The Unexpected Item You Can Use To Line Your Cake Pan

The idiom "piece of cake" is misleading, as anyone that's baked a cake from scratch knows. Many things can go wrong, making the task not easily accomplished. Patissiers usually have two years of culinary education and on-the-job training to hone their craft, according to Culinary, yet they're not above making mistakes.

Cake batter is often overmixed, resulting in a dense instead of tender cake. Cookies can be dry from too much flour or flat from too much liquid. Cakes should be chilled before icing, but too long in the icebox will dry out your layers. Similarly, the center of a cake needs to be set, but over-baking will turn that yellow cake into cardboard. Let's not forget about expiration dates. If you're not baking often, the baking soda in the back of the pantry may be past its expiration date, preventing your pancakes from rising. Then there's the altitude to worry about! 

Even if the stars align and you pull a beautiful, fluffy, perfectly-level cake out of the oven, you may as well grab a fork and eat it out of the pan if you forgot to line the cake pan with parchment paper. Greasing the pan, placing a round of parchment, then greasing the parchment is an essential step while baking cakes, even if the pan claims to be non-stick. What happens if you run out of parchment but you've promised a chocolate layer cake for tomorrow's bake sale? Well, we've got a hack for that.

Coffee filter hack for lining cake pan

According to Intrepid, the past few years have seen an increase in Americans cooking at home, with post-pandemic numbers leveling off at around 85% of Americans who say they will consume more meals at home during 2022. However, although we are cooking more, we seem to have less time to do it. So Reader's Digest has assembled time-saving cooking hacks, including using a coffee filter in place of parchment paper when baking a cake. A standard coffee filter, flattened out, perfectly fits a nine-inch cake pan. 

Don't worry if the filter is too big for your pan. Martha Stewart has a simple trick for cutting the filter to size, which also works for parchment paper. Simply fold the filter in half and half again, continuing until you are left with a triangle that's a little larger than an inch on the smallest side. Place the point of the filter in the center of an upside-down cake pan and use scissors to cut the filter where it meets the curve of the pan. When you unfold the filter, you will see how it perfectly matches the bottom of your cake pan.

Grease and flour the filter as you would parchment to ensure your cake will release from the bottom of the pan. Using your favorite cake recipe, bake according to the instructions. Once the cake cools, let your creativity flow as you decorate. Enjoy!