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New Cake Pans

Rebecca's picture

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The twice-annual sale is coming soon to my local kitchenware store & I'd like to get some cake pans. My current ones are warped Ekcos from Kroger, 10 years old. I have several questions:


1. Should I get nonstick or regular? I think nonstick would be great but don't want to assume anything...maybe Kaiser La Forme? It is nonstick but is fairly light in color.

2. Any brand recommendations?

3. Do those Magic Cake Strips really keep the cake level?

Any other advice will be heeded & appreciated. TIA

FlavourGirl_'s picture

(post #53706, reply #1 of 15)

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One thing I can say about Kaiser is they stand behind their product. I have their springform pan. I had it about 5 years and had only used it for cheesecake. The non-stick started to peel off. I sent it back (with the receipt) and they replaced it. (I keep receipts for anything expensive and I think $40 for a springform expensive).

My cake pans I bought several years ago from King Arthur Flour they are not non-stick and work fine. The top edge is rolled over and this is supposed to produce flat tops. It seems to work just fine.

Regarding those magic cake strips, I have not used them but what my mother used to do when she baked was she had these strips of cloth (I think old dish towels)equal to the height of the sides of the pans and long enough to fit around to meet, that she would dampen and wrap around the edge of the pan and fasten with a metal safety pin. They worked!

Does any one know of any manufacturer who makes cake pans with removeable bottoms? This is what my mother had and they are great. Maybe on the next visit I will acquire them (my parents do not bake any more).

Nancy_G.'s picture

(post #53706, reply #2 of 15)

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Rebecca,

You might check the manual on your oven before you get new pans. I have a new Dacor range and the manual states several times that light and reflective pans are better for a convection oven. I don't know if this holds true for all ovens but I did bake some cookies on some older dark pans and they turned out horrible. Then I used lighter ones and they turned out just right. If you're going to make an investment might as well get the kind that works best for your oven.

Carolina's picture

(post #53706, reply #3 of 15)

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3. Do those Magic Cake Strips really keep the cake level? - Rebecca

i Yes, like a charm.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53706, reply #4 of 15)

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Go to a commercial kitchen supply store and buy plain old well constructed cake pans. They will be cheaper and better than in a retail store. Forget non stick (if you make the cake properly it won't stick), self leveling, magic fingers, designer colors, and all of that other crap.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53706, reply #5 of 15)

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Thanks, friends, for the advice. I believe the time has come to search out that elusive commercial kitchen supply store. I can't believe I used to live just a few doors down from Bridge Kitchenware in NYC & the only thing I ever bought there was some cheap flatware. I may have to use the cake strips while I am learning to bake...

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53706, reply #6 of 15)

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You can order them from the bridge catalog.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53706, reply #7 of 15)

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i 1. Should I get nonstick or regular?
Regular pans will work well if buttered and floured or sugared. Nonstick wears out or gets scratched and the regular pans seem to last longer.

i 2. Any brand recommendations?
Wilton.

i 3. Do those Magic Cake Strips really keep the cake level?
Yes, definitely. I have made extremely large cakes using the strips and the cake was miraculously level. Over-whipping cake batter can cause a cake to rise too much in the middle. Also, when spreading cake batter, remember to get in the corners of square or rectangular pans.

Rebecca's picture

(post #53706, reply #8 of 15)

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Thanks for the extra tips!

Rebecca's picture

(post #53706, reply #9 of 15)

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Thanks for the advice. I bought three 9" pans from Bridge, they were only $5.50 each (quite a savings over Kaiser or Paris at about $18 each). Low shipping cost & great service - I received my order in one day! Easier to shop by phone than traveling to a store, too. Bridge. I went to the outlet mall & got the magic strips (my self-confidence in baking is low so I wanted all the help I could get). I made the Choc. Layer Cake (Medrich) from FC w/the Creme au Chocolate icing posted by Pate a while ago. All turned out perfectly! Level cake layers & the MOST wonderful cake. I didn't even overbake.

BTW, while at the outlet, for $15 I bought a set of 3 pans: 7" and 10" springform plus 3-qt bundt pan. Quite heavy, nonstick. Brand is Kitchen Collection (same as the name of the store). The clerk told me that this is Wilton's cookware, packaged for the store. I made MC's Orange Cake in the bundt pan & it turned out great (thanks, once again, for a great recipe, MC). These pans seem to be just fine, & a good deal, too.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

(post #53706, reply #10 of 15)

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Either you should stop recommending Wilton or cancel your subscription to Cook's Illustrated.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53706, reply #11 of 15)

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b I saw that!
Boy was I pissed. I still think they are great cake pans and swear by them. I have never had a cake flop yet when using a Wilton pan and my largest one is 18" wide!. I also made a very specialized cake - a seated dinosoar - which was formed in a Wilton bowling-pin pan. Don't know what those people at CI are doing wrong.

Carole's picture

(post #53706, reply #12 of 15)

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Was just looking my new Cooks Illustrated. Did a rating on cake pans. Their recommended buy was Elko at $3.99 as compared to All-Clad at $80.00. I don't make cakes, so this is just a suggestion. But, If I could get the same results from a $4 pan as I can from an $80 pan, guess what?

BobbyG's picture

(post #53706, reply #13 of 15)

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You are in luck!
Just finished reading Cook's Magazine
November/December Issue.
They rated cake pans. First place..EKCO Baker's Secret Non-Stick Round Cake Pan won as best of the bunch.
Good news.. $3.99 price
2nd place went to All-Clad Bonded Bakeware. $80.00

No brainer..
For $3.99 a pan buy it!
I had them already and love them!
Oh I only use All-Clad for my pots and pans in my kitchen!

Rebecca's picture

(post #53706, reply #14 of 15)

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Just to let you know, my nonstick Ekcos have rusted (two are over 10 years old but one is only about two years old).

SAJ's picture

(post #53706, reply #15 of 15)

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I read that issue of Cook's Illustrated just the other day.

What I noticed is that they criticized cake pans mostly for not releasing the cake.

I have never had that happen in any pan, if it was prepared right. I also disagreed with them on the sloped side issue. Not only do the sloped sides look silly when the cake is iced, but I think straight sides are easier to ice.

I have some very silly shiny stainless cake pans by one of the famous companies--about the worst you can get--and even those don't stick when greased and floured properly. When I had parchment cake circles, even that was hardly necessary.

More power to Ecko for making a good inexpensive product--they fared very well in a cookie sheet round up some time ago, too.

But I think the evaluation criteria in that round-up were a little strange.

SAJ