Getting a cake out of a pan is one of the trickiest tasks in the kitchen. The cake may stick to the pan, or clumps may fall out even though you have invested much effort in preparation.
Accidents happen even if you follow the recipe correctly. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get a perfectly shaped cake out of the pan. Plus, there are tips and tricks to save your masterpiece, even if it gets stuck.
1. Use the Right Pan
For a good cake, you need suitable cookware. The recommendation of professional chefs is to bake the cake in a non-stick pan. That way, the cake won’t stick and crumble. The non-stick coating allows you to take out the cake in one maneuver, without frustration and wasting time.
Next, try to avoid too dark pans when baking the dessert as this will give you over-browned layers. Aluminum and copper pans are good choices because they conduct the heat well.
Never try to use cast iron pans for this purpose except for preparing the upside-down cake. When you want to make it, you should arrange the fruit at the bottom of the greased pan. Then, pour the batter over it and turn the baked cake over on a plate after baking. The fruit juice will make it easier to take out the cake.
Be careful if you use an old pan that you have for years. Even the slightest scratches and the worn-out surface can cause a problem, although the pan has a non-stick coating. That means you can’t quickly get the cake out after baking because it will stick to the damaged parts.
Use Springform Pan
The springform pan has an adjustable lash that holds the removable sides in place. This cookware is an ideal option for preparing all possible cakes because you can effortlessly take them out of it.
When you finish baking your cake, you should unlatch the ring-shaped sides, and the cake will stay on the base of the pan. You can either transfer it to a plate or immediately put the icing on it and serve it that way.
2. Prepare the Pan
Even if you use a non-stick pan, most cake recipes point out that you need to grease up and flour the pan before filling it with the prepared batter. That gives extra protection to the cake from sticking to the pan’s sides, making it harder for you to get it out.
The best way to prepare the pan is to use a pastry brush. Carefully coat the bottom and sides with oil, but be careful not to miss the corners. If you have decided to prepare the cake in a Bundt pan, you should thoroughly coat all the patterns. Then sprinkle the flour all over the pan.
It is advisable to lift the pan over the sink, tilt it circularly to distribute the flour evenly and then tap away from the excess. If you preheat an oven, there is no need to prepare the pan too carefully. Otherwise, the oil may slide down the pan’s sides and make a paddle at the bottom.
However, if you bake a chocolate cake, sprinkle a little cocoa evenly over the flour. If you don’t do this, the flour can fade the dough. It would also help if you didn’t use butter to prepare the pan. The milky part of the butter will stick your cake to the bottom of the pan, and it will be almost impossible to take it out without destroying it.
Nowadays, you can purchase a non-stick spray for baking to prepare your dish. This spray contains oil, flour, and anti-foaming agents. When you spray the cookware with spray, you will cover it with a thin layer that protects the food from sticking and burning.
What makes it even easier for you to take out the cake is the parchment paper. If the cake sticks to the pan’s sides, you can separate it with the butter knife.
It is much harder to peel it off the bottom. For this reason, cut a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the pan’s bottom and place it inside the oiled pan. Then add oil as usual.
3. Bake the Cake Well
To take the dessert out of the pan without damage, you need to make sure that you baked it well. Half-done cake crumbles easily. Plus, although you manage to take it out in one piece, the taste won’t be satisfying.
You know that the baking is over when you manage to slightly separate the cake sides from the edge of the pan. The dough will also come back right away when you gently tap the middle of it, and there won’t be remaining traces and dents after the pressure.
You can also stab a toothpick or fork in the middle of your cake. If you take it out and there are not any traces of dough on it, you can take it out of the oven.
4. Cool the Cake
You can’t take the cake out of the pan without cooling it to room temperature first. Even the highest quality, non-sticking pan can’t stop the hot dough from crumbling if you try to take it out on a plate too soon.
In order not to ruin the shape of the cake by leaving pieces stuck to the pan’s sides, you should let it approximately half an hour to an hour in the pan. By allowing your dessert to cool, you will make its edges soft. You can shorten the waiting time if you put the pan with the cake on a cooling rack and allow the air to flow under the pan.
If your kitchen is hot and you are in a rush, you can put the cake in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven. Still, don’t let the pan in the refrigerator for more than 20 minutes to keep the cake delicious.
When your cake reaches the optimal temperature, try to transfer it gently to the plate placed on a table or work surface. First, carefully flip the pan over the plate. Then, tap lightly on the edge of the pan with your fingers or a wooden spoon. In most cases, the cake should come out of the pan in one piece.
What if the Cake Sticks?
Even if you fail to get the cake out of the first try, don’t panic. Take a butter knife and gently slide it between the pan and the edges of the cake. Never move the blade away from the pan’s side because you don’t want to accidentally cut pieces of cake.
Pass the knife along the edges of the whole cake and peel off the stuck pieces. If this trick doesn’t help, wrap the cake pan in plastic wrap and freeze it for six to eight hours. Take the cake out of the freezer, repeat the process with a knife, and then take it out.
You can also try to put a pot of boiling water in the microwave and to place the pan over it. Close the microwave, but don’t turn it on. After a few minutes, the water vapor will make it easier to remove the cake. Instead of a microwave, you can also use a cupboard or any other narrow and closed space for this purpose.
Try Steaming the Cake Out
If nothing else helps, plug up the sink and place a large towel on the bottom. Pour hot water over it and place the pan with the cake in the middle of it. Spread plastic wrap over the top of the dish to protect the cake from water.
Surround the pan with the towel on all sides, expose it to the heat, and pour more boiling water if necessary. In doing so, make sure that the water level doesn’t exceed the edge of the pan.
To increase the effect of heat, you can spread another hot towel over the sink. Make sure it is only moist because the soaked towel can damage the cake. More importantly, be careful and use potholders to avoid possible injuries and burns.
Leave the cake there for about 10 minutes. When the time is up, you should carefully take the pan out of the sink and remove the plastic wrap. Hit the bottom of the pan on the countertop and get the cake out.
Finally, if a few pieces of cake remain in the pan, don’t despair. You can always be creative and use the icing or whipped cream to cover the flaws. Believe it or not, no one will likely notice the damage.
It is tricky to take the cake out of the pan without crumbling it. The crucial thing is to have quality cookware that doesn’t stick. Plus, prepare it for baking with oil and some flour. Luckily, even if the cake sticks, there are several ways to save it.