Words by Anneka Manning
Every home baker needs a basic collection of cake pans, but what should you look for when making your selection? Here are four simple guidelines to make shopping a little easier.
- Nowadays, cake pans are available in a vast range of different materials with numerous finishes – too many to mention here. As a general rule of thumb, you get what you pay for: the more durable and long-lasting pans will be those on the more expensive end of the scale, so buy the best quality you can afford.
- Remember that heavy pans and those coated with a dark, non-stick finish will absorb heat and create a more golden, slightly thicker crust than lighter bakeware that has an uncoated finish.
- Cake pans come in numerous shapes and sizes, which do vary slightly between brands. Remember, not all measurements on the packaging or stamped into the bases are correct. I have come across a range of springform pans that are actually 2cm smaller than the measurement given! So never think that someone else has done the work for you and, particularly if you are after a specific size, make sure you measure it across the base before buying (it may sound crazy, but taking a measuring tape with you is not such a bad idea!).
- Buy round and square pans with straight sides that join at right angles at the base, to give the most uniform look to your baked products. However, if this isn’t a priority, then those with rounded corners are fine.
A Basic Cake Pan Kit
To get you started, I would recommend the following basic cake pans (all measured across the base):
- 22cm deep round pan
- 20cm deep square pan
- 18cm x 28cm shallow slice pan
- 22cm springform pan
- 8 x 19cm loaf pan
- 12-hole ½ cup (125ml) muffin pan
Taking care of your cake pans
Clean all your cake pans in hot, soapy water, then rinse well and place back in the oven – the residual heat will make sure they dry completely before you store them in the cupboard. If the oven has cooled, just reheat it to about 100C.
Measure and mark
It’s a good idea to measure all your bakeware in centimetres across the centre of the base. Then use a permanent marker to note the size on the base so you can see the correct measurement at a glance next time you go to use them.
Until next week… happy baking!
For more posts by Anneka Manning, click here.
Anneka Manning is a food author and the founder of exciting new Sydney-based cooking school, BakeClub. Visit her website at www.bakeclub.com.au to join the club, book into a BakeClass, download delicious no-fail recipes and be inspired by baking videos. You can also find BakeClub on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. To find out more or ask about private BakeClub classes, call (02) 9399 7645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.