7 Benefits of Decorative Cake Pans Plus More!

The biggest benefit of decorative cake pans is getting a spectacular presentation for any occasion while cutting the calories, sugar, and fat in half or more! Let’s face it, we are in an era that has become aware of what we consume. As adults, we cringe at desserts that overwhelm us with sugar and fat. These cake pans are a simple way to escape without sacrifice.

Decorative cake pans can be used for other dishes beyond cakes.

In this article and throughout this website, we will cover the attributes that unusually shaped cake pans have to offer, how to choose the right one, and how to use them. I am an avid collector of the Wilton and Nordic Ware decorative cake pans. Use my category and tag system to help cross-reference your pans to navigate through your baking adventures. I also have a link to my database in the menu.

Where to buy decorative cake pans?

The most current releases are found directly from the manufacturers like Nordic Ware or a distributor such as Williams-Sonoma. As a collector, you will have to visit several marketplaces on the internet and thrift stores. If you are outside of the USA, you will need to find an international shipper. Here is a list of places I have found unusual pans or novelty cake pans for sale.

*May contain affiliate links

  • eBay
  • eBay.de
  • Nordic Ware
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Amazon
  • Amazon.de
  • Macari
  • Poshmark
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Etsy

How do I choose a baking pan?

Choosing a baking pan is based on the recipe’s cake size. Choosing a baking pan starts with almost anything you can imagine and then understanding the steps it will take for the best result. As a beginner baker, a decorative cake pan can yield amazing desserts with little skill. Learning to care for your unusual cake pans becomes more important than the baking process.

If you are like me, I’m more creative and less artistic despite everyone else in my family having talent! 3d cake pans have allowed me to make up for what talent I lack even after years of practice. Many of my recipes will be cake constructions and less focus on the ingredients. Picking the baking pan for your project plays a big role in the final outcome.

A grocery store cake mix (1lbs) is designed for two 8-inch round cake pans and works well in the 5 or 6 cup decorative bundt cake pans. The full-size decorative bundt pans are 10-cup and take 1.5 grocery store cake mixes to completely fill and get the entire design. Using 1 cake mix works but if the detail runs completely to the top of the pan you won’t see it on the cake.

The Williams Sonoma or Nordic Ware cake mixes (2lbs) and their recipes on their websites are designed to fit in the specific pans. So if you have a recipe you would like to use, it needs to fit the pan and vice versa. After that, the next step is learning how to use decorative cake pans. Let’s look at the different types.

Carolina Cooker Cast Iron

Benefits of Cast Iron Decorative Cake Pans

The primary benefit of cast iron decorative cake pans is that a well-seasoned piece is naturally non-stick. Cast iron bakeware has been around for decades and you won’t find any coated with a chemical that eventually peels off or scratches. The durability of cast iron outlasts most bakeware.

Cast iron decorative cake pans also conduct heat very well and evenly. When baking large dense cake recipes a cast iron cake pan creates a beautiful crust as well.

decorative cake pans

Benefits of Cast Aluminum Decorative Cake Pans

The primary benefit of cast aluminum decorative cake pans is the dense material serves as a buffer to evenly heat the cake during baking while protecting it from burning. Baking at an appropriate temperature these decorative cake pans allow cakes to uniformly rise with less doming without the need for wrapping.

Contemporary cast aluminum decorative cake pans are typically coated in a non-stick treatment. Properly cared for this surface will last for a long time and cakes release smoothly.

Cast aluminum decorative cake pans have become the standard in today’s market for baking. Second to performance, the designs available are almost endless for every occasion. Decorative cake pans manufactured over 20 years ago are still in circulation and used.

aluminum decorative cake pans

Benefits of Formed Aluminum Decorative Cake Pans

The primary benefit of formed aluminum decorative cake pans is the availability and variety. Wilton character cake pans are what most people think of with this type of cake pan. This shaped cake pan is popular for kids’ birthdays or quick holiday cakes. These decorative cake pans are almost “paint-by-numbers” works of art.

