When I first told my husband that I wanted to start taking cake decorating classes, his first comment was "I don't know...the cakes at the grocery store always look so flat and you can't make them that way at home". He can be such a man. He was right though, I was not sure how to get the cake to lay flat on the top.
So, here is the multiple choice question for the week.
You can achieve a flat top to the cake by:
A. Placing the baked cake upside down and then pressing it really hard until it flattens
B. Using a flower nail while baking
C. Using a cake leveler
D. Jumping up and down by your oven while your cake is baking
Admission of the week: I tried A before...it does not work very well.
There are numerous techniques which can be used to make sure that your cake bakes flat. This includes buying bake even strips or inserting flower nails in the cake while baking. I will admit that I have not tried either of these techniques yet.
I use a cake leveler instead. After the cake has been baked and cooled, the leveler is adjusted to the desired height. Then, using a back and forth motion the thin wire portion is moved across the top of the cake to remove the "bubble". Many do not like this method because it wastes part of the cake. However, with 2 small kids at home it never goes to waste here. It actually works out nice to give them this cut off top for a snack when the cake being made will not be eaten by them. They tend not to feel so cheated and they can also "decorate" the removed portion bubble which can be a fun activity. I can also taste the cake to make sure it tastes good!