There are few baking disasters worse than a cake that sticks to the pan. You put in the time and effort, you’re excited as you pull it from the oven, but when you go to remove it from the pan it sticks and comes out in pieces. I’ve been there, and it is so frustrating.
But it’s been a long time since I shed tears over crumbled cake, and I’m here to pass my knowledge on to you! Here are two fool-proof ways to make sure your cakes come out clean and in one piece every time.
The most important preparation you can make when baking a cake is to line the pan(s) with parchment paper. This ensures that the bottom of the cake will not stick to the pan, and that it will all come out in one piece. I never bake a cake without parchment paper!
Start by tracing the outside of your pans with a pencil on to parchment paper, and then cut them out. When it comes time to line your pan, place them pencil side-down.
Next up, we need to grease the pan. You can either use butter and flour or baking spray.
Butter and flour
One way to grease your pan is with butter and flour. These two combine to form a barrier between the pan and your cake. Here’s how to butter and flour your pans:
1. Coat the entire inside of your pan with butter (note: you can also use margarine or shortening). Tip: Use the paper liners from the butter used in your cake batter. These liners usually have enough residual butter to adequately grease your pans, and they’re a great vehicle too. But room temperature butter and a paper towel will work as well.
2. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper with more butter.
3. Sprinkle your greased pan with flour.
4. Shake and rotate the pan until it is completely dusted with flour. Dump the excess flour into the next pan or back into the flour container.
An easier way to grease your pans is with non-stick baking spray. I’m not talking about the cheap stuff you can find in a traditional grocery store, I’ve found that brands like PAM won’t cut it. You want high quality, professional grade spray typically found in specialty cooking and baking supply stores.
Spray the entire inside of the pan. Lay the parchment paper in the bottom, and then spray the parchment paper with the non-stick spray. And that’s it!
Whether you use butter and flour or baking spray, as you pour the cake batter into the prepared pan you can feel confident that it will all come out clean and in one piece.