Perfect Pan Release

Perfect Pan Release

I’m going to let you in on a little secret used by pro bakers everywhere: Perfect Pan Release! It’s super complicated easy, a real splurge inexpensive, and very hard to find I bet you already have all of the ingredients in your pantry. 

Are you ready? Maybe you should print this page to reference again and again through this complex process. (Not!) Ok. Here we go. 

Mix until smooth equal parts of the following:

Aaaaand that’s it! Boom. You’re done. Just paint it on your cake pans and pie tins prior to use (or better yet, ask a kid to do it!), and that’s it! 

Oil

Use a neutral oil that is liquid at room temperature. I’m currently using avocado oil because that’s all that I had the day I mixed my current batch (and it’s my favorite!). It works very nicely, but a smarter baker will use a cheaper oil. Sunflower, safflower, canola, vegetable oil blend, anything that won’t flavor your baked goods is just fine. 

Shortening

I’ve made this using the old standby Crisco. It works beautifully in the pan release, but I’m not thrilled with it. Full of trans fats and soybeans, I don’t really enjoy having it in my pantry, even if it helps my grain free beignets rock! I’ll soon be trying that recipe with good old fashioned lard, and this one with coconut oil. Keep an eye out for updates!

You can really make the pan release with only oil and flour, but beware that it won’t paint on as well, and may drip and leave portions of your pan without good coverage.

Flour

I use whatever all purpose gluten free flour that I happen to have on hand. So far so good for all of them! Traditional flour is just fine, too! Use whatever you normally use for baking. 

To Dust Or Not To Dust

That is the (very good) question! Many baking recipes call for greasing the pan and applying a coat of flour. Bakers do this to prevent whatever you’ve greased the pan with from baking into your creation, and to keep the lubricant on the pan to do its job. I usually skip it though when using the pan release. The flour is already in the goop, for one thing. For another, in all the baking I’ve done with it, I’ve never needed it. Even cakes baked in intricate bundt pans slip right out with ease. 

But there is an exception: 

See the white goop left on the side of the cake?

If you’ve baked a chocolate cake, you should consider dusting your greased pan with cocoa powder to prevent white residue from sticking. Case in point: the Espresso Pomegranate Fudge Cake that the kids and I made for my birthday. We forgot this step, and you can see some white goop on the sides. (FYI, she wasn’t a beauty queen. No one cared, and the cake was still fab!)

Since we have a whoooole lotta bakin’ going on, I make it with a cup of each ingredient. Occasional bakers should reduce to 1/4c or 1/2c. Perfect Pan Release will keep just fine in a pantry for a couple of months. I keep mine in the fridge in an air-tight container, and have used it for up to 6 months with no problems. Just zap it in a microwave for a few seconds or give it a few good, hearty stirs to loosen it up, and you’re all set! 

Happy non-stick baking!

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