Best Cake Baking Pans to Buy

Best Cake Pans to Buy

When it comes to cake pans, the best long-term investment for your bakery are deep, thick gauge solid aluminum pans.

Best Cake Pans to Buy

The Advantages to Solid, Deep, Aluminum Pans

  • The thick metal and high walls help buffer the heat so that cakes bake more evenly without developing as brown of a crust on the outside. 
  • You can pour twice as much batter in a deep pan, yielding a nice sized cake using half of the oven space.
  • If you are a bakery, you cut the number of pans that must be washed in half using this type of pan.
  • This type of pan doubles as a mold to fill a layer cake, which yields excellent results. Follow this link to learn about my professional bakery method for filling layer cakes in the pan.

Best Cake Pans to Buy

Which Sizes of Pans To Buy

  • 3″ deep pans are the best fit for home ovens.
  • 4″ deep pans are better for bakeries that have the advantage of more oven space.
  • The most common sizes for cakes have a diameter of 6″, 8″ and 10″ so it’s worth investing first in these pan sizes.

Recommended Brand of Cake Pans

I prefer Fat Daddio brand cake pans. They are seamless, high quality, and maintain well because of their strong lip. The removable bottom pans are excellent for making tortes and cheesecakes.

Here is the link to Round Cake Pans on Amazon

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Best Cake Pans to Buy

Here is the link to Square Cake Pans on Amazon

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Best Cake Pans to Buy

Here is the link to Round REMOVABLE Bottom Pans on Amazon

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Best Cake Pans to Buy

Here is the link to Square REMOVABLE Bottom Pans on Amazon

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\Look for the drop down menu that allows you to the pick the exact dimensions of the pans you want as there are many sizes to choose from. Amazon carries all the sizes.

The Fat Daddio’s website also offers batter capacity charts for their round and square cake pans, in case you want to know how much batter should go into each sized pan (this would especially help with costing out a menu). Note that the dimensions of the pans on the batter capacity charts are listed within the pan codes. So for square pans, the code is width x width x height and for round pans, the code is width x height.


Why Springform Pans Aren’t the Ideal Investment for Bakeries

Best Cake Pans to Buy

  • They are typically made of thin gauge, cheap metal.
  • They do not conduct heat well so the result is often a too-dark or burnt outer crust.
  • The clasps eventually loosen and rust.
  • The outer ring is prone to warping or getting squashed.
  • They aren’t watertight so for custard-based desserts like cheesecake or flan that have runny batters and/or require baking in a hot water bath.

The Heating Core Option

How to Bake Cakes with a Heating Core

The heating core is a tool that helps radiate heat into the center of large or deep cakes, reducing baking time and allowing for a more even rise and a more evenly baked cake. Read more about it here: How to Bake Cakes with a Heating Core.

How to Bake Cakes with a Heating Core

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Best Cake Baking Pans to Buy — 43 Comments

  1. Hi there! Your website is wonderful and very helpful. I’ve tried reading through the comments to find the answer to my question but I’m not quite sure I’ve found it.

    I’m new to using the 3″ pans. Can I cook the entire batter in that pan? If so, my understanding from the website is that I need to use the heating cone for an even bake, yes? If I use that, how does that effect cake layer slicing and assembly? Does the center of the cake fall down once the cake is made and slices are cut? Does that question make sense?

    If I can bake the entire batter in the 3″ pan, can I put two pans in the oven next to each other and will that extend cooking time by a substantial amount?

    Thank you!!

  2. Hi Kristen, I love all of your tips and videos! Thank you for all of the information. My question is about convection ovens. I would like to buy one that will only be used for my cakes and cookies and I would like a table top model. Do you have any recommendations on what kind to buy? And where is the best place to buy one?

    • Vulcan was the brand I encountered the most while working in the bakery industry. It’s sturdy, commercial grade. I recommend looking for a model that has an on/off switch for the fan (not all convection ovens do) so you can adjust the oven for baking angel food and other delicate things. First, I would look first on Craigslist for a discounted/used model or liquidation sale. Second, I would check out a local restaurant supply store, especially one that specializes in secondhand equipment.

