Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously coat the inside of both pan halves and both the inside and outside of the baking core using Wilton Cake Release or solid shortening. Be sure to cover all indentations. If using shortening, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons flour inside each pan half and shake so flour covers all greased surfaces. Turn pan halves upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour. If any shiny spots remain, touch up with more shortening and flour to prevent cake from sticking.
Fasten pan halves together with clips, making sure the halves fit snugly together.
Make cake mix according to package directions, or use your favorite scratch recipe. (Most 3-D pans require 5 1/2 - 6 1/4 cups of batter). Pound cake or a combination of pound cake and yellow or chocolate batters offer the best results. Batters that contain nuts or raisins do not work well. Place pan on cookie sheet. Pour cake batter into pan.
Insert baking core into center. The batter in the pan will come right to the rim, almost to the point of overflowing. Cake fills out best when batter overflows slightly while baking. Secure core by slipping tabs of longer prongs under the sides of the pan. Pour 2/3 cup batter into core. Bake 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in vent hole on top of pan comes out clean. Top half of pan may be removed during last ten minutes of baking to check cake.
When cake is done, remove from oven and place upside down on cooling rack 5-10 minutes. Remove top half of pan and cool 5 minutes more. Replace top pan, turn cake over and remove bottom pan. It may be necessary to tap pan with the handle of a spatula to free cake from pan. Cool 15-30 minutes.
Remove pans; gently remove the baking core and the baked cake center. Set cake upright and cool completely.
Place the cake center inside the bear, filling any empty areas with buttercream icing. Position cake upright on plate, and secure to plate with icing or melted candy. Your teddy bear cake is now ready to decorate!
All 3-D pans work best with a firm-textured cake batter (pudding added mixes and pound cakes). Do not use a traditional white cake as the crumb is too tender.
Be sure pans are either greased (with vegetable shortening, not oil or butter) floured or sprayed with a vegetable spray, or brushed with Cake Release.
It is important to follow pan directions for batter amounts.
Always allow cakes to cool overnight, resting in back half of pan.
We recommend hand washing pan in hot, soapy water.