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Oct 11, 2010 11:44 AM

If I don't have a springform pan, can I use something else?

This recipe from Food & Wine intrigued me -- -- because I have a bunch of concord grapes here from the greenmarket. But I don't have a springform pan. Is there something else I can use? Recommendations?

Thanks much.

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  1. That seems like a fairly unusual recipe. I suspect they're asking for a springform because the batter is going to be sticky. I would think if you were very careful about lubricating a cake pan, lined the bottom w/ parchment, and floured everything well, you could probably get the cake out in one piece. BUT...the other reason for a springform is that the grapes dotted on the top might fall off when you invert the cake to get it out of the pan.

    good luck!

    1. If you don't mind using a square pan..
      Line the bottom with two parchment "slings" going in opposite directions. Make sure you have an overhang on all 4 sides. Cool the cake in the pan and when you're ready to take it out, just use the extra pieces of parchment.
      If the cake seems stuck to the parchment, use kitchen scissors to cut the parchment really close to the cake once it's on the platter.

      This technique works well for making cheesecake bars in a square or rectangle pan.

      10 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17

        Hey, that's a cool trick. I might give that a try if I can dig out a square pan. Thanks!

        1. re: LNG212

          I actually got the idea from Kraft's Food and Family magazine. It works in an 8x8 pyrex too.

          1. re: cheesecake17

            Ok, so question for you. I love to cook and do so for DH and for friends regularly. But I'm not much of a baker. So forgive if this is a silly question. Is the reason for a springform pan just so you don't have to invert it to get it out? Or is there/are there other reasons to use a springform?

            1. re: LNG212

              Basically, so that you don't have to invert whatever it is to get it out. Also, the base stays with the cake (or whatever) so that it has some support.

              Think of a cheesecake or a quiche w/o crust.. it would totally fall apart or get messed up if you were to invert or collapse without a support bottom.

              Springforms are not a major investment anymore.. I bought one from Target for $7 or $8. The inexpensive pans that don't have a lip on the bottom can sometimes leak a drop or two. I always bake a springform on a foil lined baking sheet- just in case it leaks and for ease of getting the damn thing out of the oven without getting a finger in the cheesecake!

              1. re: LNG212

                The primary reason for using is a springform is for cakes that have a pretty top that you don't want to ruin by inverting the cake (think a crumb topping, a cake with fresh fruit baked on top, or something like an ooey gooey butter cake). it's also used regularly for cheescake (which again, you wouldn't invert because it would be upside down and would likely cause a huge mess) or delicate cakes like flourless chocolate ones that finish baking/setting outside of the oven as it cools.

                1. re: LNG212

                  You've got it. They are indispensable for cheesecakes and other cakes that cannot be inverted and that you don't want to serve right from the pan. If you bake that type in a regular pan the first piece will definitely break as you remove it; if you're lucky and have led a good and pious life, you'll be able to get the others out in one piece. ;-)

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Thanks all for the helpful info.

                    I guess I shouldn't press my luck, given the "good and pious life" and all that. My pieces would definitely come out in a big ugly clump! :)

                    Cheesecake, yeah, I know it's probably not expensive to get one. My problem is space. I've got none, that is. I bought a bundt pan last year and that too is killing me as it sits on top of a pile of other pans that now tips over. :( So I was trying to avoid buying yet another pan for the monster pile and don't think it would fit anyway.

                    Thanks again for the tips.

                    1. re: LNG212

                      I have the same space problem, but I still keep buying pans! I think I have tart pans and spingforms in every imaginable size.

                      Let me know how the actual cake turns out though.. I saw the recipe and folded it down.. but haven't make it yet

                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        I have successfully kept myself from buying any new kitchen equipment since that bundt pan last year. No new cookbooks either. I've got to weed out to make more room! :) It's very hard since I totally want a springform pan now.

                        I will definitely post back about the cake. I'm hoping to make it tomorrow.

                        1. re: LNG212

                          Parchment or foil slings in a rectangular pan really work very well. You have to cool the cake in the panbefore gently lifting. You are going to be lifting the first sling you put into the pan; the sling above it will go along for the ride. So if you use a rectangular rather than square pan, put the crosswise sling into the pan first; the cake will be more likely to buckle if you lift it from the short ends rather than the long sides.

            1. Wanted to report back ... THANK YOU! so much for the ideas that encouraged me to go ahead with this recipe without the springform pan. The cake is delicious. I took the extra time to de-seed the concord grapes since I really wanted to use them. The cake just oozes grape goodness and the citrus adds a bright note. I didn't even bother with the powdered sugar or syrup for topping. Had some plain and it was lovely. Here are photos:

              1 Reply
              1. re: LNG212

                If you want to do it or something else needing a springform in a round pan, form heavy-duty aluminum foil over the bottom and sides of the outside of the pan and put it inside the pan, forming carefully to the contours. Heavy-duty foil is wide enough that you will have "ears" you can use to pull the cake out of the pan.

              2. I made a cheesecake once. For that one time, I used one of the aluminum throw away pans that you buy at the grocery. I found a round one that worked perfectly (it came 2 to a pkg). Using scissors, I cut the sides away. Easy and cheap if you don't mind the crinkled sides.