Best Cake Pans America’s Test Kitchen – Top 7 Picks for Delicious Results

Baking is not just a craft you master on a Sunday afternoon; it's a form of art in which you can express your culinary creativity! You may be a professional baker or just enjoy an occasional cheesecake on holiday. Whatever the circumstance is, you will need the best cake pans for those recipes you have in your cookbook.

Now, if you want to recreate the "yellow sheet cake" you saw on America's Test Kitchen, you will need the best cake pan from our list!

We have reviewed some of the best cake pans you can get on the 2021 market without spending too much. It's time you stop wasting your baking skills on low-quality pans and get one of these best cake pans and finally complete your baking collection.

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Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Pick
Wilton Easy Layers! 10 x 4-Inch Loaf Cake Pan Set, 4-Piece*
Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan Celebration Set, Set of 3, Silver, 1-Box Mix*
Best Selling
USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan, 9 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, 9-Inch,Aluminized Steel*
Title
Wilton Easy Layers! 10 x 4-Inch Loaf Cake Pan Set, 4-Piece*
Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan Celebration Set, Set of 3, Silver, 1-Box Mix*
USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan, 9 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, 9-Inch,Aluminized Steel*
Price
$15.59
$25.79
$15.98
Prime
Customer's Rating
Editor's Pick
Wilton Easy Layers! 10 x 4-Inch Loaf Cake Pan Set, 4-Piece*
Title
Wilton Easy Layers! 10 x 4-Inch Loaf Cake Pan Set, 4-Piece*
Price
$15.59
Prime
Customer's Rating
Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan Celebration Set, Set of 3, Silver, 1-Box Mix*
Title
Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan Celebration Set, Set of 3, Silver, 1-Box Mix*
Price
$25.79
Prime
Customer's Rating
Best Selling
USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan, 9 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, 9-Inch,Aluminized Steel*
Title
USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan, 9 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, 9-Inch,Aluminized Steel*
Price
$15.98
Prime
Customer's Rating

Best Cake Pans America’s Test Kitchen 2021 - Top 7 Picks

Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set - Best Pick

The Wilton cake pan is one of Amazon's best-selling bakery items you need in your kitchen. This one comes at an affordable price range and includes four high-quality baking pans. Now, let's see what else it offers!

For starters, the Wilton cake pans are made out of durable anodized aluminum, which will last you for a long time. Not only that, but their impressive construction allows for an even baking process so that you can trust it at all times.

You can create the most beautiful cake designs with these cake pans. All you need to prepare is one cake mix and voila! The Wilton Easy Layers cake pan set will do the rest.

One of the best qualities of this Wilton cake pan is that they have a non-stick coating that will make your baking so much easier—no more lining down the baking sheet or greasing the pan before spreading the batter. It also allows you to take out the cake after it's done baking easily.

Plus, Wilton's cake pans include a silicone surface that allows you to pop out the cake out of the baking pan easily.

It's an excellent cake pan for both professional and home use as it has many advantages to its design. You can freeze, microwave, or even throw them in the dishwasher, which is super convenient.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Nonstick coating
  • Straight sides
  • Made out of anodized aluminum
  • Suitable for dishwasher, microwave, or freezer
  • Easy to clean
  • It enables you to pop out the cake easily
Cons
  • Smaller size

Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan - Runner Up

All you need for a spectacular birthday cake is right here in this set! The Fat Daddio's Round cake pans will amaze you with their convenient size and even better quality. It comes in a group of three different sizes, which will deliver the best baking results! Let's get right into the review.

The dimensions of these cake pans will fit one cake mix! They feature 3x2, 5x2, and 7x2'' cake pans made from anodized aluminum.

The SafeSeal anodized process used in the creating of the pans delivers a safe and strong baking surface. It will not leave an unpleasant taste and flavor of other factors such as dish soap, grease, or any other component.

I bet that you will be impressed with this pan bakeware quality just like us! The material used is non-reactive, so it's perfect to use for all savory treats as well as citrus-based recipes.

The Fat Daddio's cake pans are heat reflective, meaning they achieve baking temperature much faster than other dishes. Whether you are a professional or enjoy an occasional baking session at home, you will appreciate this feature the most.

