Basic baking tools: essential baking pans for bakers

Basic baking tools: 8 essential baking pans for bakers

Basic baking tools series: the essential baking pans

‘Hey Crystal, what’s your hobby?’

‘Oh, baking pans shopping!’

That’s what I do when it’s the mall’s sales period and when it’s boxing day. I believe my neuro system must be releasing some sort of rewarding neurochemicals when I am shopping for bakewares. I am a bakeware addict. This makes me wonder if my house is on fire, what do I need to bring with me? My passport? My cash? My bakewares…maybe?

Okay, I might be a bit exaggerating, but you can tell how much I love them. It’s my collection! I have a cupboard for them, hohoho!

But, which ones do you exactly need when you are starting out, you ask? Come, I have some good secrets to share – the essential baking pans that every baker need. I call them part of the basic baking tools and equipment too.

Essential baking pans for bakers

1. 9-inch springform cake tin

What I recommend: PME Gunmetal 9 x 3 Inch Round Anodised Springform Cake Tin; £13.60

PME-Gunmetal-Round-Anodised-Springform-Cake-TinI remember the very first cake tin I bought was a 9-inch springform cake tin. It is definitely one of the essential baking pans when you are starting out due to its versatility. It has a spring-loaded clip that allows the sides to be removable, so it is most useful when you are making cakes with delicate toppings, or with a delicate bottom that makes it impractical for the cake to be loosened by inverting it. For example, cheesecakes and those no-bake cakes. Just make sure the clip of the tin fits securely when you are buying one. You don’t want to see your batter leaking out from the bottom.

2. 8-inch loose-bottomed sandwich tins

What I recommend: KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Round Sandwich Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8″); £7.99

KitchenCraft-MasterClass-Non-Stick-Round-Sandwich-TinIt didn’t take me long to realise that I need some loose-bottomed tins if I am planning to make a layered, sponge cake. I have three of these loose-bottomed tins as I prefer to bake my layers separately. Yes, you may bake it in a big block and then cut it into layers with your serrated knife but I find baking in separate tins gives you a beautifully fluffier texture and the cooking time is cut by loads.

Also, loose-bottomed means that your cake can be released quickly and easily! Just push it out from the bottom, hurray!

3. 2 lb loaf tin

What I recommend: KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick 2 lb Loaf Tin, 23 x 13 cm (9″ x 5″); £5.99


Definitely, a must-have bakeware when you are just making unfussy, easy-going cakes such as the Madeira cake or the banana cake for your little afternoon tea party. And, is it going to sound weird if I say I am a person who prefers shapes with edges? I just feel like it’s neater to have a rectangular cake rather than a big round cake. My favourite is a 2lb tin. Why? Because it’s the most frequently used size and it’s adorable definitely one of the essential baking pans.

4. 9×9 Square cake tin

What I recommend: Le Creuset 23cm x 23cm Square Cake Tin; £24


Okay, maybe it’s just my liking towards corners and edges continues but this is what I use all the time when I am making fudges or brownies, or when my desire for a square cake explodes. A 9×9 pan is the one to go. Some also come with a lid so you can travel with your brownies. Aww, isn’t that sound sweet and convenient? Oh, wait, I am going to secretly to grab a piece a brownie from my bag now.

6. 12-count muffin and cupcake tray

What I recommend: Le Creuset 12 Cup Muffin Tray; £27

Le-Creuset-12-Cup-Muffin-TrayHow can you miss out this muffin/cupcake tray? This non-stick 12-count tray is the shortcut for you to get a batch of even- and happy-looking cupcakes! By the way, have you checked out my killer chocolate cupcake recipe? That’s the exact reason (if you need one) for you to buy this tray! I recommend owning two trays like this because many recipes yield more than 12 muffins/cupcakes. And to be honest, 12 cupcakes? Are you kidding me? That’s not even enough for my breakfast!

There is also a fashion for silicone tins but I still prefer a good, old-fashioned, sturdy metal one as it stays rigid forever!

7. 24-count mini muffin and cupcake tray

What I recommend: PME Non-Stick 24 Mini Cupcake And Muffin Pan; £8.99

PME-Non-Stick-24-Mini-Cupcake-And-Muffin-PanTrust me, this will be the essential baking pan when you are preparing for a party, especially held by your kids or maybe nieces or nephews. Imagine making all the cupcakes you need for a whole bunch of children, what a hard work. This tray makes sure that all the little demons with a sweet tooth get their share of mini baked goods. And, mini means cuter, right? I own one but if you would like to have more mini baked goods, feel free to buy a dozen!

