Despite the delay in posting this, I have not, in fact, forgotten about the cake project. I baked a second cake a couple of weeks ago, and cake #3 is just out of the oven.
Cake #2 didn’t go as well as the first cake. As I mentioned in my last post, I’d accidentally left the convection on when baking the first cake, so I turned that off this time around. That was the only change I’m aware of, and I was surprised to find that the cake baked without the convection actually didn’t turn out as well. Instead of rising evenly, it had a pronounced dome and was low on the sides.
I also think the cake was just slightly underbaked, as the top was quite sticky after it cooled. This definitely made it difficult to frost! I froze the cake very briefly to harden it, and managed to frost it without too much tearing. It still looked pretty good:
I wrote to King Arthur Flour about this (did you know that they’ll answer baking questions via phone, email, or live chat?), and they had some tips. First, they encouraged me to go ahead and use convection if it gave me better results, even if that’s not the typical way of baking a cake. They also suggested lowering the oven temperature by 25º to reduce doming next time, and pointed out that I could flatten the existing cake by resting it upside-down, which definitely helped.
I decided to try reducing the oven temperature for cake #3 (without convection) to see if that would help. Stay tuned to see how it went!