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The Best Cake Pans For Your Next Celebration

Cake pans come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. There are round, square, and rectangular pans, as well as pans that can create specialty cakes that are perfect for holiday celebrations and children's birthday parties. No matter what shape pan you choose, you'll want a pan that releases extremely well so that the cake slides out of it without breaking. Good cake pans are also made from high quality steel or aluminum that heats evenly so that the entire cake bakes through without burning. When picking out the best cake pans in 2021, we chose pans with these two essential qualities, as well as pans that are a good value for the money.

Best Cake Pan of 2021 Reviewed in Detail

USA Pans Aluminized Steel Cake Pan

Our favorite cake pan is also a favorite among professional bakers. The USA Pans Round Cake Pan is made from aluminized steel that's reinforced with steel wires. The aluminized steel transfers heat incredibly well, and the steel wires make this a durable pan that won't bend or warp. The surface is textured, which allows for increased airflow around the bottom and the sides of the cake, decreasing cooking time and preventing burning. This pan has been coated with a silicone material that is so slick, cakes slide out of the pan perfectly every time. USA Pans also makes cake pans in square and rectangular models.

Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick Cake Pan

When it comes to baking cakes in a variety of shapes and sizes, Wilton makes some of the best pans around. The Wilton Performance Pans Covered Baking Pan is an aluminum cake pan that makes 11-by-15 inch rectangular cakes. The pan is covered with a non-stick coating that cleans up easily, either by hand or in the dishwasher. It also comes with a lid, and while this isn't safe to put in the oven, it does make it easy to transport or store a finished cake. Wilton also makes cake pans in dozens of other designs, from flowers to bugs to cartoon characters, as well as all sizes of standard round, square, and rectangular pans.

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Cake Pan

Solid construction and a great reputation help set the Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 9 Inch Round Cake Pan apart from the competition. This pan is made from heavy-duty steel that's reinforced with wire rods. It won't pop, warp, or bend, even if you use it everyday. Once your cake is done, it slides easily out of this pan, thanks to the high-quality non-stick coating. This also makes this pan easy to clean; a little soap and water is all you need, though it's also dishwasher safe.

Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Cake Pan

If you want to make cakes of a variety of shapes and sizes, the Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware 4-Piece Cake Lovers Set has all the cake pans you need. This set comes with two 9-inch round pans, an 8-inch square pan, and a 9-by-13 inch rectangular pan. Each of these cake pans is made from heavy gauge steel that's durable enough to last for years. They are coated with a special formula of interlocking non-stick layers that release twice as well as most other cake pans. If you only need one pan, Calphalon also offers these pans individually.

Buyer's Guide

Choosing a cake pan can be a very challenging task if you do not have any experience and knowledge about it. A good cake pan matters a lot, whether you want to bake a cake on someone’s birthday or some regular occasion. Cake pans are available in different shapes and sizes in the market, i.e., rectangular, round, and square. Special kinds of cake pans are also available- they are designed to bake specialty cakes.

Characteristics of The Best Cake Pan

The thing that matters the most while choosing the best cake pan is not its shape, rather its ability to release a cake without breaking. Furthermore, the material that is used in the manufacturing of the cake pan matters a lot. Cake tins that are made of high-quality aluminum and steel heat evenly, which in turn allows the entire cake to bake without burning.

Materials used in Cake Pans

Materials used in the manufacturing of cake pans highly influence the baking experience. Some materials used in cake pans make it difficult to mess them up while other materials give different results. The baking time of a cake is highly dependent on the material used. If you know about the characteristics of the material and how a certain material reacts, then you can adjust your oven’s temperature and timer accordingly and can bake a cake like a pro.

Aluminum

The heat-absorbing and transferring capability of aluminum makes it the best available material for cake pans. However, aluminum is a highly reactive metal and can cause problems depending upon the pH of the food. Unfortunately, aluminum-based cake tins cannot be washed in a dishwasher.

