What is a cake strip? Why do some bakers use these? I have answers for you!
What are Cake Strips?
So, what are cakes strips? Cake strips are cloth strips that are saturated in water and wrapped around the outside of cake pan.
Why Use Cake Strips?
Cakes strips are helpful to get rid of those pesky domes that cakes are known to create while baking. When baking with a cake strip, your cake layers are flat and the edges are soft and fluffy. Sometimes cakes can get those hard edges on the side. Usually no one notices because you frost cakes and the edges are covered. However, take your cake to the next level and make your layers fluffy all the way around.
You can see here on these chocolate cake layers, the layers are perfectly flat on the top. No dome! The sides are also just as fluffy, and there are no hard edges. These are made with the cake strips.
How do Cake Strips Work?
Usually cakes bake from the outside in. Meaning the outside of the cakes bake first and as it bakes the center of the cake, it pushes the cake to the center and raises into a dome. Since the outside bakes first, that is also why the edges get dark and hard. Cakes strips work by cooling the outside of the pan with the wet cloth. Therefore, the outside of then cake isn't the first thing to bake and you can get nice even cake layers.
Don't Have Cake Strips?
You can buy some here or you can create your own! Creating your own is simple, all you need is aluminum foil, paper towels, and water.
1. Measure your aluminum foil to be longer than the fit around your cake pan and have some excess at the end. Measure your paper towels to be the same length.
2. Drench the paper towels in water and squeeze it to get the water out so it is not dripping, but damp. Carefully smooth out the paper towels to be back to it's original shape. Make sure you do this carefully or else it will tear. I learned this the hard way... multiple times.
3. Place the paper towel on top of the aluminum foil.
4. Fold the paper towel up like a 3 page brochure. 1/3 over from the top and 1/3 up on the bottom.
5. Do the same thing with the aluminum foil so that it is the same size as the paper towel. Now you have DIY cake strips!
6. Fit the cake strips around the outside of your cake pans. With the excess cake strip, fold it over and crunch it to one side tightly. This will keep the cake strip in place. If the cake strips are too big length wise fold it down underneath the bottom of the cake pan.
Make sure, if you fold the cake strip underneath the pan, that you make the pans still even. You don't want the cake pans leaning or on a slant. You won't have domes, but you will have slanted cake layers. You can see I did this here and my cakes have a slight slant.
As you can see, with the DIY cake strip, there is no dome. The cake does have a slight browning right around the edges but the rest of the sides are still light and fluffy. To get the best effect, I would recommend buying the cake strips.
Another example, it the carrot cake that I made. This cake was made using the DIY cake strips and this has no browning on the sides, no dome, and light and fluffy layers.