Mistakes happen! It's a fact of life, so the question is, how do we fix them? Have you ever realized the night before a cake is due that your cake is a little too short? Or a cake cracks and you need to start over? Maybe you just didn't make enough batter or you got held up with other things in your life and you find yourself with less time to finish a cake than you thought. It's okay, take a deep breath and get to work! There is a way to cool your cakes quickly and easily without breakage and stress. Let's begin!
1. Bake your cake! Throw it in the oven, no, scratch that, gently place it in the oven and then wait.
2. When your cake is baked and those sweet smells are filling your kitchen, pull it out of the oven and place it on your counter, table, or cooling rack. Let it sit for about 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Your cake will still be hot, so use oven mits and place it in the fridge for about 5 - 10 minutes. This will help cool off the cake further but will not dry it out. After a few minutes pull your cake back out of the fridge; it should be pretty cool to the touch now.
4. Wrap it in plastic wrap. But do not take it out if the pan! I am warning you, don't do it. If you take your cake out of the pan now, it will be flimsy, soft and crumbly and you might end up cracking it. Just wait and trust me. Wrap your cakes at least twice to make sure everything is sealed nice and tight. This will help keep the moisture in while cooling the cake.
5. Take your beautifully sealed cake and place it back in the fridge for another 1-2 hours.
You now have a well-chilled cake! To remove the cake from the pan, just use a sharp knife and run it around the edge of the pan between the cake and the side. Make sure keep your knife vertical so you do not cut into your cake.
Note: When I am not in a hurry, I let my cakes cool on the counter, wrap them in plastic and then place them in the fridge overnight. I never remove my cakes from the pan while they are still warm.
I hope this technique will bring you better success and less stress as you cool your cakes quickly!