We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Cooling Rack?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Before you frost your cake, or serve your roast beef, you may want to place it on a cooling rack. Cooling baked goods before serving them, frosting them or storing them is an important process in maintaining the integrity of the finished product. Meat, likewise, should rest for 20 minutes before being carved, and a cooling rack may be employed to allow the meat to both rest and cool.

Primarily, the cooling rack functions as a way to cool down baked goods, and a handy place to store baked goods until you serve, frost or pack them. Cooling racks come in many different sizes and are usually made of metal. Small metal bars run across the rack, allowing air to circulate not only on top of cookies or cakes, but also underneath them. The rack may also have bars running in both directions or be composed of fine metal net if you're cooling small items.

Sizes and prices of cooling racks vary considerably. You can find simple, single racks for under 10 US dollars (USD). These may be great for cooling a batch of cookies, cupcakes, or a single layer of a layer cake. Other cooling racks have several tiers or levels, and are frequently collapsible so they don’t take up much space when stored. These are great for shorter items, like a batch of cookies for instance, though many feel that the heat from each rack may increase cooling time.

You can find round, square and rectangular cooling racks. Round ones are especially useful for round layer cakes, and they make for an excellent way to easily flip a cake out of the cake pan. You merely put the cooling rack onto to the top of the cake pan, invert the pan, and hopefully, when you lift the pan, your whole cake has come out and can be cooled before being frosted.

Cooling racks for cakes are absolutely essential. If you frost a still warm cake, you’ll end up with a different texture to your frosting or even melted frosting. Even if you plan to leave the cake in the pan, you can still place it on a cooling rack to help speed the cool-down process. Similarly you can place warm pies, tarts or turnovers on a cooling rack and get them to cool down more quickly.

You should look for cooling racks that will best fit your baking needs. For instance, if you bake many cookies, the three-tiered collapsible cooling racks may be the best choices. If you make large oblong cakes, look for cooling racks upon which the pan will sit comfortably. It’s definitely a mistake to use a cooling rack, especially when turning out a cake that is too small. That tends to be the pathway toward breaking a cake when you try to get it out of a pan. You’ll probably want to purchase several sizes if you do a lot of baking.

The cooling rack should have small feet that lift the metal bars or net up off the surface upon which it sits. A flat cooling rack without any lift may be cheaper, but it won’t give the main advantage, which is the ability for air to circulate completely around the food. Also if you’re making anything particularly sticky or chewy, you might want to coat your cooling rack in non-stick spray so that when the items are cool they don’t stick to the rack.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Rotergirl — On Jun 27, 2014

I made fruitcake cookies last Christmas, and I don't know how they would have turned out if not for the cooling rack. They were nice and chewy-crisp, which is how they were supposed to be. I was so tickled that they turned out so well. I know it was because they were able to cool with air circulating between all the cookies. If I'd piled them all on a plate, they probably would have been gummy and nasty.

A cooling rack is also good for transporting layer cakes. If they're on a large rack, you can just carry them, rack and all. Makes the chances of having an accident go way, way down. They store easily too, so I'm all for having the biggest cooling rack that will fit on your counter top!

By Pippinwhite — On Jun 26, 2014

A cooling rack is one of those utensils that is worth its weight in gold in a kitchen. They're great for cooling cakes and cookies, but you can also use them as drainers for fried foods. You can put the food on the racks and paper towels underneath.

Some cakes just don't do well unless they're cooled in the pan sitting on a cooling rack. They don't want to come out in one piece when they aren't properly cooled underneath, too. Bundt cakes are especially bad about it.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.