Prepping makes all the difference in the end.
One of the easiest and simplest steps to encourage a perfect cake is to properly prepare the pan before pouring in the batter. The obvious reason for preparing the pan is to ensure a clean release and flawless appearance, but it also contributes to the cake’s crumb, texture, and crust.
- Make sure the pan is clean and dry. Unless otherwise specified, cakes bake best in metal pans instead of glass or ceramic.
- Use your fingertips, a soft pastry brush, or a folded paper towel to lightly and evenly coat the inside of the pan with vegetable shortening, such as Crisco. Make sure there are no bare spots, especially in the corners of the pan. Also avoid thick lumps or streaks that will hold excess flour and possibly mar the outside of the cooked and cooled cake with white residue. A pastry brush works best in pans that have an intricate pattern.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of all-purpose or instant flour (such as Wondra) into the pan. Gently shake, tap, and tilt the pan until all of the shortening is covered in a dusting of flour. Invert the pan over the sink and gently tap out any excess flour.
Why shortening instead of butter or oil?
Butter can sometimes worsen sticking problems, especially in cakes that are high in sugar. Oil absorbs too much of the flour and can pool in the bottom of the pan.
What about parchment paper?
If your recipe calls for lining the bottom and/or sides of the pan with parchment, do so. Some recipes combine greasing and flouring the pan with parchment.
What about nonstick cooking spray?
It’s tempting to turn to a can or bottle of cooking spray, especially those that contain flour, in an effort to save time. However, these sprays tend to make the cake’s crust thicker and darker, which might not matter all that much on a pound cake, but could be a deal breaker on delicate cakes. Some bakers report that cooking sprays leave residue that builds up and stains their pans over time. If your recipe specifically calls for misting the cake pan, then do so, but otherwise spraying a pan cannot replace greasing and flouring.
What about nonstick pans?
It’s best to not count on it, especially if the pan shows wear. Moreover, a heavy, dark, nonstick pan can affect baking times and turn the cake’s crust too thick and dark. Vintage Southern cake recipes written back when everyone used lightweight and light color aluminum pans bake best in that type of pan.
The sweetest gift you can give to your loved ones is by baking them a cake, literally and figuratively. However, the cake sticking onto the pan is one of the common problems you may encounter as you bake. Therefore, make sure you know how to grease a cake pan for a quick release.
Why do you need to grease your cake pan?
In the world of pastry and baking, greasing is essential. It is a process you should never forget after mixing all the necessary ingredients needed for your cake recipe.
Regardless of what type of pan you use, such as a muffin or a cake pan, it still needs to be greased. Greasing your cake pan helps prevent the baked goods from sticking onto the bottom and sides of the baking pan.
The greasing process makes the life of a baker easier when we talk about getting the cake or baked goods out of the baking pan.
You can try to come up with your own greasing method, but there are long-time greasing methods that are recommended which you may want to consider testing and find out which is more feasible and simpler for you.
Greasing is important in baking but what if you do not have an available cake pan? Learn how to make your own cake pan:
What is a cake release?
A cake release, commonly known as a pan release, is often a mixture of three baking ingredients: flour, oil, and a shortening. These ingredients are blended well in order to make grease for a hassle-free cake release.
4 Different Methods to grease a cake pan
Every pastry chef and self-taught baker has their own way of greasing a cake pan. It all varies according to which method they find easier to do or are more comfortable doing so.
Depending on the recipe you are about to bake, you can try all the different methods to grease a cake pan. Or, if you are a beginner to the baking world, at least try all the various techniques and find which way is perfect for you.
Grease a cake pan using the Butter and Flour Method
Butter and flour are two of the common ingredients in baking. These two are almost always inseparable when we talk about baking. Thus, you will not have a challenging time making grease with the butter and flour method.
This method is one of the oldest ways to grease a cake pan. Therefore, it is considered to be traditional yet still practical. You may opt not to use a pastry brush, but of course, good baking habits and proper hygiene should be a priority, especially if you bake pastry goods for a living. Ensure that you avoid doing the bad baking habits and practice the good ones instead.
