How to make a parchment paper round!
No more stuck cakes ever – here’s how to make a parchment paper round for your cake pans!
This is one of my favorite baking tips, so grab your scissors and let’s learn how to make a parchment paper round for perfectly turned-out cakes!
Proper lining of your baking pans is KEY – here’s why!
If you’ve ever turned out a cake – only to have a chunk of it remain in the pan – you know that particular brand of heartache. But the good news is that this is TOTALLY preventable, with proper prep of the pan before baking.
I’ve written about just how to prepare a baking pan in this post, and one of the keys is to place a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. While you could, theoretically, just grease and flour, I love that extra bit of insurance that the parchment paper bottom provides.
I’ve been doing this for the almost 40 years that I’ve been baking and haven’t had a “stuck cake” since!
Why you should always put a piece of parchment paper at the bottom of your pan!
Typically, a recipe that calls for a baking pan will go something like this:
So you’ll notice that – even if you grease and flour – you still need to carefully loosen the sides for a clean release. Easy enough to do, but how do you loosen the bottom?
That’s where the parchment comes in. Parchment paper is treated with silicone, making it non-stick. This guarantees that when you invert your pan onto the wire rack the cake will come out intact.
Parchment paper is NOT wax paper!
While I have rolls of both parchment and wax paper, there are instances where you do not want to use wax paper. In addition to being non-stick, parchment paper can withstand much higher temperatures than wax paper. As the name implies, wax paper is coated with paraffin, which will melt beyond a certain temp, so never ever use it in the oven or microwave!
If you bake a lot of round cakes you might want to invest in a package of pre cut parchment rounds. But it is truly so easy to make a parchment paper circle, and you can customize so that it fits any size cake pans you own!
To start, tear a sheet of parchment paper that is slightly larger than the pan. Fold it in half, from bottom to top.
Fold in half again, this time from right to left.
Now fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom left corner.
Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom.
Turn your baking pan upside down and place the folded “point” into the center.
Make a cut just inside the edge of the pan; continue cutting in a slight curve.
Open the paper up – you should have a circle that fits perfectly in the bottom of your pan.
So pull out all of your cake recipes, because whether you’re making a layer cake, a one-bowl cake or an ice cream cake, that little parchment circle will ensure that it is as beautiful as it is delicious!
How to Make a Parchment Round!
No more stuck cakes ever – here’s how to make a parchment paper round for your cake pans!
- Tear a sheet of parchment paper that is slightly larger than the pan.
- Fold the paper in half, from bottom to top.
- Fold the paper in half again, this time from right to left.
- Fold the top right corner down to meet the bottom left corner.
- Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom.
- Turn your baking pan upside down and place the folded “point” into the center.
- Make a cut just inside the edge of the pan; continue cutting in a slight curve.
- Open the paper up – you should have a circle that fits perfectly in the bottom of your pan.
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Quickly & accurately cut rounds of parchment paper to fit round cake pans or baking dishes. 4 simple quick steps for better lining of cake pans.
Why Do This?
Accurate – more accurate than free-hand cutting or drawing a circle round the pan and then cutting.
Uses Less Paper – only cut to width of dish.
Less Tools Needed – No need to find something to draw with.
Easier For Your Eyes & Hands.
Super Quick – once you know how, can be done in seconds.
Multi-uses – cake pans, cheese cake dishes, pie dish, pizza dishes etc.
Compared To Drawing An Outline Round The Tin
This method is more accurate than drawing a circle round the pan and then cutting. No need to find something to draw with, and even then you have to cut perfectly round a fine line. Not so easy or quick if your eyes are not so good & easy to make a mistake.
Also, what others don’t consider, is that even if you manage to cut perfectly round the drawn circle, it will always be bigger than the inside of the pan. This is because of the thickness of the sides of the pan. And if it’s a particularly good quality pan, these sides will be thicker, meaning when going to place the cut out paper circle inside, it will be bigger & not fit nicely. I often see this done, and then they have to fold the paper up the sides and hope it sits right and doesn’t end up being baked into the cake!
Using cooking spray (Fry Light) for greasing silicone cake cases (bundts).
But for layer cakes in particular, also paper lining the bottom of the pan, is also highly recommended. It saves you so much regrets when your cake won’t come out the tin, or most is left behind. So here’s how to best make the parchment paper fit your round cake pan.
The 4 Steps
1. Cut – cut enough baking/parchment paper for the width of your round dish you want to line.
2. Fold – folding of the paper until you have a thin ‘dart’ shape.
3. Measure – work out how much excess paper to cut off.
4. Trim – cut off the excess paper.
The 4 Step Process In Detail
1.Cut baking/parchment paper to the width of the round dish. (No need to make wider & waste paper).
2.Then fold in half (upwards as shown in photo shot 2.) Make nice sharp creases, and this will make folding easier.
3. Turn the folded paper (not shown in photo, but you can see this in the video), 90 degrees to the right so that it looks like a closed book. Then fold that in half, upwards, across the centre, like in process photo 3.
5. Fold the triangle in half, making a thinner ‘dart’ shape. For smaller dishes, you might need to do this step twice to make thinner.
