What Happens If You Forget To Grease Your Cake Pan?

No matter how embarrassing it is to admit, we’ve all done it. Maybe you were a pre-teen baking your first solo cake, or maybe it just happened last week and you feel like a fool. Forgetting to grease the cake pan happens to us all at one point or another. And yes, it sucks. Perhaps you went to turn the bundt cake pan over and the entire top half ripped from the bottom because it got stuck or you went to cut a piece from the pan only to realize too much of the crumb is on the bottom to be a coincidence.

That moment of realization is the worst, and makes you question your intelligence: How could you have forgotten to do something so simple? But don’t beat yourself up. After all, mistakes happen and, at this point, it’s almost a right of passage. But let’s talk about what happens when we forget to grease and how we can possibly salvage the mess.

It won’t come out quite right

Not greasing your cake pan before baking can cause quite a few problems. When a cake bakes in a non-greased pan, it will adhere to the glass or metal instead of having a thin layer of fat or oil working as a layer of defense. So, in your attempt to remove the cake from the pan the cake will struggle to come out, which will often result in the crumb tearing or falling to pieces. Reader’s Digest suggests trying to glue the torn pieces of your cake together with frosting, but that will only work if you can remove those torn pieces from the pan without tearing them further and have the skill to put everything back together again.

Basically, forgetting to grease your pan is only a recipe for disaster and if you want a respectable-looking bake, you’ll butter everything up before pouring the batter in. But if you absolutely do not have the time to bake yourself a whole new dessert, the Rachael Ray Show has a strange trick to try. The show asks that you fill a pan bigger than your cake pan with hot water and then place your cake pan inside of it, being careful not to let the water come in direct contact with your sponge. Let this twist on the bain-marie rest for three minutes and then try to remove the cake from the pan again.

All bakeware is not the same. Be sure you know the difference between baking pans and dishes and when to use each.

You’re about to whip up a batch tangy lemon bars and the recipe calls for preparing a 9×13 baking pan. But if you have both metal and glass pans of this size in your kitchen, which one do you use? Is one type better than the other for that recipe? The answer is yes, and we’ll explain the difference between a glass and metal baking dish (besides the material they’re made with, obviously). In all the recipes developed by the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen, a baking dish means an oven-safe glass or ceramic vessel while a baking pan refers to one made of metal. Here’s what you need to know before you make your next chocolate cake.

When to Use Baking Pans (Metal)

Aluminum (nonstick or not) is a great choice for baking pans. They are lightweight and conduct heat well for even baking. Pale or shiny metal pans, such as heavy-gauge aluminum, deliver a tender delicate crust for breads and cookies. They’re also handy for easy sheet pan dinners. Dark metal pans, which conduct, retain, and distribute heat well, are for items that require more crispness or browning. Here are some instances when you should use metal baking pans.

  • For nicely browned baked goods.
  • For broiling. Do not use glass dishes or casseroles when broiling because the high temperatures may cause the glass to shatter. Therefore, when broiling, use only metal pans or bakeware suitable for broiling.
  • For roasting vegetables.

A Note from the Test Kitchen

Use these when a 2- or 3-quart baking dish is called for (specifically when baking egg dishes and acidic foods, including citrus, tomato, and other fruit-based desserts. You’ll want to use these dishes for those crisps, cobblers, and other crustless fruit desserts. In general, you probably don’t want to use glass or ceramic in temperatures higher than 425ºF. So if you’re in a pinch and need to use glass or ceramic cookware for recipes that call for baking pans, reduce the baking temperature by about 25ºF. It’s also important to note some glassware such as Pyrex can be prone to thermal shock, meaning rapid change in temperature could cause your bakeware to shatter. Make sure your dishes are completely cool before refrigerating or freezing them. Or if you’ve got a breakfast casserole chilling overnight, allow it to come closer to room temperature before popping it in the oven.

Now you know whenever you’re making our recipe for classic lasagna or peach cobbler and it says to prepare your rectangular baking dish, you’ll be reaching for a glass or ceramic dish. And when you’re utilizing those ripe bananas to make some banana bread, prepare your metal baking pan for a perfect loaf.

