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Making a layer cake without enough pans, help!

Hey guys and gals,
So I really want to make a layer cake but I don't have enough pans to bake 3 seperate layer. Was thinking of baking one really tall cake and then splitting the cake horizontally into 3 layers. Any idea how to convert layer cake recipe to do this? Like how much longer to bake and all? Thank you!

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  1. If it were me (with two round cake pans on hand) I'd just cook as directed for a two layer cake, then split each layer in half with dental floss.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shanagain

      +1 on the two pan method. Just make sure your pans are not more than 2/3 full. Using three pans allows you to avoid the layer splitting, but isn't four layers even better? You will need some extra filling if you go this route.

      1. re: maxie

        +1 This is what I always do, but I use sewing thread instead of dental floss to split because my floss is minty...and I made that mistake once. ;)

    2. If I wanted to bake a 3 layer cake, I'd buy or borrow pan or pans I lacked. If this was not an option, I'd probably try to bake it in a 13 x 9" pan, but that is not optimal.

      If you try to bake one solid layer, your cake will probably not get done in the center, and might not rise properly. I wouldn't do what you propose. Even if you managed to get 3 times as much cake batter in a pan as it normally holds, and even if it baked reasonably well (both doubtful outcomes) you'd have a massive headache splitting the single large layer twice horizontally. As I said, I wouldn't do this.

      Cake pans are not expensive. You can buy serviceable ones at your grocer or old fashioned hardware store, or possibly, drugstore.

      1. So how tall is your cake pan? I hope it's at least 3 inches if you are planning on trying to put a 3 layer cake recipe in it.

        Personally, I'd buy or borrow the pans I was short instead.

        1. Thanks for all the input so far. I am a student living in Singapore so I cant afford to spent too much of baking supplies.
          I guess I will not try to bake all the batter in 1 tin, though I have a rather high 4.5-6 in tall tin

          1 Reply
          1. re: keepquiet

            if the recipe is designed for more than 1 tin, you're going to have a large volume of batter and it likely will be raw or underdone in the center, while too cooked on the edges.

          2. WHy don't you just bake it three times...?

            2 Replies
            1. re: jaykayen

              That would take forever, plus the leaverners would have lose it's effectiveness by the time I bake the other layers

              1. re: keepquiet

                i don't have any issues letting the batter sit while i bake the other layers.

                but if you really don't want to do that then the 2 cakes split would be the second best option

            2. To clarify -- what size pans do you have available? That may get you a better answer. If your only option is that one very high pan you will need to reduce the temperature (from 350 F to 320ish for example) and increase the cooking time. The time will depend on your pan size and volume of batter. You will need to test the center with a long skewer. The excess height of the pan may have a negative impact on how the cake bakes. The longer baking time may also result in a heavier crust. Other options include baking it on a sheet pan or in a roasting pan, and stacking three rectangular layers cut from that.