Some people say that collecting craft supplies is a completely separate hobby from crafting. We might be guilty of the same in the baking world too! Sales of non-stick cookware in the United States hit a high of $1.55 billion in 2016 before dropping to $1.41 billion in 2018.
Sales have been on a rise since, and I might feel less alone knowing that I’m not the only one always with an eye out for the right tools to make baking and kitchen work easier.
Today, we’re exploring the best essential baking pans to stock in your kitchen. From loaves, to breads, to cookies and more, these are pans that will not only get the job done but help you do so more quickly down the line.
1. 9×5 Inch Loaf Pan
Baked loaves are breathtakingly delicious. If you have to get one size of a loaf pan, opt for a 9x5 inch pan that is a classic for most recipes. There are a wide variety of options for these nonstick pans, and this Rachel Ray loaf pan comes with "grippy" handles to prevent spills and mistakes when baking.
One thing to watch out for in any pan with handles or grips, is a temperature safety guide. This pan is safe in temperatures up to 500°F. Often, these grips are made of food-safe silicone that can quickly become unsafe when used in temperatures above recommended safety guidelines.
2. Half-Sheet Pan
Half sheet pans measure 18x13 inches which is half the size of a full sheet pan. This is a standard size for home baking, as 26x19 inch pans are harder to navigate and typically too large for home batches of bakes.
Half-sheet pans usually have sides that are 1 inch tall, making it perfect for batters for brownies, cakes and breads. Delicious!
3. Flat, Non-Stick Cookie Sheets
While a flat cookie sheet is not a top consideration when it comes to essential baking pans in the kitchen, it’s a tool that is often overlooked in favor of a half-sheet pan that actually isn't ideal for cookie baking.
Unlike a half-sheet pan with sides, a flat cookie sheet is completely flat and easier to navigate using a spatula for cookies. This difference may seem like a small unnecessary one, but imagine all of the cookie crumbs you won’t have to dig out of pan corners! You can avoid the extra hand-washing after baking simple cookies that don’t need a wall to begin with! Wonderful. I love using these for my favorite chocolate chip cookies.
4. Muffin Tin or Cupcake Tray
The only way to go wrong with a muffin tin or cupcake tray is to not have one! Grab a classic 12-cup tray to enjoy homemade cupcakes or muffins in a jiffy. This size is perfect for simple fruit and swirl inclusions.
5. Jumbo Muffin Pan
Don’t look at me like that. Who doesn’t love a jumbo-sized muffin? This jumbo muffin pan comes in a set of 2 for a total of 12 gigantic bakes. These can also be used for cupcakes, egg tarts and other large size baked goods.
And while the size of baked goods does correlate to how long you get to enjoy them, I’d also argue that jumbo muffin pans are essential when testing more difficult recipes and complicated mixes with a plethora of different ingredients.
It makes it easier to tell if your mix ratio is correct, before you branch into smaller muffins moving forward. So be sure to include this pan on your list of best essential baking pans to stock in your kitchen.
6. 24-Count Muffin Pan
I know, I know. Maybe you’re getting tired of the cupcake and muffin pans! But think about it this way...this mini muffin pan is the perfect solution for simple bake sale and play date needs. Unlike classic muffin tins and cupcake trays that hold 12 baked goods, this versatile pan is one of the best ways to get away with one bake time.
While it may not be the best way to make brownies or cake bites, 24-count muffin pans can be used in other pinches when quantity is more important than pastry-shop size. Grab a 24-count muffin pan today to save time on those late night bakes.
7. Round Cake Pans
What is a cake without a round cake pan? Round cake pans are classic for a reason and come in many different dimensions to help with stacking of multi-tiered cakes. This cake pan from Cuisinart is an affordable choice that isn’t too heavy or light. The aluminized steel material allows for even heating and easy bakes. Simple and effective. If you are planning on making multiple layers and a variety of sizes, I'd recommend going with a set. Fat Daddio is who I like working with.
8. 9x13 Inch Cake Pan
Sometimes, large sheet cakes are in order. Grab a classic rectangular cake pan to ensure that you’ll always have a bottom layer for towering cakes. This is also a great option for large quantities of brownies or blondies at a time. Delicious! If you are looking for better quality, you could easily go with glass bakeware. Pyrex is a fabulous brand. You can make a cake one day, and you can whip up lasagna the next day. A 9x13 inch cake pan is an essential baking pan to have in your kitchen.
9. Springform Pan
Springform pans are similar to regular cake and pie pans, except they have a removable bottom that gives more flexibility and is perfect for an easy cake release. This is especially important for cheesecakes and cakes meant for display. Once you add a set of springform pans to your collection, you might be surprised how often you can use it for various bakes.
10. Pie Plates (Pie Pan)
While a regular round cake pan can be used for homemade pies, you might want a pie plate instead to accomplish a classic pie look. Pie plates have slightly indented and slanted edges, creating that traditional slope of pie crust. Yum!
Pie plates come in a variety of different materials. Metal pie plates heat up quickly, which is great for many bakes. However, glass pie plates might be preferable for more finicky recipes. Glass heats up slower and will allow for more time to double-check baking and prevent burns.
Ceramic pie plates are probably the prettiest option and are very versatile in freezing, oven, and room temperatures. For a more detailed read on pie pans, take a look at our post on How To Choose The Right Pie Pans.
The Best Baking Pans in Your Kitchen
Having specific tools in your kitchen won’t make or break your bakes. But they can definitely save you time and even money in the long run! Different sizes and types of pans are essential kitchen equipment to create particularly intricate or a mass amount of basic creations. Explore more on SerenaLissy.com today for recipes and essential kitchen tools for your home. Last week, we explored the Ten Best Cookie Baking Tools to save you time, money, and ease.
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