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Sunday, February 16, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day

How to Make a Layer Cake

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 08:00 AM PST

If you're intimidated by stacking and frosting your own layer cake, learn a few simple baking tricks to make it easy. Bake cakes that are flat and even in size. If you get cakes that are domed, trim the excess at the top so the layers are flat. Spread filling or frosting between chilled layers of cake and apply a thin crumb coat to the entire cake. This will trap crumbs so you can frost and decorate a completely smooth cake. Slice your layer cake and enjoy!


[Edit]Baking the Cakes

  1. Line or grease your cake pans. Decide what size cake you'd like to make and get out the number of pans you'll need. You'll typically need 2 or 3 pans. Then cut parchment paper to fit the inside of the pans or spray the inside of each pan with baking spray. Greasing or lining the pan will ensure that the cakes don't crumble or tear when you remove them.[1]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you could use round cake pans.
    • Since you bake several cakes you can either stack them and frost them to make thick layers, or slice each cake in half horizontally to make even more thin layers.
  2. Make the cake batter. For a homemade cake, choose your favorite recipe and mix the cake batter. Ensure that the cake will make as many layers as you need or plan on doubling the recipe. To save time, combine 2 purchased cake mixes according to the packaged instructions.[2]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • You can make a layer cake that has the same flavor of cake layers or use a different flavor for each layer.
  3. Use a digital scale to divide the batter evenly among the pans. Once you've mixed your cake batter, set a prepared cake pan on a digital scale. Spoon some of the batter in and then set another pan on the scale. Keep filling each of your cake pans while you weigh them so the batter is divided evenly.[3]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Dividing the batter evenly will ensure that all of your cake layers are the same thickness.
  4. Wrap cake strips or towels around the outsides of the cake pans. Secure cake strips to the outside of each filled cake pan. If you don't have cake strips, tear an old kitchen towel into long strips and wet them. Wrap the damp strips around the outside of each filled cake pan.[4]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • The cake strips or towel will help the cake bake slowly from the edges towards the center. This will prevent the cakes from forming domes in the center.
  5. Reduce the temperature to and increase the baking time. To bake flat cakes that are easily to layer and frost, turn the oven temperature down and bake the cakes for a little longer. Doing these things will prevent the cakes from cooking quickly in the center and puffing up.[5]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if your recipe calls for baking the cakes for 30 minutes at , turn the oven down to and bake them for 45 minutes.
    • Plan on increasing the baking time by one half when you reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  6. Test the cakes and cool them completely. If you think the cakes have finished baking, insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center and pull it out. If it comes out clean and dry, the cakes are done. Then you can remove the cakes to cool completely.
    Make a Layer Cake Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • If the cake tester comes out with batter on it, return the cakes to the oven for a few minutes and check them again.
  7. Chill the layers for up to 5 days. Once the cakes are completely cooked, remove them from the oven and turn them out onto a wire rack to cool. When the cakes are at room temperature, cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 5 days.[6]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • Chilling the cakes will make them easier to slice and frost. Never try cutting or trimming warm cakes because they'll tear more.

[Edit]Cutting the Layers and Making the Frosting

  1. Trim away the excess dome from each cake. If your cakes baked faster in the center and domed up, you'll need to slice off the excess tops so each layer is even. Hold a serrated knife so the blade is horizontal and gently saw across the top of the cake so it's completely flat. Do this for each cake.[7]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 8 Version 2.jpg
    • Discard or snack on the cake dome once you've trimmed it away.
  2. Cut the cakes into layers. If you'd like thin layers, use a serrated knife or cake leveler to cut each cake in half horizontally. This will also double the number of layers your cake will be.[8]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 9 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you baked 2 round cakes, instead of having 2 thick layers, slice them in half to make 4 thin layers of cake.
    • For thicker layers, skip cutting the cakes in half and just plan on stacking them.
  3. Mix your choice of filling and frosting. Decide what flavor and type of frosting you'd like to use in between the cake layers and on top of the cake. For a variety of flavors, use one flavor for the filling and a different flavor for the top and sides.
    Make a Layer Cake Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • If you're short on time, purchase a few containers of ready-made frosting.
    • For example, fill the cake with a raspberry filling, but frost it with a chocolate ganache. You could even fill the cake with custard or cream cheese filling before frosting it with a lemon or strawberry frosting.

