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Cook’s Country tests Round Cake Pans

Cake Pans
Round cake pans are a staple for every baker’s kitchen. I use them for simple cakes and layer cakes, and use mine to bake a variety of round breads and other dishes, too. Not all cake pans are created equal. Some brown more than others, some have sloped sides that make for irregular cakes that are difficult to stack, and some seem to produce cakes with high domes time and time again. In a recent issue of Cook’s Country (Oct/ Nov 2013), the test kitchen set out to see which pans performed the best and were worth keeping in your pan collection.

The looked for pans that were solidly built and would hold up to use without warping or wearing out. They wanted pans with straight sides and preferred if they also had a nonstick finish so that baked goods would slide out easily. They tested them thoroughly with cakes, cinnamon buns and pan pizza dough recipes before picking a winner.

The top prize went to Nordic Ware Naturals 9-inch Cake Pan, which turned out evenly baked, fluffy cakes time after time. It was a relatively light colored pan, which typically means that it will not over-brown the edges of a cake. It also means that it might not brown some yeast breads enough. Since the pan is primarily used for cakes, it still took top billing with a “Highly Recommended” recommendation.

The second and third place pans were also “Recommended,” and had slightly darker finishes that resulted in better browning for yeast bread doughs, like pan pizza. USA Pan 9-inch Round Cake Pan did a slightly better job on layer cakes, however, than the very dark Chicago Metallic Nonstick 9-inch Pan. Pans that lacked a nonstick finish rated lower because they had difficulty getting some baked goods to release from them.

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  • Holiday Baker Man
    September 20, 2013

    I love Chicago Metallic’s Pans… always perfect baking. Since I always flour, grease & line may pans stocking has never been a problem. The bake quality is always perfect! Happy baking!!

  • D Knabe
    September 23, 2013

    This article, Cook’s Country tests Round Cake Pans, indicates that darker non-stick pans will cause the edges of a cake to become over-browned. However, I have noted that very good, heavy, non-warp, non-stick baking pans with a darker colour normally have a warning that it is wise to decrease oven temperature by 10 to 20 percent or to lessen the baking time. I have found that a decrease in oven temperature by ten percent rather than lessening the baking time, seems to work. Also, I have bake-ware with darker non-stick coating that warns that foods will generally finish baking in less time than specified in the recipe, therefore start checking for doneness six minutes before the expected finished baking time.
    Has anyone else come across this information from baking pan manufacturers?

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