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Apr 4, 2010 03:36 PM

Baking with disposable cake pan

I want to make my mother in law her favorite coconut cake and the recipe calls to use three 8 inch cake pans (layered coconut cake.)

I live in Manhattan and space is limited and I don't have the room to buy 3 cake pans.

Should I:
Buy disposable aluminum cake pans
Divvy up the batter into two 9 inch pans?

Thank you!!

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    1. I would go with the disposables if you are making a cake that she already knows. If you're going to the trouble to bake for a family matriarch, honor her with your extra effort to make it the way you know she likes it. If she's not a very nice lady she wil be look down on an inferior effort, if she's a sweetie, she'll be so pleased that you made it perfect!

      1. Get the disposables. A three layer coconut cake is a thing of great beauty.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Thanks so much!! Will baking in the disposable potentially make the quality of the cake inferior?

          1. re: CMG920

            No. disposable pans are aluminum, as are most bakeware, and thinner than regular cake pans, your layers may bake faster, so check for cake doneness 5-10 minutes before the timer goes off.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Thank you so much bushwickgirl!!! I feel confident about baking in the disposable pans now. I'll let you know how it comes out. I'm using the Tate's Bakeshop Coconut Cake recipe!

        2. I have had less than stellar luck with the disposable pans. I would definitely go with the 2 9-inch pans. Or else I would splurge on 3 proper 8-inch pans. they do stack for storage.

          1. What is the leavener for this cake? If you can make up the batter and bake 2 cakes first and then another, that might be an option--with thinner cake layers with the 9" cake. Three 8" cake pans is far more batter than 2 9" ones but you could make 3 thinner 9" ones which I think can look more elegant. Just watch the baking time. But, some leaveners react right away and need to be baked when dry and wet are just mixed.

            4 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              "some leaveners react right away and need to be baked when dry and wet are just mixed."

              This is generally the case with cake batters.

              I'm not clear on the issue with disposable cake pans. I've never had problems with them. They're great in an emergency, inexpensive, recycleable, and as long as overbaking is not a issue, they're fine. They can be doubled for a sturdier pan.

              Besides, the OP is going to frost the cake, and frosting covers many sins.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                You can play around with leaveners. I've done it when I make large cake pans that don't all fit in the oven at the same time. You do need to refrigerate the batter to slow the baking powder reaction and the double acting baking powder will also kick in in the oven. It's not always the perfect solution but makes it easier than mixing up the batter twice. This is a good explanation, although it's about muffins.


                I haven't used aluminum cake pans so have no opinion on how well they work.

                1. re: chowser

                  I'm under the impression that there's a window of time for cake batters to lose their leavener power, and it's definitely long before overnight. Even a half hour's sitting around will affect the rise to some degree. Sure, the product will taste good, but maybe not rise properly and look, um, funny.

                  Refrigeration will slow that process down, but I would plan to mix the batter in two batches, if I had to do baking in tandem. I worked at a bakery, for a short time, that made muffins and made the batter every morning. I'm sure there were mornings when no one wanted to make the batter AGAIN, but that's what they did. The dry ingredients were combined well in advance, scaled and the wet were added, with other flavorings/add-ins.Ten different varieties of muffins every morning. No rising issues for them.

                  A coconut cake is supposed to be tall and glorious, the more layers, the better.
                  Go for the gusto.