Cakes are the perfect party food, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time and patience to make a beautiful cake. If you’re a busy baker, though, making a cake from pre-made bottoms might be just the thing to save your sanity and create a delicious treat for your friends and family!

If you’re going to use a cardboard tube, make sure it’s sturdy and well-constructed. This is because a tube that’s not constructed properly can break or the money or notes inside it can come out of the hole too easily.

The best way to avoid this problem is to line the bottom of your pan with a parchment paper round. You can find these at your local grocery store, or you can just trace a circle on regular parchment paper and cut it into rounds.

Using a circle of parchment paper will ensure that the cake easily releases from the pan. If you want to make things even easier, rub the bottoms and sides of the pan with a little butter, shortening, or baking spray before lining them with a circle of parchment.

For a smoother cake, don’t over-mix the batter. You can use an electric mixer to mix the ingredients, but be gentle with the mixing process and fold in the dry ingredients by hand to prevent lumps from forming.

You should also be very careful not to over-bake the cake! Even a few minutes too long in the oven can result in a dense, dry cake.

Always check your cakes in the middle for doneness, as they will spring back if lightly touched and should not deflate or appear jiggly. If they are still a bit soft, put them on a cooling rack until they are cooled.

Let the cakes cool completely before trimming, cutting, or frosting them. A chilled cake is much easier to cut and leaves less crumbs behind.

Once the cakes have cooled, frost them with your favorite frosting. You can even add a few fresh strawberries, fun candies, or practice your piping skills to really make the cake pop!

If you are planning on decorating a domed cake, level the tops before frosting. This will help the cake stand up evenly and prevent it from sinking down as it is stacked and frosted.

When decorating your domed cake, try to place the domed top on a flat surface like a serving platter or a cake stand, rather than stacking them and trying to balance them. This will also allow you to see the domed top and make adjustments if needed.

Another good way to level your domed cake is to fill the top with small jars of water. The water helps keep the dome from expanding too much and causing it to break when it is stacked and frosted.

You can also bathe your domed cake in a simple syrup before putting it on a serving plate. This is a quick, inexpensive way to make your cake extra moist and tender!