6. Line up the point of the tip of the ‘dart’, to the centre most part of the dish, as in photo 6.
7. From there, work out where to cut off the excess paper, by placing your finger, where the paper meets the end of the dish. See Photo 7. (Note too I am marking at the inner edge of the pan, and not the wider end.)
8. From there, cut off the excess, in a straight line.
**Top Tip – the excess paper cut off, can be put in a paper recycling bin, or even scrunched up to be used in gift baskets, under tissue paper, to bulk it out. If there are any longer thin strips, you might be able to use for lining the sides of a pan too.
9. Unfold the paper and check the sizing by placing inside the dish.
If too big:
10. Fold in half a few times.
11. Then trim off the tiniest of amounts. Better to cut off not enough than too much.
12. Then simply unfold and check again if it fits nicely into the dish. You want it to fit perfectly, or a tiny bit too small.
Once happy, then grease the base and sides of your tin and place the paper in position. Do this for cakes, pastries etc. For Pizza or flatbreads, no need for greasing. It’s there more for preventing sticking.
Here are examples of cake tins lined.
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4 Steps To Cut Parchment For Round Tins
Line your pan with parchment and your cake will love you for it. Here’s how to line loaf and cake pans with parchment paper for worry-free release of cakes and breads, every time.
Lining a cake pan with parchment paper isn’t strictly necessary for every cake recipe. But when I make a cake, it’s usually a special occasion for family or friends. I already feel the pressure to wow the crowd with a nicely decorated cake. I definitely don’t need the added stress of cake layers sticking to the pan and tearing before I even get to the frosting.
A habit I brought home from working in a bakery is always lining my cake pans, even when a recipe doesn’t expressly call for it. Lining your cake pans provides some stress-reducing confidence: the cake layers come out of the pan cleanly every time. And for loaf cakes, you can even use the parchment as a convenient handle to lift the cake out easily.
Why Should You Line Cake Pans with Parchment Paper?
In addition to greasing cake pans with butter and flour or non-stick baking spray, parchment paper ensures your cake layers will release easily. Sometimes, even when you grease the pan, cakes stick anyway. For many cakes, it’s almost essential to line the pans, especially with carrot cakes or delicate cakes. Cakes can also stick when left to cool in the pan too long. If you tend to forget about your cake while it’s cooling in the pan, parchment paper can eliminate that problem too.
In addition to its non-stick properties, parchment paper contributes a few extra benefits to cake baking. Parchment paper adds just enough insulation on the bottom of the pan to slow down the Maillard reaction, the chemical reaction responsible for caramelization and browning. Cakes baked without parchment often have a darker, harder, and thicker crust, but baking with parchment produces softer, more tender cakes. Parchment also prevents you from scratching up your pan when trying to free a stuck-on cake and makes cleanup a breeze.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
The Best Paper for Lining Pans
Make sure the paper you’re using is parchment paper. It may also be labeled kitchen parchment paper or parchment baking paper. But one thing is for sure, wax paper will not work. The wax could melt or worse, ignite. And aluminum foil doesn’t have the non-stick coating or the insulation benefits that parchment paper does, so it’s best left for other roasting and baking projects.
Pre-cut rounds of parchment paper are the most convenient way to line cake pans. But that added convenience comes with a higher price, and they’re typically only stocked in specialty stores or online. Storage can become a problem as well if you often bake various sizes of cakes.
Parchment paper is easily sourced in the grocery store, and most home cooks already have a roll in their kitchen. Cutting your own rounds of parchment not only saves you money but also ensures you have the right size round no matter how big of a cake you’re making.
How to Line a Round Cake Pan
- Grease the pan.
Cut or tear off a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than your cake pan.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
- Fold the piece of parchment in half, then in half again to make a square.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
- Fold the square of parchment in half diagonally to make a triangle. Then, fold the triangle in half to make a narrower triangle.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
- Simply Recipes / Mark BeahmSimply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Once unfolded, you should have a round of parchment that fits perfectly in the bottom of the cake pan. If it’s not quite perfect you can trim the edges a bit.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
How to Line a Loaf Pan
My favorite method for lining a loaf pan creates a sling that not only prevents the cake from sticking to the pan but also creates handles to help you lift out the baked loaf.
- Grease the pan.
- Press the parchment into the bottom of the pan and up the long sides of the greased pan so that there’s an equal amount of overhang on each side. Crease the corners so the paper lies flat along the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Depending on the width of your parchment paper, you may want to trim the edges. I like to leave an inch or two of overhang so I can use them as handles to lift the loaf out after baking.
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm
Get Out Your Parchment and Bake Away!
Today I’m walking you through my favorite technique for ensuring round cakes don’t stick to the baking pans: parchment paper rounds. This is such a simple concept, but it makes a big difference!
In all my many layer cake recipes, I mention how to prepare your baking pans so that the baked cakes release easily from the pans, intact and ready to assemble. Have you ever had a round cake stick to your pan, tearing completely, and ruining all your efforts? I’ve been there too.
I use parchment paper rounds and I want to demonstrate how quick and easy it is to make these yourself at home.
