How To Line A Baking Pan With Parchment Paper

Properly lining a pan is one of those Baking 101 skills that will make life easier.

Some cake recipes will instruct you to simply grease your cake pans with butter, oil, or cooking spray before you add your batter; others will instruct you to dust that grease with a little bit of flour or sugar to keep your cake from sticking to the pan. Both those methods can be effective, but neither are foolproof. If you want a guarantee that your cake won't stick to the pan, you'll have to line it with parchment paper.

Parchment paper is heat-, grease-, and water-resistant, and most importantly, it turns any pan into a nonstick pan. But how do you maneuver the parchment into the corners and walls of the pan without baking tons of wrinkles into your finished product? To produce flawless baked goods, you'll need a roll of parchment, a sharp pair of scissors, a little bit of grease, and the following instructions.

Step one: Measure out your parchment

Center the baking pan on a length of parchment so that there are at least 4 inches of space on all sides. Draw a diagonal line between each corner of the pan and the corresponding corner of the parchment.


Step two: Cut the parchment

Remove the pan and cut along the diagonal lines you drew in step one. Snip an additional 1/2" past each of the drawn lines, to account for the sides of the pan that was previously placed atop the parchment. (The corners of the paper might curl up at this point; that's fine.)


Step three: Fold up the sides

Fold the four edges toward the center to make a light crease. These creases will form a rectangle in the center of the parchment that corresponds to the bottom of your baking pan.

Step four: Grease and line the pan

Lightly grease the pan on both the bottom and sides with a bit of oil or cooking spray; this will help the parchment stick in place. Next, add the parchment, fitting the cut edges into each corner and overlapping them so that they fit. Smooth your hands across the bottom of the pan, running your fingers around the edges to make firm creases in the parchment and adhere the paper to the oil.


Step five: Line the walls of the pan

Press the side flaps against the walls of the pan, overlapping the cut portions at the corners. Use a bit of butter or cooking spray to adhere these overlapping pieces. Trim the parchment as needed, though it's fine if it sticks out above the top of the pan. Now, you're ready to pour in the batter. Bake and enjoy!