Sorry I think this topic is a little too long but worth to read, I promise :)
There are so many different sizes and shapes for cake pans, but you have to choose the right one for your bake good. The shape can be round, square, rectangular or festive (hearts, shamrocks and so forth). Tube pans are used for angel food cake; ring molds, for savoriness and the like. Shiny pans are best for cake-making because they reflect the heat and thereby produce cakes with tender crusts.
Purchasing the proper cake pans is essential for achieving the perfect consistency, flavor, and appearance for your signature baked goods, but how do you know what pans are "proper" for the job at hand? Here is information on all of the different types of cake pans so you can narrow down your options and get to baking, faster.
When your recipe calls for a cake pan, it's usually referring to this traditional type of pan. These no-frills pans feature high sides and round, square, rectangular, even heart, shapes. They come in a ton of sizes from a bunch of manufacturers. Traditional cake pans are perfect for baking moist, dense cakes in any flavor imaginable.
While not technically a cake pan, loaf pans are essential everyday pieces in most bakeries baking yeast breads or quick breads. These pans feature deep constructions that allow for high rising dough, and come in a variety of sizes, specified according to the weight of the finished loaf. In addition to baked goods, loaf pans are great for baking meatloaves and other loaf-shaped products, further adding to their versatility in the commercial kitchen.
When layering cakes is your end goal, cake rings may be the perfect fit for your busy bakery. Featuring straight sides and bottomless designs, these rings simply sit directly on your bun/sheet pans, get filled with batter, and bake to perfection with an easy release (thanks to the bottomless design).
Mini Cake Pans/Cupcake Pans:
The ideal pieces for perfecting miniature-sized cakes, mini cake pans and cupcake/muffin pans come in a variety of styles, sizes, and cake-shape options. These versatile cake pans work well with the same types of cakes that their full-size predecessors work with, but produce pint-size versions. Capable of baking several to several dozen mini cakes at a time, mini cake pans and cupcake/muffin pans offer the ultimate in efficiency for small cake production. Many bakers prefer to line their pans with baking liners for increased sanitation in service.
Not technically a cake pan, pie pans are essential in any kitchen baking pies of any kind. Most are round in shape and feature angled sides that prevent crust from slumping. Pie pans come in a variety of materials, depths, and diameters, ensuring an option for every need. Use them when baking your signature fruit pies, pudding pies, minced meat pies, chicken pot pies, shepherd's pies, and so many more pies!
Your signature sheet cakes wouldn't be sheet cakes without a bun/sheet pan beneath them during baking. These lightweight pans come in several sizes, from an 18" x 26" full size sheet pan down to a petite 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" one-eighth size sheet pan, each with a standard depth of just 1". They feature upturned lips for low-profile sheet cakes, yet also work hand-in-hand with cake rings when baking taller cake layers. Bun/sheet pans are perfect for baking, holding, and serving food product. Specially-designed bun pan racks, both stationary and mobile in nature, work to stage, store, and transport these versatile pans, while various pan liners facilitate faster removal of product.
Cheesecakes, battercakes, and other specialty items require the versatility of a two-piece springform cake pan. These pans feature round, deep designs, each with a quick-release, spring-locking mechanism for easy removal and quick clean-up. When finished baking, release the spring and remove the cake ring. The bottom of the pan will stay with your cake until ready for removal from that too.
Angel Food Pans/Tube-Form Pans:
Baking angel food cake requires a special pan with a hollow core, an angel food cake pan. These pans feature a tubular design with very high, straight sides and a tall tube in the center of the pan. This style of pan works well with very light, airy cakes, including your signature angel food cake and other bundt cake recipes. They come in a variety of diameters, usually in the 7 1/2" to 10" range, and may be one- or two-piece in design. Angel food cake pans/tube-form pans may feature spring-locking mechanisms much like springform pans.
By definition, tart pans are not cake pans per se, but they are essential for preparing the wonderful baked goods we all know and love – tarts. These pans feature straight, fluted sides for a crisp, presentable crust, as well as a removable bottom similar to that of a springform pan. This bottom permits taking out the tart without damaging the delicate crust that you've worked so hard to perfect.
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