Lining cake pans with parchment rounds is the trick I use every single time I bake a round cake, whether I’m making a 1-layer easy sprinkle cake, a 9-layer Smith Island cake, or even a homemade wedding cake. No more stuck cakes, please.
Store-bought pre-cut parchment rounds are convenient, but it’s really easy to just make them yourself, and more cost-effective, too. I especially like that you can cut the exact pan size you need, whether you’re making a 6-inch cake, an 8-inch cake, or a 9-inch cake.
If you don’t make a lot of round cakes, just cut them as you need them. If you bake a lot, cut many at a time and store them with your baking pans or cake-baking tools, ready for the next time you bake.
It’s a really easy concept, but I figured showing you the process in a video would be most helpful. No matter what size or brand of round cake pan you’re using, here’s how to prepare it for baking:
Grab These 4 Things to Make Parchment Rounds
- Parchment/baking paper: You can use any brand, and either brown or white.
- Cake pan(s): Make sure you have quality cake pans. From one baker to another, I swear by Fat Daddio’s cake pans. Incredible quality for the price. I’m not working with this brand, I’m just a genuine fan.
Some DIY methods for making parchment paper rounds instruct you to fold a square a bunch of times. I don’t do that; I find tracing a circle and cutting it out to be easier.
Step 1: Trace the Cake Pan on the Parchment. If you’re using a roll of parchment paper, start by measuring out how much you’ll need for the number of pans you’ll be using, and cut it off the roll. Set one of your cake pans on the parchment, hold it steady with one hand, and trace around it with a pencil. Repeat this step for however many cake pans you’re planning to use.
Step 2: Cut Inside the Circle. Cut out the circles, just inside the pencil line.
Step 3: Lightly Grease the Pan. Very lightly grease the cake pan with butter or nonstick spray. I usually use coconut oil nonstick spray or “baking spray,” which has a little flour in it. You could also just grease it with butter.
Step 4: Line the Pan With Parchment Round. Place the parchment round inside, pressing it to the bottom of the pan.
Step 5: Lightly Grease the Parchment. Yes, you grease the pan and then also grease the parchment. This creates an ultra-nonstick environment for your cake. The cake won’t stick to the pan, and the parchment round won’t stick to the cake.
Step 6: Pour in Cake Batter and Bake.
Peel Off the Parchment Round
When the cake has cooled, run a thin knife around the edge, invert the cake on your hand or work surface, then lift off the cake pan. The parchment round may stay in the pan, or stay on the bottom of the cake. (I find it’s different with every recipe.) But whichever it “sticks” to, you just need to peel it off.
Peel off the bottom of your cake or bottom of your pan, whichever it “sticks” to:
And voila! You have a beautiful round cake that releases easily from the pan.
More Cake Baking Tips
How do I cover a frosted cake without ruining the frosting? A cake carrier! I own a handful of these and they’re an absolute lifesaver when it comes to storing and transporting cakes.
This simple step makes it easier to pour batter into the pan, and it’s a brilliant hack for removing your cake or brownies when they’re out of the oven.
Rectangular baking pans are a mainstay of almost every home cook’s kitchen, but this type of pan — typically used for baking sheet cake — is also annoyingly hard to line with parchment paper. Here, F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple demonstrates how to make your parchment lie flat and settle into the corners of your baking pan, instead of rolling up or unfolding over the sides.
First, make sure your parchment paper — whether you buy it in a roll or in sheets — is bigger than your baking pan. Next, place the pan on top of the parchment paper, so that you can see where the corners of the paper line up with the corners of the pan.
Then, cut a three to four-inch slit in each corner of the paper. This creates two flaps at each corner, which are crucial to making the sheet fit. Once you place the paper in the pan, press it into the corners and watch as the paper simply folds into place. That’s it — you’re done. You no longer have to struggle to get the paper to fit neatly and evenly into the corners of the pan.
“It’s like magic, I’m not kidding,” Chapple says.
Best of all, once your cake is done baking, as Chapple demonstrates, it will slide straight out of the pan, saving you the stress of trying to remove your cake from the pan without damaging it. Forget banging the pan on a hard surface or cutting the cake out with a knife. Simply tip the pan to its side, tugging gently on the parchment paper, and the cake will lift out of the pan without sticking.
And if you find that your parchment rolls up — refusing to lie flat — when you’re baking in a round cake pan, don’t get frustrated! Chapple has a pro tip for that, too.
Here’s how to expertly line a square, rectangle, or circle baking pan with parchment paper, so that it fits perfectly every time!
Lining a baking pan with parchment paper is one of the easiest ways to save time, energy and stress when baking. I love that when I use parchment all I have to do is lift the edges of the paper to pull my baking right out of the pan. Seems like a no brainer right?! But what isn’t as obvious, is how to properly line a baking pan with parchment to fit it to perfection. So for that, I am here to help!
How to Line a Baking Pan with Parchment
Step 1: Tear off a large piece of parchment paper (bigger than your pan length-ways).
Step 2: Place your pan on top of the parchment paper length-ways. Without moving the pan, cut out the corners of the parchment paper on each corner.
Step 3: Spray the pan with cooking spray.
Step 4: Place the trimmed parchment paper inside the pan.
Step 5: Press the parchment into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, lining up the respective corners: it should fit perfectly.
