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Cooling & Removing Cakes

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Cooling & Removing the Cake from the Pan

Small butter cakes, such as cupcakes, can be removed from the pan immediately after baking and placed on a wire rack to cool.

Larger butter cakes such as 8 or 9 inch cakes should be cooled in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing to help prevent the cake from breaking apart, then removed from the pan and placed on a wire rack to cool. To remove from the pan first run a small metal spatula or knife around the inside edge of the pan to make sure the cake is completely loosened. Place a wire rack over the top of the cake and invert the pan and rack together to unmold the cake onto the rack. If the cake sticks to the bottom of the pan, turn the cake back over and try sliding an offset spatula underneath the cake to loosen it from the pan, being careful to avoid tearing the cake. After the cake is removed from the pan, turn the cake over to cool on the rack, top side up.

A butter cake can also be cooled completely in its pan, place the pan on a wire rack to cool so there is good air circulation all around the pan. Cakes should be completely cool before applying frosting or icing.

To remove cake from a springform pan first run a small metal spatula or knife around the inside edge of the pan to make sure the cake is completely loosened. Then loosen the clamp to open the side of the pan and lift the side away from the cake. Slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the cake to loosen it from the bottom of the springform pan, and slide the cake onto a wire rack to cool.

A sponge cake, whether baked in a jelly roll pan or regular round or square cake pans, must be turned out of the pan as soon as it is baked, otherwise the cake, because it is so tender, will easily collapse from the steam. Foam cake baked in an ungreased tube pan, such as Angel Food Cake, is turned upside down immediately after baking so the cake does not collapse while cooling. Because the cake has a fragile structure, the weight of the cake will cause it to collapse while still warm. Many tube pans have small one or two inch “feet” to support the inverted pan. If the pan doesn’t have feet, invert the pan and place the tube over a narrow bottle, such as a wine bottle, to support the inverted pan while cooling. When completely cooled, run a metal spatula or knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, invert the pan to unmold the cake, and place the cake on a serving plate.