There are many different cake pans that can be used for you different projects and it can be difficult to decide which is the best choice, especially if you have to go out and purchase a pan for your project. Having an assortment of pans on handy for your cake decorating needs can be convenient. The best pans in any form are usually aluminum with a non-stick surface and in some cases silicone. Some of the baking pans you should consider buying for your collection are:
- Baking sheets: These flat sheets can be either non-stick or regular and are usually light grey to dark grey. It is best to purchase sheets that are lighter in color because this means your cookies or jellyroll cake is less apt to burn. Dark surfaces conduct heat better. You can cover your dark baking sheets with parchment paper to avoid this issue. Try to purchase baking sheets with a 1½-inch or 2-inch lip so that you can bake cakes on it, as well.
- Muffin pans (cupcakes): You certainly can bake muffins in your muffin pan, but these pans are also perfect for tempting cupcakes. Most muffin pans have 12 cups, which are about 2 ½ inches in diameter at the top and 2 inches deep. You can also try mini muffin pans for petite fours or delicate, tiny cupcakes. Your pan can be silicone, non-stick or plain aluminum.
- Standard cake pans: These are usually aluminum, light colored and about 3 inches in height. You can get them in an assortment of sizes ranging from 4-inches to 16-inches in diameter and as rounds, squares, hexagons, rectangles, and heart shaped. If you plan on making layer cakes and your budget allows, pick up several pans in the same size so you can bake all the layers in one session. Most recipes call for 8 inch or 9 inch sizes.
- Sheet cake pans: Many wedding couples are opting to save money by having a small presentation cake out from and then a sheet cake or several sheet cakes in the back to serve. Sheet cake pans can be small, 9-by-13-inch, or large such as a half sheet (13-by-18-inch), three quarters sheet (15-by-21-inch) and full sheet pan (18-26-inch). Make sure you are aware of the dimensions of your oven when purchasing these pans because a full sheet can sometimes be too big for a residential oven.
- Springform pans: Springform pans come in similar sizes as round cake pans and can be used for delicate cakes or cheesecakes which do not take kindly to being flipped over to get them out of the baking pan. Springforms have flat bottoms, which detach from a round sidewall that locks in place with a fastener. When the cake is cooled, you unsnap the sides and are left with the cake sitting on the bottom of the pan completely undisturbed. Depending on the quality of the springform pan, you could find that there is leakage along the sides and bottom. This is easily fixed with a layer of foil or parchment on the bottom piece which when clipped into place with the sides, creates a tight seal.
- Bundt pans: Bundt pans are lovely fluted pans with flared sides and a section in the middle that creates a hole. You are left with a round cake that looks like an elegant donut. Bundt cakes come in different sizes and are made of aluminum or a non-stick finish. If you are making small presentation cakes for the centerpieces for a wedding, small bundt cake pans can be absolutely perfect.
- Angel food pans: This is probably the only pan you will have that you do not want to be non-stick. Angel food cakes climb the sides of the baking pan to create their signature height and airy texture, so a slippery surface creates a flat cake. Most angel food cakes have a 10-cup capacity, but you can find ones that are smaller. Make sure you turn your angel food cake upside down to cool on a bottle so that the cake does not fall.
- Specialty cake pans: The type of specialty pan you want to include in your collection is a matter of choice. You can find molds for almost any character in a cartoon or movie, super heroes, pans that create perfect balls, pans that cake cakes in the shape of castles. These specialty pans should have a non-stick surface so that your shape pops out evenly.