Greasing & Flouring Cake Pans
I'm planning on making a two layer chocolate cake in a few days. I've never made a cake before.
My recipe tells me to grease the pan with shortening and then flour it.
I don't have shortening. Can I use butter instead. What about Pam spray.
Would you suggest using cocoa powder instead of flower?
Yep, you can use butter instead. And yep, you can use cocoa powder to avoid any white marks on the cake (which really aren't an issue if you are frosting it).
If you are worried about being able to turn your cake out properly, cut a round of parchment paper to fix exactly into the bottom of your pan. Grease the pan, put the parchment paper in, then grease and flour/cocoa the parchment paper. Your cake will turn out cleanly, then you can just gently peel the parchment off.
Oh, and I would avoid Pam, unless it's specifically Pam for baking.
Exactly. Except I simply press down the parchment, smooth it around, and then flip it over. That way both sides are lightly greased.
Then put a little flour in the pan, shake it around (over the sink, until it coats the bottom AND sides. Then, put the 2nd pan over the top, invert, smack on the side of the counter to get the remaining flour in the 2nd pan. Coat that pan, then give that one a smack to knock the excess flour (or cocoa) into the sink.
I like Pam w/ or w/o the flour, and it works well even though it sprays unevenly. The times when I was out of parchment, I've substituted waxed paper, brown paper bags, and even large coffee filters, all more or less successfully. I prefer cocoa powder over flour for my chocolate cakes, though.