Cake strips are one of my favorite kitchen gadgets when it comes to baking, second only to my Kitchenaid mixer. Cake strips are a simple and inexpensive device. They are oven-safe fabric strips that are soaked and then pinned around a cake pan in order to keep the outer edge of the cake cool so the cake bakes evenly.
Check out the picture below. Both cakes are butter/oil cakes from the same recipe. They were cooked at identical temperatures and time in the same colored pan. Can you tell which one had a cake strip on the pan and which one did not? Not using a cake strip results in a crustier outer edge, slightly overdone exterior and higher dome in the center. Both cakes would need to be trimmed along the top before frosting, however, there is much less waste (and a moister cake) with the wrapped cake.
The latest strips are made from silicone, which eliminates the hassle of soaking and pinning. I have not yet used this kind. Most rave about them, however, I have read a review or two that complained about an improper fit, rendering them completely useless. The fabric ones are adjustable, although annoyingly so with that cumbersome pin. (Be sure the strip goes completely around, but does not overlap). I still love them, though, like an 80’s teen with her Aquanet. You can make your own with aluminum foil and wet paper towels, but I don’t have the patience to make one every single time I need one.
Until you add these to your collection of gadgets, place your pan on a cookie sheet in the oven. And if you have dark colored pans, decrease the cooking temperature by 25 degrees.