  3. Hi Kristen! Thanks so much for all the information you’ve given :). I’m making a wedding cake for a friend and feel much more confident having looked trough your tutorials and tips!

    I would like to make four tiers for the cake (6″, 8″, 10″, & 12″ diameters) and would like to cut down the amount of pans I use. Would you advise against using 4″ deep pans to bake the “cake sponge” in a home oven? You mentioned something about it being preferable to use 4″ in a commercial oven but will it not work in a home oven?

    Also, should I use a heating core for each cake sponge because of the cake pans height? I’m a little confused about that.

    Thank you, again, for all the information!

    –Krystal W.

    • Krystal,
      You can use the 4″ deep pans in a home oven but then you will only be able to occupy one rack at a time. The advantage to the 3″ deep pans for home bakers is then you can occupy two racks at a time (if the oven is standard and you rotate the levels halfway through baking).

      Yes, use the heating core or any method for buffering heat.

      • Thank you so much! I ended up just going with the 2” height. I’ll be using your method to fill and freeze the tiers using an acetate collar to make up for the lack of pan depth. Very excited for the turn out

        Thanks once more for all your help!

  4. Wonderful site! I am making 3 cakes for our daughter’s wedding on New Year’s Eve this year. I have the 3 different recipes, have tried them, and happy with the result, flavors etc. These will all be ‘Naked’ cakes. Any advise on finishing details?

  5. You are so amazing i loved your filling method it helps a lot.just a quick question that i am using “cookies n cream ” filling for my chocolate cake so if i frost the cake with chocolate B/C it will be ok or should i use cream cheese frosting.
    Thank you very much for you amazing recipes .

    • Hi Saima,
      That’s great news! I recommend using buttercream for the finish as opposed to cream cheese filling. Cream cheese filling is not as stable for use as a frosting. Especially for longer display periods, buttercream works better. I hope I got back to you soon enough to answer this question in time!

      • Thank You very much for your advise but unfortunately i did the cream cheese icing it was not very much mess but i was so scared because i used it underneath the fondant.
        thank GOD it goes well but i will not use that again as icing.
        ThankYou for your recipe everyone loved it.

        my question is i have to make cupcakes next week for school BBQ and it’s almost hot in Canada so “Cookies n Cream” B/C will be fine on cupcakes need your advise.

        • I live in California it gets very hot(106°) in the summer and its hummid too do u have a good icing recipe that willhold in this hot and hummid weather

          • Gladys,
            You always have the option to replace some or all of the butter with shortening in hot weather. Although the taste and quality of shortening is inferior, shortening is more stable than butter in hot climates.

  6. Can 4″ pans be used with any cake recipe? I have read and heard food scientists say “If using a deeper pan, one needs to adjust the amount of baking powder”. I only use 2″ pans, and I have to bake in 2 pans to make 1 tier. The problem sometimes is shrinkage, and they don’t necessarily shrink equally. Very often, I end up with 1 cake slightly larger than the other. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    • Pascale,
      I have never heard about or observed this theory that deep pans require more leavening. What I have heard is that shallow pans cause cake domes to get overbaked because they rise up above the lip of the pan therefore brown faster. However I have used both types of pans successfully for baking both at home and in bakeries. In my commercial baking experience, I have seen more use of deep pans. They make a huge difference when it comes to production efficiency, rack space, and dishwasher efforts. I was once the pot-washer at a bakery so I grew quite keen to time-saving, pan-saving methods like this 🙂

    • Thanks for the reply. I guess in that case if I am making a 10 inch round cake, I can just make one recipe for two layers 2 in’ high pan in 1 4″ high pan. I hope I made sense.

  7. I am making a three tier wedding cake next month and I love your tutorial on filing in the pan. I want my tiers to be four inches tall each. Would it be best to use the 3″ pans with the insert or use the 4″? I’m thinking that after the filling (raspberry and BC) the tiers should be about 4″ but if I torte a cake baked in a 3″ pan I will only get to layers and therefore I will need to bake two cakes. I love this method of filling. It just seems so neat and simple! Thanks for the tutorials and any input you can give.

