Monthly Archives: October 2011

Cake Pan 101

Cake Pan 101

On first purchasing a new cake pan it looks spotless, very smooth and sometimes very shiny…. if only they would stay that way!

There are some some secrets to keeping cake pans looking gorgeous for more than a couple of months. (Three batches of something that is!) It is so annoying to think you have a perfectly good pan but when you pull it out of the cupboard its… scratched, rusted, burnt, uneven or scorched… eek. Never mind, you think if  you simply grease it a bit more it will be fine – err NO!!

The secrets are quite old fashioned (like many cake recipes and pans really). I have a collection of my favourite pans that I have had for many years and they still produce a great cake, bread, tart, patty cake,muffin, etc.

Quality goes a long way too. A higher guage strong firm pan will simply outlast other cheapies. A cheapie can’t possible last through more than 6- 10 bakes. There are so many materials to choose from. I have aluminium, tin plate coated in a non stick material, silicon, and heavy weighted metal.

The secret is a little care and yes as with most things in life: you get what you pay for!

Here are my 10 tips for long lasting bake ware:

  • Buy the best you can afford. Definitely worth visiting a specialty cookware shop… ask the advice of the sales person. Ask to see the cheapest and most expensive in the range… pick them up, feel the pan.
  • New: remove any pesky stickers or glue and wash in hot soapy water, then DRY very well with a soft tea towel.
  • Keep it dry dry  dry. After washing and drying pop the pan into the oven. The heat left in there will simply dry out any moisture left in all the little crevices.
  • Crevices: Well choose a pan with a few as possible…. Some have them in the design especially if it’s a patterned pan.
  • Spring form/ removable base. Lots of choices. For spring form you definitely need better quality. The cheapies break, come loose, wobble and therefore leak, so easily.
  • Greasing: depends on what you are making, but generally speaking yes always is my vote, even if you only do the base of the pan.
  • Greasing with butter: NOTHING BEATS IT. It seems to always give a lovely edge. I am not a fan of spray oils, I often think they have caused the cake to stick!
  • Lining with baking paper: It depends on the pan, but generally yes is my vote, sometimes simply lining the base is enough.
  • Turning out: let the cake sit for 5 – 10 minutes, you will see it shrinks away from the edge. Now if you need to, run a flat edged implement around the edge, go easy… yes it will scratch! Try inverting and tapping the base lightly first. Then if you do need to run a spatula around the edge, just gently do a little and see if getting a bit of air in between the cake and the pan allows it to fall out. It depends on the cake/ pattern and type of cake, but again, this is why I like to line with baking paper. Invert onto a cooling rack. Wash the pan, dry well and pop into the oven.
  •  Storing: Whether in a cupboard or drawer take care. If you need to stack the pans inside themselves, be gentle. If you can, pop a sheet of clean dry paper towel in between each surface… this definitely prevents scratching.

Happy Baking!!