because it could just be that it has a thicker rim, but the baking surface is the same thickness.

      I looked it up on the internet and found that several website authors are absolutely certain that dark-colored metal absorbs heat faster than light-colored metal–they specifically said heat, not light. Is that possible? Could the color of the metal really have to do with how quickly or slowly they absorb heat, even in the absence of light?

      The mystery deepens for me because they also recommend covering foods with aluminum foil to avoid the food over-browning–perhaps because the foil reflects heat (and not just light)?

      I have wondered if it could be the conductivity of the metal, with different metals absorbing heat at different rates. Thing is, it seems most pans are made of aluminum or a combination of aluminum and steel. The dark color comes from a coating.

      I’m going to keep looking for a scientific source that states dark colors absorb heat in the absence of light to check this theory.

    • Franca Genio

      Neutron Boy, I will have to differ and nothing to do with engineering. The pans that should be used for baking is aluminium professional grade ones. I have never gotten any burnt sides.

  25. 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.

  26. 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 ☺

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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

  30. Diana

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

      • Leta H. From Texas

        Would a cake strip work for cooking cornbread in a cast iron skillet? My cornbread ALWAYS comes out with a dome & crack on top. Ugh! Also can Splenda be substituted instead of using regular sugar in most cake recipes? Thank you

  34. Penny

    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.

    • 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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