Why Level A Cake?
The cake is the star of any party. It’s a big part of your wedding day and it needs to be perfect for you and those around you.
You want everything on that cake to look just right, from its colour scheme to what kind of frosting or decorations are used.
This can make cakes very expensive if they don’t have all these things in place. There’s also no guarantee that everyone will like every aspect about the cake.
The levelling of a cake is done to ensure an even surface before putting icing on it. This makes it possible to spread the icing on the cake’s surface.
If the cake is too high or is unstable, it can be harder to decorate. Levelling a cake before you bake it helps ensure that the finished cake is as neat as possible and will make it easier to decorate.
Keep on reading as we show you on how to level a cake.
What is cake leveller?
Cake leveller is something which is used to level off the top of the cake so that it doesn’t stick up above other parts of the cake.
The cake leveller tool works by cutting through the sides of the cake so that there’s nothing sticking out. Once this has been achieved, then the cake can be levelled off using another method.
It keeps the cake stable while baking so that the edges do not over-bend when baked.
It gives more control during decoration process. You won’t need to worry about uneven surfaces or flat surface anymore because the cake leveller ensures that the entire cake gets levelled off.
There are different tools available with various features attached to them. The type of tool depends on the size and shape of the cake.
Some may come with attachments such as spatulas or wire cutters. These specialty tools help keep the cake steady while being baked.
Some people prefer to use their hands instead of a tool.
Ways to level a cake using leveller?
There are several ways to level a cake: with tools, by hand, and more. We’ll go over each one so you know which method works best for you.
1. Tools for levelling cakes
Cake levellers come in many shapes and sizes. Some work better than others depending on your situation.
To start out, here are some basic tools to help you get started.
- 2×4 – You can use this tool when working with large cakes.
- Levelling board – If you’re making smaller cakes, then you may not need to buy a separate levelling board. However, a good quality levelling board will still help you achieve a smooth finish.
- Plastic spatula/serrate knife – These items are great for getting into tight spaces between trifle layers. They fit against the sides of the cake pan and allow you to scrape off excess batter.
- Offset palette knife level – Similar to a plastic spatula but has two blades instead of one. The offset blade allows you to reach deeper inside the corners of the cake pan without having to remove the whole thing.
2) Using your hands
Working with your hands gives you complete control over the process. Once you’ve levelled your cake, there’s nothing stopping you from adding additional decoration such as fondant flowers or sprinkles.
Here are three methods for doing this:
- Hand mixing buttercream
When creating a simple buttercream, it’s easy enough to do yourself. Add powdered sugar along with softened butter until combined.
Add food colouring or flavourings according to recipe directions. Then beat well with an electric mixer or whisk.
- Mixing by hand with a piping tip
Using a piping tip, fill up the tube with the mixture.
Hold the end closed while moving the handle back and forth until you see small peaks forming at the top of the tube.
Remove the end of the tube and repeat steps 1–5 above. When filling the entire tube, cut off the extra whipped cream and discard.
Repeat this step for all other colours needed.
- Adding ingredients to the cake
You should only apply frosting to cakes after baking them because applying frosting right away could cause damage.
After cooling, carefully take the cake out of its pan and set aside. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake.
Be careful not to move the cake around once spreading the frosting. Let the frosting dry. Carefully transfer the cake to another serving plate and serve.
Why do my cakes rise unevenly?
The first reason why cakes rarely look perfectly even is due to temperature differences during baking.
As mentioned earlier, if the oven runs hot, the center of the cake cooks faster than the edges. This results in a taller middle section compared to the thinner outer sections of the cake.
A second common issue is an improperly mixed batter. Batter that is lumpy or overly thick will also result in a higher-than-normal center.
If the batter looks too thin, try using more flour. Or, simply increase the amount of eggs used.
Last, cakes are less uniform if they have been stored upside down for any length of time. In order to prevent this problem, always store cakes on their side rather than upright.
Cake levellers come in many shapes and sizes. Some work better than others depending upon what type of cake you want to level.
Types of cake levelling tool
There are several types of leveller tool available. Each tool works best when levelling certain kinds of cakes.
- Plastic spatulas
These flat, long handled utensils can be found in most kitchen stores. They’re ideal for levelling chocolate cakes.
Because these special tool aren’t very sharp, however, they may scratch delicate surfaces like marble or glass tiles.
- Spatulas with serrated edge
Serrated edged spatula helps create smooth finishes without scratching the surface. These are especially useful for levelling mousse based desserts like cheesecakes.
- Wire skimmer
This specialised tool comes with a wire loop which allows you to lift the cake gently so as not to disturb the decorating stack layers underneath. It perfectly uses those tiny air bubbles created during baking.
- Wooden spoons
Use a wooden spoon to remove excess liquid from your cake batter before mixing it together. If your batter seems too stiff, add some additional water to loosen it up.
- Wedge shaped metal ring
It’s designed specifically to make sure your cake has equal height all over. The wedge shape helps ensure the proper thickness in each cake layers.
- Tapered offset palette knife steady
One of the easiest methods to achieve a neat finish involves using a tapered offset palette knife blade.
You can use the cake leveller to fairly even your cake. The cake lever can be used to flatten your cake into a nice even layer for frosting.
Cake levellers are simple if you understand the different ways to use them, and this guide has helped you do that.
Good luck with the next cake you level!