Perfectly flat layers for a layer cake are the key to even frosting, quick assembly, and a cake that looks as good as it tastes. Sure, you can try to trim the layers down when they come out of the oven, but this DIY strip is easy to make and does the work for you.
Image from Erika.
If you've ever gotten a dome in the centre of a cake, that's the result of the outer edges cooking faster than the middle because of its contact with the side of the cake pan. Cake strips keep the outside of the pan cool, which helps the outer edges and middle cook together, and results in a flatter layer. All you need to make a cake strip is some scrap material from an old shirt or kitchen towel, and two safety pins.
Cut the cloth so it wraps around your pan at least once. You can have it wrap around more than once to create more coverage. Right before you put the cake in the oven, wet the cloth well and squeeze out extra water. Wrap the cloth around your pan and safety pin the edges together. That's all there is to it — just make sure to keep any edges away from the heating elements in your oven.
How to Bake Level Cake Layers (DIY Cake Strips!) [The Pancake Princess]