The best layer cake pan

Cookware & Cooking Tools

After you take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool, let the cake sit overnight (covered in plastic wrap to prevent drying) to avoid breaking when you frost it. Professional bakers often use a crumb coat—a thin layer of icing that traps the crumbs then hardens—before doing their final coat of fluffy buttercream.

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What layer cake pan is the best?

For many people, paying the local celebrity cake artist for a cake that shoots fireworks isn’t feasible. Baking at home is a great way to have a custom cake without the professional cost. Since you’ll either be stacking or shaping a cake with layers, it’s important to get a layer cake pan that easily releases the cake around the edges and doesn’t take much, if anything, off the bottom when you separate it from the cake.

MASSUGAR Springform Pan Set is a great set of spring-release layer cake pans that are nonstick and prevent batter from oozing out the bottoms.

What to know before you buy a layer cake pan

Material

Aluminum: Affordable, lightweight and easy to maintain, aluminum typically is an entry-level metal for pans. It heats quickly, which can create uniform coloration, but some cake recipes benefit from a slower bake. Aluminum can warp when subjected to sudden temperature changes.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel pans are safe options for most bakers. They are naturally scratch and rust resistant and are easy to clean. Stainless steel doesn’t conduct heat as well as some other materials, so it may be harder to get an even bake.

Carbon steel: Durable and good at conducting heat, carbon steel seems to be the best of both worlds. However, maintenance can be fairly labor intensive. Similar to cast iron, carbon steel needs to be seasoned with oil or some other fat before and after use. It also needs to be thoroughly hand-washed and dried to prevent rust.

Silicone: A favorite of busy bakers, silicone pans such as the SILIVO silicone molds are naturally nonstick and highly flexible, releasing baked goods quickly and easily. They are typically dishwasher and freezer safe for added convenience. However, silicone takes a long time to heat compared to other materials, and its flexible shape can make it difficult to get your cake batter in the oven without spilling.

Size

If you’re making a tiered cake, you need to think about the size of the tiers and how many servings you’ll get out of each tier. A 6-inch cake serves four to eight people; an 8-inch cake serves eight to 14 people; a 10-inch cake serves 12 to 24 people; and a 12-inch cake, which is the largest in normal sets, serves 26 to 40 people. All of these cake sizes can serve even more people when cut in what’s called “event style,” which creates smaller pieces for more people.

Number of pans

Three is the traditional number, but you may choose a four-pan set if you want to mix and match a little more.

What to look for in a quality layer cake pan

Nonstick coating

The most nerve-racking part of any cake competition show is when the baker tries to get the cake out of the pan without breakage. To ensure that moment goes flawlessly for you at home, consider a layer cake pan with nonstick coating. You should still grease your pan per recipe instructions, but nonstick coating can be a lifesaver. Nonstick pans require more care, though.

Ease of cleaning

Even if your pan says it’s dishwasher safe, hand-washing is always going to be safer for your layer cake pan. Silicone pans typically are the easiest to clean.

Durability

As a general rule, sturdier materials are less likely to warp over time. However, silicone, which is flexible and does eventually warp, typically is more scratch resistant than metallic materials. So as you pick your pans, consider your long-term durability needs.

How much you can expect to spend on a layer cake pan

Layer cake pan sets are available from $15-$50. Standard, three-pan aluminum or silicone pan sets are between $15 and $20, and for $20-$40, you get higher-quality materials and sets with four or more pans. Above $40, you get unique shapes.

Layer cake pan FAQ

How much batter should you use to fill each pan?

A. Typically, bakers recommend filling a cake pan halfway with batter. If your pans are extra deep, you can get away with filling it two-thirds of the way. You want plenty of room for your cake to rise and get fluffy without batter spilling over the top.

How do you get the cake safely out of the pan?

A. The most important thing (other than greasing the pan first) is to let your cake cool before trying to remove it. It’s best to wait at least 15 to 20 minutes for the cake to cool.

What’s the best layer cake pan to buy?

Top layer cake pan

MASSUGAR Springform Pan Set

MASSUGAR Springform Pan Set

What you need to know: This set has a durable design with a variety of features and is useful for both casual and professional bakers.

What you’ll love: This is a set of three pans with 4-, 7- and 9-inch diameters, equipped with nonstick coating and a leakproof spring latch for easy release.

What you should consider: These pans are hand-wash only.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Top layer cake pan for the money

SILIVO Silicone Round Cake Molds

SILIVO Silicone Round Cake Molds

What you need to know: This set is versatile and easy to use for a variety of desserts.

What you’ll love: This set of four round, flexible silicone molds (10, 8, 6 and 4 inches) is nonstick, stain and odor resistant, and safe for the microwave and dishwasher.

What you should consider: Silicone molds lose their shape over time and can be a bit flimsy when full of liquid batter.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

Worth checking out

Wilton Round Cake Pan Set

Wilton Round Cake Pan Set

What you need to know: Made of lightweight and easy-to-maintain aluminum material, this cake pan set makes a four-tiered cake.

What you’ll love: The 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch round pans are 3 inches deep for taller cakes. The aluminum material allows for even heating.

What you should consider: Aluminum can warp over time and make the pans not last as long as you’d like.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon.

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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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