Buying Guide to Cake Pans
6 Things to Know Before You Buy
Most likely you or someone you bake for has a sweet tooth, and is partial to variety from chocolate layered to Strawberry Shortcake to a Raspberry Torte. You have your favorites, but enjoy trying out new cake recipes too. Besides a great recipe and fresh ingredients, having the correct cake pan is just as important. Before you shop, peruse this list of five must know facts.
Fact #1: Cake Pans Come in Four Common Materials
Each one has its pros and cons.
Aluminum: A fabulous heat conductor that's known for baking evenly. Unfortunately, many aluminum pans are hand wash only.
Stainless steel: Well-loved for being durable and dishwasher safe. Its downside? Steel's heat conduction skills aren't quite on par with aluminum, meaning your cake may not bake as evenly. For best results look for an aluminum/steel combo.
Silicone: This material is easy to clean and unlike the above options, it's oven, microwave, and even freezer safe. However, silicone is flexible. That means that if you're not careful taking the pan out of the oven, you could crack or break your cake.
Paper: Yes, you read that correctly. There are oven-safe paper pans available on the market. The upside? You peel them off and toss them out after one use. The downside? You peel them off and toss them out after one use.
Fact #2: Cake Pans Come in a Myriad of Styles and Sizes
The selection available can be quite dizzying. There are standard pans that are round, square and rectangular shaped, as well as specialty pans for bundt cakes, brownies and angel food cake.
Cake pans are measured by diameter (round pans) or length and width (rectangular and square pans). Small pans are typically 8" in diameter, 8" by 8" or 9" by 13". It is possible though to find large pans and baking sheets that run up to 20" to 21" long.
*Which pan should you purchase? Check your recipe. If you plan on making several different types of cakes you probably want to invest in a bakeware set.
Fact #3: One Size Sometimes Fits All
Whether your baking involves creating a cake from scratch or using a mix from a box, most recipes require a 9" round pan, a 9" square pan or a 9" by 13" by 2" rectangular pan.
Fact #4: Not All Cake Pans Are Oven Safe Up to the Same Temperature
Typically, cake pans are oven safe up to 450 degrees. However there are pans on the market that can withstand heat up to 500 and even 550 degrees.
Fact #5: Non-stick Cookware Is Not Perfect
Yes, a non-stick surface is going to make getting that double chocolate cake out of the pan a lot easier. However, non-stick surfaces have been known to fail - especially after repeated trips to the dishwasher. Know that regardless of the non-stick status, you may have to sprinkle a little flour or even grease down the pan with a little butter before pouring in the batter.
Fact #6: Springform Pans Allow for Easy Release
Baking a cheesecake or a coffee cake? Use a springform pan. These nifty cake pans have removable sides so you can release even the most delicate cake without cracking it, breaking it or ruining its shape.