If you are anything at all like me, you love buying cool and unusual kitchen gadgets, but hate having to fork out big bucks for specialty cake pans that take up heaps of room in the cupboard, cost heaps, and may not get used an awful lot – and that’s if you can even find the right shaped pan in the first place (not so easy outside of a major city). They are also not the greatest thing to have to buy online as they are bulky and therefore costly to post.
A few times, I’ve needed a round cake. Not round as in a flat circle, but round as in a sphere – like boobs, a ball of wool, or Santa’s belly. Turns out all you need is a good shaped mixing bowl in metal, ceramic or pyrex glass – NOT PLASTIC!!!!!! (And before you start laughing at me, for once, I’m not speaking from experience, even I know not to put a plastic bowl in the oven!)
Here is how I did it.
If you’ve read the post on baking a level cake, you’ll know all about the trick of putting an icing nail (metal again) in the bottom of the pan to help it cook evenly. I think it is really important here as the cake is quite high and has a low surface area to volume ratio (that’s my scientist past coming through lol!)
I used pyrex bowls because that is what I had in the right shape and size for the cake I was making. Luckily I have 2 the same so I only have to bake once, otherwise you would have to bake one cake, then bake the second half later. Grease the inside of the bowl really well. I use a spray on oil, and cut a round of baking paper slightly smaller than the base of the bowl. Push the icing nail through the middle of the paper, then place them in the bottom of the bowl.
Here is a close up.
Now carefully pour your cake batter in. If it pushes the nail off to one side, just gently slide it back to the middle. Try to keep it on the bottom of the bowl while you move it across as this helps get the cake out after baking.
And it’s as simple as that. you may have to adjust your baking time, and you will have to guesstimate what size bowl and how much batter to use, but that’s half the fun isn’t it! If you are after a small ball shape, you could use a pair of tea cups.
I’d love to hear what other improvisations you have used for non-standard cakes.