The steps in doing the butter and flour method are so easy that even a kindergarten can do it:
- Wipe an ample amount of butter all over the surface of the cake pan. This includes both the sides and the bottom of the cake pan.
- Get at least a pinch of flour and sprinkle it onto the cake pan. Consider shaking the cake pan to spread the sprinkled flour evenly.
- After shaking the cake pan and you no longer see any gaps or uncovered butter, take out all the excess flour from the pan.
- After clearing out the excess flour, you are now ready to place the cake mixture.
Moreover, you may choose kitchen paper instead if there is no available pastry brush in your household. The results are similar as they help you spread out the butter onto the surface fairly.
If you are a visual learner, you may watch the tutorial below on how to grease a cake pan with flour and butter:
Grease a cake pan using the Butter and Sugar Method
The butter and sugar method steps are the same as the butter and flour method. The only difference is that you scatter a significant amount of sugar on the butter instead of flour.
Grease a cake pan using the Vegetable and Shortening Oil and Flour Method
Another method to grease a cake pan is to use vegetable oil or shortening oil. Vegetable oils are often made out of either soybean oil or palm oil, and they are believed to be stable even at room temperatures. Vegetable oils also have a natural neutral flavor.
If you wish to use a vegetable or a shortening oil as your cake pan greaser, make sure that you apply the grease on the surface of the cake pan, considering the bottom and all sides. Make use of kitchen paper to spread it out evenly.
Lastly, spread ample flour onto the cake pan until you no longer see uncovered areas. Shake the pan off to get rid of the excess flour.
However, always remember that this method is not suitable for all cakes. Thus, always ensure to double-check the recipe.
Grease a cake pan using the Oil Spray Method
The modern way to grease a cake pan is by doing the oil spray method. One of the reasons it is also recommended is that it makes the work done quickly. It does not matter, even if you are new in the world of baking. The oil spray method is easy that even a seven-year-old kid can effortlessly ace.
The first invention of the oil spray used in baking still needs to be sprinkled with flour. But lately, more varieties of oil spray have been invented. These oil sprays are available at a local grocery store near you, so you do not need to worry if you run out of them.
Some oil sprays have an upgraded type of oil made out of coconut, avocado, olive, and canola which you can use depending on what kind of cake you will bake and what type of cake pan you will use.
Moreover, some oil spray already has flour in it. Thus, giving it a non-stick property.
Just have it sprayed all over the surface of the cake pan. You do not even need to worry if there are uncovered spots. But, rest assured that by doing the oil spray method, you are greasing the entire surface of the pan evenly.
In case you do not have time to go to a local grocery store near you, you can make your own non-stick cooking spray instead by watching the tutorial below:
Do-it-yourself Pan Grease
Apart from readily available oil spray pan grease, which you can buy in most pastry stores and grocery stores near you, you can still opt to make your own with the ingredients you can often find in your kitchen.
To make a homemade cake release, you only need three common ingredients and a few baking tools to blend these ingredients well. These ingredients include flour, a shortening, and vegetable oil.
The quantity varies depending on the number of cakes you will bake, but all of these ingredients should be in a ratio of equal proportion to create a perfect mixture.
- Gather all the ingredients and baking utensils needed and place them near you for faster preparation.
- Prepare a mixing bowl and a whisk, then place all measured ingredients into the bowl and mix them well together.
- Typically, it will look a little rough as you start mixing at first. Hence, continue mixing until you come up with a paste or a fluffy mixture. You can combine these ingredients by hand using a whisk, or you may opt to use an electric stand mixer for faster preparation.
- Once you have achieved a fluffy texture, you are good to go. You are now ready to grease your cake pan with the help of a pastry brush.
Release the cake off the pan using the Parchment or Baking Paper Method
Another way to release a cake off the pan is lining a parchment or baking paper on your baking pan. This is a silicone-coated type of paper with non-sticking properties that come in either a sheet or a roll.
Parchment paper is often used for baking and is one of the easiest ways to grease a cake pan. Thus, making it easier to release a cake for pastry chefs and novices.
