How to make a two layer cake
If you are not a regular baker you might think baking a layer cake will be a little challenging. Do not worry though it looks much harder than it actually is. It is fairly simple to do once you get the hang of it.
For your first layer cake you may want to start out with a box mix and pre-made frosting. It is much easier to get a good quality cake your first try this way. All box mixes include additional ingredients needed and all the instructions you will need to complete the cake.
One box will make two layers using eight or nine inch round pans. For a thirteen by nine pan you will need two boxes of mix. To frost the round layer cakes you will need two tubs of frosting and at least three for the rectangular cake.
I mix the cake mix according to the directions except I add an additional 1/3 cup of vegetable oil to the batter. Doing this helps to insure a moister cake.
Make sure you preheat the oven according to the directions. If you do not do this the cake will come out drier and may be misshapen. You should grease the pan with shortening. Do not use vegetable oil or butter this will make the cake stick to the pan. Coat the pan with a thin layer of flour. You may also use cocoa for chocolate cakes or powdered sugar, if you do not like flour being left behind. Doing this will help prevent the cake from sticking to the pan after the baking process.
Fill the cake pans halfway with your cake batter. This will allow room for the batter to rise while baking. Shake the pan and tap it genteelly on the counter top to allow the batter to settle. Place the pan in the center of the oven rack, which should be in the center of the oven unless the directions state otherwise. Bake according to the directions for the mix used.
You may want to use a timer and check the cake 5 to 10 minutes before time is up. Some ovens temperatures are off so you will want to check early just incase. Check the cakes by inserting a toothpick in the center. When the toothpick comes out clean the cake is done.
Let the cake cool at least three minutes before you try to remove them form their pans. To remove the cake form the pan run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a cooling rack or plate over the pan. While holding the pan and rack firmly and flip the pan and tap gently on the counter. This should separate the cake from the pan.
Let you layers cool completely before you frost. You can place them in the refrigerator for an hour to make sure they are cool. If you do not do this your frosting will melt and your cake will slide.
Place your bottom layer on a plate or what ever you want your cake to be on. Use a knife to level the top of the cake so it will be even. Use a pastry brush to get rid of excess crumbs. Using a spatula, spread a generous layer of frosting on the top of the cake. Level the top of the other cake, and place it directly on top of the frosted one. Again brush away the excess crumbs. Start on the top of the cake and spread a very thin layer of frosting evenly over the cake. Do the same to the sides of the cake. Do not worry about the crumbs right now. Make sure you fill in the space between the two cakes. Place the cake in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes to set the frosting.
Once this is done remove the cake and finish frosting. Start on the top of the cake in the center and work out words making sure the frosting is even. Now frost the sides of the cake in the same manner. By putting a thin layer of frosting on the cake then allowing it to set up in the refrigerator when you frost the cake the second time you will not get crumbs mixed into the frosting. This makes it easier to frost and you get a prettier cake.
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