Baking A Cake? You'll Want To Do This Before You Make The Batter

This will guarantee that no cake will ever stick to your baking pan ever again.

IMAGE By Veganbaking.net from USA (Baking Dish Parchment) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the biggest problems new bakers have when baking any cake is the cake sticking to the baking pan.  

The crux of the problem can be that they do not yet know how to properly prepare their baking pans. +Bakers need to be meticulous about this first step. That's because not being sure that the corners of the pan are lubricated enough can mean the cake won't come out of the pan whole. While this isn't a problem when you're just baking for yourself, when it's time to present this masterpiece to friends and family, it can be embarrassing that it's not perfect. 

Here are the steps you need to do to guarantee that your cake comes out of that baking pan: 

Which of these cake pans do you have in your kitchen?
Photo by Riell Santos

Step 1: Lightly grease the pan. 

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Whether you're using a nonstick baking pan or not, the usual way of ensuring that your cake emerges from the baking pan as easily as it can is by first greasing the baking pan. "Greasing the pan" merely means you need to lightly brush or rub the cake or baking pan with either oil or butter. Do this lightly since we don't want your cake batter sitting in a pool of oil or becoming too greasy from excess butter. Use a pastry brush, a folded paper towel, or your fingers for this job. All you have to ensure is that the surface of the baking pan is coated well. 

Line your baking pan with parchment paper so your cake never sticks to the pan.
Photo by Riell Santos

Step 2: Line it with parchment paper or dust it with flour.  

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The next step is to place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of your baking pan. The paper will doubly ensure that your cake won't stick to the pan since there is a physical layer of nonstick paper between the baking pan and the cake itself. The cake will instead stick to the parchment paper which is easily removed once the cake has cooled. 

You can buy precut rounds of parchment paper at your local baking supply store but if you don't have any precut, you can easily cut up a roll of parchment paper into rounds for baking. Once you have your parchment paper, place that onto the lightly greased baking pan and press down. You can also lightly grease this layer as added insurance against sticking. 

If you don't have parchment paper, there is another way you can doubly ensure that that cake layer doesn't stick: dust the lightly greased baking pan with flour. By dusting the greased layer of the baking pan, you're again providing another layer for the cake to stick to that isn't the pan itself.

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Here's how you dust a baking pan with flour: 

  • After lightly greasing the baking pan, sprinkle around 1/4 cup flour over the baking pan.
  • Lift the baking pan and turn it as needed while tapping any of the excess flour to cover any exposed greased areas.
  • Add more flour as needed until the entire baking pan is lightly coated in a dusting of flour. 
  • Tap out any excess flour out of the baking pan. It's ready to use. 
You can use parchment or baking paper to easily release your cake from the pan. 
Photo by Dairy Darilag
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If you're baking a light-colored cake, flour is the perfect ingredient to use for this step. However, if you're baking a chocolate cake, the flour can be visible after baking. To solve this, use cocoa powder instead. It works just as well as flour will. 

After you do this, you're all set to pour your cake batter into the perfectly prepared baking pan. 

But wait! We have one more tip that might change your whole idea of how to prepare your baking pans! If you have ever used nonstick baking sprays, you know how easily these are to apply and use. You can recreate this by using a paste that you lightly brush onto your baking pan. No more parchment paper. 

Here's how to make that nonstick layer: 

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  • To make a basic paste, mix equal amounts of softened margarine, vegetable oil, and flour.
  • For chocolate cakes, just replace the flour with cocoa powder. 

Keep this mixture refrigerated so the margarine won't spoil so you will need to soften this mixture before using. Once softened, it's easy to lightly brush this mixture onto your baking pans to easily release your cakes once baked. 

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