- Prepare parchment paper or baking paper. You can either use the rolled version or have it custom cut according to the shape and size of your cake pan. Or you can opt to use the pre-cut parchment paper instead.
- Though sometimes, lining a cake pan with parchment paper is enough already, but there are a few recipes that will require you to add grease onto the parchment paper.
Now that you know how to grease a cake pan, you can assume that releasing the cake off the cake pan will not give you a headache. Though, it does not necessarily mean that the cake you will be giving to your special loved ones has to be perfect. Effort alone makes it more special.
Do you want to make a stunning cake with a unique shape that will turn heads? Then a bundt pan is the perfect tool you need!
But before you start mixing batter, there’s one crucial step: greasing and flouring the pan. Doing so ensures a seamless release and no sticking.
I’ll show you my tried-and-tested method of greasing and flouring the bundt pan so that your baking is always a success.
Bundt cake in the Czech Republic is known as “bábovka” and is one of the most popular desserts that Czechs bake on weekends. Get the recipe for Czech bábovka bundt cake.
➜ What is a bundt pan?
A bundt cake pan is a type of cake pan with a distinctive ring-shaped design. The shape of the pan allows for cakes to be baked with an intricate pattern on the outside, and it also helps to create a more even baking surface.
➜ What you need
- A bundt cake pan; clean it first using warm soapy water and make sure to dry the pan thoroughly with a dish towel or paper towels. Pay special attention to any stuck-on residue that may have remained in the pan from the last baking – you need to remove these.
- Solid fat; such as vegetable shortening or Crisco if you are based in the US. As a Czech, I often use lard for greasing. Avoid using cooking spray or cooking oil when dusting the cake pan with flour or breadcrumbs, as these won’t adhere firmly to the sides and may run down. In addition, I avoid using butter to grease bundt pans because the milk solids can cause the cake to stick.
- Flour, or better breadcrumbs; I have found it works best to dust the cake pan with fine breadcrumbs. I make my own breadcrumbs by grinding fully dried, plain French baguettes, Czech veka bread, rohliky rolls, or housky braided rolls. I don’t recommend using coarse flour as a semolina, as it creates a hard crust after baking and unnecessarily spoils the impression of an otherwise delicious cake.
➜ Greasing and flouring a bundt cake pan the right way
STEP 1: Grease all the nooks and crannies inside the cake pan with care. Keep working your way around the pan, preferably with your fingers, until the whole surface is covered.
MY TIP: While I used to grease a pan with a silicone pastry brush, I now find that using my fingers to do so is more efficient.
STEP 2: Sprinkle fine breadcrumbs or plain flour into the greased cake pan. Grasp the mold with both hands and, in a circular motion, fill its inner surface with breadcrumbs. If still necessary, gently shake the pan so that you create a thin, even coating of breadcrumbs on all the spots inside. In particular, the central tube must be completely coated.
STEP 3: To remove excess breadcrumbs, lightly tap the edge of the pan on the counter.
STEP 4: And now, you’re finished! Your bundt cake pan is ready to be filled with cake batter.
➜ Should I grease a bundt pan with non-stick coating?
Even if a bundt cake pan has a nonstick coating, it is best to grease and flour it to make sure the cake comes out easily. Nonstick cake pans lose adhesion with use and over time, so it is best to prepare the pan before baking as a preventative measure. By greasing and flouring, you can avoid the disappointment of a cake that doesn’t turn out and the waste of ingredients.
➜ How to get a cake out of a bundt pan
Greasing and flouring the bundt pan thoroughly is essential for getting the cake out of the pan after baking, but there is still one more trick to make it easier.
- If not, bring a kitchen towel. Soak it in cold water and wring it out. Next, spread and press the towel evenly across the pan.
- If the cake isn’t releasing and the towel is warm, you can try again after a while.
⇢ Learn how to tell when my bundt cake is done
➜ What to do with a stuck bundt cake
If even this trick fails and you end up with a stuck bundt cake, don’t give up. Although the cake may not be visually perfect, its taste is still delicious. Slice it into aesthetically pleasing pieces and arrange them on a plate. They’ll be gone in a flash!