8. Baking sheet

What I recommend: Le Creuset 12 Cup Muffin Tray; £27

Le-Creuset-12-Cup-Muffin-TrayI seldom make cookies but this still comes extremely useful as long as you are using your kitchen. For example, you must have baked some potatoes or chicken in your life, I believe. So, not only for baking, this is also for everyday use. Oh, yeah, actually I use this for making my meringue kisses and macaroons.

Due to its super duper high using frequency, I strongly recommend you to invest more in your baking sheet. When I was a student, I actually bought one from the Poundland and it went into the bin at the same day (sorry Poundland, it’s probably me being too rough on it). So, yep, choose a thicker model that wouldn’t bend when heated.

If you are a serious baker…

You can probably tell I am struggling to stop sharing. If, if, if you consider yourself a committed baker and wish to expand your collection, you may consider investing in some the followings.

Madeleine tin – The greatest helper to turn the shell-shaped French sponges out. Not a very versatile item but who cares (wink)? We all love Madeleines.

Bundt tin – What’s the easiest way to turn your basic cake into a showstopper? Here’s the answer! The bundt tin is the way to the perfect ring cake. Oh, just be sure that you have greased all the crevices.

Heart-shaped tinActually, to be honest, this piece can be quite essential. I reckon this is the best way of expressing your love. You can literally make a love-shaped cake for everyone.

6-count doughnut pan If you are a doughnut lover, this is what I will recommend to you. A healthy alternative to deep-fried doughnuts! You ready to dust some icing sugar on it?

Novelty cake tin – Surprise your family and friends with something special, just like this teddy bear cake. Obviously. if you need more, there are also the house cake tin or the tractor cake tin and more!

Which one’s your favourite?

I can carry on writing this for days but I am going to let you go for now (phew)! I hope you have enjoyed this essential baking pans guide!

By the way, if you have any questions or some thoughts to share, feel free to leave it in the comment section! 🙂










  • Philip

    Hi Crystal,

    Well, this article brought back some memories. I would definitely agree those are all the basic baking tools and baking pans for bakers.

    I use to live above a cafe/bakery and the smells into my apartment were many folds and a little off-putting. However, I would have to work for the baker in that business from 5am to 2 or 3!

    I did the bread, and funnily enough, not long after starting the customers were complimenting it a lot!

    It was a husband and wife team. I noticed the head baker, who owned the business his whole life – 30+ years, looking at me and kind laughing and smiling shaking his head.

    Sometime later his wife told me why. He’s been baking that break since forever, I land there, and all of a sudden I can do it better! That is why he is shaking his head – LOL!!

    I believe they were being extra complimentary as this man was a master baker, no two ways about that. But still, it was nice to get the compliment:).

    That you a wonderful trip down memory land Crystal.

    – Philip.

    • Crystal

      Thanks for sharing your cute story here! You are making me curious about your bread (maybe I should find a way to steal your recipe)!

      It’s always satisfying looking at the people eating your baked goods show a happy smile on their face. That’s the best thing in life! 🙂

  • Kimberly

    I had no idea there were so many varieties of baking pans! I do want to purchase the spring load one. I think it may be easier than trying (and praying) the cake comes out in one piece on the average cake pan. Great info, thank you!

    • Crystal

      Yes, it is! I still feel super secured when I am using the springform tin even after so many years – it makes sure that I won’t damage my cake!:)

  • Karen Dahlin

    Hi Crystal,
    Thank you for sharing this post, I love cooking and would love to bake, but it doesn’t seem to happen to me. but I have saved this post, I like how you touch on each different pan. And your blog is fun to read, the recipes look great. I am coming back definitely. I think you can show me how it is done. Thank You


  • Sabrina

    Wow, there are so many new pans that you can use for baking nowadays… I remember when I was younger baking cookies every Christmas with my sister. I really miss that. We had so much fun. But we didn’t have pans like this though. Definitely would’ve made life easier.

    Thank you for the information 🙂

    • Crystal

      Aww, I think picking a suitable pan is part of the fun in baking. Too bad that you and your sister have missed it, haha! But, you can still get some pans and invite her! To me, the sense of happiness is like picking a good outfit out from my wardrobe.:)

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