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For Easy Release, Use Parchment Paper on Your Cakes

Cakes Minus Parchment Paper = Fail

Whenever I make a cake, I usually use a bit of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. This way the cake won't stick to the pan and I'll have nice and even surface to work with. I either cut out a square or circle to fit the bottom of the pan, or I create a parchment-paper sling.

Unfortunately I said usually. To find out what happened when I didn't,


The other day, I was trying to make petit fours for a game-night party. I set aside enough time, prepped all of my ingredients, and even came up with a clever design — I had planned on decorating them like dice. However it wasn't enough. For some reason I had decided to skip my trusty parchment-paper trick. The recipe I used didn't mention it, and I figured butter and a light dusting of flour was going to be enough.

Sadly, after I took the cake out of the oven and let it cool, I flipped it over and nothing. So I gave it a whack, turned the pan over, and yalped out loud. My cake was ruined! One half of the cake was on my plate, and the other half was left in the pan. I was mortified. There was no way to turn this into petit fours. Weird but delicious cake morsels, yes. Dice-shaped treats, no. In fact after scraping the cake out of the pan, I had to give it a long soak before the pan came clean.

Moral of the story is, be patient, use parchment paper, wait for the cakes to completely cool — this also could have been a problem — and when all else fails, it's okay to pick up dessert at the store.

Has this every happened to you? If so what did you do? Were you able to save dessert?

If you have pics of your failed treats, post them to our Savory Sights Group and let us know what happened!

Join The Conversation
Airotociv Airotociv 6 years
I've never used parchment paper. It seems like an extra step for nothing. If you formulate your cake correctly it doesn't fall apart at all.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 9 years
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i've never used parchment paper for baking & i've never had anything like that happen! i might try it out next time i make a layer cake.
jessie jessie 9 years
Parchment paper is my friend!!!! I know if I leave a cake in too long to cool in a pan that doens't have parchment paper, it will stick. If I just to the coat and flour thing, I turn it over in about 4 mins. But I could see how the egg whites would make it more moist and probaly soak up the coating in the pan.
verily verily 9 years
This made me giggle. I've never used parchment paper for regular cake mixes (just cooking spray) and they always popped out fine. BUT I made a yellow cake from scratch once and it stuck fast to the bottom! I just put the cake back in the pan and took it as is to a potluck. I think boxed cake mixes must be formulated to have less moisture or something.
idawson idawson 9 years
silly_pickle i was just about to say that when i read the comment. it seems like a cooling time issue.
silly_pickle silly_pickle 9 years
I think the problem was that you let it cool in the pan. Usually anymore than 10 minutes and it will stick. I butter and sometimes flour (depending on what I'm making), but there is also a product called "Cake Release" by Wilton. Works like a charm and is really easy to use, and it's cheap - under $4 I think.
cneums cneums 9 years
I've too learned that parchment paper is the way to go! I use it with brownies too, but instead of flipping it over, you leave a rim of parchment and can lift the brownies out. Remember to butter the pan all the way though under the parchment :) For cakes that have done this to me, I've filled them with cream or icing and "glued" them back together. It's never perfectly pretty, but always yummy.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I love how courageous you are yum for sharing that. I'd have been too embarrased. Man I was so bummed on Super Bowl Sunday. I usually make a pretty dang good cheesecake and thought a New York Cheesecake would be the perfect thing to make for the party we were attending since the Giants were playing. I followed the directions to the t, but somehow the crust started to burn. The directions said it had to bake at 375 for an 1hr and 10min. And it had only been in there about 45min. I think I need to get an oven thermometer.
Food Food 9 years
thanks for all your ideas! I still can't figure out what went wrong. I'd never made this recipe before, but had made one similar. I let it cool, but it wasn't too cold. There were a lot of folded in egg whites and I think it may have just decided to turn itself into glue.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i use "bake-klene" and even with fancy molds i never have a problem.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww :(
ashleycakes ashleycakes 9 years
I'm almost to the point where I'm making so many cakes I'm thinking about starting to buy these. It would make my life, and probably yours, so much easier!!
will205 will205 9 years
i'm sorry about your incident - i would have probably sprayed it anyway though, just being the scary person i am anyway, lol. did you eat what was salvageable?
FactCheckinCuz FactCheckinCuz 9 years
did you let the cake cool too long? ideally you should leave it in the pan 3-7 minutes but not much long as any longer in the pan will create a moisture barrier between the pan and the cake causing it to stick. this of course depends on the ratio of ingredients but is somethi ng to consider. also if there wasn't a lot of fat in the cake flouring the pan may have actually caused the problem. typically i only use parchment paper when i'm making squares or a rolled cake and rarely have had problems... this however kind of looks similar to a "hot milk cake" that i've made time i totally fudged it and it broke and was hard as a rock. i still don't now what went wrong.
ikimashokie ikimashokie 9 years
Now that I think about it, the same thing happened with a bundt cake I was making. I figured perhaps I hadn't let the 9x13 cool enough, so I made sure this cake was completely cold. I cut off the broken parts, ate them or gave them away, and cut the smaller half into slices and put the icing in the middle. Yay cake sandwiches! I eventually went and bought some of that butter-flour spray that whoever it is makes, and liberally apply it to the pan. Works like a charm!
ikimashokie ikimashokie 9 years
I went to make my boyfriend's mom a birthday cake, and the cake broke, as I had not greased/floured the pan enough. It wasn't ruined, she just got a lopsided 9"x9" cake instead of a pretty 9"x13" cake. It doesn't help that the oven at my boyfriend's is awful, so the cakes come out lopsided from the oven leaning, and more risen in the middle for whatever reason. Oh well.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I've never ruined a cake from not using parchment paper, but parchment paper may be one of my biggest kitchen essentials. It makes cooking baking so easy! I always have it on hand.
amers230 amers230 9 years
i too found out the difference between wax paper and parchment paper the hard way, to the tune of neighbors banging on my door thinking i'd set something on fire. you live you learn, right? lol anyway my mom's gotten really into cake decorating the last few years and all she does is spray the hell out of the pan with cooking spray and wait til it cools to remove the pan. she's never had any problems with that.
Marci Marci 9 years
I only use parchment paper for one cake I bake. Other than that I always use Crisco and flour, like my Mom and Grandmother taught me. :)
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
Awwww! That sucks, sounds like something I would do!! Could you make those truffle ball things with them?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
It's a LOLcake! I've been there before. In fact, so many times that I now use parchment paper WITH nonstick baking pans. :p
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
Two words: CAKE. BALLS. I've become the dealer/supplier to my friends and families addiction to cake balls.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 9 years
I rarely make cakes, but I made one for my bf for V-day. I tried Yum's little "rectangle + circle cut in two halves = heart" trick. I sprayed them both with my trusty non-stick baking spray, but as soon as I put them in the oven I had misgivings about whether they would actually come out or not. Sure enough, I took them out, let them cool, and they slid right out. I was totally shocked. Parchment paper is a great idea, though!
Food Food 9 years
well usually butter and flour works out well, but this was a stubborn cake. if I had put parchment paper down (and on the sides, I do this especially if it's a round cake), it would've released.
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