If you’re a budding baker, the first thing you need is to have a well-appointed collection of baking pans. Yes, there are some specialty pans that you can probably do without (mini bundt pan, anyone?), but if you’re serious about your desserts and baked goods, there’s a solid set you’ll want to have.
The choices for pans can be overwhelming. Do you want silver pans, nonstick pans, or something a little more out of the ordinary like silicone? For the most part, you’ll get the most bang for your... buck out of nonstick bakeware. Why? Because it will help your desserts come out of the pan effortlessly. No more broken bundt cakes or crumbly cupcakes for you.
Now all that’s left to decide is which of the pans you’ll use most in your baking endeavors. To help you choose, here are the seven best baking pans on the market today.
This six-piece set from Calphalon offers a great value if you’re looking to stock your kitchen in one fell swoop. The set includes two 8-inch round cake pans, one medium loaf pan, one 9- by 13-inch cake pan, one 10- by 15-inch cookie sheet, and a 12-cup muffin pan. And Calphalon is one of the most trusted brands of cookware and bakeware, so you know you can count on the quality.
The steel core heats your baked goods evenly and won’t warp in a high heat oven, nor will it cause hot spots, which... lead to only come of your muffins having burnt bottoms. And the nonstick coating means all of your baked goods will release from the pan with ease. Just make sure you aren’t using sharp or metal utensils on the pans as that will scratch the nonstick surface. And when it’s time for cleanup, these pans can go right in the dishwasher, but keep in mind that hand washing them will prolong their lifespan. The final point in this set’s favor: It comes with a 10-year warranty.
If you’re going to try your hand at making layer cakes, you’ll want to invest in this two-piece round cake pan set. After all, it’s much easier to bake both the rounds at one time instead of baking them separately. Even if your ambitions don’t extend beyond a single layer cake, you can’t pass up the price of this set.
While these pans aren't nonstick, your baked goods will still come out cleanly with a little bit of preparation, either cooking spray or butter and flour.
The aluminum... construction is a bit lighter weight than steel baking pans, but it makes them easier to carry when full of cake batter while still providing an even cooking surface.
The only drawback is that these pans are not dishwasher safe.
Whether you lean more toward chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, every kitchen needs a set of cookie sheets. This three piece set from Good Cook will have you covered no matter how many batches you bake. The small, medium, and large baking pans are more akin to a sheet pan than a cookie sheet, which traditionally doesn’t have edges. This makes them even more versatile—you can use them to bake brownies or blondies, sheet cakes, or even for roasting veggies without worrying about them rolling off... the edge.
And these pans are built tough. The steel cookie sheets are covered with a nonstick coating to prevent your cookies from sticking. Of course, you can always use parchment or a silicone baking mat on top of the pans for easier cleanup. The sheets are also rated as dishwasher safe and come with a lifetime exchange guarantee.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best baking sheets.
If you’re not familiar with springform pans, get ready for your baking world to be rocked. Normally used with items like cheesecake or fruit tortes, this pan allows you to remove the sides of the pan. That means that you can remove your cake, pie, or tarte without having to invert the pan. You can even use it for a regular cake recipe if you frequently struggle to get the cake out of the pan cleanly.
Of course, the drawback with some springform pans is that they can occasionally leak. After all,... the sides and bottom of the pan are two separate pieces. There’s no concern about leaking with this 9-inch round pan, however. The tight fitting seal around the bottom and side pieces ensures that no batter will drip through. And thanks to the nonstick coating, you’ll have a perfectly crisp edge all the way around when you remove the sides of the pan. Just skip the dishwasher with this pan, and use a mild detergent to make sure it stays in good condition.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
This Bundt pan design is beautiful, classic and modern, all at the same time. The deep swirl needs little more decoration than a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of glaze into the valleys of the finished cake. While it looks stunning, the swirled cake design also releases easily from the pan thanks to the nonstick coating.
The heavy cast aluminum and reflective outer surface provide even baking without over browning. This pan is made in the USA. It should be hand washed with a mild... detergent.
Loaf pans aren’t just for bread, although you’ll love this pan for making the perfect sandwich loaves. The pan can also be used for quickbreads, like zucchini bread or carrot cake; for pound cakes; and for meatloaf or terrines. The pan has a corrugated surface that provides air circulation for even baking and easy release, while it also helps prevent warping.
This pan is made from heavy-gauge aluminized steel that has a proprietary nonstick silicone coating. It measures 8.5" x 4.5" x... 2.75" for baking a 1-pound loaf, and other sizes in the same style are also available. USA pans are made in the US and use up to 65 percent recycled steel, so they’re good for the environment. The pans should be washed by hand.
Muffin pans are great for muffins baked right in the pan, for cupcakes baked in cupcake papers, and for making individual meatloaves, quiche or other savory foods. It’s also just right for mini pies, puff pastry appetizers or for baking meatballs.
This pan is made from aluminum and has a nonstick coating and heavy duty construction that resists warping and heats evenly. The sides are wide enough to grip easily to remove from the oven, but not too large to fit neatly in the oven. The pan is oven... safe to 450 degrees. It should be washed by hand
At The Spruce Eats, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your kitchen. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.