If you want a perfectly flat, elegantly frosted cake, you must first understand how to correctly level a cake.
There are a few methods for making your cake nice and level, so try each one and see which one works best for you.
So, would you level your cake with a knife or with a piece of floss?
- Why Level a Cake
- Tools for Leveling a Cake
- 8 Ways to Level a Cake
Why Level a Cake
When you bake a cake, it usually comes out somewhat domed. This is caused by the cake batter rising in the oven, with the center of the cake rising the most since it bakes the slowest.
Although you may favor the dome form, many individuals prefer their cake tops to be flat. This necessitates cutting off the top of the cake, leveling it, and removing the domed top (or eating it as a taste test!).
One reason for leveling your cake is to make decorating simpler. It will be simpler to ice the cake if the top is flat.
You will be able to simply write on the cake, and whatever decorations you add on top will stand straight. This is an excellent excuse to level a cake.
Another reason to always cut off the domed top of a cake is to remove the tougher, crispier section of the cake.
For a long time, the outside of the cake is directly exposed to the hot oven air. This might cause the cake to dry out and get a touch crispy.
Taking away the top layer reveals a delicate, delicious cake that everyone will want to enjoy!
Tools for Leveling a Cake
There are many instruments available for purchase that are specifically intended for leveling cakes. Although a particular tool may be useful, you do not need to purchase one to help make your cake flat.
As you go through the many methods for leveling a cake, you will notice that many of the items need are already in your kitchen!
So before you go out and purchase more tools, study these leveling approaches and check what you currently have.
8 Ways to Level a Cake
1 – Serrated Knife and Turn Table
The most conventional method for leveling a cake is to use a serrated knife and a rotating cake stand, commonly known as a turn table. It is unquestionably tested and true!
A serrated knife is very certainly already in your kitchen, and a cake stand is also pretty common. This eliminates the need to purchase fresh materials!
Put the cake on top of the cake stand and use a long serrated knife to cut horizontally into the cake, just where you want the top removed. Just cut approximately an inch into the cake.
Then, keep the knife consistently and flatly in the cake. Begin rotating the turn table, spinning the cake while keeping the knife stationary.
You don’t even need to move the knife; just spin the turn table and the knife will start cutting into the cake, flattening the top layer and removing the domed cake top.
Tada! A cake that has been leveled!
The most important aspects of this procedure are to cut the cake gently, keep the knife stable, and maintain the turn table turning. You may take out as much or as little of the cake as you need to get the desired height.
Since this is the approach most cake professionals use to level a cake, you can be certain that it will work flawlessly!
2 – Dishcloth Method
After your cake has finished baking but has not yet cooled, cover it with a moist towel or dish cloth. This will force the domed top of the cake to flatten, resulting in a wonderfully level cake!
Next, on top of the cake, add a flat item, such as a cutting board. Push carefully to help flatten the cake even more.
Remove the flat item and cloth, and admire the flawlessly level cake!
This method involves no cutting, which is why it is so popular! It works well on certain cakes and may not be the ideal approach to utilize if your cake is quite domed.
This approach, however, may simply correct a slightly domed cake!
3 – Cake Leveler Tool
Several cake supply retailers offer a number of cake levelers that all seem to be the same. The instrument is shaped like a big U, with a thin wire or extremely tiny serrated blade connecting the two sides of the U.
The blade is adjustable and may go up and down to accommodate the desired height of your cake.
To use the tool, set your cake on a level surface and place the tool over it. On each side of the cake, the U’s feet should be touching the table.
Adjust the blade to the desired height for cutting the cake. Next, slowly saw back and forth across the table, chopping off the top of the cake.
This approach is very effective for cutting a cake precisely flat. Yet, with a knife and some skill, you can achieve the same result!
If you’re concerned about your cake not being perfectly level, this is the tool for you! Every time, you’ll earn a level cake.
4 – In the Pan
If your cake has domed over the pan lip, you may simply level it without removing it from the pan.
