I know it seems like such a pain when a recipe calls for preparing or lining your cake tin.  There are so many ways to do it.  Some methods are quite precise, although as you know if there’s a quick, easy way to do something I’m up for it. I often use Pan Release.

I bet there’s some of you that ask yourself, “Do I really need to?”  and possibly in the past, just the once you chose not to and got into all sorts of trouble. Well, maybe not, that could have been me. 😉  I do like to push the boundaries. 


Well here’s some different methods I use.

I have a diverse range of different pans, but my favourite would have to be USA Pans. They come with a fantastic high-temperature silicon coating on them. Most baked goods don’t need anything at all, paper or greasing. But even though they come in quite a few shapes and sizes, I do have other branded pans that I like to use as well. These get the treatment.  I use something called pan release, and you can make it yourself.  The recipe is at the bottom of this blog, but before you go making it and slapping it about all over the place like it’s a miracle cure, you may want to keep reading for a bit because you may not need it in some cases.

So which recipes can you get away without greasing?  Did you know, some recipes shouldn’t be greased at all?  It all depends on the recipe you’ve chosen. 

Whether or not you have to grease, depends on the recipe and the tin you’ve chosen.  

Cakes that work better if you don’t grease are cakes like angel food cake or Victoria sponge they use whipped egg whites in their batters.  These types of cakes need to have a surface that they can cling to, as they rise in the oven. They’ll achieve a greater height and will end up much lighter and airier if you follow this method. But you can’t necessarily go sticking them straight into a nonstick pan with no grease or anything, or you’ll be in trouble.


If you’re using a good-quality nonstick pan, you may find you don’t get the best results with these batters.  In the professional kitchen, we use a paper liner, the sort of paper the fish and chippy uses to wrap your chips in.  This paper is an excellent surface for the cake to cling to, and when it’s baked off, it comes away from the pan easily and peels away from the cake like a dream.

If you don’t know where to get it, why not ask the local fish and chippy to sell you some.  You’ll only need a couple of sheets; It’s worth 50c – $1 don’t you think?

Cakes that do better with greasing and lining

After explaining the Angel food type cakes, most other cakes need a little greasing, or if you’re using a good-quality nonstick pan, at least a round of baking paper to line the base.  Doing this will always make it easier to remove and stop any tiny bits of the cake sticking to the bottom of the pan and damaging the perfect surface everyone likes.

Decorated cakes are usually upturned, so the base is the top.  You want the top surface of your cake to be as clean and neat as possible. Adding pan release and a round of paper will solve any sticking or crumbling issues.

What is Pan Release?

You may have heard of greasing and lining, but in my experience at bake club, You may not have heard of greasing then dusting with a thin layer of flour.  Here’s something my Nan would always to do.  If you grease then dust, the flour creates a barrier preventing the fat from melting and moving straight into the cake batter.  It makes it much easier to slip the cake from the tin.  I know some cakes will suffice with just butter, but this little extra step could prevent you from damaging your cake when removing it, and that’s not a bad thing, is it?  If you’re going with the butter and flour trick, don’t overdo it though or you’ll end up with a thicker dryer crust. 

If your cake batter has a lot of sugar or sticky type substances like honey, you need to flour the tin after greasing. In fact, in some cases, a ring of baking paper would be a good idea. 

You have to think about what is happening when the batter bakes.  Sugar melts and turns into a caramel or toffee.   So as the cake bakes the sugar caramelises and starts to stick to the sides of your pan. These caramelised bits may cling to the sides of the pan and become glued, so in this case greasing and flouring is essential if you want no stress when removing your cake.  Especially if you have to let the cake cool in the pan before unmolding it. I’d also recommend carefully greasing and flouring bundt pans because bundt cakes can be especially tricky to unmold from intricate designs.   I have brilliant high-grade silicon bundt moulds, but I use pan release for particular types of cake batters.

Baking Paper Is Always a Good Idea to line the base.

If the sides of your cake stick, you can thankfully run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it, but if the bottom of your cake gets stuck, you are pretty much out of luck unless you’ve used a springform pan and do some tricky knife manoeuvres.  So, in my opinion, it’s always a good idea to add a round of parchment to the base of a cake tin. I teach the method I use to line a cake pan base in all the classes we need to use a cake tin. The way I do this is an easy process, and it will prevent any unfortunate situations.  

I have a range of awesome tins in my Cook School that are non-stick. But of course, they don’t come in every shape and size.  Some of my more unusual tins (the ones that don’t have this brilliant non-stick surface) need to be greased.  That’s when I a product called pan release.  Pan release isn’t a new thing it’s been used by bakers and pastry chefs for many years.  I’ve altered the Bakery/Patisserie recipe to ingredients that you can pick up from the local supermarket, and some may even be a bit better for you than the usual professional ingredients.

Pan Release What's That?
Pan release for baking.
  • 240 g Sunflower Oil
  • 225 g Coconut oil (non-flavoured)
  • 130 g Plain Flour
  1. Mix all ingredients together in your Mixer until it’s smooth and incorporated and store till ready to use.
  2. Use liberally.
Chef Notes
Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Refrigerate for five months
Freeze for one year
If kept in the fridge just take it out before you do anything. Although it will still be a bit hard, you can scrape a bit off and brush it on your pans with a pastry brush.








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