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Cake pans and stand mixers

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Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 09:52 AM

Would like to know if anyone has recommendations on brand names of good quality cake pans that professional bakers use? I only have access to Wilton in my neck of the woods but would like to know how to go about purchasing heavier gauge high end ones. I live in Worcester county about 50 miles west of Boston, and about 45 mins from Providence RI too. Are there any good supply places you know of. All I have is Michaels and AC Moore and of course Walmart.

Secondly, need to ramp up from a hand mixer to stand mixer. Never owned one before. I know KitchenAid have the edge on the market, but can anyone give me insight as to what to look for in terms of size of motor, bowl size, tilt head or bowl lift. I plan on making wedding cakes in the near future and am getting geared up in terms of equipment.

Cakegal

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  1. greygarious RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 10:02 AM

    I reported this post so it will be moved to Cookware, where you'll get more input. I would suggest you plan a trip to a restaurant supply store in Worcester, Boston, or Providence, although you can find great used professional quality bakeware and appliances on eBay, and of course there's plenty of new equipment on Amazon and the myriad kitchen equipment sites.
    Call a few bakeries in your area and ask where they get their pans. You might also check newpaper classifieds for auctions on restaurant equipment, since it's a business with a high failure rate.

    1. l
      lazybaker RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 10:34 AM

      I like Parrish Magic Line pans. They come in all sizes and are very well made. I've been using my 8-, 9- and 10-inch diameter round cake pans for over 15 years now. Since they are aluminum I don't put them in the dishwasher, but I don't mind hand washing them. And they are made in the USA.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lazybaker
        Candy RE: lazybaker Aug 31, 2011 01:46 PM

        Magic Line are my absolute favorites. I have them in 2" and 3" depths. Heavy gauge aluminum, even heat and good rising. I won't use any other cake pans.

      2. w
        will47 RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 12:00 PM

        I have had a good luck with Chicago Metallic. Even if you can't get them locally (Sur La Table has them, though probably at slightly higher prices than commercial outfits), they should be easy to get online.

        With the stand mixer, most people seem to recommend the lift-up bowl style instead of the type where the head tilts up. We have a KA Pro 600, used for both sweet stuff and yeast breads, and like it quite a bit. I think the bowl is slightly larger than on the cheaper Kitchen Aid stand-mixers also. I wasn't sure how much we'd use it, since obviously there's some overlap with a food processor, but it does make certain things easier, especially things where you need to cream sugar and butter / shortening, or whipping egg-whites.

        1. chowser RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 12:34 PM

          If you're planning on making wedding cakes in the future, I wouldn't get anything lower than a KitchenAid pro600. It's not the power you'll need for cakes as much as the bowl capacity.

          Wilton cake pans might not be the best heavy duty ones but I've had mine for over 15 years and they're still going strong. I don't, however, have a professional wedding cake business so don't know how they'd stand up to that.

          1. j
            Jennifer Luxmoore RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 02:00 PM

            Go with the biggest Kitchen Aid you can get. You'll need it. You will still be making multiple batches, but the larger the better. I get my pans here.... http://www.countrykitchensa.com/. They pretty much have everything you'll ever need. Have them send you a catalog. Good luck!

            1. sunshine842 RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 02:08 PM

              for baking pans you can't miss with King Arthur Flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

              And they're not *that* far from you -- with the fall color arriving soon, this could be a great weekend trip!

              1. p
                phrekyos RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 04:49 PM

                Kitchenaid just came out with a new 7 qt model. Keep in mind, though, certain bowl-lift accessories won't work with it (ice cream maker, smaller bowl, scraping blade). The next step down is the 6 qt. 600/610/620 models. 610 has slightly more power, 620 has nicer casing (and I believe it now has the increased power of the 610 as well), they're both still exclusive to W-S as far as I know.

                1. s
                  skyline RE: Cakegal Aug 31, 2011 05:36 PM

                  I love the Fat Daddio's line of bakeware, which is anodized aluminum. It can be bought online (Amazon) and the Sur la Table store in my area also carries it (better prices on Amazon, LOL). I gave away all my other bakeware once I discovered this brand.

                  Wilton and Parris Magic are aluminum but not anodized. Not sure what the warranty is on those two but Fat Daddio's is lifetime.