There are many decorative cake pans that are formed aluminum bundts. Wilton makes many of these that are also available in many craft stores and some bigger grocery stores. They are more affordable options than the cast aluminum versions and are usually non-stick too.

Kaiser, a German company, also makes many formed aluminum decorative cake pans that are single layer or a more professional line. (non-kiddy character)

Benefits of Formed Copper Decorative Cake Pans

Historically, decorative cake pans were handmade and copper is soft enough for handcrafting. Baking in this material requires a barrier such as a Tin metal layer in good shape and in tack. The need for a pliable material has become obsolete unless you are looking to create your own custom shape cake designs. Heating copper either with bakeware or cookware causes the copper to leach into food and can be toxic so care is essential.

Benefits of Pottery, Clay, or Ceramic Decorative Cake Pans

Stoneware has been around for a long time too and if you are looking to make your own designs with custom-shaped cake pans, try your hand at some pottery. These decorative cake pans, which are not really “pans”, are usually one-of-a-kind works of art. Stoneware as with glass performs best starting in a cold oven and coming up to temperature. They hold heat evenly and bake uniformly. Seasoned stoneware is also naturally non-stick.

silicone decorative cake pans

Benefits of Silicone Decorative Cake Pans

The benefit of silicone decorative cake pans is the nature of non-stick. I still coat with a cake release. But the primary benefit of silicone decorative baking is that the cake batter often doesn’t brown or form crust as in metal pans. This makes it easier to get colors that are more true if you are dying your cake mix for an artistic effect.

Silicone decorative cake pans cake also be used in combination with mousse, chocolate, or frosting to create a luxurious dessert.

3d decorative cake pans

Benefits of Small or Mini Decorative Cake Pans

The primary benefit of decorative mini cake pans or small decorative cake pans is the trend to offer an attractive cake that serves 1 or 2 people. It’s the same trend that makes cupcakes so popular only this is for the group that doesn’t want the mile-high frosting. The cake’s shape is all you need for a presentation with maybe a small garnish. Examples of serving size roses or hearts, flower tops, and animals can stand alone. It’s a healthier choice for today’s cake.

Mini decorative cake pans or muffin baking pans can also be used to decorate other cakes and add to the charm. Cakes can be stacked to create an entirely new shape. They can be cut to use portions of the design in various ways.

What type of pan is best for baking a cake?

Cast aluminum or anodized aluminum is the best material for baking a cake and is the number one choice by professional bakers.

Are aluminum cake pans nonstick?

No. Many of the cast aluminum decorative cake pans are treated with a non-stick coating but it is suggested to still use a cake release for best results. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid using cooking sprays that could potentially gum up over time and ruin the treated surface.

What is the best thing to grease a cake pan with?

The best thing to grease a cake pan with is cake goop made with equal parts vegetable oil, shortening, and flour spread evenly with a silicone pastry brush. Alternatively, use a cake release spray meant for baking like Baker’s Joy to get into the intricate areas of a decorative cake pan.

How Do I Clean a Decorative Cake Pan?

Never put them in a dishwasher. Wash them by hand with warm mild soap water. Do not soak. Use a soft or silicone brush to break loose any cake left in the intricate details of the cake pan.

Do I need parchment paper for cake?

Some types of cake need parchment paper as an assist for release. An example would be cakes that are unusually sticky or prone to crumbling. Sometimes it is easier to pull the cake out of a pan than it is to force the cake out by flipping it outward. Parchment paper can also serve as handles.

How Do You Get The Cake Out of a Decorative Cake Pan?

Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Place another cooling rack on top of the cake pan and flip over. Lift the cake pan off the cake. Let the cake sit on the cooling rack until completely cooled. The cake should release smoothly. There is NO need to run a knife around the edges. This will scratch your pan!

Do not let the cake cool in the pan. It will stick. Do not try to get the cake out of the pan with anything other than a silicone spatula so as to not damage the non-stick surface.

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Sharron Gimik
Sharron Gimik

Sharron loves crafts of all kinds and is a candle maker. She loves to bake and collect decorative cake pans.

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