While silicone isn’t good for everything, there are some distinct advantages to using it. The biggest advantage is that silicone is nonstick, so it is always easy to work with when it comes to making candies or working with other sticky things. Silicone baking mats and pans are also reusable, while nonstick alternatives like parchment paper are disposable, even if you can sometimes get more than one use out of them. Most mats, like Silpats, are rectangular in shape and are meant to be used on cookie pans, but there are circular silicone cake pan liners, too! These mats fit easily into a round cake pan and pretty much eliminate the need to ever line a pan with parchment paper (although greasing the sides is still a good idea). The nonstick mat helps the cake to cook evenly and is nonstick, so when you turn the cake out of the pan, you can peel it right off, wash it and it’s ready for the next time.
The only drawback is that these mats are usually only sold in certain standard sizes – 8-inches, 9-inches, etc. – and can be very difficult to find for cake pans that are smaller or larger. So don’t through your parchment paper out just yet, but you might want to keep these in mind for everyday cake baking.