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.

One major mistake many people make when baking pies is having their pie crusts stick to the pan. As such, the pie becomes difficult to remove from the pan without crumbling, spoiling its appearance. If you want a perfect pie, you have to ensure that your pie pan easily comes out of the pan.

This article will cover

  • What Makes A Pie Crust Stick To The Pan?
  • How To Keep Your Pie Crust From Sticking To The Pan?
  • How To Bake The Perfect Pie?
  • How To Clean Burnt Pie Crust From The Pan?

What Makes A Pie Crust Stick To The Pan?

To prevent your pie from sticking to the pan, you need to know what makes a pie crust sticky in the first place. This will help you know how best to work around the situation when it happens.

Not using the right cookware

The type of pan you use determines how well your pie crust will turn out. The best cookware for baking pies in glass pie dishes because of their excellent heat conductivity and distribution. Also, they bake your pies evenly.

Due to their transparency, you can always see when the pie is done. You don’t need to grease glass pie plates before you use them. However, if you use sticky cookware like a stainless steel pan, there is a high chance of your pie crust sticking to the pan’s bottom. And you shouldn’t grease your pie pans as it will change the crust’s texture.

Not lining your pie pans

If you’re using another cookware aside from a glass pie plate, you need to line it with parchment paper. Not lining it will make it difficult to remove the pie when it is done.

Using the wrong ingredients

The wrong ingredients can also make your pie crust stick to the pan’s bottom. For instance, using low-quality flour won’t give you the perfect pie. If the flour doesn’t rise while baking, it will stick to the pan.

Using a sticky pie dough

Your dough should neither be too moist nor too dry. To know if your dough is too wet, check if it sticks to your rolling pin. If it does, add more flour. However, remember that too much flour will make your dough a cracker. To get the perfect pie crust, you need a dough that is tender and flaky.

Once you know why your pie crust sticks to the pan, preventing such from happening will be easy. Here is a guide on how to keep your pie crust from sticking to the pan;

Line your pan

Using parchment paper or aluminum foil to line the pan before you place the dough keeps your pie crust from sticking to the pan since there is no direct contact between the pan and the pie. Besides, it’s easier to remove the pie from parchment paper or foil than a pan. You can also use a pan with a removable bottom.

Pre-bake your dough

Pre-baking your dough ensures that your pie crust isn’t soggy at the bottom, thereby not sticking to the pan. It also ensures that your pie gets baked thoroughly, especially if you’re adding a filling that doesn’t need much time to get done.  With a firm pie crust bottom, your pie will easily come out of the pan when you want to remove it.

Refrigerate your dough

There are many reasons to refrigerate your pie dough before you bake it. First, refrigerating makes it easy to work the dough. As such, you won’t find it difficult to cut, roll or knead it. Also, it reduces the rate of shrinking in the baking process, which prevents the dough from sinking into the pan’s bottom. Let the dough stay for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before you take it out and start working it.

Fix any cracks

Cracks also cause your pie crust to stick to the pan. This is because your fillings will likely leak from the cracks and run to the bottom of the pan, making the pie crust soggy and sticky. By the time the pie is done, it’ll be difficult to remove it from the pan.

If there are cracks in your dough, refrigerate it for some minutes and knead it into a ball. Brush the dough with water and seal up the edges.  However, don’t use too much water to prevent the dough from becoming too moist.

How To Bake The Perfect Pie?

No one likes to commit time and effort into baking a pie that turns out burnt or with a runny filling. You can bake the perfect pie crust if you pay attention to the details. Here is a guide on how to bake the perfect pies:

Use the proper ingredients in the right proportion

The quality and proportion of the ingredients you use matter too. Usually, the perfect dough should have the right amount of fat, liquid, and flour. Too much flour or a low-quality one will make the dough too dry; too much liquid will make it soggy. A perfect pie starts with a well-made dough. You should use exact measurements to avoid making bad dough.