Another option is to use the cake crumbs as a base for another recipe. If the cake breaks while turning out of the mold, I just put the pieces in a bowl and top them with vanilla cream. Incredible goodness!
In conclusion, taking the time to grease and flour a bundt pan is a crucial step in the baking process that pays off. Not only will it help your finished cake look better, but it will also make sure that your baked cake comes out of the pan without sticking or crumbling.
Now go grab your ingredients and a nice-shaped bundt pan, and start creating something delicious! A well-greased and floured pan is sure to make all of your baking endeavors much easier.
Bundt cake recipes
Make your first attempt at that six-layer cake a success by ensuring it doesn’t fall apart when removed from the pan. Not all cakes require your baking pan to be greased and/or floured. (Angel food cakes, for example, are baked in tube pans that allow cakes to be easily removed without greasing.) But most of the time, you’ll find even a basic yellow cake recipe calls for your pan to be greased prior to putting it in the oven. Once you know how to grease a pan properly, you’ll be able to get cakes out of the pan without any worries at all.
How to Grease and Flour a Pan
Cakes that will be removed from the pan call for a greased and floured pan; recipes that are served in the pan simply call for greasing. If your recipe doesn’t call for a greased pan, skip this step.
Brush pan with shortening
Using a pastry brush ($11, Bed Bath & Beyond) or paper towel, brush solid shortening evenly over the bottom of the pan, being careful not to leave any uncoated, shiny spots. When greasing the sides and corners of the pan, turn the pan as you grease. Don’t grease all the way to the top of the pan; grease only about 1 inch up the sides. Take extra care when greasing fluted tube pans, making sure you’ve coated the entire surface, including crevices. Cakes baked in these kinds of pans are notorious for sticking.
Flour the pan
When pan is completely greased, sprinkle a few spoonfuls of all-purpose flour into the bottom. If you’re baking a chocolate cake, consider using unsweetened cocoa powder instead of flour for a nice deep brown color and enhanced chocolate flavor.
Evenly distribute flour
Hold one edge of the pan; tap the other with free hand to distribute the flour. The flour will “skate” over the greased surface and stick to it. When the bottom of the pan is coated, tilt the pan, tapping to move the flour over the sides. Tap out any extra flour into the garbage.
Test Kitchen Tip: For a quick nonstick brush-on, stir together ¼ cup each vegetable oil, shortening, and flour. Brush on pans instead of greasing/flouring.
How to Line a Pan with Parchment Paper or Waxed Paper
The extra step of lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper ($4, Target) is an even surer method for getting the cake out of the pan, especially those that are more likely to stick (we’re looking at you, carrot cake). Keep in mind that you can only use this method for cakes baked in flat-bottom pans. Use the grease-and-flour method, above, for fluted tube pans.
Trace the pan
With a clean pair of kitchen scissors, cut just inside the traced line on the paper. Press it into the corners, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.
Fit paper, then grease and flour
To get a layer cake out of a pan, place a wire rack over the top of the cake and flip the cake and the pan.
Lift pan off cake
Lift the pan off the cake, being careful not to tear the edges of the cake.
Remove paper, if used
Gently and immediately peel the waxed or parchment paper (if used) off the cake. Cool cake as directed in your recipe. If you’re removing a cake roll from the pan, loosen the cake from the edges of the pan with a knife or offset spatula and turn out the cake onto a prepared kitchen towel before cooling as directed.
Put your cake-making knowledge to good use and practice some baking therapy with a delightful champagne cake with strawberries. Or go for a classic chocolate cake. Don’t forget the ice cream!
Grease is a type of lubricant used to reduce the friction between two objects. It is often used in machines to keep them running smoothly. Grease has several features that make it ideal for this purpose. It is thick and sticky, which helps it stay in place.
It is also resistant to water, which helps protect the machine from corrosion. Additionally, grease has a high melting point, which means it can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for use in engines and other machinery that runs at high temperatures.
- Is it necessary to grease a cake pan?
- How to grease a cake pan?
- Is it OK to grease cake pans with butter?
- Should I use oil or butter to grease a cake pan?
Is it necessary to grease a cake pan?