Step 6: You’re done and ready to bake!
Step 1: Cut off a sheet of parchment just slightly bigger than the cake pan.
Step 2: Fold the parchment in half.
Step 3: Fold the parchment in half again.
Step 4: Fold into a triangle.
Step 5 / Step 6: Fold the triangle in half again to make an even smaller triangle.
Step 7: Hold the triangle against the pan. Find the corner of the triangle where the center of the paper will be once it’s unfolded. Place this corner in the middle of the cake pan and hold the parchment right where it hits the edge of the pan.
Step 8: Using where you are holding the parchment as a guide, trim the triangle about 1/8-inch in from the edge of your pan (to help it fit inside).
Step 9: Unfold the parchment.
Step 10: Voilà! Enjoy a perfect round for your cake pan!
Do You Need to Use Parchment Paper?
Technically, in most cases, you don’t need it. Of course, you could just grease the pan, but if you really want to make sure your cake will come out of the pan, good ‘ol parchment paper will always do the trick. Oh, and it saves you the headache of the extra clean up which is important!
Lining your pans with parchment paper is the first step to perfectly baked cakes.
To line a round pan, cut out a square of parchment paper slightly bigger than your pan.
Fold the parchment into quarters, then in half. Fold in half again to form a narrow triangle.
Place the narrow point of your triangle in the center of your cake pan, measuring and marking where you reach the edge of the pan.
With scissors, cut at your mark and unfold the sheet. You should have a circle that perfectly fits inside your pan.
Tip: Alternatively, you can trace the bottom of your cake pan onto parchment paper with a pencil, and cut along the line.
Use a pastry brush to paint an even layer of very soft butter on the bottom and sides of your cake pan. Line with the prepared round of parchment paper, smoothing out to remove any creases or air bubbles.
Brush another layer of butter over the parchment paper.
Add a couple tablespoons of flour and shake it around the pan until the interior surface is lightly and completely covered. Turn over the pan and firmly knock out any excess flour into a bowl. If you’re coating two pans, dump the excess flour from the first pan into the second pan. For chocolate cakes, dust the pan with cocoa powder instead of flour to avoid leaving a white film on your cake.
Tip: To line a rectangular cake pan, the process is the same. Just cut your parchment paper to fit the length of your pan, leaving about a 2-inch overhang on both sides. This will help keep the sides of your cake from sticking to the pan and will also give you handles to easily lift out the cake.
Spraying with a nonstick cooking spray and lining a cake pan with parchment paper before pouring the batter in could save you from this potential disaster, as detailed by Crazy For Crust. But the way most of us are used to lining cake pans is a bit of a tedious process. Luckily, there’s an easier way to do it and it’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it yourself.
Get help from a French knife
As outlined in a segment of “Baking with Julia” on PBS, Julia Child bakes a poppy seed torte with Markus Farbinger, who was a master chef at The Culinary Institute of America in New York at the time. In the clip, Farbinger lets Child in on a trick he uses to line a cake pan with parchment paper. Instead of going to the trouble to first trace an outline of the bottom of the pan on the parchment paper and then cut it into a round with scissors, Farbinger skips the tracing and the scissors all together for a different kitchen tool.
What Farbinger does instead, is flips the cake pan upside down on the counter and places the parchment paper on top of it. He then puts one hand on the pan, and uses the edge of a French knife, also known as a Chef’s knife, to apply pressure around the outer rim of the pan, which causes the parchment paper to tear away in the proper size to line the pan. So, the next time you’re baking, try Farbinger’s parchment lining method to save yourself time, effort, and potential baking disasters.
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There’s a secret weapon hidden in the back pockets of professional chefs and advanced home bakers, and no, it’s not a bench scraper. Parchment paper is a handy kitchen tool that makes baking a breeze and cleaning bulky sheet trays a thing of the past. This special type of paper comes in bleached white or unbleached brown and features a thin coating of silicone that is safe for high oven temperatures and prevents even the stickiest of foodstuffs from attaching. It can come in a roll, or in pre-cut sheets.
Parchment paper is incredibly versatile and works well for cold recipes like chocolate bark, as well as hot recipes like chocolate chip cookies. The uses for parchment paper are virtually endless, and there are a number of key hacks using it that can take your cooking game to a whole new level. Read on for our favorite tips for using this handy kitchen tool.
It’s not the same as wax paper
Confusing wax paper and parchment paper can have disastrous consequences. The two types of paper have different coatings: Wax paper is covered in a fine layer of paraffin wax and parchment paper is covered in silicone. The wax paper is perfect for working with super-sticky candy, but will, unfortunately, melt if put in the oven and can lead to burnt paper and ruined pans. Parchment paper is created specifically for use in ovens and is rated to tolerate heat up to 450 F.
Wax paper does have its place, namely for use in a microwave or for catching dry, sifted ingredients. Another common use is for piping buttercream frosting or working with hard candy. Once the confection sets firm, it can be easily removed and transferred to its final home. For any use involving the oven, play it safe and stick to parchment paper.