Keep the edges from burning

If you don’t protect your pie crust’s edges, they will get done before the rest of the pan. As such, they are likely to get burnt or become too brown. To prevent this, wrap the edges in aluminum foil. Only remove in the last lap of the baking process.

Use the lowest oven rack

Always use the lowest oven rack for baking your pies. This ensures that the bottom of the pie crust is firm and keeps the edges from darkening. Preheat your oven before you place the pie in it. This way, the pie crust won’t shrink to the bottom of the pan.

Use the right timing

A perfect pie is neither burnt nor unevenly baked. For your pies to be uniformly and properly done, bake them long enough. However, don’t overdo it, as overbaking causes cracks and loss of moisture in the pie.

The timing depends on the type of pie. For example, fruit pies need more time than custard pies. You can set the alarm on your phone or the oven’s timer to remind you of your pie in the oven.

Let the filling set before serving

Don’t serve your pie the moment you take it out of the oven. If you cut the pie straight away, will run out, and that will be a big mess. Allow the pie to cool before serving. It might seem frustrating waiting for some hours, but you’ll get tidy pie slices at the end.

How To Clean Burnt Pie Crust From The Pan?

Having a burnt pie crust not only keeps you from having a perfect pie it can also damage the pie pan. If you don’t clean the burnt residue off the pan quickly, it can become a permanent layer on the pan’s surface.

The best thing is to keep your pie crust from burning. You do this by not leaving your pie unattended when baking, not opening the oven door every second to check the pie, lining the pan with aluminum foil, etc. Here are ways you can clean burnt pie crust from your pan;

Remove the pie crust

The damage has been done already, but you can’t leave your pie crust in the pan forever. Once the pie has cooled, use a knife to slice it into different parts. Then, take out the sliced pieces. Use the knife to scrape off parts that need to be scraped off as well. You would have to make do with the pie crumbling, as there are few chances of avoiding this.

Make a solution

Only soap and sponge can’t get rid of the burnt residue on your pie pan. You need something extra, like a solution. One way to do this is to mix warm water with baking soda and soap.

Pour the solution into the pan and allow it to sit for some minutes before you scrub the pan with soap and water. You can also make a solution of baking soda and vinegar. Boil the mixture in the pan for some minutes.

Clean the pan

Once you’ve poured away the solution, you still have to clean the pan with soap, a non-abrasive pad, and water. The pan will be easier to clean because the solution would have gotten rid of the burnt residues. Rinse the pan well after washing. Ensure there’s no moisture left on the pan before you store it. Also, store the pan in the right place.

Once you’ve cleaned the burnt pie crust from your pan, ensure you keep your pie crust from sticking to it in future uses. Regular burning destroys a pie pan.


You can stop your pie from becoming a distance by keeping it from sticking to the pan. Using the right cookware, making a good dough, set your oven to the right temperature, etc., are some of the ways to achieve that. If your pie crust sticks to the pan, ensure to get rid of it as soon as possible to protect the pan from damage.

How to Prepare a Bread Pan

Are you tired of your bread getting stuck in the pan? There’s a simple solution and it requires a well-greased pan.

Once you learn the basic technique for greasing your pan, your loaf of bread will fall right out after it’s baked. The good news is that it’s easy and you probably have everything you need right there in the kitchen.

How to Grease a Bread Pan

Properly greasing the bread pan is essential to getting the baked loaf of bread out after you pull it from the oven. There are a number of items you can use, including shortening, butter, or cooking oil.

To make it even easier, you can coat the pan with a layer of coarse cornmeal. This won’t adhere to the bread because it’s not part of the dough, so there’s no need to worry that it will alter your recipe.

  • Grease the loaf pan thoroughly using shortening, cooking oil, or butter.
  • Spread it evenly on the bottom and all sides of the pan using your fingers or a folded paper towel. If you are baking a sweet dessert bread, stop here; the pan is ready to be used.
  • For white or whole wheat bread, use coarse cornmeal to prevent sticking. Put a handful of cornmeal into the loaf pan and turn the pan so that the bottom and sides are covered.
  • After the bread is baked, getting it out of the pan is as simple as turning the pan over. The bread will fall right out.