Not only does it offer an even baking process, but it cools down quickly once it's out of the oven, preventing overbaking and burning.

All in all, you will be impressed with Fat Daddio's baking trio! It comes at an average price range, but the quality of it is impeccable.

Pros
  • Even heating process
  • Cools down quickly
  • Made from anodized aluminum
Cons
  • The rim has slightly sharper edges

USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan - Budget-Friendly Cake Pan

If you are a professional baker, you need this cake pan in your life! It's a 9 inch round, commercial-grade design that will be in your baking collection for a long time! This one is sold at an affordable price range, but it has an outstanding quality that delivers the perfect round cake layers!

First, let's cover its many benefits. The USA cake pan bakeware has a durable design that has been tested by many high-grade bakes all around the world! It's suitable to use in halogen ovens and gas and electric oven design.

If you want to bake with minimal hassle, then this cake pan is for you! It offers you a quick release of the cake with its nonstick coating. Therefore, you will spend less time on the clean-up and on oiling the surface!

Most of the owners of this USA cake pan bakeware were mesmerized by the easy clean-up and maintenance. All you need for cleaning is a bit of soap and water; no scrubbing necessary!

As this is a 9 inch round design, it also has a 2-inch depth, so we recommend you bake in smaller batches for the first try so you can test out the release system. With nearly 1.1 pound weight, the pan is super light and easy to use!

Pros
  • Suitable for round baked goods
  • Aluminiumised steel
  • Light
  • Nonstick coating
  • Unique fluted design
Cons
  • Not so long-lasting
  • Some batter may stick to the bottom

Nordic Ware Bundt Pan - Best for Bundt Cake

Are you a fan of the famous bundt cake but could never get it right with your previous pan? Well, you are in for a wonderful surprise as this will deliver the perfect shape each time!

The very first feature that caught out attention was the capacity! You can get up to 10-15 cups of batter in this bundt pan with no problem!

The Nordic Ware cake pan is made out of a thick aluminum design, making it durable and long-lasting for upcoming cooking sessions! We all worry if the bundt will come out perfect once it's baked. Now, thanks to the nonstick interior, baking a cake never looked easier!

What's even better about it is that platinum silver reflects the heat and produces even baked goods. Oh, and have you noticed the handles on the side? That's right; there are super convenient when you are wearing oven mitts to handle the pain better.

The Nordic Ware round cake pan is so much more than just a bundt pan! You can bake your favorite batter in a million different ways and decorate it with a drizzle of chocolate or icing to create absolute perfection.

Overall, you will be astonished by the quality of this round cake pan. Many of the customers have praised its ability to retain shape after numerous baking adventures.

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Durable
  • Incredible capacity
  • Reflects heat
  • Nonstick coating
  • 4.5 inches deep
  • Curved edge design
Cons
  • The dark interior may get the cake brown

Hiware Springform Pan Set - The Best Cake Pans for Layered Cakes

Raise your hand if you are craving a cheesecake right now? I know I am because this Hiware Springform cake pans set got all the qualities that make a delicious cheesecake!

This is a pretty basic round cake pans set that everyone needs in their kitchen. But as fundamental as it may seem, it's precious to those who want to bake ease and without stress! It comes in a set of three cake pans with a quick-release mechanism along with parchment liner paper so you can get flawless results each time.

These springform cake pans measure out in 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch round cake designs, so they are perfect for layer cakes.

You don't only have to use the pans for cheesecake! You can use these cake pans for any favorite recipe that does not allow for a layer flip-over. With the release system, you can neatly get the cake out of the pan without sticking to the corners or the bottom.

Plus, the Hiware Springform set includes three layers of nonstick coating, so you won't even have to flower the bottom, sides, or edges of the pan.

All three pans incorporate a high-quality design that can withstand the high heat of 450 degrees without developing any damages. Also, they are safe from BPA, PFOA, or any other harmful chemical coating substance.