A cake pan is an ovenproof dish with a flat bottom and sides used to bake cakes. Cake pans come in many different sizes and shapes. Some cake pans have non-stick coatings to help the cake come out of the pan.
Others feature a layer of flour or sugar to support batter adherence to the pan and not stick to the cutting tool when you cut the cake. Before placing a cake pan in the oven, make sure your pan is greased. You can use melted butter, margarine, line baking spray, or some other type of fat to grease the cake pan. Greased cake pans prevent cake batter from adhering, which helps the cake stay together.
Use shortening or cooking spray.
If using shortening, put it in a bowl and put the cake pan next to the bowl.Hold the can six inches from the cake pan using cooking spray and spray the entire surface.
Either way, make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Some people also like to line their cake pans with parchment paper for an extra layer of protection against sticking.
Is it OK to grease cake pans with butter?
Some cooks believe it’s better to grease cake pans with butter than cooking spray. They say the butter provides a nice, crispy crust on the cake. Others say that cooking spray is just as good, if not better because it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on the pan. Ultimately, it’s up to the cook to decide what they prefer.
Should I use oil or butter to grease a cake pan?
When greasing a cake pan, there are two main choices: oil or butter. Both have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Oil is a popular choice because it’s non-stick, which means that the cake will quickly come out of the pan without sticking.
However, some people find that the taste of oil can be overpowering in baked goods. Butter is also a popular choice because it gives cakes and other desserts a wonderful flavor. However, getting a cake out of a butter-greased pan can be difficult if it starts to stick.
Are you a beginner or an expert in the kitchen? Knowing how to grease a cake pan is an essential skill every baker must learn.
Types of Grease
Walking through a grocery store’s baking supply aisle, you will see several greasing products. Choosing the best option to use for your cake pan may seem daunting. While they all serve the same purpose, one may be better suited for particular cakes than others.
To help you pick the best solution for your next culinary project, we’ve listed the types of grease and their descriptions.
This product is a popular choice for greasing cake pans. It’s rich in fat since its main ingredient is cream. Spreading butter on the cake pan creates a barrier between the pan and the confection, which helps prevent it from sticking.
A delightful bonus is that it adds delicious flavor to your cake! Remember to use unsalted butter so there are no apparent changes in taste.
It is a type of fat that is often used in making pies and scones. Its primary element is hydrogenated vegetable oil. It’s solid at room temperature, and the texture is similar to whipped butter, only it’s white.
It also creates a nonstick coating that protects the cake from sticking to the fan. Since it’s flavorless, shortening doesn’t add any taste to baked goods. However, it can help make them extra moist and tender.
This liquid fat is also a greasing option. You can choose from various oils, including canola, coconut, or olive oil. They may have distinct flavors, so use them sparingly.
They’re easy to apply and create a smooth and even layer of grease on the pan. However, it doesn’t make as much of a barrier as butter or shortening. So it may not be the perfect pick for cakes prone to sticking.
This spray-on oil is a convenient choice for greasing cake pans. They usually come in canola, vegetable, or coconut oil variants.
Some are even flavored with butter or olive oil. It creates a fine mist that coats the baking tin. It’s also quick and easy to use. However, it may provide less protection against sticking than other types of grease.
Using Grease and Flour
Greasing and flouring your cake pan creates a non-stick surface to help your baked goods release easily from the tin after baking. This method is excellent for cakes that tend to stick or have a delicate texture.
- Cake pan
- Butter or vegetable shortening
- All-purpose flour
- Paper towel or pastry brush
- Preheat your oven according to your recipe’s instructions.
- Spread a small amount of grease around the inside of the cake pan with a pastry brush or a paper towel to
- Coat the bottom and sides of the tin evenly, ensuring there are no bare spots.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of all-purpose flour into the pan, making sure it coats the butter or shortening.
- Shake the pan around to distribute the starch evenly.
- Tap the bottom of the pan to remove any excess flour.
- Dump out any excess powder that did not stick to the butter/shortening, and your pan should be ready to use!
