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Cake Pans in 3 Styles – Traditional, Springform and Shaped Cake Pans

Different cakes call for different types of cake pans.  Here is an overview of the three main types of cake pans that home bakers will want to have on hand: traditional round pans, springform pans and shaped pans or cake molds.  If you buy high-quality cake pans, they can last a lifetime. Using our suggestions below, you’ll find just the right bakeware. With it, you’ll turn out one beautiful cake after another for years to come.

Traditional round cake pans

One of the most versatile cake pans is the traditional round pan, sometimes available in sets of two.  They come in sizes from 6 to 18 inches in diameter and 2-3 inches tall, and are ideal for single or stacked round cakes.  Aluminum is the preferred metal for a traditional cake pan, as it evenly distributes heat. They’re very versatile and can also be used for casseroles or baked fruit desserts. Some come with handles for easier gripping though the majority are just a circular shape.  Non-stick coating is a must so that you can easily release your crumb-free, perfectly-baked cake. Traditional round pans range in price from $5 to $30 for professional versions.

Springform pans

One of the most important things to look for when buying a springform pan is that the metal, usually coated steel, resists sticking and thus is easy to clean. It’s also key that the entire pan will hold its shape without warping.  This will ensure you have perfectly round cakes. A springform pan comes in two pieces, the sides and bottom, which should snap together seamlessly and provide even-heating. Prices range from $10 to $30.

Shaped cake pans

Shaped cake pans are like molds that produce a three-dimensional cake. Brands such as Wilton carry dozens of shapes including animals, cartoon characters, dinosaurs and other kid favorites. The convenient thing about many of these pans is that they come with detailed instructions for how to decorate the cake including tips and equipment needed. The downside is they may be specific to an occasion so you may not get use out of a Dora the Explorer cake pan as often as you’d like.  Nevertheless, they are fun and attention-getting, and will help create a memorable celebration.

About the author:

Join chef and baking expert Sarita Haines at to learn everything you need to know about decorating baked goods, the best tools for frosting cakes and cupcakes, tips, and proven icing recipes.

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