A Very "sTiCkY" Situation

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just imagine for a moment that it's cake baking day! You're very excited and eager to get started. You love the way baking fills your home with wonderful delicious smells. For the next couple of hours you measure, sift, cream, stir, pour and bake your sweet treat. After cooking the batter for just the right amount of time, you rush to the oven and take out your perfectly baked cake. A sense of pride fills your breast as you carefully set the pans down to cool. The aroma filling the air is even better then you'd remembered and it brings a smile to your face. After a few minutes, it's time to remove your cakes from the pans. Very carefully, you run a knife along the outside edge of the pan anticipating the moment when you'll see your finished product. You turn the pan over expecting to hear the cake gently release and descend to the cooling rack below, but after a few seconds.... nothing. So you turn the pan back over and try running the knife around the outside edge one more time. Again you turn the pan over onto the cooling rack expecting to hear something but.... nothing. A warm flush sweeps over your body and you begin to worry that something's gone wrong. You grab a spoon and carefully tap the bottom and outside edge of your pan. Surely the cake will release after your gentle persuasion but.... nothing! Now you begin to panic and start whacking it with frustrated anger leaving unwanted dents in the pan each time your spoon makes contact.... still nothing!!! Suddenly you hear a familiar sound and breath a huge sigh of relief. Whew, you think the cake's finally come out of the pan. One last time you turn the pan over expecting to find success and.... NOOOOOO! Half of the cake is lying on the cooling rack, while the other half is still stuck to the bottom of the pan! @*#%!!! (Not that I ever speak like that, but it sure makes my point. LOL)

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this has happened to most of us at one time or another. You can prevent this from happening to you. There's a sure fire way to keep your blood pressure down and ensure happy endings to your cake baking days.

Simply use something called Pan Release and parchment paper. (Waxed paper works just as well as parchment paper, plus it's much cheaper.)

Place your pan on top of a piece of parchment paper. Take a pencil and trace around the outside bottom edge of the pan.

Cut the paper with scissors just inside the pencil lines. Cutting it this way makes the paper fit nicely inside the pan and also removes any pencil marks. Set the cut piece of parchment paper to the side.

Pan Release
1 part oil
1 part white vegetable shortening
1 part flour

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Beat together using a mixer.

Continue beating until it's smooth and creamy.

Using a pastry brush, liberally brush Pan Release around the sides and bottom edge of the cake pans. Also apply a small amount of Pan Release to the bottom so the parchment paper will stay in place. Store the left over Pan Release in a covered container inside the refrigerator. It will keep for a very long time.

Place the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and pour cake batter over the top. Bake as usual.

After baking and cooling your cake, make sure you remove the parchment paper before frosting it. If you forget to take the paper off your cake, you'll have one "very chewy" dessert. Yuck!

Some people don't want to take the time and use this method. They think it's easier to just spray the pans with non-stick spray or coat them with shortening and flour. This may be true, but it doesn't always work. I like having the peace of mind knowing that my cake is going to release perfectly each and every time. This method will work 100% of the time. I figure if I'm going to spend the time and money baking a beautiful cake, I'd much rather be safe than sorry! 

 Happy Baking!


  1. Oh Judy - how very true - i have always lined my pans with what we call Glad Baking Paper - would never bake a cake without prepping my pans this way. And like you i also use my older tea towells as Bake Easy Strips.
    I have a little stash of safety pins just for using with my tea towelss... lolll

    Just sitting here admiring your blog whilst i have a heart shape and 6 inch round in the oven for orders later this week.
    What better way to use my *waiting time* .... giggle.

    Beautiul cakes - beautiful Blog.

    Maxine x

  2. Great ideas and YES I've had this happen and glued it all back together with icing. :)


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