Because that 8-inch round cake pan can only bake so much!
Photography: Romulo Yanes1 of 9
So you registered for about 10 different cake pans, but what exactly are you supposed to do with all of them? Luckily, we're here to help! We're spotlighting 9 recipes that require different types of cake pans—from a standard 8-inch round to a loaf pan. While you don't need to be a pastry chef to master these desserts, you will need a well-stocked tool set—which you've got, thanks to your registry!
Before you get mixing, a few pointers:
Regardless of the cake pan you're using, prep it in this order to ensure the baked cake doesn't stick to the bottom or sides:
Butter the pan (with salted or unsalted butter). Line the bottom with parchment paper, measured and cut to fit. Butter the paper again. Dust the surface with flour or cocoa, depending on color and flavor of batter, tapping out any excess.
As for clean up, wash pans by hand, rather than in the dishwasher, to preserve their quality and decrease the likelihood that they'll lose shape or be stripped of their coating overtime.
Round Cake Pan
You need at least two round cake pans at the ready if you want to make a layer cake (like a birthday cake for your new spouse). The standard for most cake recipes is an 8-inch or 9-inch pan that's 2 inches deep with straight sides. Need inspiration? This violet cassis cake is one of our favorite recipes.
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Rectangular Cake Pan
Ideal for turning fresh fruit into cobblers, buckles, crisps, and crumb cakes, a 9-inch by 12.5-inch rectangular cake pan will progress your baking prowess from beginner to intermediate. Manhattanites and non New Yorkers alike will go crazy for our New York crumb cake.
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Aluminum loaf pans can turn out tender cakes, while dark, nonstick, or glass pans will produce a crunchy-chewy crust. Use a loaf pan to make quick breads, brioche, and meatloaf, or our carrot teacake with cream cheese frosting, which is a causal alternative to the ever-popular tiered version—and just as tasty.
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A springform pan is ideal for baking cakes and tarts—like this maple cheesecake with roasted pears—that would be hard to remove from a regular pie pan because they have a press-in-the-pan crust and soft fillings. The pan has springs at the side that lock to form a tight seal that is later released (post-baking) to unmold the cake or tart without marring your beautiful handiwork.
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Photography: Con Poulos6 of 9
Bundt Cake Pan
Nicknamed "Bundt pan" though it's also used for angel food and coffee cakes as well as Bundt cakes (take this chocolate Bundt cake, for example), the pan generally has fluted or grooved sides and a center tube. The heavier, walled construction helps cake batters rise and bake more uniformly, creating a golden crust. The baked cake easily dislodges from the pan once it's turned over onto a plate or counter.
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Essentially a taller Bundt pan without grooves, a tube, pound, or teacake pan is a straight-sided round pan with a hole in the center that creates moist, tender cakes with golden crusts. They're good for big airy angel cakes, coffee cakes (like our apple-and-sour-cream coffee cake), and monkey bread, too.
Photography: Jonathan Lovekin8 of 9
Jelly Roll Pan
A Swiss roll or jelly pan has slightly-raised edges and is designed to bake a thin, uniform rectangular sponge cake that—once baked—is turned out, spread with filling, and rolled up to form a Swiss roll, jelly roll, or roulade (get inspired by our hazelnut raspberry jelly roll, for example).
Photography: Paul Barbera9 of 9
You've probably been the recipient of more than a dozen cupcakes (or given that number out as gifts over the years). Even still, we love a cupcake pan, which works the morning shift, too, creating hearty muffins. If you already own a standard pan, register for a few mini ones to round out your stock. These moist chocolate stout cupcakes are a winner, no matter which size you choose.