Or butcher paper
Bruce Peter Morin/Getty Images
Another common kitchen confusion is the difference between parchment paper and butcher paper. While butcher paper can vary from type to type, typically its intended use is to wrap raw meat and to prevent any associated juices from dripping out. The coating that provides the waterproof barrier is very effective at that, but won’t work at all in the oven. The coating on butcher paper is simply not designed to endure the high heat of that cooking medium.
Butcher paper is much better at wrapping food than parchment paper, however, and is designed to protect the food while still allowing for some airflow to prevent a build-up of air or moisture that could contribute to spoiling. Parchment paper has a slick, silicone coating that prevents it from working well as a food wrap. While some things in the culinary world can be substituted, in this case, it’s best to pick the right tool for the job.
Don’t put it under the broiler
While parchment paper can be a true game-changer when it comes to cooking food in the oven, it does come with some limitations. Most brands state that the paper is safe up to 450 F and that should be enough for the average recipe. However, most ovens have broilers on top that can easily exceed this temperature, especially when the heating element uses gas. Using parchment paper under the broiler is a big no-no and will result in a burnt paper at best, and a kitchen fire at worst.
Parchment paper is still paper, after all, and will burn at high temperatures or when exposed directly to flames. For recipes that call for super-hot temperatures, stick to silicone baking mats or skip the liner altogether. It’s better to deal with a bit of food sticking than have a potentially dangerous situation on your hands.
Use it in the air fryer
Air fryers are amazing inventions and one of the best new additions to the world of culinary appliances. While it seems like a piece of technological wizardry, air fryers are really just small convection ovens. The powerful fan constantly circulates hot air and the holes in the basket let that air travel all around the food to allow it to brown on all sides.
Don’t use it for roasting vegetables
Crispy, roasted vegetables are extremely delicious and most of the flavor comes from the deep caramelization that forms when the food makes contact with the pan. Any added oil in between provides the medium for which the oven’s heat can be transferred to the vegetables, resulting in that awesome browning. While parchment paper does an excellent job of providing a nonstick barrier and super-easy clean-up, you might want to think twice before using parchment paper for roasting vegetables.
The paper itself is slightly heat resistant due to the silicone coating, and this resistance can be enough to prevent the vegetables from browning in any spots where it makes contact with the pan. The vegetables will still brown on top due to the hot flow of air circulating around, so the pros and cons of using parchment for roasted vegetables vary on a case-by-case basis.
Use nonstick spray to make it stick
Parchment paper can come in several forms, but the one most commonly found in grocery stores comes in a roll. This makes it easy to store, but anyone who has used this type knows it comes with a frustrating drawback. Being stored in a roll makes the paper want to roll back up even after you cut off a sheet. Master chef Alton Brown has a secret trick to making parchment paper stick to baking dishes.
The parchment paper has a coating that is great for keeping food from sticking, however, this same property keeps it from sticking to sheet trays and baking dishes. The solution? Simply spritz your pan with a little water. The paper will stick to the water, and if you use a light hand it won’t be enough moisture to dramatically affect the food you’re cooking in a negative way. A light coating of nonstick cooking spray will also do the trick!
Keep it from curling
If the required recipe is too delicate to take the addition of water or cooking spray, there’s another way to prevent the paper from curling. This one simple step couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is simply crumple the paper up into a ball before flattening it back out. The crumbled paper disrupts the tendency for the paper to curl back up and won’t disrupt the paper’s ability to provide a nonstick barrier between the food and the baking tray or pan.
Now, this technique won’t work for everyone. The paper will remain somewhat wrinkled even after being straightened back out and some baked goods will end up with a wrinkled exterior crust after baking. For ultra-delicate recipes like meringue, where it isn’t recommended to introduce oil or water and the wrinkles will mess up the final look, you can always dot small amounts in the corners of the tray under the parchment paper to keep it stuck down flat.
Buy it in pre-cut sheets
The absolute best way to keep parchment paper from curling is actually quite simple: Don’t buy it in rolls. Amazon and specialty baking stores sell parchment paper in pre-cut sheets, specifically sized to fit in standard baking pans (and even round cake pans). These pre-cut sheets are preferred by restaurants and professional bakeries that do not have time to fuss with annoying, curling parchment paper. Using these sheets is as simple as pulling one from the box and placing it on the baking sheet.
The standard sheet tray size is the most useful for the average home baker, and this size can also be cut down into smaller sizes, and even strips to be used for other purposes. The pre-cut sheets are more economical as well, averaging about $20 for 200 to 300 sheets, as opposed to similar rolls which cost about four times as much, foot for foot.
Learn how to make a cartouche
Making a parchment lid, or cartouche as it is sometimes called, is an essential kitchen trick for any serious cook. This technique is quite simple and might remind you of making a paper snowflake in elementary school. As Jamie Oliver shows us in this video, the technique starts by cutting parchment into a square, then folding that square in half into a triangle, then in half twice more. At this point, it will be a thick but skinny triangle.
Measure the radius of your pot or pan by holding the tip of the triangle over the dead center of the vessel, then marking with your finger where the edge of the pan is. Cut the excess paper off at this point and once you unfold — voila. A perfectly-sized circle. If you need a hole in the middle to vent steam, simply cut the tip off the triangle before unfolding.
