How to Prep Your Cake Pans

Picture by  Alexander Tat

Picture by Alexander Tat


Have you ever baked a cake and taken it out of its pan to find that it does NOT come out in one piece?

Prepping and lining your cake pans before baking is setting the foundation for a great cake! Many times, recipes will call for "greasing and lining" your pans. What this means is either using butter and flour or another type of nonstick agent all around the insides of your pan, and then lining the bottom with parchment paper.

Different Ways to Prep Your Pans:  (No matter which option you choose, ALWAYS line the bottom with parchment paper!)

1.  If you are using butter in your recipe, you can save the paper that the butter was wrapped in and use that to grease the sides of the pan. Then just sprinkle a spoonful of flour in the pan, shake it around so that it covers the sides, and dump out the excess.  (If you are making a chocolate cake, use cocoa powder instead of flour. )

2.  Alternatively, you can take softened butter (microwave for a couple seconds until it becomes soft and spreadable) and use a pastry or silicone brush to apply it all over your pan.

3.  If you are in a hurry, you can also use a spray such as PAM.

4.  Make your own "pan-release" formula by combining 1/2 cup of each: canola oil, all purpose flour, and Crisco shortening. Just mix it together very well with a whisk and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use a pastry or silicone brush to apply all over your pans.

5.  *My Favorite Way: Butter the sides and bottom of your pan using a pastry brush, then attach parchment paper to not only the bottom, but the sides of the pan as well.  (You can use vegetable oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or any other neutral oil as well!)

The important thing to remember here is that you must use parchment paper, and NOT wax paper.  These two are very different!  Parchment paper is nonstick and has a heat proof surface, whereas wax paper is not meant for the oven and will melt when exposed to heat.

*Please note: for certain cakes that do not contain butter, such as angel food cake, chiffon cake, or sponge cakes, buttering the sides is not recommended but lining the bottom with parchment is still mandatory!  It is important to carefully read the instructions of any recipe you are using to see what is recommended for prepping your pans.

To easily line your pans with parchment paper, check out this quick video!