Ceci has been puzzling for months why her 12″ layers collapse on one side, for ROSE’S heavenly CAKES: Deep Chocolate Passion Wedding Cake (page 409).
indeed, the oven rack IS LEVEL. to check if your oven racks are level, use a carpenters level tool. you can also place a 12″ empty cake pan and a tablespoon of water, and if the water runs to one side of the pan then it isn’t level. moreover, this is an oven with a rotating table. so what is it then? it really is unexplainable.
furthermore, Ceci indicates that what happens actually isn’t the batter running to one side of the pan, instead it is one side of the cake detaching from the pan and shrinking during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking! later she reports this does not happen as much to the 9″ layers and much less to the 6″ layers. she also notes, that often she needs to refrigerate one layer because the oven can fit only 1 layer, and that the refrigerated layer would detach much less if none.
tell me what you think:
i think it is highly possible her oven temperature is too hot, plus a combination of the 12″ pans been too close to the oven walls. by all counts, i find indispensable you all own a small little analog oven thermometer, and cross check it with a probe thermometer (very handy for roasting poultry). if you have an infrared thermometer, you could check the temperature of an empty baking pan, which should be the same temperature as your oven once preheated. otherwise leave it to luck, or take good notes of uneventful oven take aways like this or when your cakes turn browner than expected or bake faster than indicated.