Make a quick pastry bag
Another handy bit of culinary origami is the parchment pastry bag or piping cone. Perhaps you find yourself fresh out of pastry bags right in the middle of a tricky project, or maybe you only need to pipe a tablespoon or so of icing for lettering on a cake. Either way, the parchment pastry bag is a handy trick that any cook or baker should know.
As Kelly Senyei shows us in this video, the parchment bag starts with a large triangle that gets folded around itself. The tail folds over on the cone to “lock” it all together. Some bakers prefer to finish the bag by folding the top over a few times so no product can escape out the top. This trick can be handy in a pinch but works much better with small amounts of icing or melted chocolate. Large amounts of frosting are much better off in a true pastry bag.
Use it to cook fish
Cooking fish en papillote, or “in paper,” is a fancy bit of French culinary fanciness that looks much more difficult than it actually is. Cooking fish en papillote is actually extremely easy and can be used for all kinds of fish. The technique is simple: Place fish and flavoring ingredients into parchment paper, seal it with egg white (which acts as a glue of sorts), and place it in the oven. The steam from the fish and other ingredients as the oven heats up fills the bag and cooks whatever is inside.
This method requires a bit more up-front commitment in terms of preparation, but the payoff comes later when clean-up is as simple as tossing the parchment paper. Cooking food en papillote is also a remarkably low-fat cooking method but still manages to be more flavorful than simply steaming as the flavors are trapped within the paper as the food cooks.
Make the perfect cupcake liners
Let’s face it. No one is a fan of annoying single-use items in the kitchen. One of the worst offenders might be muffin liners, those superfluous, ridged bits of paper that allow muffins and cupcakes to pop right out of the pan. Yes, you could always just use nonstick baking spray, but there’s another solution as well. A popular TikTok video demonstrates another ingenious way to use parchment paper as a replacement for muffin liners.
This method allows you to avoid having to run to the store just to get this one specific baking tool. Simply cut a few squares of parchment paper, make the appropriate folds, and pop them into the muffin tray. The look of the parchment definitely lends a more sophisticated, professional bakery element to any baked good, plus you can avoid the addition of dyes or bleach that are often found in muffin liners.
Reuse your sheets
Using parchment paper might seem wasteful compared to reusable alternatives like silicone baking sheets. While there will always be some waste with disposable products, you can stretch your parchment paper further by reusing it more than once. There are limitations, of course, but tray after tray of cookies can be baked on the same piece without taking out a new one. The trick with this tip is to consider the food you are cooking on the parchment and make an educated assessment from there.
Any parchment that has burnt on food residue is probably destined for the trash, as well as any recipes with excessive amounts of oil. Sheets that are mostly dry or only have trace amounts of cooking spray can be folded up and saved. There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the number of times, but eventually, the paper will get very dry, crinkly, and prone to cracking.
Pastry chefs and people who have baking as one of their hobbies understand the struggles and frustrations of having the cookies or cake stick onto the pan and end up getting ruined. Therefore, it is essential that you know the tips and tricks on how to line a pan with parchment paper.
Things you will need to line a pan with parchment paper
There are only three important things you need for this process. These are primarily available in the kitchen if you are a baker, either by heart or profession.
As the name implies, parchment paper is a paper that has been coated with either Quilon or silicone, making it not sticky and resistant to both heat and water. It is famous for people who are into baking or pastry chefs.
Though, parchment paper is a versatile material because it can also be used for other purposes besides baking.
Basically, only two types of parchment paper are identified according to their color. First is the one that comes in a translucent white color. Thus, known as bleached parchment paper. On the other hand, the different type of parchment paper is called unbleached parchment paper, making it translucent tan in color.
A parchment paper is bought either in a rolled package or in pre-cut sheets that can fit any size of pans that are often used for baking.
Parchment paper is often available in cooking and baking stores, but you can also find it at the local grocery stores near you.
A baking pan is a cookware used to make pastries that require an oven as it involves high heat. A baking pan is a perfect equipment to use because it has high heat tolerance compared to ordinary pans.
The Baking pan comes in different materials, sizes, and shapes depending on which pastry you will bake.
The sole purpose of scissors is to cut the parchment paper to fit into the baking pan.
How to line different types of pan with parchment paper?
There are different types of pans that are used when it comes to pastries. These pans vary according to their sizes, shapes, and use. Therefore, the process of lining a pan with parchment paper also differs. It usually depends on the type of pan you are going to use.
Some recipes only require lining the pan with parchment paper and do not feel the need to grease it again. Regardless, the aim is to release the baked goods without facing any troubles.
How to line a round cake pan with parchment paper
The purpose of lining a round cake pan with parchment paper is to prevent the cake from sticking onto the bottom surface of the pan while it bakes. Being able to line the pan correctly will help you release the cake quickly.
- Prepare parchment paper, regardless of whether it is Quilon or silicone. Use a pen and trace the circular shape of the round cake pan onto the parchment paper.
- Once you are done tracing the circle, get a pair of scissors and cut along the traced circular line.
- After doing the second step, grease the pan either with melted butter or spread a tiny amount of oil.
- The next step is to place the round-shaped parchment paper onto the pan and smoothen it flat.