[Edit]Assembling the Layer Cake

  1. Place the first cake layer on a cardboard cake round or turntable. Cut a piece of cardboard to the same size as your cake pan and set it on a turntable. Spoon a dab of frosting on the center of the cardboard then set the bottom layer of chilled cake directly onto it. Put the cake top or cut-side down.[9]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • The frosting will anchor the cake layer in place.
    • If you don't have a turntable, set the cardboard on your work surface or a cake plate.
  2. Spread frosting or filling over the bottom layer. Spoon 1/2 cup to 1 cup (125 to 250 g) of frosting onto the cake layer. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top of the layer, but don't try to frost the sides.[10]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 12 Version 2.jpg
    • If you prefer, you can use a piping bag to pipe the frosting onto the cake layer.
    • If you're using a soft filling like a fruit curd or jam, pipe frosting around the edge of the cake layer. Then spread the filling. The frosting will prevent the soft filling from spilling out.
  3. Stack another layer of cake on top. If you're using a cake layer that you cut, lay it so the cut-side is facing down. It's fine if some of the frosting below the cake layer spills out over the sides.[11]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 13 Version 2.jpg
  4. Spread frosting or filling over the layer. Add another 1/2 cup to 1 cup (125 to 250 g) of frosting or filling to the newest cake layer and spread it so it's evenly covered. Continue to stack the cake layers and spread filling in between them until you've added all of your cake layers.[12]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 14 Version 2.jpg
    • Leave the top layer of cake unfrosted for now since you'll be covering the cake with a crumb coat.

[Edit]Frosting the Top and Sides

  1. Spread a thin crumb coat over the top and sides of the cake. Put a large dollop of frosting onto the top of the assembled layer cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting across the top and sides of the cake. The crumb coat should be so thin that you can see through to the cake.[13]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 15 Version 2.jpg
    • The crumb coat will trap the crumbs in the thin layer of frosting. This way, you can easily add frosting without getting crumbs in it.
  2. Chill the cake for 30 minutes and frost the top and sides. Put the cake in the fridge to chill until the crumb coat firms up. Then remove it and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. This layer of frosting should be much thicker than the crumb coat.[14]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 16 Version 2.jpg
    • Spin the cake turntable slowly as you work. This will make it easier to frost the sides of the cake.
    • For very smooth sides, run a bench scraper against them so the frosting level is even.
  3. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes. Place the frosted layer cake in the refrigerator and let it chill until the frosting sets. This will make it easier to pipe frosting or add other decorations without the frosting sliding or melting.[15]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 17 Version 2.jpg
    • You don't need to cover the cake as it chills. The frosting will prevent the cake from drying out.
  4. Decorate the cake. Once your cake has been completely frosted, pipe frosting embellishments on the top and sides. If you like, sprinkle cocoa or candy sprinkles over the top. Consider garnishing the cake with flaked coconut, mini-chocolate chips, or chopped nuts.
    Make a Layer Cake Step 18 Version 2.jpg
    • For a botanical look, place fresh flowers on the cake. Remove the flowers just before slicing and serving the cake.
  5. Transfer the cake from the turntable to a cake stand. Slide a cake lifter or large spatula under the cardboard base for your layer cake. Carefully lift it up in order to move the whole cake from the turntable. Set it down on your cake stand. Then slice and enjoy the layer cake.
    Make a Layer Cake Step 19 Version 2.jpg
    • Use a chef's knife to slice the cake into pieces.
  6. Store the layer cake at room temperature for up to 3 or 4 days. For the best texture, cover the layer cake with an overturned bowl or plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature. If you'd rather refrigerate it, store it in an airtight container for up to 1 week and let it sit out at room temperature before you serve it.[16]
    Make a Layer Cake Step 20 Version 2.jpg
    • If your frosting has cream cheese or whipped cream, plan on refrigerating it instead of storing it at room temperature.


  • If you get cake crumbs make their way onto your spatula as you frost, you may not be using enough frosting. Scrape the offset spatula on a bowl to remove the crumb-filled frosting. Then load the spatula again with a large amount of smooth frosting.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Round cake pans
  • Cake mix or recipe
  • Frosting
  • Digital scale
  • Cardboard platform
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cake strips or old kitchen towels
  • Cake stand
  • Offset spatula
  • Serrated knife or cake leveler
  • Cake decorations
  • Cake leveler (optional)


[Edit]Quick Summary

How to Wash Jeans Without Shrinking

Posted: 16 Feb 2020 12:00 AM PST

Jeans are a staple item in many people's closets since they can be paired with so many things. If you have a pair of jeans that fit you perfectly, you may be worried about washing them in case they shrink or warp. Simple tactics like washing your jeans in cold water and hanging them to dry will keep your jeans the same size every time you clean them.


