How to Release a Stuck Cake from a Pan
Bundle the cakes in the pan on the cooling shelf
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Imagine this: you've mixed up the ultimate vanilla cake batter or a fudgy, decadent devil cake, poured it into the cake pan, slid that pan onto the oven rack, and set the timer. When the cake is baked and cooled a bit, it's time to remove it from the cake pan. You turn the cake pan onto a platter or cake stand and expect the cake to slide out seamlessly but not move. You might tap him a time or two to encourage him to fall gracefully, but he still resists. This scenario is any cake baker's worst nightmare, and you will be wondering what to do to get a stuck cake out of a pan or bundt?
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In advance, we will explain how to prevent this terrible situation and what to do if you are stuck.
See also: Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection: Six Inspired Recipes From Our Founder's Latest Book
How to properly grease a cake pan
To prevent a cake from sticking to a pan, first grease the cake pan properly and thoroughly. "Grease and dress your pans - this is your insurance policy," says Odette Williams, baker, writer, and author of Simple Cake: Everything You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake ($ 13.99, amazon. com). "If you do, you shouldn't have a problem." There are so many different non-stick options on the market - from Silpat round cake foil ($ 15.65, amazon.com) to baking spray, but Williams prefers the old-fashioned method of using parchment paper and butter. She first greases the pan with butter, then cuts a piece of parchment slightly smaller than the size of the pan you are baking with. Place the parchment in the greased pan and tuck it in so that it is flush with the bottom of the cake pan. With this so-called insurance policy, you should never see a cake sticking to a pan again. For a Bundt cake pan, our editors recommend first greasing it generously with soft butter and then with an even layer of flour.
It's also important to let the cake cool completely before attempting to remove it from the pan. If it is still warm to the touch, it is more prone to breakage if you place it on a stand or platter. Make sure it is completely cool (this can take up to an hour) before attempting to transfer it.
Oh no, it's stuck!
It happened to the best of us. So what do you do when a cake sticks to a cake pan or Bundt cake pan? Williams recommends running a butter knife around the perimeter of the cake and gently pressing it into the cake to lift it off the edges and center it before turning it over. This is especially useful if you are working with a Bundt cake pan that has lots of nooks and crannies that the cake can potentially get stuck in. "When you flip the cake, make the distance to the pan as short as possible to avoid breaking it," she says.
If the cake breaks while transferring, stop stopping and grab a spatula to gently lift the cake. If it's still showing signs of breakage, Williams recommends using a fluffy buttercream to seal the cracks and hide what's underneath. "Garnish with fresh edible flowers so it looks like it's intended," she says.
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