Leveling the Cake
No cake emerges straight from the oven perfectly straight and flat. After the cake has cooled one hour, you will need to level it.
In essence leveling means using a knife or a cake leveler to removes the bump (sometimes called the crown) from the cake center and gives you an even decorating surface.
Trim off the raised center portion using a serrated knife or a cake leveler. Wilton makes a good one.
Click here, and scroll to the bottom of the page to check out some good ones:
Most cake levelers come with three or four different notches through which you insert wires.
You can use several wires to “torte” your cake (separate it into several layers) by gliding it through the cake.
Cake levelers come in different heights and widths to suit different cake sizes.
If you're using the Cake Leveler, start with your cake on a cardboard cake circle.
Measure the height you want to cut from your cake, then position the ends of the cutting wire into the side notches to reach that height.
Keep the legs standing level on your work surface, and cut into the cake, using an easy sliding motion.
If using a knife, place the cake on a cardboard cake circle, then place on it on a cake turntable.
While slowly rotating the turntable, move the knife back and forth across the top of the cake in a sawing motion to remove the crown (the bulge in the center of the cake).
Try to keep the knife level as you cut. Brush off all loose crumbs.
Some people also set their cakes on turntables to ice them. Tilting cakeboards with rubber mats on the bottom that keep the cake board (a circle or square of cardboard that fits below the cake) from slipping.