Skip the Pan

If you get frustrated with your bread pans, you can skip them entirely. They’re not required for most white, wheat, and quick bread recipes that have a thick dough and you will have a perfectly delicious loaf of bread without the pan.

Your bread will not have that signature sandwich-style loaf shape. Instead, it will have more of a rounded artisanal look like the bakery offers. The slices make perfect sandwiches and many people actually prefer the shape over the traditional sandwich loaf.

Rather than a loaf pan, shape your bread dough. After pinching close the seams, place the loaf onto a greased cookie sheet, then let it rise and bake it as you normally would. For this purpose, spray oil works perfectly and there’s no need to include cornmeal because it can’t get stuck in the pan.


  • If you are using butter, do not leave clumps of butter in the pan.
  • Save your butter wrappers and use them to grease the loaf pan.
  • Spray oils will work as well, though you’ll want to ensure that you get even coverage. Use a paper towel to spread it out into a thin layer rather than spraying more than needed.
  • If you’re using oil, be sure to sop up any puddles that form in the pan. They tend to build up slowly over the first few minutes—especially in the corners and along the edges—as the oil slides down the sides.
  • University of Louisville
  • Organic Chem Lab I

Anonymous Student

6 months ago

Explain why it is important to lightly grease all of the glass joints on a distillation apparatus.

All replies

In some circumstances, the grease must be applied to each joint to ensure a good seal including when using reduced pressure inside an apparatus. Additionally, grease is applied to joints that may come into touch with very basic solutions since these solutions can etch glass and generate sodium silicates.

Ground-glass joints and stopcocks should never be utilized when dry. It is a good idea to lubricate them to avoid sticking and breaking.

Related Answered Questions

Ask your study questions to our Experts.

Receive an answer explained step-by-step.

Get your answer as fast as 30 minutes.

What Is Greasing in Cooking?

Greasing is applying fat or oil to cookware before cooking to prevent food from sticking. This can be done with various fats and oils, including butter, margarine, shortening, lard, and vegetable oil. In most cases, the fat is applied to the cookware using a brush or paper towel.

However, some people prefer to spray their cookware with cooking spray. No matter what method you use, it is important to evenly coat the entire surface of the cookware to prevent sticking.

While greasing is often used in baking, it can also be used for frying, sautéing, and roasting. When fried foods are not properly greased, they can stick to the pan and become difficult to flip.

When sautéing or roasting, a light coating of oil helps to prevent sticking and also helps to ensure even cooking. In general, it is best to use a high smoke point oil when grease as this helps prevent burning.

Greasing is an essential cooking technique that every home cook should know how to do. When done correctly, it can help to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking. So next time you start to cook, make sure to grease your pan!

Why It’s Important to Grease a Glass Pan for Brownies?

Greasing a glass pan before adding the brownie batter may seem like an extra step, but it is important. The grease helps create a barrier between the pan and the batter, making it easier to release the finished brownies. In addition, it helps to prevent stickiness and possible burning.

When it comes time to release the brownies, run a knife around the edges of the pan and then turn it over onto a wire rack or cutting board. The brownies should slide right out with minimal effort. With that said, there are a few things to keep in mind when greasing a glass pan.

First, be sure to use a non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil. Second, don’t overdo it – a light coating is all you need. And finally, make sure to evenly smooth out the grease so that there are no clumps or areas too light.

Required Materials

  • Glass Pan
  • Cooking Spray or Vegetable Oil
  • Paper Towel or Brush
  • 1/2 Cup of Cooking Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • – A Clean Lint-Free Cloth

How to Grease a Glass Pan for Brownies Step by Step Guide

The first step in how to grease a glass pan for brownies is to determine what type of grease to use. There are three common types of grease: butter, cooking spray, and shortening. All three will work fine, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Butter: Butter is the traditional choice for greasing a baking pan. It’s easy to use and readily available, but it can burn easily and leave behind brown streaks.

Cooking spray: Cooking spray is a convenient option, but it can be expensive and leave behind a sticky residue.

