Line a cake pan with parchment paper

Lining a cake pan with parchment paper

When I bake brownies or bar cookies, I frequently line the baking dish with lightly greased aluminum foil. It saves me time on cleanup, and it is very easy to simply lift the whole batch out of the pan when I’m ready to slice it. But when I bake cakes, I prefer to use parchment paper because I need to remove the cake from the pan while it is still hot and a circle of parchment paper will slide off very easily when a cake is turned out. Lifting a hot – and therefore delicate – cake out of the pan with foil, which could tear, is not a great idea (you can guess how I might know this).

It’s easy to line a round pan with parchment paper. All you need is a pair of scissors. I’ve taken pictures of the process step-by-step.

First, get out your pan and turn it upside down. Next, take a large piece of parchment – large enough to cover the bottom of the pan – and fold it in half. Once it’s folded, continue to fold it into quarters, then eighths.

Line a cake pan with parchment paper

 Once the paper has been folded, put the point of the parchment into the center point of the cake pan. Take a pair of scissors and cut a straight line through the parchment, just inside the outer edge of the pan.

Line a cake pan with parchment paper, sizing

¬†Finally, unfold the parchment and fit it inside the cake pan. If it doesn’t quite fit, you can fold it back up and trim off any too-long corners. The circle should not run up the sides of the cake pan. Once it fits the base, you’re ready to grease the pan and start baking.


  1. I’m lucky I have a place I can buy them precut. Call me lazy but I really hate prep work like greasing and flouring the pan or chopping chocolate or cutting parchment circles. I can buy them precut. I might pay more but I figure by the time I deal with the rolled parchment paper that keeps rolling and annoys me to the measuring and cutting which is tedious to finally getting to bake–it’s worth the extra cost to me to buy them that way. I am ready to bake and my circles are cut! But, there are sizes that do not have cut circles so your method does pay off with those pans. I too use tin-foil for most things like cheesecake so I don’t have to cut my cheesecake on my pan or bars and brownies which are easier to cut on a board than in a pan (and cut the pan).

  2. Thanks for the great tip! I will print this off and use it next time I bake!

  3. This is exactly why yours is my favorite blog!!! I’ve been using foil too and turned to flouring the pan after greasing it–I know Joy of Cooking says parchment but it was always such a hassle trying to get the paper the right size. thanks for the tip!

  4. Thanks, it’s a great idea.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. I get so frustrated cutting the parchment paper in circles. I always wished I could find it pre-cut somewhere. I’m trying your method next time and hoping it will be less frustrating!

  6. wow, this looks so much easier then tracing a circle onto the paper! i always wondered why in photos and tv the circles have the fold lines on them. I think I’ll try it this way next time!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your tip, so simple!

  8. Save the trees! and use some elbow grease to clean your pans!

  9. An even easier way to cut out the circle of parchment you need for baking is listed on Reynolds Kitchen site.

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