Using a large serrated knife, carefully cut through the top to the cake, using the knife blade directly against the cake pan as a guide.
Since the cake pan is beautiful and level, your cake will be as well!
5 – Toothpicks
The toothpick method is a clever approach to guarantee your cake is perfectly level, but it does need a few more steps.
Place your cake on a table and garnish with four toothpicks and a ruler. Measure where you want to cut the cake using the ruler (are you taking the top off at 2 inches? Maybe 2 ?).
Insert a toothpick into the side of the cake at the desired cutting height. Next, at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock locations, place the remaining toothpicks at the same height all around the cake.
Just insert the toothpicks halfway into the cake.
Take a long serrated knife and use the toothpicks as a guide while you gently saw the knife back and forth, slowly leveling the cake.
This is an excellent method for ensuring that your cake is precisely level and the same height all the way around.
6 – Floss
If you don’t have a knife or a leveling tool, a piece of floss may be used to level your cake!
Hold both ends of a long strand of floss securely in your palms. Make sure the floss between your hands is wider than your cake (so if you have an eight inch cake, the floss should be at least 9 inches).
Put the floss where you want to cut, then draw the floss firmly between your hands through the cake, cutting off the top as you go.
Although this approach will beautifully chop off the top of your cake, it is best used in a hurry. It’s a bit crumby!
7 – Band Leveler Tool
You may be interested in a different kind of cake leveler tool than the one mentioned above. Instead of cutting the cake, this leveler guides the knife, keeping it flat as you cut.
The equipment is just an adjustable metal band that wraps around the cake. The ring contains many horizontal slots that will serve as guides when you cut through the cake.
Wrap the band around the cake and then decide at what height you want to cut it. To cut into the cake, use a serrated knife, pushing it against the slots in the leveler to keep it stable.
Remove the leveler band and cut the cake the rest of the way through.
Every time, the flatness is perfect!
8 – Sheet Cake Method
Since there is less batter in a tiny sheet pan, the cake is less likely to dome as it bakes. Instead of a cake pan, pour the batter onto a rimmed sheet pan, just allowing it to be about 1 thick.
Bake the cake (it’ll be done shortly!) Once it has cooled, cut out circles from the sheet cake using your round cake pan.
You’ll have perfectly flat cake circles to use as cake tiers.
With so many techniques to level a cake, you’re certain to discover one that works well for you, resulting in perfectly level cakes with little to no effort.
Try out each leveling method and see which one you like. You may be surprised at which method you favor for leveling a cake.
You may enjoy the fact that your floss now has a second use!
How do you level a cake without a tool?
With your dominant hand holding the serrated knife, position your other hand over the top of the cake dome, keeping it in place. Make little markings around the circle of the cake at the level to which you wish to trim the cake.
What are the best ways to level a cake?
To easily level a cake, place the blade precisely where the dome starts to rise up. Cut approximately one inch into the cake with a gently horizontal sawing motion, then flip the cake 45° and repeat. Continue flipping and making tiny incisions until there is a loose flap all the way around the cake.
How do you level a cake without a leveler or turntable?
Give your cake a pat on the back.
Then cover the cake with a kitchen towel or tea towel. A microfiber cloth, our favorite cleaning tool, will also work! Using a flat palm, gently pat the middle of the cake. When your cake dome cools and sinks, apply little, equal pressure to begin the leveling process.
What is the best cake leveler?
The Wilton Little Cake Leveler is an excellent option for professional and amateur bakers alike. Wilton is a well-known baking brand, and this cake leveler is suitable for cakes up to 10 inches in diameter.
Can you level a cake with floss?
Wrap the dental floss around the cake evenly. Hold it tightly with both hands and pull in opposing directions to cut through the center of the cake, leaving two perfectly uniform layers.
How do you level a cake with a toothpick?
Just insert the toothpicks halfway into the cake. Take a long serrated knife and use the toothpicks as a guide while you gently saw the knife back and forth, slowly leveling the cake. What exactly is this? This is an excellent method for ensuring that your cake is precisely level and the same height all the way around.