Dear Home Ec 101,
I really need help. I found an awesome chocolate cake recipe and can keep the cake from sticking to the pan with the parchment paper/oiled/flour method. However, once the cake is on the wire rack, that’s another story. It sinks into the wires and sticks to the rack. When I try to remove it, it rips and breaks apart. Mama didn’t teach me any tricks to keeping the cake from sticking to the wire rack.
There is such thing as a Non Stick Cooling Rack which can help, but if you’re not in the mood to run out and buy a new one, there are still a couple of things you can do to keep your cake from sticking to the wire rack. First, unless your recipe states otherwise most cake recipes call for the cake to cool in the pan for 5 – 10 minutes. Make sure you’ve given the cake this important cooling time. (You may already be doing this step) The cake pan should be resting on the rack, to ensure that even the bottom of the cake pan also has air flow.
You can try spraying the rack with non-stick cooking spray, this should help in many cases. As a last resort, you could also experiment with a using a sheet of parchment paper on the rack. A slightly steamed cake is preferable to the destroyed version.
To remove a cake that has stuck to the wire cooling rack place a plate -with the right side of the plate in contact with the cake. You should now have a cake sandwich: wire rack, cake, plate. Place one hand under the rack and the other over the plate. Your hands should be as centered as possible and your fingers splayed, you want to support the weight of the cake as evenly as possible. Turn the sandwich over and let it rest for a minute. If the cake is only lightly sticking to the rack it should separate without much damage. If it is badly stuck, grab a length of unwaxed dental floss and floss the cake to separate it from the rack. While you will lose the topmost portion of the cake it should prevent large chunks of cake from separating which can make frosting a royal pain in the rear.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
Good luck with your future cake baking! Would you be willing to share the recipe?
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