Cooling a Cake

The steps you take after you bake your cake can affect the ultimate outcome just as much as the ingredients you use.

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Removing a cake from the pan too soon or too late can drastically change the appearance and texture of your cake.

Cooling
butter cakes
: After removing butter cakes from the oven, let them stand in their baking pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, or as the cake recipe directs. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the baking pan.

Using oven mitts or hot pads, place a wire cooling rack on top of the cake and baking pan. Turn cake over so wire rack is on the bottom. Gently shake the cake to release it from the baking pan. Remove the baking pan and peel off the paper liner from the cake, if one was used. Turn the cake right side up onto a second rack to finish cooling.

Wear oven mitts or use hot pads to carefully turn the cake out of the baking pan
Wear oven mitts or use hot pads to
carefully turn the cake out of the
baking pan onto a wire rack.

Cooling sponge cakes: Invert a sponge cake baked in a tube pan onto a heatproof funnel or bottle immediately after removing it from the oven. If it is cooled top side up, it will fall. Do not remove a sponge cake from its baking pan until it is completely cooled.

Inverting a tube pan onto a funnel or bottle keeps the cake from falling in on itself as it cools.
Inverting a tube pan onto a funnel or
bottle keeps the cake from falling
in on itself as it cools.
Once your cake has cooled, it's time for another delicious step -- frosting the cake! Find tips in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Cake Recipes: Find basic cake recipes as well as ideas for types of cakes you may have never even heard of, all on our Cake Recipes page.
  • Cake Decorating: Whether you just want to add "Happy Birthday" in piped icing or are ready to attempt a field of frosting flowers, this article will provide the cake decorating tips you need.
  • Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.