What are the different types of cake pans? When how should I use a certain cake pan? Today we’re taking all about cake pans and sharing recipes and hints for using each one.
Cake Pans Decoded
How many different types of cake pans do you have in your pantry? There are a handful of cake pans every baker should own, whether you’re just beginning your baking journey or consider yourself a seasoned cake creator. Here are a few basic cake pans every baker should keep on hand:
- Bundt pan. Bundt cake pans are perhaps the most recognizable of all cake pans and trays. Their distinctive ringed shape became popular in the United States in the 1950’s and haven’t faded since. They make so many beautiful styles of bundt cake pans now. Here are just a few of my favorites: The Original Style bundt cake pan, Heritage Bundt Cake Pan, Vintage Star Cake Pan, Crown Bundt Pan. So what our favorite bundt cakes? Hummingbird bundt cake, Five Flavor Pound Cake and Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake (where you can see that beautiful swirled cake pan in action!).
- Round pan. You’ll often see round cake pans used to create layer cakes, since their circular shape allows them to stack easily. Invest in several cake pans of the same size to save yourself some time when you cook up your next stacked cake. We like to have at least 2 of each size. Or order round cake pans of different dimensions to create a tiered effect. Most round cake pans range between eight and ten inches in diameter, but you can find larger or smaller rounds to suit your baking needs online or at your local specialty store. Our favorite brand of cake pans are the Wilton performance cake pans. They make beautiful cakes such as this whiteout cake and this blackberry chocolate cake.
- Sheet pan. If you need to feed a cake to a crowd, a sheet cake can be the perfect solution to an otherwise time- consuming problem. I recommend a quarter sheet cake pan for a smaller crowd – think small office potluck or holiday get-together. If you need something larger, half sheet cake pans are well-suited to serve large crowds and offer a large surface area for a birthday message or other decoration. This is the size you’ll usually find in your local grocer’s baker. Remember to check your recipe and use the sheet cake pan size that the recipe calls for so that your cake turns out correctly.
- Loaf pan. If you crave coffee cake, lemon cake, or pound cake, you’ll want to ensure you have a few loaf pans in your pantry. Loaf pans come in several different sizes, so you should check your recipe to ensure it’s aligned with the tools in your pantry before you begin. Loaf cake recipes are also often called quick breads. Any sweet bread recipe would usually use a loaf pan.
- Muffin pan. When you’re making cake for a crowd, cupcakes are often the way to go. You can find jumbo cupcake pans if you’re looking for a little novelty, normal trays to make standard-sized cupcakes, or massive sheets to help prep mini-cupcakes with ease.
- Novelty pan. If you really want to embrace the holiday season or surprise someone with a custom cake, you should be able to find a novelty cake pan to meet your needs. There are heart-shaped cake pans for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, Shamrock-shaped pans for St. Patrick’s Day, and tree-shaped pans for Christmas. Whether you’re baking for the book-lover or dog fanatic in your life, you probably won’t have to look too hard to find a custom cake tray to help bring your vision to life.
- Springform Pan. If you have a recipe that produces a light, delicate cake, many times the recipe will call for a springform pan. This is a 2-piece pan with a removable bottom. You can remove the edges of the pan so that it looks like the cake is out of the pan, but it is still sitting on the bottom of the pan. Cheesecakes are usually baked in springform pans. And this chocolate cheesecake is a must!
- Angel Food Cake Pan. This 2-piece pan is sometimes confused with the bundt cake pan, but they are very different. Angel food cake pans have a piece with a “tube” sticking up in the center that is not attached to the outside ring of the pan. The angel food cake pan is for fluffy, light batters such as, well..angel food cake or chiffon cake. If you pour a runnier batter into an angel food pan, it could seep out through the bottom crack. Be sure to use the correct type of pan!
- Silicone pan. Every single type of pan we’ve covered so far in this guide can be made with aluminum or silicone. Silicone pans offer a few unique benefits – they rarely require non-stick spray, cool quickly once they’re removed from heat, and are easy to clean, stack, and store. If you’ve never experiments with silicone bakeware, give it a shot the next time you’re on the hunt for a new cake pan or muffin tray.