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Seelix's avatar

Stupid baking question: can I use a springform pan for a regular cake?

Asked by Seelix (14747 points ) July 6th, 2011

Some of you might remember my asking about ideas for a groom’s cake back in January. Well, I’ve decided to make a cylindrical cake in the shape of a stick of dynamite.

My plan is to bake a bunch of small round cakes and stick them together to make a cylinder which will lie on its side. I’ve been unable to find a small enough cake pan (I’m looking for something between 4 and 5 inches in diameter), but I found a 4.5” springform pan.

I’ve only ever seen springform pans used for cheesecakes and frozen desserts – can I use them for straight-up boring cakes, too?

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16 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes, just leave the bottom attached.

JLeslie's avatar

If the pan does not hold the batter well, you can make a larger cake and use the springform to cut it down to size once baked. You should be able to find 6” pans.

thorninmud's avatar

The springform will work fine.

Frankly though, it would be easier to make a roulade. You bake the sponge as a thin sheet, then spread the filling over it and roll it into a cylinder. Besides getting you out of baking many smaller cakes, this has the advantage of being attractive when sliced and giving each serving an equitable share of sponge and filling (the method you describe would yield mostly round slabs of sponge with a ring of icing).

Here’s the basic idea. The cake batter gets spread out on a sheet pan lined with parchment and baked very briefly in a very hot oven. You don’t want the sponge too thick, or it will not roll well. And you definitely don’t want to over- bake it, or it will dry and crack when rolled.

JLeslie's avatar

@thorninmud Even if she wants the cylinder upright? I think of roulades laying flat, horizontal.

thorninmud's avatar

@JLeslie In the details, she says she’s planning on lying it on its side.

JLeslie's avatar

A 9×12 sheet can give her six 4 inch rounds. 11×13 might give a little better room for an imperfect cut and a thinner cake, which might be better.

JLeslie's avatar

@thorninmud Oh, I missed that. Then I agree with you. Your option makes the most sense.

JLeslie's avatar

But, wait, we would need to know what type of cake. Some might not roll well.

thorninmud's avatar

Quite true. Many mixes don’t roll well. You need a good bit of egg for the cohesion to keep the sheet from crumbling during rolling. The sponge recipe in the link in my answer above is typical.

Seelix's avatar

Well, I picked up two 4.5” springform pans, and the plan is going to stay the same – I had thought about rolling, but the cake itself will be in a camouflage pattern (created by dropping blobs of differently-coloured batter in), and I didn’t think the roll would allow for the pattern to be obvious.

I really do appreciate all your insight and suggestions, @JLeslie and @thorninmud!

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breedmitch's avatar

I’m starting to join others here in worrying how you will cut and serve this cake. If you have layers stacked to make the cylinder with frosting in between, but then you lay the whole thing on its side, won’t some portions have mostly cake and some portions have mostly layer-frosting?

Seelix's avatar

@breedmitch – I had thought of that, too. I plan to shave down the layers so that they’re flat on top (where they’d ordinarily be rounded), so that’ll help a little with the problem you’re concerned about.

That said, it’s a groom’s cake for my sister’s wedding, at which all the guests (a whopping 14 of them) will be family – I’m not all that worried about impressing, as long as it looks good before it’s cut.

I don’t like the idea of rolling it in this case, because of the cake’s camo pattern, and I don’t want to stand it up, because that’d just make slicing even more difficult.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seelix I would not worry about the cutting either in that situation. I have two things to think about. One, you might need some sort of dowels through the layers to keep them together since it will be on its side. Make sure the cake is very very cold at the beginning of the wedding, it will keep the layers together better. Also, you can make a small separate cake, just two layers, and have it available when everyone starts cutting the cakes. I assume someone will cut and serve it on plates, so you can have at least 6 pieces from your separate two layer cake that are typical cake slices already ready. But, that is probably unnecessary with such a small group. Sometimes at large wedding there are sheets of extra cake in the kitchen aside from what is out as the display cake.

What flavor will the cake be? Typically I like grooms cake better than the wedding cake.

Seelix's avatar

@JLeslie – I’m not going to worry about a separate cake for cutting, since the wedding cake will be the big draw, and, like you said, it’s a teeny group so I’m not too worried about the propriety of it all. As for dowels, I have some wooden chopsticks that I can use if it comes to it.

The wedding cake is going to be a white chocolate with raspberry, so I’ve decided to just go for lemon to keep it simple – also, the batter needs to be light enough in colour for me to make the camo pattern.

JLeslie's avatar

I love lemon.

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