[Edit]Washing Your Jeans in a Machine

  1. Read the label on your jeans to see what the manufacturer recommends. The tag on the inside of your jeans will most likely tell you how to wash them without shrinking them. Check the label to find out what the recommended wash settings are for your specific pair. Your jeans may already be pre-shrunk which could be indicated on the label as well.[1]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • The washing label may be on the back of the waist of your jeans, or it could be on the inside near a pocket.
    • You should only wash your jeans in the washing machine if the manufacturer recommends it. Otherwise, wash your jeans by hand.
  2. Turn your jeans inside out. Hold your jeans up in front of you. Reach into the waist of your jeans and grab the bottom of 1 leg. Pull the leg up through the waist to turn it inside out. Repeat that on the other side so your jeans are fully inside out.[2]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 2.jpg
    • Turning your jeans inside out protects the outside denim and allows the dirtiest part to get washed.
  3. Set your washer to a gentle cycle using cold water with mild detergent. Hot water makes denim shrink, as does the intense spinning of a high spin cycle. Use a cold water cycle with a low spin setting to wash your jeans. Add some mild detergent that does not have any bleach in it to avoid damaging the fibers in the denim of your jeans.[3]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 3.jpg
    • If you are worried about your detergent leaving residue on your jeans, use of vinegar instead. This will get rid of any smells naturally.
  4. Dry your jeans in the dryer for only 10 minutes. Heat from the dryer also makes denim shrink. To do a preliminary dry, take your jeans out after only 10 minutes in the dryer. Leaving them for much longer could cause them to shrink.[4]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 4.jpg
    • You can skip putting your jeans in the dryer if your washer spins out most of the water from them, but putting jeans in the dryer for a few minutes can get rid of any wrinkles or creases.
  5. Let your jeans air dry the rest of the way. Pull the legs back through your jeans so the outside of the denim is facing outwards. Hang your jeans on a clothesline or set them up on a clothes rack to dry the rest of the way. Depending on how thick the denim is, your jeans may need 1 to 2 days to dry fully.[5]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 5.jpg
    • Your jeans may feel stiff after they are dry, but they will soften up once you put them on.
    • Don't hang your jeans directly in the sun if you put them outside. This could cause them to fade faster.

[Edit]Washing Your Jeans by Hand

  1. Fill a bathtub or sink ½ full with cold water. Jeans are fairly bulky and can take up a lot of space, especially when they are wet. Fill up a large sink or a bathtub about halfway full with water that is slightly below room temperature.[6]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 6.jpg
    • Cold water will prevent the jeans from shrinking and fading because it doesn't break down the fibers of the denim.
  2. Add of mild detergent to the water. Use a laundry detergent that doesn't have much scent or color to it to preserve the life of your jeans. Pour the detergent into the water and gently mix it around with your hands to disperse it. Don't use too much detergent, or it could be hard to rinse out.[7]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 7.jpg
    • If you accidentally add too much detergent, add more water to dilute it.
    • You can also add of white vinegar instead of detergent for a natural option.
  3. Submerge your jeans and let them soak for 15 minutes. Put your jeans into the soapy water and push them down until they are fully underwater. Let them soak for about 15 minutes to get rid of the majority of the dirt and grime that might be caked on them.[8]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 8.jpg
  4. Drain the tub of soapy water and fill it with clean, cool water. Lift your jeans out of the tub or sink and let the dirty water go down the drain. Refill your tub or sink about halfway with cool water and put your jeans back into the tub.[9]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 9.jpg
    • The soapy water will most likely be discolored with the dirt and grime from your jeans.
  5. Agitate your jeans with your hands to get rid of the soap and then drain the tub. Make sure your jeans are fully submerged in the cool water. Use your hands to gently poke and prod your jeans to get rid of the soap. Pick your jeans up out of the water again and let the tub or sink drain.[10]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 10.jpg
    • If you used a lot of detergent, you may need to rinse your jeans 1 more time.
  6. Hang your jeans to air dry. Put your jeans on a sturdy hanger and set them somewhere that they can drip dry, like outside on a clothesline or inside your shower. Leave them hanging until they are fully dry. Depending on the thickness of your denim, this could take up to 2 days.[11]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 11.jpg
    • If you hang your jeans outside to dry, don't hang them directly in the sun. This could cause them to fade faster.

[Edit]Cleaning Your Jeans Without Washing Them

  1. Spot treat individual stains with warm water and detergent. Dab warm water onto the stain with a clean washcloth. Add 1 drop of laundry detergent to the stain and gently dab it into the denim with your washcloth. Do not rub or smudge the stain, or you could make it worse. Add more warm water to rub the detergent out of the denim. Allow your jeans to air dry before you wear them again.[12]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 12.jpg
  2. Use a stain remover to get rid of large stains. Apply a spray or stick stain remover to your jeans. Let the remover sit for 1 to 2 hours. Rinse the stain remover out with cold water to get rid of the stain.[13]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 13.jpg
    • If the stain is old or really dark, stain remover may not be enough to get it out. You might need to give your jeans a full wash through the washing machine.
  3. Hang your jeans outside to get rid of odors. If you just need to freshen up your jeans or get rid of some odors, hang them on a clothesline outside for at least 1 day. The fresh air will circulate around your jeans and will help to remove any smells that may have accumulated. Make sure they don't get rained on while they are outside.[14]
    Wash Jeans Without Shrinking Step 14.jpg
    • You can hang your jeans outside as often as you'd like to.


  • Putting your jeans in the freezer won't kill off any germs. Instead, it will just make them cold and slightly damp.[15]


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