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Parchment paper along with butter and flour in a cake pan?

Could someone explain to me why so many recipes tell you to butter and flour a cake pan and then line it with parchment paper? Why would the butter and flour still be necessary--at least on the bottom?

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  1. We call this insurance.

    Some cakes are super tricky to remove from the sides perfectly and the paper insures that your cake bottom is nice and even and flat so when you turn it up to frost it you have nice results.

    We're talking a small pat of butter to coat, a thin layer of flour to adhere to the butter and one round of parchment. It's worth the exact steps to insure a nice release from the pan.

    3 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        I think the parchment is the insurance. I don't think you need to flour twice -- before and after the parchment. There are also some types of pans (like a bundt) that cannot be used with parchment, but certainly can be floured and buttered.

        1. re: willownt

          I wouldn't use parchment on a bundt pan either, although I have done a savory cheese and spinach torte that worked beautifully in a deep 10" bundt and buttered pieces of parchment were used to keep the mixture tight and shaped as it baked. Without parchment it would have been a fluffy mess.

          I use butter/flour in very light application and parchment paper on the bottom of a 9x13, jelly roll pan or loaf pan or square pan when making any number of baked goods. In that order: butter, flour, paper. I don't find it redundant in my case. The only exception is when I use the foil/parchment combo paper.

          But I say go with what works for you. My pans are older, reliable, not non stick, I don't get fancy.

          I also no longer use spray can oil for baking. I don't find that reliable at all.

      2. Hmmmm. I just butter the bottom so the parchment sticks to the butter when you're adding the batter. But don't flour.

        And can't think of any time when I've had problems.

        1 Reply
        1. Agreed that it ensures the bottom of the cake comes out in one piece. I don't generally flour before parchment, if I want to flour the sides I spray the whole pan with oil, put the parchment on the bottom, then knock the flour around the sides. This keeps the parchment in place.

          Are you questioning buttering/oiling the bottom at all? Is parchment alone enough? I never thought about it! You can experiment with that one, I'll stay in the 'better safe than sorry' camp.

          6 Replies
          1. re: babette feasts

            Yes--I can see why the butter would help the paper stick to the bottom, but I haven't understood why you'd also need to flour the bottom before putting on the parchment paper.

            1. re: Thanks4Food

              You don't need to flour the bottom before parchment, at least in my experience.

              1. re: Thanks4Food

                The purpose of the butter before parchment is so the parchment adheres to the pan bottom, enabling the cook to then butter and flour the entire pan. I have not ever seen instructions to butter AND flour before adding parchment, and would regard that as an error in the recipe to be ignored. If you add flour before the parchment, the parchment is likely to slide around. Lightly butter the bottom only, line with parchment, then butter the parchment and pan sides, then flour.

                1. re: janniecooks

                  This is the recipe that prompted the question, but I've seen it before which is why I asked: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                  1. re: Thanks4Food

                    It is an error or just sloppy writing/editing. The purpose of the flour is so the cake will release easily. While I have never baked a cake on parchment that hasn't been buttered and floured, I imagine it would not turn out well, so to speak.

                    1. re: janniecooks

                      Actually its fine, i've always used parchment bare for cakes

            2. I butter and lightly breadcrumb or sometimes just parchment and butter and breadcrumb. Makes the top come out flawless and makes for a crispy, buttery, tasty top!