    • If you work with a standard home oven, I would recommend investing in 3″ pans and making a collar out of acetate, parchment, or wax paper to extend the pan whenever you want to assemble taller cakes using my cake filling method. For larger cakes, it often helps to bake the layers in two pans then combine them to assemble one cake in one pan using the cake filling method

  8. Hi… Thanks for the tutorial and I think it is a great idea.. I have a few questions would be grateful for your direction.
    Once the cakes are frozen can I start icing the cake with ganache.. I like to have those sharp edges so will this method work..
    Once the cake comes to room temperature will they be any bulges?
    How long does the cake take to thaw?
    Can d fondant be put when the cake reaches room temperature..
    Sorry for the multiple questions and thanking you in advance

    • Yes you can glaze or enrobe a still-frozen cake in ganache. In fact I’ve found that’s easier to do on a colder cake. Just keep in mind that the chocolate will set almost immediately on a frozen cake, so after you pour it on, you have no more than 5 seconds to push it around with an offset spatula before it will start to harden up. To answer the rest of your questions,
      ►I would add fondant at the frozen stage as well since the cake will be more sturdy at that point and easier to cover.
      ►There will only be bulges when the cake comes to room temperature if your filling is too thin or if it was unevenly distributed, which can cause air bubbles to get trapped in the cake.
      ►The time it takes for a cake to thaw depends entirely on how big it is. Usually overnight in the refrigerator is enough time.

  9. What a nifty method! I need to try this once I get larger pans! I have a question though…. Does your filling ever start bulging under fondant once it comes to room temperature? I try to get a nice layer of filling in between my cake layers but whenever I do, I get bulges because it starts squishing out with all the weight. I usually enclose my filling with a dam of icing too. Any suggestions? AND THANK YOU FOR THE VIDEOS! 🙂

    • If your cake fillings are bulging out at room temperature then they are too loose and probably shouldn’t be used. I avoid such fillings especially when it comes to wedding cakes since they go on display for so long. You can certainly add a dam of buttercream around the edges of every layer to hold the filling in, and that typically works, but the better alternative is to simply to use thicker, more stable fillings.

  10. I’m confused; if a recipe calls for three 9″ cake pans and I use this deeper cake pan, how doe I adjust the baking time in the recipe?

    • Well…baking times are just estimates anyway. What kind of oven you use, what kind of metal pan, where in the oven you put the pans, how many pans you bake at once, and how many times you open the oven during baking will all effect the baking time.

      A good way to test for doneness is to stick the tip of a knife into the center dome of a cake and pull back a little piece, just enough to expose what’s underneath that dome. If the batter is still a little raw under there, the cake still needs time. If it’s cooked, it’s probably done.

  11. Is part of the reason you recommend the 4″ high cake pans for professional bakery use is due to the fact that most professional ovens uses convection rather than conventional heating? Thus, you’re able to bake the cake much quicker because of the forced air? Just curious as I have the kind of oven that has both features and it is rather large inside. Not that I need new pans, but just in case I decide to buy some more. 🙂


    • I recommend 4″ pans to bakeries because it’s always better to have a deep pan and bakeries typically have more space in the ovens that can accommodate pans that size. The depth also does help protect the tops of the cakes against forced air in convection ovens.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and all your helpful hints. I absolutely LOVE your book. I read it over and over again and always find something I missed earlier LOL.

  13. I bought the e-book version. Can’t wait to use. Do I need to print it out so you have proof of purchase to enter your contest?

    • Hi Ardis,
      Hmm…I hadn’t considered the ebook option! No need to print it out. If you take a pic of yourself next to the computer with the cover on it, that’ll work. I already have your proof of purchase from paypal. Thanks for buying my book!
      – Kristen

  14. Thank you! Great video! I have your book and I am only using modeling chocolate now, I appreciate all of your help.
    Do you recommend using 4 inch pans to do this type of filling? I have all of the 3 inch pans, but I imagine if I torte the cake, it will need to be in a 4 inch pan.

    • Thanks for buying my book! So glad to hear you are having success with the modeling chocolate. The 3″ pans are the best fit for home ovens. 4″ are better for a bakery setting, where there’s more room in the ovens. I prefer the 4″ pans because I’m in the habit of making that sized cake but I own and use both sizes.