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Pan release – what’s that?

Image of a pot of pan release and a cake tin next to it showing the use

I know, it seems like a pain when a recipe calls for preparing cake tin to prevent your baked goods sticking. There are quite a few techniques to accomplish this, some more painful than others. In this post we’ll look at our “cake pan release” recipe.

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Cake tin preparation

Sometimes you can get away without doing anything, but after a few disasters, it quickly becomes apparent that a good strategy for cake tin preparation is necessary if we are to be better bakers (nd we want that, yes?). Read on for some guidelines and tips.

The case for NOT greasing the cake tin

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, no baking paper or greasing for things like cookies etc.

Even though they come in quite a few shapes and sizes, I do have other branded pans that I 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 (or even want it) in some cases.

Some cakes work better if you don’t grease. Examples are Angel food cake or Victoria sponge, which 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 greater height and will end up much lighter and airier if you follow this method.

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 has 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?

Sometimes you have to grease the cake tin

Apart from 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 that 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 Cake Pan Release?

Put simply, pan release is a mix of flour and oils that produces superior results compared to just using butter or lard.

The case for pan release and extra dusting

You may have heard of greasing and lining, but you may not have heard of greasing and 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 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 also be a good idea.

You have to think about what is happening when the batter bakes.  Sugar melts and turns into caramel or toffee.   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 to reduce your stress levels when removing the 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 some brilliant high-grade silicon bundt moulds, but I still use pan release in crevices for particular types of cake batters.

Baking paper is always a good idea

If the sides of your cake stick, you can generally run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it. However, 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.

Cake 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.

Image of a pot of pan release and a cake tin next to it showing the use

Pan release – what’s that?

5 from 3 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

Pan release for baking, so that your baked goods are much easier to get out of your baking tin.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Utility
Cuisine Various
Servings 1 quantity
Method Thermomix and Conventional


  • Thermomix or Stand Mixer


  • 240 g Sunflower Oil
  • 225 g Coconut oil Non-flavoured the one that's firm when cold.
  • 120 g Plain Flour
  • 100 g Rice Flour


  • Mix all ingredients together well. Store until ready to use. Make sure you do not allow the mix to warm up with the friction of a mixer if you're uisng one or the composition of the flour will alter it will start to cook rather than stay as a powdery film.
  • Use liberally.


  • Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • Refrigerate for five months
  • Freeze for one year
  • If keep it 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.
  • We have a couple of mould pans that still stick even when using this, so to remedy that we just sprinkle either flour or cocoa (depending on what sort of cake) on top of the pan release for some extra insurance. 


  1. 5 stars
    I usually grease and flour my tins before cooking like my Mum & Nana taught me but, didn’t know about the ingredients you have given the recipe for. Will have to make some and like the ideas you have given about shelf and storage ideas. Thankyou always learning things from you 😘

  2. Thank you Bec! I haven’t heard of pan release, but what a good idea. Will give it a try 👍🏻

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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