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How To Get A Cake Out Of A Pan

Is there anything more heartbreaking than spending all morning making and baking the perfect cake just for it to crumble apart as you’re trying to remove it from the pan?

All that hard work, gone, just like that. It’s soul-destroying. And not only that, but those ingredients have all gone to waste, all that time is wasted, and it’s honestly just the most frustrating thing in the world.

Now you’ve got to start all over again. 

How To Get A Cake Out Of A Pan

That is why it is so important to learn how to properly remove a cake from its pan so that it stays intact, and you can move on to everybody’s favorite part of baking – the decorating!

Keep reading to learn 5 simple and easy methods for removing a cake from a cake pan. 

Patience Is Key

Before we get into the best ways to remove that delicious mouthwatering masterpiece from its pan, let’s talk about one of the most important parts of baking; having patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

So many cakes come to a cruel and early demise because we’re too excited or impatient to wait for them to cool down. 

Your cake needs to be fully cooked and cooled before you even think about removing it. A lovely golden-brown color will typically indicate that your cake is good to go.

Once you’ve removed it from the oven, you need to leave it for a minimum of 20-30 minutes before you try to pry it from the pan.

Do the touch test with your cake, if it’s cool when you feel it then it’s time to take on the task.

If your cake is being stubborn about cooling, you can always pop it in the refrigerator to expedite the process. 

5 Best Ways To Remove Your Cake From The Pan

1. Use A Knife

For this method, you’ll want to gently place a butter knife in between the cake and the pan. Then you can trace the outline of the entire cake.

The goal here is not to actually cut the cake itself but to just create a gap between the cake and the pan.

Once you’ve done this, it should be free of the tight grasp of the cake pan and it should be easy to lift out.

Remember that heavy hands are the ultimate enemy of cake removal. Make sure you’re always going light and gentle. 

2. Cool Cakes

Cool Cakes

Make sure that your cake is completely cool before you begin the extraction process. An even slightly warm cake is a crumbling cake.

First of all, you’ll want to give the cake approximately half an hour to cool down at room temperature.

If after this time it’s still retaining a fair amount of heat then you can pop it into the refrigerator to cool down a little quicker.

Once it’s nice and cold you should be able to flip over the cake pan, tap the top, and the cake should slip straight out. 

3. Reheat and Retry 

If your cake wants to make you really work for it, and is insisting on staying in that pan after cooling, you can always try reheating the pan again slightly.

Not long enough that you’ll burn your cake, of course. But just long enough that the temperature shift causes the cake to expand and contact. 

This will make the cake slide out of that pan a lot easier. You’ll need to preheat the oven and pop the cake back in for no more than a few minutes.

Or you can place it in a closed oven (that is not turned on) and place it beside a cup of boiling water.

Once the pan has reheated you should find it much easier to remove the cake. 

4. Flip The Pan

Cooling the cake upside down can do wonders in terms of forcing it to leave its cake pan home.

We all know that cakes sometimes just don’t want to move, they’re happy where they are. So we have to use gravity to give it that extra push.

 Leave the cake flipped upside down on a cooling rack for just over 30 minutes and then try to pull it off the cake, it usually slides right out.

If it doesn’t you can give it an encouraging tap, tap, tap, and that too can push it out of the persistent pan. 

5. Springform Pans

A springform pan can be a baker’s BFF.

They come with a handy little latch that will open up the pan and allow you to dissemble it around the cake. It’s so easy that it almost feels like cheating. 

However, don’t be fooled. You still need to let the pan cool completely before you attempt this.

That is if you don’t want to rip off half your cake while you pull the pan apart. 

Prevention Is Key

Cakes getting stuck to stubborn pans are part and parcel of baking. Even professional bakers can tear their hair out in frustration because of it.

So giving your cake a fighting chance against the pan before it actually goes anywhere near the oven is always a good idea.

There are a few ways you can do this: 

  • Flour Power – Spread a dusting of flour around the cake pan – remembering to do the sides as well as the bottom – to stop the pan from being able to get a tight grip on your cake batter. 
  • Easy Greasy – Adding some grease to your cake tin will essentially turn the pan into a slip-and-slide where there is no way for the cake to stick to the pan. A nonstick pan and grease combo will ensure easy extraction. 
  • Parchment Party – Add an extra guest to your party cake ingredient list – parchment paper. Adding this liner will mean that the cake mix can’t grip onto the pan and is easy to remove. 

Final Thoughts

Getting cakes out of the cake pan is a universally dreaded moment among bakers, so don’t worry if it goes wrong from time to time.

It happens to the best of us. Patience is the true key to solving this problem.

So many cakes come to a tragic end purely because we don’t give them enough time to cool down.

However, if you follow the prevention tips along with any of the methods described throughout this article, you should find removing cakes has become a whole lot easier. 

Anna Ingham
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