                  By the way, I have found Fat Daddio's removable-bottom round pans to be as "batter-tight" as a springform. I've used springforms in the past and had issues with the way they performed (either leakwise or mechanism-wise). I was really skeptical about a simple removable-bottom pan not leaking but sure enough they worked. They have an amazing array of unusual pan sizes and shapes as well. More than I'll ever have storage room for! :-)

                  As for cookie sheets the best ones I ever found are the half and full commecial aluminum sheet pans from the local restaurant supply. I've had them in a 475F or even 500F oven for a couple of recipes and they never even thought about warping, whereas all the other brands I bought before would always react to anything above 450. Some even warped at anything above 400. :-/

                  As for stand mixers I love my Viking 5 qt which is plenty big enough for what I do. All the accessories (beater, dough hook, whisk, etc etc) are solid 100% stainless steel -- no plastic. Great design too (whoever thought of putting the 2 small wheels on the back, for easy mobility around the countertop, should be given a medal, LOL). I had a KA Artisan which burned itself out after 7 years of not even weekly use. I am so impresed with my Viking that I even gave it a name: Olaf. (Olaf the Viking, why not? LOL). Worth every penny, IMHO.

                  1. m
                    melaniejo RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 02:51 AM

                    Chicago Metallic Commercial II are the best cookie sheets/jelly roll pans...Cuisinart sells exellent cake pans..all item are available on Amazon and often with free shipping!

                    1. m
                      mikie RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 05:49 AM

                      If you are going into the wedding cake business you are going to want as much mixer as you can get, but how big you need will depend on your oven space. There is no need to get a mixer bowl with capacity greater than your oven can bake a one time. The good news is cake batter isn't much of a strain on a mixer. My wife made wedding cakes for a while and still does one occasionally of someone, she has a 7 qt mixer that replaced a 5 qt Kitchen Aid. She prefers the tilt head, just her personal preference. The Kitchen Aid pro is a bowl lift, many other brands such as Viking, which comes with a 7 qt bowl are tilt head models. Hers is a DeLonghi 7 qt, but they are no longer available. She has used a number of the brands of pans that have been listed already, they all bake well, some are just heavier construction than others. Whilton works, but isn't as likely to stand up to continued use if your business takes off. If you aren't starting a business, then that really won't make much difference.

                      1. k
                        khuzdul RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 08:32 AM

                        Do you have a business plan yet? e.g. How many cakes you expect that you can sell per month in what sizes and at what price which leads to how much money you are willing to invest into capital expenses to recoup in what amount of time? Before investing $400 to $600 in a new stand mixer, make sure you have the business to recoup the investment. If you are going to be making cakes similar to whatever is the size of cakes that you currently make using your hand-mixer, and you are getting results you are happy with, then you may not need to incur the expense of a stand mixer just yet. Personally, without doing annoying fancy-pants financial planning/forecasting, I would wait until I felt that the hand mixer was either negatively affecting the quality of the product and/or that the speed of production/capability of production using the hand-mixer was fairly regularly preventing me from accepting more business, (or of course I just plain wore out the hand mixer and need a replacement anyway). Rushing in to capital expenses without a realistic projected revenue stream to recoup the investment leads many small businesses into financial difficulty. It is not often that a small business is in a market like a field of dreams where if you build it they will come!

                        A lot of commercial pastry chefs do not use cake pans, instead they use spring forms or cake rings placed on half/full sheet pans. The same for square cake molds, pan forms or sheet extenders. If cake batter is not too thin/runny, then a cake ring on a silpat can hold cake batter in with minimal seepage. You can go to the JB Prince website and search for cake rings, pan forms or pan extenders to get an idea of what is available. If you search for restaurant supply shops in your area, they will carry them as well and a search for "Worcester county restaurant supply" came up with a large number of results.

                        What is probably more difficult in a non-commercial kitchen is to clear out enough space in the fridge for the cake(s) on a decorating turntable(s) with a cover as you store and/or decorate them over a few days and not dry them out or contaminate them with flavours of other items in the fridge.

