Saturday, January 1, 2011

Preparing & Filling Pans

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Make sure to always prepare your baking pans before you begin. Some batter like cakes and cupcakes must be baked right away. If the batter sits for too long before baking, you increase the chance of your baked goods coming out flat and dense. Other baked goods like Chocolate Chip Cookies, require no pan preparation, and it is best to let the dough sit, for the best flavor.
  • Cookies: When rolling cookie dough, dust your surface with powdered sugar instead of flour to improve flavor and prevent the cookies from becoming dry. It is not necessary to grease pan when baking most cookies, but the cookie sheet can always be lined with a piece of parchment paper to ensure easy removal. Always cool sheets in between batches. When you throw another batch of cookie dough on a hot pan and right back in the oven, this causes them to burn on the bottom. You can use an upside down cake pan as an extra baking sheet; or, run cool water on the back of a hot cookie sheet, or even place the pan in the freezer for a minute if you’re in a hurry. 
  • Cupcakes: For best results, use paper, foil or silicone baking cups/cupcake liners for easy removal from pan. You can also try baking your cupcakes in ice
    cream cones for a fun alternative! If you don't have baking cups, grease or spray bottom and sides of cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray

  • Cakes, brownies, bars and breads: Use nonstick spray or grease pan with butter or shortening and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of flour (sprinkle with cocoa powder for chocolate cake so it is not speckled with white from the four.) You can also use parchment paper (greased on both sides) cut to fit the inside of the bottom of the pan, so the cake comes right out upon removal. To create a pan for your baked goods in any shape or size, without having to buy a specialty pan, simply use my original DIY disposable pan method below.
*To make homemade pan grease: Combine equal parts shortening, oil, and flour. This is used as a substitute to greasing the pans then dusting them with flour. Keep unused portion in an airtight container and refrigerate.

DIY Disposable Foil Pan (in any shape & size!):

You will need
  • foil
  • stapler
  • ruler/measuring tape (optional)
  • baking pan or cookie sheet for baking on


Simply fold a long piece of foil into one long strip about 2-4 inches high. Bend it into a circle, loaf shape or any shape/size you desire, stapling shape in place. For a heart shape, fold the foil in half to create the bottom point of the heart. Overlap the top ends of the foil strip and fold them together creating the top fold in the heart. Staple to hold the ends together and shape heart with your hands until you have a nice rounded heart. 

Once you have your desired size/shape pan, take another piece of foil and place it under your foil shape. Fold the foil up the sides of your foil shape so the batter cannot leak out of the bottom. You now have a custom shaped pan for your cake, cheesecake, bread, or brownies, that you can easily pull/rip away once baked and cooled!

Frost Decorate and enjoy! (Click here for the red velvet cheesecake cake recipe, shown in the photo below.) 
    Gadget Corner
  • Cheesecakes: Grease or spray bottom and sides of a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray so the cheesecake doesn't creep up the sides during baking, and then fall and sink in the center. To create a pan for your cheesecake without having to buy a springform pan, simply use my original DIY disposable pan method below.

DIY Disposable Parchment Paper Cheesecake Pan

You will need
  • parchment paper
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • ruler/measuring tape OR round container the size you want your pan (optional)
  • baking pan or cookie sheet for baking on


Cut a piece of parchment paper from the roll, (about 18 inches long for a 5 inch pan, shorter for smaller pans).

Fold it in half, lengthwise. This will help strengthen the sides of your parchment pan.

Fold it in half again, lengthwise, creating a strip about 4 inches tall.

Wrap your parchment strip around an item that is the size you would like your pan to be. In this case I wanted a 5 inch pan, which happened to be the same size as the oatmeal container I had. Cans of corn, beans, soup, etc. also work, to create mini 3-4 inch parchment pans. Or you can just eyeball it and use a ruler to create a ring in your desired size. Staple the sides together, making sure there is a row of at least 3 staples where the parchment is connected (a staple on top, bottom, and in the middle).

Line the bottom of a cake pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place your parchment ring on top, in the center.

Voila! There you have your mini parchment cheesecake pan! Press in crust, fill and bake.

Peel away parchment ring (being careful of staples). 

Decorate your completely cooled cheesecake. (Click here for my pumpkin spice cheesecake pictured below)

Cake Baking Times & Batter/Frosting Amounts

  Pan Size    (2" deep)Cups Batter
Approx. Baking Time (min.)Baking
of frosting per layer
   Approx. Servings

One 4" round One 6" round
One 8" round
One 9" round

3 1/2 - 4
5 1/2 - 6



1 1/2
1 1/2 - 2


Give them a try, and be sure to share a picture on our Facebook wall, or email a photo to to have your recreation featured in our Fan Photo album!

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