How to Line a Cake Pan with Parchment Paper

Everyone who loves to bake can vouch that nothing’s worse than baking a lovely cake only to have it stick to the pan and be ruined. It’s just heartbreaking!

Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep this from happening. All you need to do is line your cake pan with parchment paper in the correct manner.

The only problem is that lining a cake pan with parchment paper can be somewhat tricky, especially for beginners or novice bakers.

If you also struggle with lining your cake pans, then you’ve come to the right place.

Scroll down to take a look at how to line different cake pans with parchment paper to make sure your cakes always turn out just perfect!

Lining a Rectangular or Square Cake Pan with Parchment Paper

It is a common practice to cut two rectangular pieces of parchment paper, each the width of the pan, and lay them perpendicular to cover the bottom of cake pans.

While it seems simple enough, the problem with this method is that it doesn’t cover the sides of the pan.

The good news is that there’s a better way to line your square and rectangular cake pans.

This method is incredibly simple, covers the sides, and does not take more than a few minutes.

Plus, it can be used to line a cake pan of any size. Here’s how you can line a rectangular or square-shaped cake pan like a pro.

  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface, such as a table or kitchen counter. Place your cake pan on the parchment paper.
  2. Lift the sides of the parchment paper to make sure it covers the sides of the baking pan.
  3. Using a pair of scissors, trim excess parchment paper so that the trimmed piece perfectly fits the pan.
  4. Before removing the pan from the top of the parchment paper, make a cut in each corner of the paper.
  5. Now, remove the pan and extend the existing cuts by about ½ inch. Doing so will help you position the parchment paper nicely and help you adjust the corners.
  6. Place the parchment paper inside your rectangular cake pan. At the corners, fold one flap behind the other so that the paper fits neatly inside the pan.
  7. Use your fingers to crease the paper along the inner edges of the pan.

Keep in mind that the sides of the parchment paper may not lay flat on the sides of the pan. However, it won’t be a problem once you fill the pan with batter or dough.

Using this method will not only cover the sides and keep your cake from sticking, but it will also help you save parchment paper.

Instead of using two strips of parchment paper and covering part of the base twice, this method makes sure you cover the entire pan with one piece.

Lining a Round Cake Pan with Parchment Paper

Round cakes can be a lot of fun to bake as long as you know how to line a round cake pan with parchment paper properly.

Here’s one simple method to line round cake pans. However, keep in mind that this method only covers the bottom of the pan.

Therefore, it is best to grease the sides when using this method, especially if your dough or batter is likely to stick or if the recipe calls for lining the cake pan.

  1. Lay a piece of parchment paper flat on a hard surface. Place the pan on the parchment paper.
  2. Hold the pan in place with one hand as you use a pencil to trace out the outline of the bottom of the pan on the parchment paper.
  3. Use a pair of scissors to neatly cut the circle. It is advisable to cut just inside the circle you traced. This will accommodate the pan’s thickness, making sure the parchment paper fits nicely inside the pan.
  4. Place the circular piece of parchment paper inside the pan and VOILA… your round pan is all prepped to bake the perfect round cakes!

This method works adequately. However, you must be careful while cutting the circle.

If you cut along or out of the traced line, the parchment paper will be too big for the pan.

On the other hand, if you cut a little too inside the circle, the parchment paper circle will be too small to cover the entire base of the pan.

Either way – your round cake will stick to the bottom. Therefore, if you think you might mess up the measurement, here’s another way of lining a round cake with parchment paper.

This method will give you the perfect parchment paper circle that will fit the pan accurately.

  1. Take a piece of parchment paper just slightly bigger than your round cake pan.
  2. Lift the bottom of the parchment to meet the top, folding the paper in half.
  3. Fold the parchment once more. This time, fold parchment paper in half from right to left. At this point, the paper should look like a square.
  4. The next step is to fold the square into a triangle. You can do that by folding parchment paper from left to right.
  5. Repeat the last step once more to fold parchment paper into a smaller triangle. At this point, the parchment should look like a long cone.
  6. Now, turn your round cake pan upside down and hold the folded parchment against it. Position the corner of the parchment (pointy side of the cone) in the middle of the inverted cake pan.
  7. As the corner of the folded parchment touches the center of the pan, hold the parchment right where it meets the edge of the pan. This is the point where you will trim the triangle.
  8. Use a pair of scissors to trim off the excess parchment paper and unfold the parchment. It will be perfectly round.
  9. Place it inside your round cake pan. It will fit perfectly!

While this method may seem a bit confusing at first, it is actually pretty simple. Once you get the hang of it, it won’t take you more than a few seconds to line your round pan perfectly and prep the pan for baking.

Lining a Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper

While baking sheets are not intended for baking cakes, many people use baking sheets or cookie sheets for baking lovely mini cakes.

But just because you are using a baking sheet to make a cake, doesn’t mean you don’t have to line it with parchment.

However, the good news is that baking sheets are the easiest to line with parchment paper.

  1. You can use a 12 in. x 16 in. parchment paper to line half a baking sheet without any adjustments.
  2. If you are using a smaller baking sheet, all you need to do is trim the parchment into a smaller rectangle.
  3. Place it on the baking sheet and you are good to go!

Helpful Tips & Tricks

Now that you know how to line different types of cake pans, here are some tips and tricks that will help you bake the perfect cake that never sticks to the pan again.

  • Parchment paper can sometimes displace as you pour batter into the pan. You can spray non-stick cooking spray onto the bottom of the pan before placing the parchment to keep it in place.
  • Want extra neat edges? If yes, then add a second sheet of parchment paper. Place it in the opposite direction of the first sheet.
  • It is essential to make sure that the parchment does not hang out of the cake pan or baking sheet. If parchment touches the walls or base of the oven, it may catch fire.
  • Prep the baking pan before preparing the batter. Many recipes, especially the ones with baking soda or beaten egg whites, give the best result when baked as soon as they are mixed.
  • Many people reuse parchment paper when baking multiple batches of cookies. However, it is best to avoid reusing the same parchment for baking multiple cakes.
  • Avoid rolling the parchment. Instead, try to store your parchment paper flat. Doing so will make sure your parchment does not roll back as you line your cake pan. It will also make it easier to trim the parchment paper.
  • If the parchment paper is not available, you can grease the pan to get the desired results. Use butter or cooking oil to grease the bottom and the sides of the pan. However, it must be mentioned that cake recipes with high oil content, such as angel food cake, require ungreased pans.

The Bottom Line

Baking cakes can be a lot of fun. However, your joy can turn to disappointment fast if your cake sticks to the pan and is ruined.

Therefore, always use parchment paper to line your cake pans before pouring the batter to bake the perfect cake every time!

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