Shortening: Shortening is a good all-purpose grease, but it can be difficult to work with, leaving behind a greasy film.

Choose Your Grease

Once you’ve decided which grease to use, it’s time to choose your specific product. For butter, you can use either salted or unsalted butter. If using cooking spray, look for a specifically designed brand for baking. Shortening can be either vegetable shortening or lard.

Prepare the Pan

Preheat the oven according to recipe instructions. Then, using a paper towel or pastry brush, lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with butter, shortening, margarine, or cooking spray. For extra insurance against sticking, you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper or foil that has been greased.

Add the Batter

Now it’s time to add the brownie batter. Be sure to spread it into the corners of the pan evenly. If using a recipe that calls for adding nuts or chocolate chips, you can do so now.

Bake the Brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat in a medium saucepan, constantly stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!

How Do You Keep Brownies from Sticking to Glass Pan?

Preheat your oven to the temperature specified in your recipe. This allows the heat to distribute evenly so that your brownies cook evenly.

Prepare Your Glass Pan

Next, you need to prepare your glass pan for baking. Start by greasing the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray or butter. Then, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. This will help prevent the brownies from sticking to the pan and making a mess.

Make the Brownie Batter

Now it’s time to make the brownie batter. Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, add the wet ingredients and mix until everything is well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Then, bake the brownies for the time specified in your recipe. Once they’re done, let them cool completely before cutting and serving.


Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your delicious brownies! These tips will help you get perfect results every time. So, there’s no need to worry about sticking or burning ever again. Enjoy!

How Do You Grease a Pan for Brownies without Spray?

Fortunately, there are a few alternatives that will work just as well. One option is to use butter. Simply melt some butter in the microwave and then brush it evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.

Another option is to use shortening. You can either rub it into the pan with your fingers or use a paper towel to spread it around. Either way, you’ll want to make sure that the entire surface is covered so that your brownies will release easily.

So there you have it! A few easy ways to grease a pan for brownies without resorting to spray oil. With these methods, you’ll be able to get perfect results every time.

Frequently Asked Question

The best pan for baking brownies is a glass pan. Glass pans distribute heat evenly, resulting in perfectly-baked brownies every time. Non-stick pans are also an option, but use a baking spray or butter to prevent the brownies from sticking.

Should Pan Be Greased for Brownies?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as some people prefer their brownies with a light layer of grease while others do not. However, if you are unsure whether or not your glass pan should be greased for brownies, it is best to err on the side of caution and grease it anyway. This will ensure that your brownies do not stick to the pan and come out easily.

What Can I Use Instead of Non-Stick Spray?

You can use a few things to grease a glass pan for brownies other than non-stick spray. One option is vegetable shortening. Another option is butter. You can also use cooking spray, but make sure it does not contain any flour or starch.

What Oil Is Best for Greasing Baking Pans?

There are different oils you can use to grease a baking pan. The most common is vegetable shortening, but you can also use butter, margarine, or cooking spray.


You can check it out to Make a Box Cake Moist and Fluffy

To avoid a messy fate, we tested a number of methods and found the best way to line your pan for a stick-free guarantee.

It’s all about pan prep

Your goal is to prevent your cake from sticking by creating a barrier between batter and pan (e.g., parchment, nonstick spray, or shortening and flour) prior to adding cake batter.

After testing a dozen different options for this article, I’m happy to report that all but one resulted in an intact cake: no sticking, no crumbling. That said, some required a bit more tapping and jiggling to get the cake to release. Below are the methods I settled on, in order of preference, starting with my top pick for guaranteed success. Results are based on how each performed using Chef Zeb’s Hot Milk Cake in a 6″ round pan (one recipe yields four 6″ cakes).

Parchment + pan spray is the clear winner in our cake pan prep trials.

The winner

Parchment + nonstick pan spray. Silicone-coated baking paper (parchment) is the cake baker’s best friend. Line the bottom of your pan with nonstick parchment, then coat the pan’s sides with nonstick pan spray. Some people espouse coating the bottom of the pan with spray before adding the parchment, then spraying the parchment as well; if you lean toward a “belt and suspenders” approach, feel free to do this.