Pros
  • Perfect for round cakes
  • Suitable for layer cakes
  • Three layers of nonstick coating
  • Good for professional use
  • 6-month warranty
  • Quick-release system
Cons
  • Some are not leak-proof

Wilton Performance Pans Aluminum - Best for Square Cakes

On a cold night, nothing can warm you up better than a hot cup of milk and fudgy brownies. The Wilton square pan is the ultimate cake pan for elegant tiered cakes. But don't let it fool you. This pan can be used for so much more than just to bake cakes. You can bake various goods in it, including a loaf of bread or roast potatoes.

As you know, Wilton is a high-grade name in the baking industry as they offer high-quality baking utensils and tools no baker could live without! Such is this incredible cake pan. It's by far the cheapest cake pan we have reviewed, so it's another excellent reason why you should check it out.

Like many cake pans, it's made out of aluminum and nonstick coating, which delivers ultimate baking results.

You can bake the most elegant square cake in this pan! It has straight edges with 10-inches long sides and a 2-inches deep design. This kind of design is perfect if you are trying to make a tall-tier cake!

It's also suitable if you are baking layer by layer of cake and are looking for an evenly baked result. That being said, its unique design and material will allow for each layer to be baked evenly with delicious golden color.

In their offer, you can find a lot more shapes and sizes other than squares! So, if your kiddo's birthday party is coming up, you know what to do.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Made from aluminum
  • 2 inches deep
  • Straight edge
  • Good for brownies
Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Cake Pan - Best Quality Pan

If you want to use your budget smartly, I suggest you check out the OXO non-stick cake pan. It's a simple design suitable for square cakes, brownies, cheesecake, or anything else your heart desires. Dig up your favorite recipe and prepare to wow the crowd with your dessert creations.

The OXO cake pan is a commercial-grade pan made out of heavy-gauge aluminum steel. Just because it's the final product on our list does not mean it lacks quality. To be honest, this is one of the best qualities we have tested in cake pans.

Along with the unique construction, the Oxo cake pan evenly distributes heat and delivers perfect baking results. Trust me when I say that there won't be any raw spots on your cake! Everything is baked nicely wiht a golden hue you only see in bakeries.

Moreover, the cake pan is ceramic reinforced with two layers of non-stick coating for a quick release. Plus, its impressive design is also scratch, rust, stain, and abrasion-resistant.

The unique micro-textured pattern ensures your cake batter is baked evenly as it promotes optimal airflow between the grates.

The square rolled edges offer a secure grip and even better transfer from an oven to the working station. We like it the most because you can see the precise measurements on the pan so you can identify the size of the parchment paper easier.

Pros
  • Suitable for rectangular loafs
  • Amazing quality
  • Textured surface
  • 9 inches pan
  • Aluminum made
  • Even heat distribution
  • Non-stick coating
Cons
  • Tricky to clean

Buyer's Guide

1. Materials

Aluminum

These types of cake pans are the most popular among home bakers and professional ones. As you already know, aluminum cake pans are an excellent heat conductor, and instead of absorbing heat, they reflect it. This results in an even baking process, so it minimizes the chance of burnt crust.

Most of them are rust and corrosion resistant, but some of them can react to acidic foods, so it's best to search for anodized aluminum.

america's test kitchen recommended cake pans

Glass

Glass trays or pans are yet another popular dishes among bakers. However, we would recommend you use this mainly for pies, lasagna, casseroles, and such.

They would not make a good cake pan as glass is a poor heat conductor.

Carbon Steel Baking Pans

These baking pans are a great choice as they are made from heavy-gauge steel, stronger and more durable than aluminum. They are an excellent heat conductor and are naturally made to be non-stick.

The only downside is that they are prone to rust if not correctly handled.

Anodized Aluminum

This aluminum pan is super durable as it has undergone a chemical process that hardens its edges and outer layer. It's excellent for acidic ingredients since it won't cause any reactions.

Plus, you can use metal kitchen utensils without worrying if they will damage the surface.


2. Baking Pan Colors

Choosing a baking pan color is just as important as selecting the material. Don't think that these are just because of aesthetic purposes because the choice of color plays a more significant role here.