How to line a cupcake or muffin pan with parchment paper
One of the easiest pans to line with parchment paper is the cupcake and muffin pan. Cupcake liners that come in various shapes, patterns, colors, and sizes are already available in the local baking store near you.
You no longer need to make your own unless you are in a rush and have no time to drop by the store. Then, you can create a DIY cupcake and muffin liner using parchment paper.
- Depending on how many cupcakes and muffin liners you need, cut the parchment paper that can cover all the sides from the bottom all the way to the top of the muffin pan. However, this can cost you a lot because you have to use an adequate size of parchment paper.
- Once you have already prepared many muffins and cupcake liners, you may start greasing the cup liner using oil or melted butter.
- Place these muffins and cupcake liners onto the fat and press it a little until it fits the mold.
How to line a loaf pan with parchment paper
Loaf pan usually comes in either square or rectangular sizes. The recommended method to line a loaf pan with parchment paper is the sling method.
It is called a sling method because parchment paper is placed on all the sides and bottom of the pan. Thus, you can have a clean release with a sling for easy transfer of the baked goods.
- Cut the parchment paper by the shape and size of the loaf pan.
- Please use metal clip binders instead of plastic ones to ensure that they are safe for the oven. The size of the metal clip binders varies depending on the thickness of the baking pan.
- You may use a cooking spray, melted butter, or cooking oil to grease the pan.
- Place the pre-cut parchment paper onto the pan and lay it flat, removing the air bubbles. Ensure that there are no creases as well.
- Once the parchment paper is fully intact with the bottom and all sides of the baking plan, attach the metal clip binder to the excess overhang parchment paper.
Watch the tutorial video below to learn how to grease a pan
How to line a baking sheet with parchment paper
A baking sheet is the easiest and simplest type of pan to line with parchment paper that even a seven-year-old kid can do.
- Get a parchment paper that is a little bigger than the actual size of your baking sheet.
- Place the parchment paper onto the baking sheet and lay it flat. To secure its placement, you can use a pair of scissors to press the excess parchment paper on all the edges of the baking sheet.
- Once you are done pressing it down, cut along the creases of all the excess parchment paper, then place it again.
- Do not forget to grease the pan using your preferred greaser, may it be a cooking spray or cooking oil.
Essential Tips and Tricks when lining a pan with parchment paper
You now have learned how to line different sizes and shapes of baking pans with parchment paper.
Ensure that you keep these essential tips and tricks in mind to help you avoid your pastries from sticking onto the pan ever again.
- There is a possibility that even if you have completely lined the pan with parchment paper, it can still move. So to ensure that it stays in place, you can spray a small amount of a non-stick cooking spray.
- If you are somewhat perfectionist and want to achieve perfect and neat edges, you may want to consider adding another sheet of parchment paper placed in an opposite direction.
- Make sure that the parchment paper is not peeking out of the baking pan because it can cause fire once it touches the interiors of the oven.
- Parchment papers are disposable. It is best if you avoid using it more than once.
- When storing the parchment paper, make sure that it is laid flat and not rolled so that the next time you use parchment paper, it will not roll back.
Recommended alternatives for parchment paper
Indeed, parchment paper is a versatile material. However, despite the advantages and functionality of this material, people still opt not to use it because it is disposable as it is a single-use item. Thus, making it costly. Moreover, it can also not be the best option for people who try to lessen their carbon footprint.
However, do not worry because parchment paper is still environmentally-friendly and biodegradable. However, it still requires much time and work to compost fully.
Therefore, listed below are the recommended alternatives for parchment paper you can use the next time you bake:
If you are also concerned about the environment, aluminum foil is ranked as the best alternative to line a pan. It is readily available and as functional as parchment paper, but aluminum foil can also be recycled.
Lining your pan with aluminum foil can also help prevent spillage and drips. However, as this is a glossy and smooth material, it lacks the non-stick properties a parchment paper has. Thus, to let it stick onto the pan, you are tasked to add more oil than your standard measurement.
Moreover, the aluminum foil is reflective and absorbs heat quickly. Therefore, the pastries you are baking will not take much longer before it is done.
Greased and Flour Pan
If you neither have parchment paper nor aluminum foil available in your household, you may opt to do the outdated method by greasing the pan then dusting with baking flour.
A cooking spray is also recommended as an alternative to parchment paper. It still does the same job as the parchment paper, which stops the baked goods from sticking onto the pan.
Cooking spray is readily available to the local store near you. Basically, it is just oil in a can. This is used by spraying an ample amount to the baking pan to make the surface non-stick. You no longer need to sprinkle a tremendous amount of flour onto the baking pan.
Silicone Baking Pad or Mat
Silicon baking pad or mat is also environmentally-friendly as you can use it almost a thousand times because it is washable compared to disposable parchment paper. Therefore, it is also a recommended alternative to line a pan.
This baking pad is made out of high-quality and food-grade fiberglass and silicone. It has a non-stick surface and can withstand heat up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes in various shapes and sizes, which can fit regardless of the size of your baking pan.
