Lidded Cake Pans?

Reader Evan asks: if we use lidded Pullman pans to create perfectly rectangular loaves of bread, why don’t we use lidded cake layer pans to make cake layers that don’t dome? That is an ingenious question, Evan! You may have a big future as a product designer. However in this case my guess is that you’d find a lid did you more harm than good. Why? Because the centers of rising cake layers are much more delicate than the tops of rising bread loaves. If you’ve ever tapped the top of a cake layer before it’s completely done you’ve probably noticed that the indentations you make with your fingers don’t spring back even after the layer is returned to the oven. Tap on it too hard and the whole center can fall in. This is because cakes aren’t “all structure” like loaves of bread. Sure they contain flour and water (and eggs) that help them stay up, but that structure is a delicate balance. It carries a heavy load of sugar and fat, and will fall without much provocation. Contact with a lid, I’m pretty sure, would be enough to cause a cake later’s structure to collapse.

7 thoughts on “Lidded Cake Pans?”

  1. I tried this with a quick bread and it was very dense….the flavor was off due to the heaviness! Still love my pullman

    1. Hey Judy!

      Yes once those chemical leavening bubbles pop they don’t refill and the structure gets all compacted. I’d expect contact with a lid would cause a lot of that. Thanks for helping verify the theory! 😉


      – Joe

  2. In making fancy cakes I have sliced cakes to get a rectangle, it seems I vaguely remember being told that was the only way. But this made me think – “why”? What is it about cake that would make using a pullman pan impossible? Would there be a way to ‘toughen up’the cake without harming the texture of the cake? I can’t imagine it but then again I am not nearly as good at imagining these things as you are.

    1. Hey Frankly!

      It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure it can be done without seriously compromising the texture. More gluten — i.e. using bread flour — might help, but I doubt it would provide enough structure to completely solve the problem. This will be an interesting thing to think about.

      Though about you in Florida, Frankly. I remembered what a big fan you are of the state! 😉

      Fishing was good though!

      – Joe

      1. Florida is beautiful (except for where people have trashed it). I loved the sunsets and the flowers, the ocean and the fishing. It really is a nice place to visit. I even met some very nice people while we lived there. If I could retire wealthy (come on lotto numbers!) I could easily see a winter condo on the Gulf Coast. But you are right, I am not a big fan of the place.

  3. Great pan for the lidded Pullman pan for rectangle loves of bread. For bread the lidded pan is just great. I agree this is not good for a cake. A touch of your finger can make an indentation in the cake. This is very interesting that pan. Someone should come up with something like this for a cake. By the way this is a great site and has interesting information. “AWESOME”

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