How to Prepare Cake Pans

Lining your pans with parchment paper is the first step to perfectly baked cakes.

Baking is all fun and games until your cake sticks to the bottom of your pan, ruining an otherwise perfectly good dessert. Not to fear, the answer lays in a common kitchen item: parchment paper. Lining your cake pans with parchment paper is crucial to the success of your cake. Follow these easy steps and learn how to prep them properly to ensure your cakes come out of the pans cleanly every time.

What You Need

  • cake pans, parchment paper, kitchen scissors, butter, pastry brush, flour, mixing bowl

Follow These Steps

  1. Start with a square piece of parchment paper.

To line a round pan, cut out a square of parchment paper slightly bigger than your pan.

  1. Fold the parchment into a triangle.

Fold the parchment into quarters, then in half. Fold in half again to form a narrow triangle.

  1. Measure and mark from the center of your pan.

Place the narrow point of your triangle in the center of your cake pan, measuring and marking where you reach the edge of the pan.

  1. Cut at the fold.

With scissors, cut at your mark and unfold the sheet. You should have a circle that perfectly fits inside your pan.

Tip: Alternatively, you can trace the bottom of your cake pan onto parchment paper with a pencil, and cut along the line.

  1. Butter and line the cake pan.

Use a pastry brush to paint an even layer of very soft butter on the bottom and sides of your cake pan. Line with the prepared round of parchment paper, smoothing out to remove any creases or air bubbles.

  1. Butter the parchment paper.

Brush another layer of butter over the parchment paper.

  1. Spread flour evenly in the pan and remove excess.

Add a couple tablespoons of flour and shake it around the pan until the interior surface is lightly and completely covered. Turn over the pan and firmly knock out any excess flour into a bowl. If you're coating two pans, dump the excess flour from the first pan into the second pan. For chocolate cakes, dust the pan with cocoa powder instead of flour to avoid leaving a white film on your cake.

Tip: To line a rectangular cake pan, the process is the same. Just cut your parchment paper to fit the length of your pan, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on both sides. This will help keep the sides of your cake from sticking to the pan and will also give you handles to easily lift out the cake.

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