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How Do I Choose the Best Aluminum Cake Pan?

By Melanie Greenwood
Updated May 16, 2024
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Aluminum is one of the most common materials used to make cake pans. Available in supermarkets and cooking stores all over the world, aluminum cake pans work well for most types of cakes, but you do need to choose high-quality pans. The best aluminum cake pans are made of anodized aluminum, have a moderate weight, have a specific side depth, and are suited to your baking style.

The first thing to look for in an aluminum cake pan is a certain type of construction material. You want to look for anodized aluminum. This type of aluminum has been treated so that it will not react with acidic foods, which provides more versatility. Without the anodizing treatment, your pan will react with certain foods, such as lemon cake, giving an acidic taste to your food. Some health experts have also expressed concern that ingestion of aluminum may increase risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Another thing to look for in an aluminum cake pan is moderate weight. Don't be tempted by an inexpensive, thin, flimsy pan. This type of pan will absorb the heat from your oven too quickly, which makes it almost impossible not to burn your cake. You’ll also want to avoid thick, heavy pans. These pans may be difficult to handle, especially when filled with a thick or heavy cake batter.

They next thing to look for in a quality aluminum cake pan is side depth. Ideally, the best aluminum cake pan will have a side depth of no less than 1.5 inches (about four centimeters). Two inches (about five centimeters) is better. This will help prevent spills ensure you can use your cake pan with a wide variety of recipes. A deep pan also gives enough room for better to expand during baking, so it will not run over the sides and fall on your oven heating element, causing smoke or even potential fire risk.

Finally, the best aluminum cake pan is suited to your baking style. If you tend to make a lot of layer cakes, you’ll want to look for a round cake pan. Conversely, if you make a lot of sheet cakes, you want to look for a square pan. If you tend to make small sheet cakes, go with an eight inch by eight inch (about 20 centimeters by 20 centimeters) pan. For larger cakes, choose eight inch by 11 inch pans (about 20 by 35 centimeters).

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Discussion Comments
By Talentryto — On Aug 17, 2014

@raynbow- If you only have money to spend on a single aluminum cake pan for now, you can't go wrong with a sheet cake pan. This is more practical because you can make more types of cakes than you can with a round pan.

When choosing your pan, I think you will also get more use out of one that is larger. In other words, go with a rectangle pan instead of a square one. It's the best way to make the most out of your money and still have a pan that will make a sizable cake.

By Raynbow — On Aug 16, 2014

I'm need to get a cake pan, but I am on a tight budget right now and don't have a lot to spend on an entire bake ware set. What is the most versatile type of aluminum cake pan that should meet the majority of my baking needs? I occasionally bake cakes for the family and for special occasions like birthdays, but nothing too fancy.

By Heavanet — On Aug 16, 2014

I understand the importance of using aluminum cake pans that are anodized and well-made. However, many people make cakes for special events in which it is easiest just to leave the cakes in the pan for transportation purposes. You certainly can't use costly cake pans for these purposes.

Disposable aluminum cake pans are great to use for events like reunions and parties. Though they aren't ideal, they do a good job and are very affordable. You can leave your cake at the event without worrying about how you will get your pan back.

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