This is Part 2
Link to Part 1: Freezing Cake
Link to Part 3: Condensation
Read BB Bakes Sugar Art Heat Gun Hack
More on How to Freeze Cakes
More on How to Fill Layer Cakes in the Pan
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT + EXTRA TIPS
The trick to this method is to use the baking pan not just for baking the cake sponge but also for filling your sliced cake layers and holding them all together.
Recommended Cake Pans for This Method
It is not a requirement but it helps to own deep baking pans, which are more versatile. If you do a high volume of baking and want your pans to last a lifetime – especially if you run a bakery business – then I recommend investing in anodized aluminum pans, which heat faster and cool quicker. For conventional home ovens, 3” deep pans are a good fit. If you use larger commercial ovens, then 4” deep pans are even better. The advantage to deep pans is that they hold more cake. If you use a heating core, you can bake more batter at once.
Follow this link to explore the best options for cake baking pans that double as molds for layer cake making.
Recommended Cake Fillings
Once you’ve baked your cakes and set them out to cool, it’s time to prepare the fillings. It’s important to choose stable cake fillings. You don’t want soft squishy fillings in between your layers. My most reliable filling recipes are here: 11 Stable Cake Filling Flavors.
Recommended Cake Slicing Method
Once your fillings are ready and the cake sponge is fully cooled down, it’s time to slice it into layers. Check out my cake slicing tutorial to learn how to cut even layers.
Working with Pan Liners
Now you’re going to build the layer cake back into the baking pan but first, let’s stop and talk about liners for a minute. I mean the parchment paper that you use to line the bottom of the pan during the baking phase.
Don’t remove it when you’re slicing the cake because it will come in handy during the assembly stage. Ideally, here’s how it should go. Usually it takes two sponges to make one layer cake. Let’s say you cut each sponge into two layers for a total of four layers. As you add the filling, you want to arrange the layers like so within the pan, beginning with a paper-lined layer then flipping the last layer upside down so you also end with a paper-lined layer. On the bottom end, the paper prevents the cake from sticking to the pan. On the top end, it helps keep the cake flat and sealed.
The cake layer that comes attached to the parchment liner is always the neatest and squarest because it’s a little extra crusty from baking in the bottom of the pan, which makes it sturdier so you want to use it like bookends to sandwich your cake. This yields the most symmetrical shape. You can peel the paper off when the cake is ready to be frosted.
When you build cakes into the pan, you can also line the sides of the pan with parchment paper. This will make the finished cake easier to remove. However it’s not a requirement. I don’t recommend lining the plan with plastic wrap as it can easily get pinched between the layers of the frozen cake and then rip off when you try to remove it.
How to Spread the Filling
When adding the filling, it’s important to push it all the way out to the edges of the pan. Fill the empty space completely so there are no air pockets remaining. If the cake is too small for an offset spatula, use a bent spoon to spread the filling layers around. For large cake slices, use cardboard to lift and push them into the pan. Press down on the layers to flatten them and secure them to the below layer of filling. Seal the cake with two layers of plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer.
How to Extend the Height of the Pan Using a Cake Collar
Now if the cake pan is shallow or if you are building an especially tall cake, you can extend the walls of the pan using a collar made of acetate, parchment or wax paper.
Simply tuck the collar around the edges of the pan. For square cakes, you’ll need to cut a piece for each side of the cake.
What to Expect When Freezing Fresh Fruit Fillings
If you are using whole fruit in your fillings, keep in mind that the freezing process will expand and release the natural juices. This will not affect flavor but it will loosen the texture of the fruit. The cake sponge will gladly absorb the juices so make sure to layer the fruit so it comes in contact with the sponge.
If the cake has shrunk considerably so there is a lot of extra space in the pan, you can build your layers up along one side of the pan or you can fill the blank space by piping buttercream into it. Then you will end up with a partly frosted cake. A cake like this is easier to crumb coat.
Options for Removing a Frozen Cake from the Pan
Once the cake is frozen, it is time to remove it from the pan. Do not attempt this maneuver when the cake is still soft or it may fall apart.
Some bakers use the hot water bath method, which involves dipping the pan in hot water for 3-5 seconds or just long enough to loosen the sides of the cake. This method works especially well for small cakes and large scale bakery operations where you are working with the same sized cakes, but it’s harder to do on large cakes or different sized cakes.
My preferred method is to use a blowtorch to heat the sides of the pan. If you don’t own a torch, you can use a blow drier or a heat gun to do this same thing but a blow drier will blow hot air all over your kitchen, which is not ideal. You can also use the classic hot water bath method.
Invert the cake in its pan and place it on a turntable. Heat the sides and bottom of the pan evenly. Touch the pan. It should be warm – not hot.
Flip the pan so that the cake is face up. Do not delay at this stage or the cake will refreeze itself to the pan.
Run a small offset spatula around the outside of the pan to release the contents.
Sometimes the cake slides right out. Sometimes you have to jiggle it a little Sometimes you have to jiggle it a lot. Sometimes you have to turn it over and give it some more heat, run the spatula around the sides again, or shake the pan really hard.
The next video in this series is all about condensation, which is an important topic when it comes to frozen and refrigerated cakes. If you have any questions about the material in this video, please feel free to comment below.
This Was Part 2
Link to Part 1: Freezing Cake
Link to Part 3: Cake Condensation Solutions
New to Wicked Goodies? Start *HERE*
Filling Layer Cakes in the Baking Pan