I sometimes find that the edges of my cakes would get crisp, but the inside wasn't fully cooked yet. Or they would get a large dome in the middle (for much the same reason) and I would need to waste the top of the cake in cutting it flat Sometimes these top sections could be used for cakepops, but more often than not they'd be too crisp too. Then I saw an inspired idea that another baker over in the good ole US of A used, - Wilton bake-even strips (and this is her preferred online store for purchases, but I bought mine off eBay.co.uk) and a heating core.
The bake-even strips wrap the cake tin in cold water, so reducing the temperature to the edges helping them to bake more evenly along with the middle of the cake. The heating core does a similar job, by increasing the temperature in the middle so that it bakes more evenly with the exterior. You can use metal flower nails for this, and I have heard of people doing so successfully, but I don't have any. Then this baker said she used folded up foil as her heating core, coating it with cake-release before insertion. So I figured I'd try both, again on a cake for family so that I could patch up any mistakes.
The folded up foil, covered in my home-made cake release. Sorry about the bit of egg white on the board there, yuk. The core is quite thick, I wasn't sure how thick or thin to make it. It will make a hole in the cake, but you can just fill that with buttercream when you ice, or so I'm told.
It's only a 6" tin, so makes my oven look huge. But here you can see the tin with the core in situ... Oops, I forgot to put the strip on, so the next photo has the bake-even strip wrapped around the tin.
And once it's baked. For some reason it fell over, I guess this is where a flower nail would come in handy. It has a base so should stay in position whilst baking.
You can see the hole where the core came out. Once sliced, filled with and covered in buttercream, we never noticed the hole. Let me know how you get on if you try this method.