Greasing a Bundt Cake Pan
Bundt cakes have a more intricate shape than other baked goods. It’s more difficult to release it from the pan without sticking. By greasing and flouring, you create a non-stick surface that effortlessly releases the treats.
- Bundt pan
- Butter or vegetable shortening
- All-purpose flour
- Sifter or fine-mesh sieve
- Paper towel or pastry brush
- Grease the Bundt pan’s interior with your fingers, a paper towel or pastry brush.
- Coat the pan’s ridges evenly, and ensure no bare spots.
- Sift or sprinkle a tablespoon of all-purpose flour over the butter/shortening in the pan.
- Alternatively, use a cooking spray to cover the pan with a fine mist.
- Tap the pan gently over a sink or trash can to remove excess flour.
- Your Bundt pan is now greased and floured, and ready to use!
Using a Parchment Liner
Have you tried cleaning baking pans with bits of cake stuck inside? It can be a bummer, right? Here’s some good news: you can skip this tedious process by lining your tins with parchment paper.
This product is heaven-sent for professional and home bakers. It prevents your baked treats from sticking to the pan. It also makes cleaning up a breeze. Talk about a win-win scenario.
Lining a Cake Ring
Do you want a masterpiece that not only tastes good but looks good, too? Here’s how you can make your cake ring nonstick.
- Cake ring
- Parchment paper
- Lay a sheet of parchment on a flat surface, with the shiny side facing down.
- Place the cake ring on top of the paper.
- Use a pencil to trace the inside and outside edges of the ring.
- Leave enough space around the edges for the sheet to come up the sides of the cake ring.
- Cut out the traced circle.
- Measure the ring’s height and cut a long strip of parchment to match it.
- Wrap the long strip of parchment paper around the cake ring’s inside, ensuring it fits snugly against the sides.
- Use tape or a paper clip to hold the ends together.
- Place the paper circle on the cake ring’s bottom, ensuring it’s centered.
Lining a Cheesecake Tin
A cheesecake is a delicate dessert that needs to be handled with care. Parchment paper serves as a protective coating, so you can remove the pastry from the tin without damaging it.
Here are the steps to lining your cheesecake pan with parchment.
- Trace the bottom of the tin onto the parchment and cut it out.
- Grease the bottom and sides of your cheesecake pan so the paper sticks to the container.
- Place the parchment making sure it is nice and snug.
- Smoothen creases and wrinkles.
- Place the strip around the inside, ensuring it is centered and sticking to the greased sides.
- Trim any excess paper that extends over the top of the tin.
Frequently Asked Questions
We gathered some common questions about this crucial baking preparation technique.
What’s the difference between a cake pan and a baking pan?
As the name implies, a cake pan is specifically designed for baking cakes. It usually has straight sides and a flat bottom, making it easy to remove the dessert once it’s baked. It comes in various shapes, including round, square, and rectangular.
On the other hand, a baking pan is a general term referring to any vessel used for baking.
It also comes in different shapes, sizes, and materials, such as glass, metal, or ceramic. They can have different types of sides, such as straight or sloping. Aside from cakes, you can also use them for casseroles, bread, and roasted vegetables.
How do you remove the cake from the pan?
Removing a cake from a pan can be a delicate process. You want to ensure the cake stays intact and doesn’t break apart. First, let the cake cool down to make it firm up. This way, it’s easier to remove from the pan.
Next, run a knife around the edges to separate the dessert from the pan. Then, flip it onto a plate and gently tap the bottom of the pan to help release the pastry. You can also try wiggling it back and forth to loosen the cake. Lastly, lift off the pan carefully.
When shouldn’t you use flour?
While flour is commonly used to grease cake pans, there are certain situations where it might not be the best choice. Here are some instances where you should avoid using this starch:
- When making delicate pastries such as angel food or chiffon cake
- When baking sponge cake or other desserts with a smooth surface
- When producing dark-colored treats, including chocolate cake
- When making baked goods with crunchy outer layers, like a coffee cake with streusel topping.
What will happen if you forget to grease the pan?
In general, forgetting to grease a cake pan is not the end of the world, but it can make it difficult to remove the finished cake and affect its texture and appearance.