If you’re a budding baker, the first thing you need is to have a well-appointed collection of baking pans. Yes, there are some specialty pans that you can probably do without (mini bundt pan, anyone?), but if you’re serious about your desserts and baked goods, there’s a solid set you’ll want to have.
The choices for pans can be overwhelming. Do you want silver pans, nonstick pans, or something a little more out of the ordinary like silicone? For the most part, you’ll get the most bang for your... buck out of nonstick bakeware. Why? Because it will help your desserts come out of the pan effortlessly. No more broken bundt cakes or crumbly cupcakes for you.
Now all that’s left to decide is which of the pans you’ll use most in your baking endeavors. To help you choose, here are the seven best baking pans on the market today.
01 of 08
This six-piece set from Calphalon offers a great value if you’re looking to stock your kitchen in one fell swoop. The set includes two 8-inch round cake pans, one medium loaf pan, one 9- by 13-inch cake pan, one 10- by 15-inch cookie sheet, and a 12-cup muffin pan. And Calphalon is one of the most trusted brands of cookware and bakeware, so you know you can count on the quality.
The steel core heats your baked goods evenly and won’t warp in a high heat oven, nor will it cause hot spots, which... lead to only come of your muffins having burnt bottoms. And the nonstick coating means all of your baked goods will release from the pan with ease. Just make sure you aren’t using sharp or metal utensils on the pans as that will scratch the nonstick surface. And when it’s time for cleanup, these pans can go right in the dishwasher, but keep in mind that hand washing them will prolong their lifespan. The final point in this set’s favor: It comes with a 10-year warranty.
02 of 08
If you’re outfitting a first kitchen or maybe a summer cabin or rental house kitchen, you probably don’t want to break the bank buying bakeware. That’s where this six-piece set from AmazonBasics comes in handy. The set includes two 9-inch round cake pans, one 10- by 10-inch cake pan, one 12-cup muffin pan, one medium loaf pan, and a 10- by 14 1/2-inch cookie sheet, all at a price that can’t be be beat.
These pans can be used safely at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit without worry, and... the tough carbon steel won’t warp even with repeated use. For cleanup, go ahead and stick these pans in the dishwasher.
03 of 08
If you’re going to try your hand at making layer cakes, you’ll want to invest in this two-piece round cake pan set. After all, it’s much easier to bake both the rounds at one time instead of baking them separately. Even if your ambitions don’t extend beyond a single layer cake, you can’t pass up the price of this set.
While these pans aren't nonstick, your baked goods will still come out cleanly with a little bit of preparation, either cooking spray or butter and flour.
The aluminum... construction is a bit lighter weight than steel baking pans, but it makes them easier to carry when full of cake batter while still providing an even cooking surface.
The only drawback is that these pans are not dishwasher safe.
04 of 08
Whether you lean more toward chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, every kitchen needs a set of cookie sheets. This three piece set from Good Cook will have you covered no matter how many batches you bake. The small, medium, and large baking pans are more akin to a sheet pan than a cookie sheet, which traditionally doesn’t have edges. This makes them even more versatile—you can use them to bake brownies or blondies, sheet cakes, or even for roasting veggies without worrying about them rolling off... the edge.
And these pans are built tough. The steel cookie sheets are covered with a nonstick coating to prevent your cookies from sticking. Of course, you can always use parchment or a silicone baking mat on top of the pans for easier cleanup. The sheets are also rated as dishwasher safe and come with a lifetime exchange guarantee.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
If you’re not familiar with springform pans, get ready for your baking world to be rocked. Normally used with items like cheesecake or fruit tortes, this pan allows you to remove the sides of the pan. That means that you can remove your cake, pie, or tarte without having to invert the pan. You can even use it for a regular cake recipe if you frequently struggle to get the cake out of the pan cleanly.
Of course, the drawback with some springform pans is that they can occasionally leak. After all,... the sides and bottom of the pan are two separate pieces. There’s no concern about leaking with this 9-inch round pan, however. The tight fitting seal around the bottom and side pieces ensures that no batter will drip through. And thanks to the nonstick coating, you’ll have a perfectly crisp edge all the way around when you remove the sides of the pan. Just skip the dishwasher with this pan, and use a mild detergent to make sure it stays in good condition.
06 of 08
Bundt cakes or breads are some of the most impressive to serve to dinner guests, and the good news is that they are easy to make, if you just have the right pan. This aluminum bundt pan from Nordic Ware is a clear winner, but keep in mind that every bundt pan requires a fair amount of preparation to make sure the cake releases cleanly from all the intricate edges.
This pan can hold up to 15 cups of batter, so it’ll fit even your most ambitious baking projects. Before baking make sure you butter... and flour all the nooks and crannies of the pan to fully prepare it. And don’t think you’re limited to just baked goods with this domed bakeware, you can also make gelatin molds, frozen desserts, or ice rings for your punch bowl.
While this pan does have a nonstick surface, you’ll want to hand wash it with a mild detergent to make sure the pan lasts as long as possible.
07 of 08
Chicago Metallic is the number one pick of professional and home bread bakers alike. Their sturdily constructed nonstick loaf pans hold up to repeated wear and tear and provide consistent results loaf after loaf. So whether you’re making plain white sandwich bread or trying something more inventive like a seeded rye loaf, you’ll be guaranteed stellar results.
The nonstick pan, is made of warp-resistant steel with a wire rod reinforcement in the edge and folded edges to maintain the shape of the... pan. The coating insures that your loaves will release with ease, and while the manufacturer notes that the pan is dishwasher safe, make sure you give it plenty of time to air dry, as reviewers have noted that moisture can remain in the exterior folded edges.
08 of 08
If you want to make muffins or cupcakes, you need a pan. This one has twelve cups and is made from heavyweight nonstick coated steel. The heavy steel heats evenly and the dark coating promotes good browning. Since it’s nonstick, baked goods release easily from the pan when you bake directly in the pan rather than using paper liners, and it make cleanup easy, even if you spill and spatter batter as you fill the cups.
The pan includes a cover with a handle, so you can store your finished cupcakes... in the pan (remove the cupcakes and let everything cool before storage) and the handle makes it easy to carry the cupcakes to a party. The handle folds flat for storage. Since the lid is a little less tall where the handle folds down, the tallest frosted cupcakes might not fit well in that area. Muffins or cupcakes with more moderate frosting fit just fine.
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