How To Line A Round Cake Pan With Parchment Paper

Preparing flawless cakes is easier than you might think.

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 when you're working with a round pan, and you want to line both the bottom and the sides, how do you maneuver the parchment to fit the cake round? Simply crushing the paper into the circular shape will cause unsightly wrinkles and folds in your cake that can be difficult to separate from the paper after baking.

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. (Note that this is a tutorial for round baking pans. To learn how to line a circular pan with parchment, click here.)

Step one: Size up the parchment

Flip your cake pan upside down on a length of parchment. Cut out a square that is slightly larger than the diameter of the pan on all sides.

Step two: Fold the parchment

Fold the parchment corner-to-corner to make a triangle. Next, fold the two farthest ends together to make a smaller triangle. Do that same thing again one more time.

Next, fold it one more timeā€”but don't fold the two farthest corners together. Instead, locate the corner of the triangle that has all the folds in it (i.e., no loose ends) and fold that corner in half. You'll be left with a shape like the one in the bottom right photo above.


Step three: Cut the parchment

Flip your cake pan upside down and place the parchment triangle on top, with its tip in the center. Cut off the part of the parchment that extends past the edge of the cake pan. (The cut should follow the rounded edge of the pan.)


Step four: Line the pan with the parchment circle

Unfold the parchment and you'll find you now have a circle that fits the bottom of your pan. Smooth it out the best you can. Lightly coat the inside of the pan with cooking spray, insert the parchment, and press to adhere.


Step five: Line the sides of the pan (optional)

If you want to line the sides of your pan as well as the bottom, cut a large strip of parchment, lightly grease the sides of the pan, and adhere the strip, overlapping the ends and adhering them together with a bit of butter or cooking spray. If the parchment strip twists or bunches, simply cut it into smaller pieces and overlap them all around the inside edge of the pan.