Should I just buy a springform cake pan?
I'm putting together a lit of bakeware that I need. I am looking to buy two non non-stick 9.1 inch round cake tins. However should I just buy two springform cake tins instead? Can you use them interchangeably or do they both have a place in the kitchen?
I wouldn't. Springform pans tend to be flimsier than good cake pans. Chances are you'll use the pan as a cake pan more often than you would as a springform (at least I would), and good baking pans can last you a lifetime, so you might as well get the best quality you can.
Recipes that call for springform pans are often all over the map in terms of sizes from 8 inches up to 10 and even 12 inches. Of course, you can always adjust your recipe, but if you are going to buy a sprinform, I'd wait until I needed it and would buy the size I needed.
Having said all that, if I (who have owned four of five sprinform pans over the years) were starting out, I'd buy Magic Line removable bottom pans. They're much sturdier, much higher quality, than a springform and can be used either as a regular cake pan or for recipes calling for a springform.
Why don't you wait until you actually bake something that requires a springform pan? In the decades I've been cooking and baking, I've only needed a springform pan once for a recipe I made once and never again. Believe it or not, I recently saw 3 or 4 springform pans, never used with the labels still on them at the Goodwill store in Bergenfield, NJ. for $4 a piece.
I wouldn't buy one until you needed it. On the other hand, I bought one because I needed it and then didn't use it again for several years. However, I've recently started making a dessert that works really well in a springform. The recipe called for a regular pie pan but I found that it was too big for a pie pan and I put it in a springform. It's perfection! And I've made that recipe 3 times this summer so I'm finally using that pan!