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Baking 101: How to Line Cake, Bread and Cupcake Pans

If you’ve ever taken a beautiful cake or bread out of the oven, let it cool, and watch – in horror – as only half of it comes out of the pan, then this post is for you.

While there’s no denying that having your ingredients at the right temperature, attention to the recipe, and precise measuring are all critical components of successful baking, it is equally important to have your pans properly prepared.

The good news is that this is not difficult at all! It takes just a few extra minutes to grease and line your pans, and the results (as well as your peace of mind) are well worth it!

  • Prep Pans Like a Pro! 1 of 17
    how to line bread cake and cupcake pans

    The secret to neat and clean removal of cakes and breads from your baking pans? Proper prep - here's all you need to know for professional-looking results every time!

  • How to Prep a Loaf Pan 2 of 17
    lining a loaf pan

    Here's what you'll need to prepare a loaf or square baking pan: a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan, non-stick cooking spray (or softened butter), and flour. Start by lightly coating the sides and bottom of your pan with the cooking spray. Place the parchment paper in the bottom and lightly spray the paper.

  • Pour in the Flour 3 of 17
    flour a baking pan

    Sprinkle a little flour into the bottom of the pan. I like to keep a small canister filled with flour on-hand just for this purpose.

  • Coat the Pan with Flour 4 of 17
    flouring a loaf pan

    Rotating the pan, use a tapping motion to evenly coat with the flour. Add more flour as needed, and just a little bit at a time. 

  • Dump Out the Excess Flour 5 of 17
    flouring a loaf pan

    When the sides and bottom are completely coated with flour, dump out the excess. Your pan is now ready to go! You can do this early in the day or even the night before - keep in the fridge till ready to use.

  • Works for Small Pans Too! 6 of 17
    line a mini loaf pan

    This technique works for any size pan - and guarantees that the whole cake will come out cleanly every time!

  • Making a Parchment Circle 7 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    You can buy ready-cut 9" parchment circles, which are handy if you bake a lot of round cakes. But what if you only make them occasionally? Or make a cake that is bigger or smaller? It's easy to make a parchment circle, cut to fit any size pan.

  • Start with a Piece of Parchment Paper 8 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    Start by cutting a piece of parchment paper that is slightly larger than your pan. Fold the paper twice - once from right to left and then again from top to bottom.

  • Begin Folding 9 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    With the "open" sides on the left and bottom (as shown above), fold diagonally down and to the right - so that corner "a" meets corner "c".

  • Fold Again. And Again. 10 of 17
    how to make a parchment circle

    After you've folded so that both "a" and "c" are in the bottom right corner, fold again - this time so that side "d" meets side "e" as shown.

  • Find the Center of the Pan 11 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    Have a pair of scissors ready and place the paper on the pan with point "b" in the center.

  • Cut to Fit! 12 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    Using the pan as a guide, cut the paper to fit just inside the outer edge of the pan. 

  • A Perfect Circle! 13 of 17
    making a parchment circle for a cake pan

    Unfold the paper and you will have a circle that fits perfectly! Proceed with greasing and flouring the pan as instructed above for the loaf pan.

  • No More Messy Cupcake Pans! 14 of 17
    protect a cupcake pan with tin foil

    I don't know about you but I am incapable of filling a muffin or cupcake pan neatly. I drop and spill batter all over, which makes for "fun" at clean up time. Here's a great trick for eliminating the mess!

  • Cover the Pan with Tin Foil 15 of 17
    protect a cupcake pan with tin foil

    Start by covering the pan with tin foil - crimp around the sides for a snug fit.

  • "X" Marks the Spot! 16 of 17
    protect a cupcake pan with tin foil

    Using a sharp pair of scissors, snip "X"'s in the center of each circle. Gently fold back the cuts to make room for your liners.

  • Neat and Clean! 17 of 17
    protect a cupcake pan with tin foil

    Pop in your liners and fill with batter as usual. When you remove your cupcakes simply remove and discard the foil. No more mess!

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
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