There are not many things more frustrating than a cake or loaf of bread sticking to the pan. Yes, you can dig out fork-fuls and pretend that everything is OK, but inside you have the nagging feeling that your work was at least partly wasted. Don’t let this happen to you! When you have made the perfect small cake or small loaf of bread, reward your efforts by assuring that your fresh-baked treasure slides right out of the baking pan.
There are at least two ways to ensure that this happens. The first is to cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Spray a little cooking spray in the bottom to hold the paper in place, then spray up the sides of the pan as well. I use this method quite often, especially when the batter is very liquid-y. Place the pan on the parchment, trace around the bottom, and cut it out just smaller than your outline. Voilà–lining for your pan.
I was a professional baker for a few years, and so I bought ready-cut parchment circles in the sizes I used most. Very convenient!
The second way is to make the small investment in a Nordic Ware (cuttable) Silicone Baking Mat. Although Silpats are my first love and I use them all the time, they cannot be cut. The fiberglass webbing that runs through them is dangerous when exposed. That is where Nordic Ware comes in (this is not a sponsored post.) Because there is no interior webbing, the mat can be cut to any shape or size. Simply slide it in the bottom of the pan and carry on! Do not spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray when using cut silicone mats. The spray will eventually build up and cause a sticky mess on the mat. Instead, use a generous coat of soft butter or vegetable shortening.
Also, to protect the sides of your pan, it is smart to use something wood or plastic to loosen the edges of the cake if needed. I like to use a large size flat wooden pick. Run the pick around the circle between the cake and the pan, using an up and down motion if needed. When everything is loose, turn the cake out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Happy baking! Be sure to try these techniques with the recipes in my Small Cake Series.
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