Which cake levelers are best?
Bakers love to see a beautifully baked cake coming out of the oven. A domed top means there is a delicate, tender crumb inside. But when it comes to finishing that cake with perfectly smooth and level frosting, that dome has got to go. The best cake leveler is easy to use, creating perfectly level cakes for stacking and frosting every time.
The Wilton Small Cake Leveler is a great choice for both professional and home bakers. Wilton is one of the most trusted names in baking, and this cake leveler works well for cakes up to 10 inches.
What to know before you buy a cake leveler
Before the cake decorating can begin, you’ll need a perfectly level cake. Not only does this produce a more beautiful cake in the end, but it means you won’t create a multilayer cake that is leaning precariously.
Purchase a cake leveler that matches the overall cake width. If you routinely bake 12-inch cakes, a 10-inch cake leveler is not much use to you. Remember that you can always use a larger leveler on a smaller cake, but the reverse is not true. It is better to purchase larger than you need.
Along the same lines as the leveler width, consider how tall a layer the cake will have. Most cake levelers can handle 2 to 4 inches of height, but if you are attempting to cut through a 6-inch-tall angel-food cake, you need a taller cake leveler.
Wavy vs. straight wire
Wavy wire has slight regular waves to it that function much the same way a serrated knife functions. The waves work like teeth and slice through more dense cakes easily. On the other hand, a straight wire cake leveler produces a cleaner cut and works best on cakes with a more delicate crumb. There is less tearing of the cake with a straight wire.
What to look for in a quality cake leveler
If you like to vary the sizes of cakes you make, look for a cake leveler that has an adjustable height. This allows you to not only level the top of a cake but also to cut layers in half. Since not all cakes achieve the same height, an adjustable-height cake leveler is more adaptable in the kitchen.
Some cake levelers have dual wires. These two wires allow you to level the dome and slice the layer cleanly in half at the same time. This is a time-saver for those who routinely bake and decorate multiple cakes at once.
Feet for stability
The best cake leveler itself is level, resting on rubber or plastic feet for stability. These feet should be stable enough on the counter without gripping and causing the leveler to skip or jerk through the cake.
How much you can expect to spend on a cake leveler
Expect to spend $5-$15 on a cake leveler.
Cake leveler FAQ
How do you use a cake leveler?
A. Use a cake leveler while the cake is warm but not hot. A hot cake will crumble, and a frozen cake or a very dense cold cake can break the wires.
- Place the cake on a flat surface.
- Stand the cake leveler next to the cake and adjust the wires to either remove the cake dome or slice the cake in half horizontally (or both, in the case of dual-wire cake levelers).
- With a firm grip and a smooth movement, slowly move the cake leveler through your cake.
Reserve your cake scraps for cake pops or to mix into ice cream.
Do you have to use a cake leveler?
A. A cake leveler is the simplest and most effective tool for evenly dividing layers and removing the dome on top of a cake. However, it is possible to level your cake without a cake leveler. You can use a serrated knife and turntable, or you can place a dish towel over your cake after it comes out of the oven to cause the cake to sink as it cools.
You can also keep the cake in the pan and run a knife across the top, removing the dome while using the pan’s edges as a guide. Some bakers use dental floss to cut through a cake (make sure it’s not mint-flavored if you try this technique). Some bakers skip the leveling and layer dividing by baking their cake in a sheet pan and cutting out the layers to size.
What’s the best cake leveler to buy?
Top cake leveler
What you need to know: Wilson is a trusted maker of baking tools and this cake leveler does the job well.
What you’ll love: The wire height is adjustable and cuts cleanly through butter-based cakes. The handle is plastic and allows for a firm grip. The wire is wavy and functions almost like a serrated edge, cutting through dense cakes or cakes with a browned crust.
What you should consider: This cake leveler only cuts cakes that are 10 inches in diameter or less. If you generally bake larger cakes, this isn’t a great choice.
Top cake leveler for the money
What you need to know: This all-stainless leveler is a durable, affordable choice for home cooks.
What you’ll love: It has two wires that can cut the dome and divide each layer in two at the same time. The handle and wires are rust-free stainless steel and it’s dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: The wire is not wavy, and some bakers found it had a hard time getting through browned crust.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This cake leveler is sturdy and very easy to use.
What you’ll love: It’s nearly 12 inches wide and can handle layers up to 2 inches high. The wide plastic handle is easy to hold and each side has notched, numbered slots to ensure your cake is leveled evenly.
What you should consider: Some bakers did not like the plastic feet, and others noted this cake leveler struggled with more dense cakes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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