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Looking for Cake Pans

My daughter's birthday is on December 23rd and I'm starting to get tired of visiting chaotic and crowded bakeries so close to Christmas to get her birthday cake, so this year I thought I would bake one myself.

I'm looking for some "basic" cake pans (btw, what is the "standard" size, if there is such a thing?). A quick look on Amazon shows a brand called Wilton. Any good? Or can anyone recommend another brand or style I should look at.


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  1. Wilton built an empire on cakes and decorating, so I'd bet that their equipment is pretty darn good. 8" or 9" is the "standard" size--they also have a wide range of specialty shaped pans, if that's something you'd be interested in.....

    1. King Arthur's pans are very good, imo. Don't know if the price is competitive or not.

      1. Sometimes we make a 9x13 cake but also layer cakes. Sometimes they are 3 - 9 or 8 inch layers so I have 3 of each. I like the ones that are about 2 inches deep. I like something in bare aluminum. Non stick seems to get cakes too dark on the bottom for me. Sometimes we make cheesecakes so use springform pans for that, but sizes vary according to recipes. I also have a few recipes that go in a jelly roll pan like White Texas sheet cake. Wilton has these types of pans but basically I look for no finish and a fairly heavy construction. Sometimes Walmart has them, maybe Nordicware.

        1. Or you could see if there is a restaurant supply store in your area.....

          1. Wilton makes very good pans. If you don't have any cake pans, then 9" rounds will be fine for most recipes. Get 2 of them--most recipes call for 2 pans.
            If you buy from Amazon, here is a good suggestion:

            Baker's Secret and Chicago Metallic are other brands that are pretty widely available in places like Target and Walmart. They aren't expensive, maybe $5-6 each, and will be fine if you bake occasionally.

            7 Replies
            1. re: iluvcookies

              I was looking at those, but some of the reviews say that the sides are not straight which I imagine would be problematic.

              I saw this one too (8 inch)...


              1. re: Philly Ray

                I have to believe that those Wilton pans on Amazon would be quite serviceable.

                1. re: Philly Ray

                  The sides aren't straight on which brands?

                  1. re: KSlink

                    According to some of the reviews on Amazon, the sides are not straight on the 9 inch Wilton pans in the link that iluvcookies posted.

                  2. re: Philly Ray

                    The angle is very, very slight... those reviews are nitpicking. They will be fine if you use them.

                    I'd stick with 9" pans.

                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      ^ Agree with this. I have some grocery store pans that are so slanty they may as well be pie pans. I grease them without flouring, and the cakes pull away from the sides as they rise. They probably don't get as tall this way, but the sides are straight, and they have even tops. I usually don't bother to trim them before assembling a layer cake.

                    2. re: Philly Ray

                      The pan set on amazon is slanted, you'll never get even layers with them. It's better to buy Wilton pans separately & with the same code number on the bottom of the pan to avoid having to carve your baked layers to size. I have numerous sizes of Wilton pans in light weight & heavy weight, as well as magic Line & Fat Daddios ( past biz) but use my light weight Wilton rounds, & Magic Line square & slab pans the most. I've always steered away from dark or non stick pans for cakes as don't like the way they bake up. If you have a Michaels in your area, you can use their coupons & get 40 - 50% off Wilton cake pans. Just be sure you don't buy the nesting two pan set! : )

                  3. My next question has to be......do you have a good cake recipe? ;)

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: KSlink

                      I love the recipe on the special dark cocoa box, and I find it bakes much more evenly as two nine inches than as a 9x13. My pans are about ten years old, Chicago Metallic. They get better and better with use, as do CM bread pans. M

                      1. re: tim irvine

                        ATK gave their highest rating to CM.....

                        As for the cake recipe on the special dark cocoa box--what brand are you using? If it's the one I think it is, there's about a million threads about it, and we all agree that it is great.....

                        Turns out that "normal cake"--not chocolate--is requested. I'm not quite sure what that means.....

                          1. re: Philly Ray

                            If you haven't done much baking in the past then you might want to bake a yellow cake before your daughters B-day to hone your skills. Alternatively you could also buy a good quality cake mix and invest you time in making the proper buttercream icing and decorating the cake.

                            King Arthur makes a good boxed cake mix, but I'd still add a bit more vanilla.

                          2. re: KSlink

                            Yes, the one that rhymes with "smershey's" ... Mmm

                        1. re: KSlink

                          One step at a time, lol.

                          Look for me on the Home Cooking board soon. Unless you have one to share. FYI, my daughter prefers regular cake over chocolate.

                          I'm also looking for good accessories to buy with the pans, since this might become an annual affair (if not more). So far, I'm looking at this spreader...


                              1. re: Jay F

                                I find Fante's to be a bit overpriced. Plus, there's lots of restaurant supply places here as well. I just prefer Amazon/online shopping most of the time.

                                1. re: Philly Ray

                                  I have one or the other of these 9" pans by Chicago Metallic. Mine are not marked as to whether they're "Commercial" or "Commercial II." Whichever they are, I've used them for years with great success.

                                  Whichever pans you end up buying, make sure they're 2" high.



                                  As for yellow cake, I use Alice Waters' 1-2-3-4 cake recipe. It's my favorite cake of all.


                          1. I'd get a couple of 8 or 9 inch round pans to start off with.

                            Personally, I make most of my cakes in an angel food pan because I don't care for frosting and like the open center. I don't bake extensively but find the angel food pan is perfect for my hot water chocolate cake, apple cinnamon cake, and basic yellow cake.

                            1. Ultimately, I decided on these pans...


                              They are the Wilton 8 inch pans. The recipes I looked at seemed to be split on using 8 or 9 inch pans, so I just picked these.

                              Thanks for all your advice. As for the cake itself, I'm not sure if I'm going to try a recipe from scratch or just use a box mix for the first time around to see how it comes out.