Baking Pans Every Southern Baker Should Own

A pan for every occasion—and cake.

Specialty pans and fancy gadgets can be fun and tempting, but home bakers can tackle most recipes with only a few basic pieces.

Simple and plain are best. Spend wisely and invest in sturdy, well-made pieces that can last for years. High-priced pans don't necessarily perform better. Dark, heavier-than-necessary pans with colored finishes and nonstick coatings sound helpful, but often interfere with the recipe and can cause more problems than they solve. On the other end of the continuum, flimsy disposable pans rarely work properly and can cost nearly as much as a real pan.

Different Types of Cake Pans
Eric Jeon

It's easy to find reliable bakeware online and in kitchenware shops, although restaurant and bakery supply stores and some warehouse-style chains offer professional-quality pieces at bargain prices. To get the most from the pans and help them last, clean and store them as directed.

Baking pans are made of metal. Baking dishes are made of ceramic, tempered glass, or pottery. They conduct heat differently, which affects baking times and the texture of the baked good. If a recipe specifies one or the other, there's a good reason and it's best to follow that instruction.

These are the go-to pans for any home baker.

01 of 13

1. 9-by-13-inch Baking Pan

USA Pan Bakeware Rectangular Cake Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: USA Pan Bakeware Rectangular Cake Pan

BUY IT: $19.99; amazon.com

02 of 13

2. 10-inch Lightweight Aluminum Tube Pan with Removable Bottom (also known as an Angel Food Cake Pan)

Wilton Angel Food Tube Cake Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: Wilton Angel Food Tube Cake Pan

BUY IT: $24.99; amazon.com

03 of 13

3. 12-cup Classic-Design Bundt Pan

Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan

BUY IT: $24.99; amazon.com

04 of 13

4. Rimmed Baking Sheets

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack)
Amazon

A 12-by-16-inch pan (often called a half-sheet) is the most useful and versatile, and most cooks want at least three. Some people refer to baking sheets as cookie sheets, but an actual cookie sheet is rimless and not as versatile, although serious cookie bakers might want one of those too.

Our Pick: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack)

BUY IT: $21.99; amazon.com

05 of 13

5. Round Cake Pans

USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan
Amazon

Three 8-inch pans and three 9-inch pans. Select pans that are 2 inches deep to avoid spill-overs.

Our Pick: USA Pan Bakeware Round Cake Pan

BUY IT: from $14.99; amazon.com

06 of 13

6. Square Pans

USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan
Amazon

One 8-inch pan and one 9-inch pan.

Our Pick: USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan

BUY IT: from $14.99; amazon.com

07 of 13

7. Loaf Pans

Wilton Perfect Results Large Nonstick Loaf Pan

One 8-by-4-inch pan and one 9-by-5-inch pan.

Our Pick: Wilton Perfect Results Large Nonstick Loaf Pan

BUY IT: $11.49; amazon.com

08 of 13

8. 9 1/2-inch Tart Pan with Removable Bottom

Wilton Excelle Elite Non-Stick Tart and Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom
Amazon

Our Pick: Wilton Excelle Elite Non-Stick Tart and Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom

BUY IT: $17.19; amazon.com

09 of 13

9. 9-inch Springform Pan

Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: Nordic Ware Leakproof Springform Pan

BUY IT: $21.13; amazon.com

10 of 13

10. 9-inch Deep-Dish Pie Pan

CorningWare French White 9" Pie Plate

Our Pick: CorningWare French White 9" Pie Plate

BUY IT: $12.99; bedbathandbeyond.com

11 of 13

11. 24-Well Mini Muffin Pan

Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Mini Muffin and Cupcake Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Mini Muffin and Cupcake Pan

BUY IT: $14.59; amazon.com

12 of 13

12. 6-Well Muffin Pans

Chicago Metallic Professional 6-Cup Non-Stick Muffin Pan
Amazon

Our Pick: Chicago Metallic Professional 6-Cup Non-Stick Muffin Pan (buy two)

BUY IT: $15.90 each; amazon.com

13 of 13

13. Wire Cooling Rack

OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro Cooling and Baking Rack

This isn't a pan, of course, but almost all baked goods should cool on a wire rack that lets air circulate under the pan.

Our Pick: OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro Cooling and Baking Rack

BUY IT: $14.99; bedbathandbeyond.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles