Form Cake Into Unique Shapes With One Simple Aluminum Foil Hack

Can we not all agree that food is better when it comes in a shape? And, dinosaur chicken nuggets aside, that seems especially true when it comes to cake. After all, which would you rather put your birthday candles on? A run-of-the-mill sheet cake or a majestic unicorn dessert? Of course, if you want to opt out of ordering from a bakery and whip up a specially-shaped cake at home, you're going to have to buy a cake pan — or do you?

You likely know aluminum foil as that handy dandy wrap that protects the leftovers in your fridge. In fact, you might even already use this kitchen staple when you bake. After all, Whirlpool reports that setting a sheet of aluminum foil on a cake while it cooks can make it into an extra moist treat. Notably, your aluminum foil has another baking use. That's right, according to Reader's Digest, you can use an aluminum foil hack to transform your usual round or square cake into a far more festive shape. Here's how you do it.

Use aluminum foil and a baking pan to create specially shaped cakes

To properly perform this hack, Reader's Digest reports that you'll need to buy heavy-duty aluminum foil. As Cook's Illustrated explains, a roll of Reynolds heavy-duty foil beats out the brand's standard variety in terms of thickness by about 30%. And buying this type of sturdy foil is essential for this trick. Because you'll be using your wrap to shape the batter in your cake pan.

Once you have the correct foil, Reader's Digest states that, in a baking pan, you should then twist your wrap into whatever shape you want your cake to be. That being said, you will also need to make sure your cake pan is large enough to contain your shaped aluminum foil. After you create an aluminum foil base, you'll need to reinforce it by adding a second layer of the wrap. This makes certain your cake batter won't break through it. 

From this point, you can then pour your cake mix into the baking foil shape and prepare it as usual. While you can use this method to make any shaped cake with your aluminum foil, this kitchen tool can also help you improve the way you decorate and bake other desserts.

From fun cupcakes to two-toned cakes, aluminum foil can upgrade your baked goods

As it turns out, aluminum foil is a pretty powerful baking tool. For one thing, this wrap can help you turn cakes and cupcakes into fun shapes. To transform your cupcakes into fantastical shapes, one TikToker reports you only need to roll up your aluminum foil into balls. Once you've done that, you can stuff the balls under your muffin tins to sculpt your treat into whatever shape you'd like. This user turned their cupcakes into adorable hearts by placing balls of aluminum foil in the center of their cupcake liners. Food Network even once used this same trick to create intricate cupcakes shaped like reindeer and gingerbread men. And that's not the only baking hack you can use aluminum foil for.

If you've always wanted to bake a two-toned cake, according to one TikTok user, you can use aluminum foil to cut down on the dishes. As the original poster noted, you only need to divide your cooking pan into two sections with aluminum foil. Then, you can bake the cake's two different colored layers in one go. Heck, this wrap can even help you decorate your cake. Another TikToker reports you can form a graceful pattern on your dessert by dabbing scrunched-up aluminum foil onto your cake's icing. In other words, making shaped cakes with aluminum foil is really just a gateway to using this wrap in all your baking endeavors.