Secret to flat cakes: wet cake strips (i., Bake Even Strips) and wrap around the cake pans. They act as an insulator to help the cake bake evenly (flat). You can also use strips of towel: drench, wrap around the pans, and bake.
BAKE A PICTURE PERFECT CAKE Ever have trouble getting that cake to look picture perfect? Here are some cake basics, from how to bake flat-topped cakes and the neatest way to fill a pastry bag to the quickest, easiest way to frost a cake.