TikTok Is Loving This Cake Strip Pro Baking Tip

Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor at People and popular creator of cake content on TikTok, posted a mesmerizing video on the social media platform featuring a useful baking tool. The video shows Calderone soaking cake strips in water and then wrapping them around pans filled with cake mix. Then, there's a shot of the round pans in the oven with their cake strips doing their thing, followed by another shot of the pan-strip combos on cooling racks. The last scene is the grand finale: Calderone flipping over the pan and revealing a perfectly level, round, fluffy cake for its closeup.

The video has the clever caption, "this is your reminder that cake strips are the best," and viewers were into it. One follower even offered their own baking hack: "These work great! I cut a towel into strips and use that," to which an enthusiastic Calderone responded: "I've done that too!" Others agreed with the tool's effectiveness, and one user commented, "I bought cake strips and it was the best decision I ever made." Of course, the cake strips were paramount to how well these smooth as sugar glass cakes turned out, but you might have the same question as one perplexed follower: "How does that work?!"

How cake strips work

Calderone gives a succinct explanation of how cake strips work in her response to one follower: "Cake pan hot, edges cook faster, middle take longer to bake/rise. Strips wet & cool = everything bake evenly" (via TikTok). If you don't speak TikTok-ese, don't feel bad. Taste of Home spells it out nice and slow for us. Cake strips are also known as "cake pan wraps," according to the outlet, and these fabric strips are used to create cakes that are more level. So, just how does this sweet sorcery work?

A bit of science is involved. When you bake a cake without a cake strip, the outside of the pan gets hotter the quickest, according to the outlet, making the cake bake faster around the edge. This is where that "domed shape" comes into play. That hump in the middle of the pan may work out okay when you're making brownies at home that won't be starring in a TikTok feature, but it's not so great for making a layer cake. Taste of Home also backs the cake strip strategy, but don't worry if you don't have any. If you have a towel and some scissors, you should be able to create your own!