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Know your baking pans, tips and buyers guide

Always use the correct size pan in proportion to the amount of food to be baked. Inside measurements of baking pans are the ones referred to in recipes.

For pie pans, measure the size of the opening across the top of the pan. To measure cake pans, check the inside diameter of round pans and the depth, width, and length of others.

The arrangement of pans in the oven can make a great difference in the evenness of baking. When baking one item, center it in the oven, top to bottom, front to back, and side to side.

When you use two or more pans in the oven, place them at least one inch (2 ½ cm) from the sides and back of the oven and allow space between pans on the same rack.

When two oven racks are used, place one rack just above the center set of guides and the other just below the center.

Never position baking pans directly above the other on different racks. There must be room for the heat to circulate freely to deliver even baking.

Pans for Cakes

Cake pans

The best value we found was a twin set: OvenStuff Non-Stick 9 Inch Round Cake Pan Two Piece Set in the 9-inch non-stick category and the Baker's Secret 8-inch non-stick cake pan.

Try to use the size of the pan called for in the recipe. Cake tops tend not to brown nicely with a too-large pan because the batter cannot rise to the top.

If possible, use shiny metal or glass pans. Darker pans can absorb more heat, and cakes may overbrown.

Shiny Aluminum cake pans

The Wilton Performance Cake Pans Round Pan Set is of good quality and delivers the desirability of a shinier cake pan better than its non-stick cousins.

The price is decent, and we love that you get several different-size pans so you can size your recipes as you wish.

However, if you need two 8-inch cake pans, you'll have to buy two sets, but it would be well worth the extra cost.

When you are using a glass baking dish, use a temperature that is 25℉ (10℃) lower than called for in the recipe.

Watch out for warped pans, which may cause cakes to rise and bake unevenly.

If you don't have the pan shape you want, it is possible to make your own from a double layer of heavy aluminum foil. Crease the foil firmly at the corners to hold the shape during baking.

Pie plates

A pie pan must absorb and hold heat to properly brown the crust. Oven glassware and stoneware meet the requirements perfectly.


Le Creuset Stoneware pie plate Our favorite stoneware pie pans/plates are the Le Creuset Stoneware Pie Pans. They are of very high quality. However, Le Creuset products are costly.

If Le Creuset is out of your price range, there are cheaper options, such as The Pioneer Woman 9 Inch Stoneware Pie Dish.


Inexpensive pyrex glass pie plate

Most readily available glass pie pans we have tried have worked as expected, so there is no need to pay more than you have to.

We did find one excellent standout, the Anchor Hocking Fire King Deep Pie Baking Dish, with the handy feature of handles that are very helpful when taking the pie out of the hot oven.

Deep dish style pie pans with high sides, both glass and metal, are perfect for fruit pies because the juices are less likely to boil over in a high-sided pie pan.

Pans for Cookies and Biscuits

Use a bright metal baking sheet or a pan with shallow sides.

The higher sides of pans shield the food from the heat and prevent even browning.

The baking sheet should not touch the sides or the back of the oven because this interferes with the heat circulation.

Proper cookie sheets without edges are surprisingly tricky to find and cost a fortune in department stores.

Here are 3 of our favorites, and they won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Airbake Ultra by T-fal 2-Piece Insulated Large Cookie Sheet

Calphalon Classic Bakeware 14-by-17-Inch Cookie Sheets

Airbake Natural Extra-large Cookie Sheet

If you find yourself in a position and do not have a baking sheet, you can bake cookies or biscuits on the bottom of an inverted cake or even a larger roasting pan.

To help speed up cookie-making, place rolled or drop dough cookies on sheets of aluminum foil ready for baking in the oven.

Once a pan of cookies comes out of the oven, slip the unbaked sheet of foil onto the pan and back into the range without delay.

In a pinch, with heavy foil and care, you may place a sheet of foil with cookies directly onto the oven rack without a pan underneath.


anonymous Dhaka, Bangladesh

Is it work with its full quality when it is aged.

anonymous , United States

Very difficult too read with all the pop up adds over the words!

anonymous Chicago, United States

What are cookie pans made of?

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