                        For most "normal" round cake sizes, 5 to 7 quart stand mixers are fine. The size of the mixer depends on the size of your cakes. For example, an 8" round to 2 inches of depth will take about 3 cups of batter. Two layers of this cake would be 6 cups, or 1.5 quarts, three layers would be 9 cups or 2.25 quarts. An 8" round to 3 inches of depth will take 5 cups of batter, two layers would be 10 cups or 2.5 quarts. An 8" round can serve 20 people at ~ 2"x2" portions. A 10" round is about 6/8 cups respectively per layer. A 12" round at about 7.5 and 11 cups for a 2" and 3" layer . My brother made the batter for a 12 inch "100 layer" crepe cake using my Hobart N-50 (5 quart) mixer in batches and it came out just fine. If you are regularly asked for 12" and larger cakes then I would consider shopping around for a used 10 quart Hobart C-100 or 20 qt A-200 as that would also give you bowl space to grow into half and full sheet pan sized cakes (though you would then also need an oven and a fridge that could accommodate half/full sized sheet pans). Alternatively you could get a multi-tier cake stand and simply bake multiple smaller cake rounds instead of a single huge cake and not have to buy a larger mixer, oven and fridge.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: khuzdul
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                          Cakegal RE: khuzdul Sep 1, 2011 09:24 AM

                          Thank you for putting the time in to provide such a comprehensive reply. You are clearly a professional baker, and I will take your advice to heart. Much appreciated.
                          Karen (Cakegal)

                          1. re: Cakegal
                            k
                            khuzdul RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 12:30 PM

                            I can't take credit for being a professional baker - I worked in a bakery for a several years a long time ago and assisting a great baker. I never had the sculptural artistry required to decorate cakes. I have a desk job now. My brother is a professional pastry chef though and we were working on a business plan and evaluating some locations before the economy tanked and we decided to ride out the downturn doing other things.

                            Your cake is lovely!

                          2. re: khuzdul
                            c
                            Cakegal RE: khuzdul Sep 1, 2011 09:28 AM

                            By the way - this is a cake I made two weeks ago for my inlaw's 50th wedding anniv. Top layer was6 Inch lemon cake with buttercream and lemon curd filling, and bottom was a 9 inch Valhrona Chocolate cake with buttercream and seedless raspberry jam filling. Both were covered in handmade fondant (Scott Wolley recipe) and also over 200 handmade gumpaste flowers. Both cakes were made with a handmixer.

                            Karen
                            This was

                             
                             
                             
                            1. re: Cakegal
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                              lcool RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 09:37 AM

                              lovely,just lovely

                              1. re: Cakegal
                                Jay F RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 10:02 AM

                                Looks beautiful. Sounds delicious. Thanks.

                                1. re: Cakegal
                                  chowser RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 05:38 PM

                                  Very pretty! You definitely have the skills.

                                2. re: khuzdul
                                  chowser RE: khuzdul Sep 1, 2011 05:35 PM

                                  This is good advice. Having space in the refrigerator is limiting. I'd also add that, for me, it's the frosting that's most taxing on the mixer rather than the cake batter. It's hard mixing up a good quantity of buttercream w/ a hand mixer.

                                  As starting a cake business goes, starting small is almost the only way to go, even w/ big ambitions. It takes time for word to get out. In the meantime, a home kitchen can be adequate to make the cake but you also have to deal w/ health inspections and the laws are pretty strict on what you can sell out of a kitchen.

                                  1. re: chowser
                                    c
                                    Cakegal RE: chowser Sep 1, 2011 07:07 PM

                                    I agree, and found out that one needs a "kitchen license" which I would never qualify for as I have a dog. The only way around it is to have a second kitchen put in my basement.

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      c
                                      Caketwoqueen RE: chowser May 24, 2014 09:03 AM

                                      I like to make cakes, and I need to look for a fridge to put in our garage . No more room for extra icing and for cakes to cool! Any good ones to get? Thank you

                                    2. re: khuzdul
                                      c
                                      Caketwoqueen RE: khuzdul May 24, 2014 08:54 AM

                                      I appreciate your insight! I am considering buying a Kaid eight quart stand mixer! One day I would like to make wedding cakes for a business. Linda

                                    3. r
                                      rainey RE: Cakegal Sep 1, 2011 12:51 PM

                                      How close are you to King Arthur's operation in Norwich, VT. ...and are they OK and operational again in VT after Irene?

                                      If I lived in New England I think that would be my second home!

                                      Anyway, they have *excellent* equipment including USA Pan company pans that I am in LOVE with. AND they have master bakers who will discuss with you why they no longer sell KitchenAid (she said even though in love with her 30yo workhorse KA. ...but they're no longer made the same way as mine)

                                      Even if it's a 2 hr drive, you won't pay in shipping what I have to to the West Coast but you're not limited to Michael's. (...and no one should be supporting WalMart!) What's more, before you invest in a drive you can always call them and speak to a master baker about how equipment fits into your master plan.

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