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How to prepare a cake pan

A prepared pan allows the baked cake to be removed easily from the pan.

Image titled Prepare a Cake Pan Step 1

  1. Verify that the recipe you are making requires for the pan to be greased. Some recipes, like angel food cake or some cookies that are high in oil content, call for ungreased pans instead. Greasing pans for these recipes will have disappointing results.
  2. Prepare baking pans prior to mixing your ingredients. Many cake recipes, especially those calling for baking soda or baking powder and those with beaten egg whites, need to be baked as soon as they are mixed. Taking a moment to prepare your cake pan prior to mixing the recipe's ingredients, instead of after, will not only guarantee a more successful release from the pan but also a superior cake.
  3. Select a lubricant to coat the pan with. Apply the chosen grease to the pan accordingly.
    • Coat the pan with butter. Using butter on the interior surface of the pan will result in a darker crust that has a hint of butter flavor. Either melt the butter and apply it to the pan using a pastry brush or hold a slice of butter and rub it over the surface. You can use wax paper to hold on to the butter. You can also put your hand into a plastic sandwich bag to hold the butter.
    • Spray the pan with a vegetable oil spray. Using spray to coat the pan is a fast solution to preparing your baking pan. This method applies a very light coating of oil to the surface of the pan which is ideal for those looking for healthier alternatives when baking.
    • Use shortening to coat your baking pan. Preparing your baking pan using shortening does not transfer any flavor to the baked goods you are making. Use wax paper, a paper towel or a sandwich bag to apply shortening to the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Line the grease-coated pan.
    • Flour the pan. Place a couple tablespoons of flour in the pan. Gently shake the pan to disperse the flour over the bottom. Continue shaking the pan, tilting it to cover the sides with flour as well. Tip the pan over, and tap it or gently bump it on the palm of your opposite hand to clear the pan of any excess flour. This method is ideal for thin or very sweet batters.
    • Opt to use cocoa for chocolate baked goods. Apply a mixture of 1 part flour to 2 parts cocoa to the pan by placing the powder in a mesh sieve and sprinkling it over the pan's surface. Then proceed with coating as you would if you were just using flour. The cocoa will enhance the chocolate flavor of the finished baked good and eliminates unsightly white powder that can remain on the finished baked good if just flour is used.
    • Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. To cover the pan with parchment paper, place the pan on top of a piece of parchment paper that is larger than the pan. Using a pencil, trace the base of the pan onto the paper. Cut out the shape just inside the line with scissors. Place the cut out into the bottom of the greased pan.
    • Create a bed of foil so baked goods can be easily removed from the pan. Using lengths of foil longer than the pan, line the inside of the pan with the foil, going beyond the ends and sides. You will use these extra flaps once the food has been baked, to pull on, releasing the baked goods from the pan. Spray the foil prior to filling the pan to ensure the food does not stick to it.