What to Do When Your Cake Gets Stuck in the Pan

The secret to getting a cake out of a pan? Freeze it.

Photo by Peter Oumanski

“I forgot to prep my pan with nonstick spray. Now I can’t get the cake out without ruining it!”

Allison Paliska, via Facebook

The fix: A cold cake is less likely to fall apart. Let the cake cool for an hour, then stick the whole thing in the freezer for six hours, advises Thomas Vaccaro, the dean of baking and pastry at the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York. Once it’s frozen, run a butter knife around the rim until you see the cake loosen from the pan’s sides. Flip the pan over and hold at a 45-degree angle over a cutting board. Tap one edge to pop the entire cake out.


No luck? Insert forks between the pan and the sides of the cake; jimmy the forks underneath all the way around to loosen the bottom until the cake dislodges. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and defrost at room temperature for two hours. Watch this how-to video for more ways to get cake out of a pan.

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