Stainless Steel

If you don’t want to hand wash your cake pans, then stainless steel cake pans are the best for you. These are manufactured with a combination of materials; thus, they aren’t a good conductor of heat, but their easy cleaning capability has made them famous. These cake pans usually don’t rust and tarnish. A combo of aluminum and stainless steel, known as aluminized steel, is usually preferred by professional cake bakers.

Silicon

Silicon is not a good conductor of heat so you will have to increase the baking time and temperature if you want a better-quality cake. The thing that makes it different from others is its ease of cleaning and that they are suitable for the microwave, freezer, and oven. If you are using a silicone cake pan, careful use is highly recommended in order to avoid an under-baked or burnt cake.

Paper

Yes, you read it right! Now, paper pans are also available in the market which can be used once for baking a cake. After baking a cake, you can dispose of them. If you are looking for a cake pan for single-use and want to avoid the hassle of cleaning, then this cake pan is best suitable for you.

Types of Cake Pans

Traditional Cake Pans

These cake pans are the typical choice for baking any kind of cake. They are typically square, rectangular, or circular in shape, having different sizes. Traditional cake pans are used to bake wedding cakes, layered cakes, strawberry shortcakes, olive oil cakes, tiered cakes, and chocolate pear cakes, among others.

Silicone Cake Molds

Silicone cake molds are available in different sizes and shapes and are used to bake pastries, small cakes, and uniform desserts. Flexible silicon material is used in their manufacturing which makes it easy to remove cakes, pastries, and desserts without breaking them. These cake molds are oven friendly. The silicone cake molds are used to make entremets, mini pies, quiches, éclairs, candies, cupcakes, and novelty-shaped cakes.

Springform Cake Pans

These cake pans come with adjustable sides having stranded clamps and a moveable bottom. After baking the cake and cooling it, the clamp can be removed which opens the adjustable sides and the cake can be easily removed without breaking it apart. These pans are used to make cheesecakes, crumb cakes, ice cream cakes and delicate tortes.

Sheet Cake Pans

These cake pans are used to bake large cakes in order to feed large parties. These are rectangular, shallow pans, having upturned edges. These are 1 inch deep and are available in multiple sizes. Sheet cake pans are used to make dump cakes, poke cakes and Tres leches cakes.

Bundt Pans

The Bundt pans are used to make ring shaped cakes and they have holes in their center. These are baked upside down and then turned over in order to release the cake. These cakes can be baked more evenly and faster due to the pan having a ring at the center for heat distribution. The Bundt pans are used to make coffee cakes, banana bread, rum cake, fig pudding and Bundt cakes.

Cupcake Pans

These pans are used to bake multiple small-sized cakes at the same time. Using these pans, several multiple small portioned identical cakes can be baked which are very easy to remove without crumbling them. These are used to make round cupcakes, personal cakes, Yorkshire pudding and muffins.

Most Commonly Used Cake Pan Sizes

Although we have discussed a big variety of cake pans, if you have to choose ones that will serve a majority of your baking needs, then consider the following sizes: a 9-inch square pan, a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangular pan, and a 9-inch round pan.

Best Cake Pan FAQs

Q: How can you remove the cake out of the pan without breaking it?
A: A cake must be cooled properly before removing it because if you try to remove it from a hot cake pan it can tear apart easily upon removing it. You should properly adjust your time according to your recipe, which may indicate how much time you should wait before removing it. You should use pans made of aluminized material, as it helps you to remove the cake without damaging it. After cooling the cake, slowly slide it out of the pan by turning the pan upside down. Hurrah! You have done it without breaking the cake.

Q: How long do cake pans last?
A: If there are any visible signs of damage to your cake pan such as cracks or dents, you know that it is time to buy a new one. Cracks and dents can lead to the cake or any other baked item to be undercooked or overcooked. Furthermore, if your coated cake pan gets scratched, whatever you cook in it will stick to the surface. This in turn increases the chances of your cake breaking apart, when trying to dish it out. So, it is better to buy a new one.

Q: Which type of cake pans are the best for baking?
A: Although all baking pans serve the same purpose, the ultimate heat conducting material is metal. Therefore, we can say that it is best to buy cake pans that are made of metals. Metals cool down just as quickly as they heat up, making baking a breeze.

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