Most everyone loves cake. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding or another special occasion, a delicious, thoughtfully designed cake is synonymous with celebration. To make it happen, though, you’ll need the right cake pan.
Cake, while now a mainstay of most celebrations, wasn’t always the sugary confection we know and love today. It was once synonymous with bread, and looked and tasted much the same. It wasn’t until the advent of cake mix during the Great Depression that cake began to be made at home en masse. Years later, people began pairing frosting with the baked treat, adding a layer of flair and creativity to the final product.
There are different cake pans for different cake shapes, of course, but what’s most important is the quality. A good cake pan should be made of strong materials that won’t warp under high temperatures, and they should be designed to distribute heat evenly throughout. That way, you’ll end up with a fluffy, delicious confection that everyone will enjoy. Here are four of the best that will help you get there.
1. Calphalon Nonstick Covered Cake Pan
Sheet cakes are easy to make and have plenty of surface area for frosting and decorations. The trick, of course, is getting your delicious cake from point A to point B. Calphalon’s pan makes this easy, as it comes with a lid for easy transport, so you won’t have to worry about damaging your confection en route. It also has all the bells and whistles you’ll need to make a successful sheet cake: A steel core that won’t warp, interlocking nonstick layers and the ability to evenly distribute heat throughout the cake. Of course, it’s only good for making sheet cakes, so it’s not the most versatile pan out there—but with the quality of cakes you’ll be making, you likely won’t mind too much.
2. Chicago Metallic Cake Pan
Cake doesn’t take just one shape. There are all kinds of different iterations you can make, including layered cakes, sheet cakes and Mary Ann cakes. Chicago Metallic’s pan is the best way to make a great Mary Ann, with a nonstick coating and strong, durable steel makeup. The advantages of a Mary Ann cake primarily lie in its indented top, which folks typically adorn with berries, whipped cream and other toppings. Of course, if this fancy type of cake isn’t for you, then you may want to invest in a different pan.
3. Nordic Ware Layer Cake Pan
When it comes to buying a new cake pan, you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in something that will last. Thankfully, Nordic Ware’s does just that: It’s a nonstick pan that won’t rust or warp. You can use it on its own or combine it with smaller pans to create a spectacular layer cake. Keep in mind, though, that in order for the pan’s nonstick coating to really last, you’ll need to hand wash it.
4. Wilton Aluminum Cake Pans
Making a layer cake theoretically isn’t hard: All you have to do is bake cakes of various diameters in round pans. The trick, of course, is finding a reliable set of round pans. Wilton Aluminum’s pan comes as a pair, and sizes range from 8 inches to nine inches in diameter. Their aluminum structure means that they will heat evenly, though at only 2 inches in height, they aren’t the tallest models out there. Still, at two for the price of one, it’s the easiest way to build up an arsenal of cake pans.