Baked on parchment, your cake will drop right out of the upended pan onto its cooling rack, and the parchment is easily peeled off the warm cake’s bottom. Parchment rounds are handy for round pans; if you’re baking in a square or rectangular pan, choose half-sheet parchment cut to size.

We especially recommend the parchment-pan spray combination for cakes with sticky add-ins, like meltable chips or bits of chocolate or caramel, fresh or dried fruit or anything else (mini marshmallows?) that can become sticky when warm.

Here are some of the many cakes I baked to draw the conclusions in this article. What a delicious exercise!

The runners-up

Cake goop stays soft even when stored in the fridge, making it quick and easy to use.

Cake goop. If you choose not to use parchment, homemade “cake goop,” known to seasoned cake bakers everywhere, is a super alternative. Made by mixing equal parts (by volume) vegetable shortening, flour, and vegetable oil, goop is simply painted onto your pans with a pastry brush (or rubbed on with a paper towel). Make up a batch* and store it in the fridge; it’ll stay spreadable and ready to use even when chilled.

*1/2 cup (92g) vegetable shortening, 1/2 cup (60g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil. Mix until smooth.

Here’s a tip: My fellow blogger, Rossi, says you can substitute cocoa powder for flour to make chocolate goop — perfect for chocolate cakes, where flour would clash visually with the cake’s rich, deep-dark color.

Nonstick pan spray, alone or dusted with flour; granulated sugar; cocoa powder, or nut flour (e.g., almond). Pan spray’s big advantage over older methods (shortening, butter) is its easy application and thorough coverage.

For an enticing, lightly crunchy crust, spray your cake pan (bottom and sides) with nonstick spray, then sprinkle it heavily with granulated sugar.

Dusting with flour is common, but you can branch out by matching the “dust” with your recipe, e.g., cocoa with chocolate cake, or almond flour for a touch of nutty flavor in yellow cake. Personally, I love to dust my spray-coated pan with granulated sugar; it adds a tiny bit of crunch and gleam to what otherwise might be a rather plain cake crust.

Vegetable shortening, alone or dusted with the options above. If you’re perfectly satisfied with this traditional method of preparing a cake pan, then stick with it (though for interest’s sake you may want to try dusting with something other than flour). Shortening’s downside: you may sometimes get a hint of oily flavor, especially if your shortening isn’t super-fresh.

Butter, alone or dusted with the options above. Butter works less well than pan spray or shortening (the milk solids in the butter add a bit of stickiness), but with some coaxing — gentle loosening, firm tapping — cakes come out with perhaps just a bit of residue left in the bottom of the pan.

Not recommended

Pan spray dusted with confectioners’ sugar. How about adding sweetness to your pan coating without the crunch of granulated sugar? It seemed like a good idea at the time, but apparently the cornstarch in the sugar mixed with the cake batter’s liquid and turned into glue! My experimental cake stuck badly and broke into pieces.

Give your nonstick pans the help they need to yield great results. Had I lined this pan with parchment and/or treated it with pan spray, the cake would have popped right out.

Nonstick pan without any prep. “My pan’s nonstick, so why do I need to coat it with anything?” Cake batter is inherently sticky, and as it bakes it bonds to your pan’s surface. Even a nonstick pan can only go so far to resist this. Don’t be stubborn: Prep even your nonstick cake pan.

A little upkeep goes a long way

If you use a nonstick cake pan — a 9” round, 8” square, Bundt, springform, whatever — and you prep it with pan spray, wash the pan in warm soapy water just as soon as you’ve removed the cake, while the pan is still warm. Pan spray bonds to nonstick pans as they cool, forming a tacky residue that builds up over time and, counterintuitively, negates the pan’s nonstick qualities. It’s a real pain to scrub off that stickiness without damaging the pan’s surface — so clean up as you go!

Bundt cakes: They’re the bane of stick-fearful cake bakers everywhere! For help, see How to prevent Bundt cakes from sticking.

Cover photo (Classic Birthday Cake) by John Sherman.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *