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May 14, 2007 11:31 AM

Question: Problem with crispy cake edges, new pans or strips?

Been baking cakes from scratch lately and have encountered a little bit of dome top but bigger issue is the sides and bottom are done before cake is done and by the time the center is cooked I have some crispy edges and darkish tougher bottoms. I currently have and use nonstick, 9" pans that were relatively inexpensive. I don't have a sticking problem at all.

I've seen some posts about the baking strips preventing dome tops and the crisping sides. I am considering buying them but also have seen people recommend investing in better pans.

Which do you think is the better problem solver and if it is strips, which ones are best? If pans, which pans? I am posting this here vs. cookware because I know we have some excellent, experienced bakers on this board and believe you all can help w/the problem.


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  1. laylag, if your nonstick cake pans are a darker metal (darker gray as opposed to silver or light gray), that is probably your problem.

    I've found over the years that to come out with a more evenly-cooked cake, either buy the light colored pans and line them with parchment and grease, or knock down your baking temperature by about 25 degrees. I'd try that before buying new pans and see what happens. If your cakes are still coming out dark and overdone on the bottoms/sides, then I'd recommend buying the new cake pans.

    3 Replies
    1. re: QueenB

      QueenB, They are gray, on the darker side of the color scale. Have you ever used those baking strips?

      1. re: laylag

        No, I can't say that I have. I'm not sure how they would prevent the bottom from becoming too dark. Try turning down the oven temp about 25 degrees next time you bake and see if that helps. It sounds to me that the darkness of the pans are definitely the problem. For some reason (and I don't know the science behind it), darker pans will cook the outsides faster than lighter.

        1. re: QueenB

          Dark attracts more heat I guess. Eg, black cars w/dark interiors get hotter sitting in the sun than lighter ones. Now that you've brought it up I'm thinking this may well be the problem - my pans. Cake centers were done, even the domed up part but by that time the edges were too done and yet toothpick inserted in the middle third circle - between the edges and the center - did not come out clean at all and was even a bit liquidy in there.

    2. Check your oven temperature. I am can almost guarantee that it is just about 15 degrees too high. I keep an older high temperature mercury filled thermometer around that registers to 500 with better than 1% accuracy. I'll have to call the EPA if I ever break it...

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I use Wilton's pans and I always line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper. I also use the aluminum baking strips that wrap around the pan. It sounds as though your oven thermostat needs to be checked and adjusted. Get an oven thermometer to put inside of your oven to check how true the oven's automatic temp. is.