No kitchen is complete without an arsenal of papers such as parchment paper, wax paper and aluminum foil, which each come in handy for a variety of applications in cooking and baking. If you’ve ever tried to swap one for the other and ended up with inedible results (wax paper for parchment for baking chocolate chip cookies? Never again.) it’s time to get schooled on exactly when to use each type of paper.
Of course, while these three types of paper often seem like essentials, they aren’t eco-friendly. If you’re aiming for greater sustainability in your home kitchen, you can invest in a few silicone baking mats, which can replace parchment paper, wax paper, and foil in many different uses. (Plus, you can throw them in your dishwasher!) Read on for expert recommendations on exactly when to use parchment, wax paper, and foil in baking and cooking—including a few tips you probably haven’t thought of—and equally as important, where not to use each of the three.
Best Uses for Parchment Paper
When it comes to baking, a roll of parchment paper is one of the most versatile tools you can have in your kitchen. Not only is it non-stick, it’s also heat resistant (up to a point), resulting in perfect texture for all your favorite baked goods. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper to ensure your cookies cook evenly and the bottoms don’t get too brown, or place a piece inside your square or round pans for brownies and cakes that will pop out easily after they’re baked, says Kristen Tomlan, founder and CEO of DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections. (A pro tip when using parchment for baking: Spritz your pan with nonstick spray before laying the parchment down, which will help prevent it from rolling up.)
In cooking, parchment comes in handy for making easy, healthy dinners in the form of individual packets (like these can’t-miss parchment packet dinners). This is a method used by the French known as “en papillote.” For instance, you can use parchment to wrap a fish filet with herbs, lemon slices and chopped vegetables, then slide it into a hot oven. “This allows for a hybrid of baking and steaming, keeping moisture and flavor concentrated in the fish without having to use oil or butter,” says Jessica Rothacker, owner and head chef at Heirloom Café in Athens, Georgia.
Another surprising use for parchment paper? It works beautifully in helping to keep your kitchen clean as you bake and cook, says Tomlan. Simply add a small piece to the top of your kitchen scale, panini press, waffle maker, or any other kitchen gadget to avoid scrubbing that innards of that item later.
When Not to Use Parchment Paper
Parchment paper is not designed for high-heat cooking. Avoid using it in your oven or on the grill if temperature will exceed 400 degrees, says Michelle Weaver, chef at Charleston Grill in South Carolina, as there’s a chance it could catch fire.
Best Uses for Wax Paper
Working on a messy project, such as decorating cookies (especially with kids)? Put down a few sheets of wax paper to cover your table or countertop, says Weaver. That way, when you’re done, you can roll up any excess and simply toss it. This comes in handy particularly if you’re decorating with sprinkles! You can do the same thing when rolling out cookie dough or bread dough to avoid covering your countertop in flour and dough, says Rothacker. Wax paper is also an ideal surface when you’re dipping something in chocolate, like strawberries or pretzels, and need a place for the chocolate to harden before you remove it, says Tomlan.
Packing a picnic? Wrap individual sandwiches in wax paper instead of plastic wrap or plastic bags, says Weaver. Not only will it look adorable, especially if you tie it with a pretty string, it will protect your sandwich from getting soggy (and you can save the piece to wipe off and reuse later, too!).
Outside the kitchen, wax paper has a magical way of helping things glide more easily—think loosening a stuck zipper or making a can opener operate more smoothly. “Just rub it along the edge, and the wax will transfer and help glide things along,” says Tomlan.
When Not to Use Wax Paper
Whatever you do, don’t put it in the oven! While wax paper can be used for many things around the kitchen, getting near any kind of heat is not one of them, says Weaver, as the wax coating will melt off and into your food.
Best Uses for Aluminum Foil
A basic saying to guide your use of papers in the kitchen: “Sweet treats need parchment sheets; grill or broil, go with foil,” says Weaver. Foil conducts and distributes heat, making it able to withstand high temperatures from baking, broiling, roasting, or grilling. For anything above 400 degrees, use foil.
Similar to parchment, aluminum works well for individual foil packs for dinner, but since it’s more heat resistant, you can cook a wider variety of items using foil this way, especially on the grill or over an open flame. Rothacker recommends chicken with summer squash, onions, garlic and tomatoes for an Italian meal, or steak with bell peppers, jalapeño, onions and lots of spices to make fajitas. To make them, cut about an 18-inch square of foil; place your items in the middle and tent the foil, pressing the shiny sides flat together; then rolling up the sides toward the center.
Additionally, you can use heavy-duty foil to line large roasting pans or sheet pans for roasting meats or vegetables, making for easy cleanup later. Weaver even lines her oven with a double layer of foil to help keep it clean if something like a juicy fruit pie drips.
Aluminum foil can also be great for food storage. “It molds easily around bowls, food, and tops of containers of all shapes and sizes, ensuring a snug fit to keep out air while locking in smell and freshness,” says Tomlan. She also uses bits of crumpled-up foil to clean cast-iron pans, which helps to remove any extra food bits left behind. (BTW, here’s how to care for your beloved cast-iron skillet.)
When Not to Use Aluminum Foil
While it may seem obvious, make sure you never put anything with foil in the microwave. Even a tiny speck of remaining foil can cause a spark that leads to a fire.