Dark Pans

These pans are the best if you want to ensure crispiness. Dark pans absorb and disperse heat better, so they are fantastic if you want your cake to be on a brownish side.

Light Pans

Lighter pans absorb less heat and are therefore best to use when you want even baking but retain a pale color of the cake. They are preferred for cakes and cookies when you want to achieve a natural color and minimize the brown.

Purple Pans

Many people do not know this, but purple pans are used to avoid cross-contamination as they are used for allergy-free baking and cooking.


3. Adjusting The Temperature

best round cake pans america's test kitchen

Adjusting the right temperature is crucial for perfect baking! Now, many beginner bakers will not know how to change the cooking temperature based on the size of the pan.

For example, if you only own a big pan but a recipe calls for a smaller one, just increase the temperature and decrease the baking time. This will ensure that everything is evenly baked and there are no burnt spots.

If it's the other way around and you have a smaller pan, just increase the baking time and decrease the temperature. Easy as that!


4. What Is the Best Pan Size?

Think about what type of cakes do you usually bake? Most of the recipes will call for 8 inch or 9-inch pans, so these pans will get the job done. But, if you want to make sure you are covered in all situations, purchasing a set of baking pans will be the best choice! You can get one for a square cake or round ones. With a straight edge design or a curved one, the options are limitless!

On the other hand, the depth of the pan is also crucial. You can usually get a three or 2-inch deep pan and call it a day.

FAQs

What are the best cake pans?

The best cake pans are the Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set.

The set is made out of aluminum which delivers the best durable quality for your cooking achievements. Plus, its non-stick quality will allow for a quick release of the baked batter! The Wilton Easy Layers cake pan set is suitable for layered cakes as it has straight edges and four pieces of 10-inch pan models.

It's suitable for professional and home use, so you can create the most delicious cakes all in the comfort of your home.

best cake pans for layered cakes

What pans do professional bakers use?

You will find that many professional bakers use Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan. This round cake pan set is made out of anodized aluminum, which gives it better quality and durable use.

Plus, they are non-stick, which allows for easy release, and are rust-free. Overall, professional bakes will mostly use aluminum or aluminized steel pans for baking cakes.

Along with the best cake pans, they will use parchment papers, silicone mats, or spray oil to prevent accidental sticking of the batter.


Is it better to bake a cake in glass or metal pan?

This all depends on what you are baking.

For example, a glass baking pan is incredible for beginners as you can see the process! It allows you to check on the crust and the bottom of the pie, so it's beneficial in the visual area. Also, glass pans are mainly used for lasagna, casseroles, mac and cheese, baked potatoes, and similar dishes as they are easy to clean afterward. Plus, most of them are dishwasher safe.

With metal pans, you will get safe results with any of the baked goods. They disperse heat evenly, and most of them are non-stick and are relatively cheap, whereas glass pans are higher in price.

best cake pans wirecutter

Is it ok to bake with aluminum pans?

Yes, it's perfectly fine to bake with aluminum pans. They are an amazing heat conductor, cheap, and come in various shapes and sizes so you can create the most creative cakes.

Not only does aluminum serve as a good cake pan, but you can also use it for bread, rolls, or any other delicacy. Metal pans will also heat up better and faster than any other to deliver a consistent result with crispy, golden edges.

Final Words

Are you ready to become the ultimate baking boss now that you have read our best cake pans America's Test Kitchen? These best cake pans will get you outstanding results for any type of cake you desire! One of our best picks goes out to the Wilton Easy Layers Cake Pan Set. It's a great set of the best cake pans for beginners and professionals who want to achieve perfect crust each time.

It's time to prepare your batter and whisk because you now know the best cake pans to buy in 2021!

Wilton Easy Layers! 10 x 4-Inch Loaf Cake Pan Set, 4-Piece*
  • Make multilayer rectangular torte cakes with this Easy Layers! Loaf Pan Set
  • Non-stick steel for easy release and quick cleanup
  • 10 x 4 x 0.75 in. (25.4 x 10.1 x 1.9 cm)
  • Dishwasher safe; however for best results, wash in warm, soapy water before first and after each use

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