Good Use and Care of Bakeware

December 23rd, 2009 by Nancy Siler

Having quality pans is an asset for any baker and taking good care of the bakeware will ensure that your pans continue to provide superior results for a long time.  Here are some tips on the use and care of bakeware:

Prior to first use, wash your bakeware in warm soapy water and rinse well after removing the label and any adhesive used to make the label stay in place.

Baking a Round CakeI make sure I have something in my pan if it’s in the oven and the oven is turned on. My Mother likes to put cookie sheets in the oven for drying. I don’t because I may turn the oven on to preheat and forget the pans are inside. Dry baking is not a good idea for your pan.

Avoid using sharp knives to cut in non stick pans or you’ll get scratches in them. Performance is still good, but they don’t look as attractive.

If I’m baking cookies, I use parchment paper between baking batches so I don’t have to remove any crumbs or sugars before the next batch. It makes clean-up very easy.

Avoid letting baked goods sit in the pan too long. Allow them to cool and then remove the item from the pan so they don’t stick……a better baking hint. I like to wash my pans after they have cooled. If the pan is still hot when you try to wash it in cold water you might get warping if the metal is on the thin side. I don’t have that problem with my Wilton pans, but I did before I converted. I use warm, soapy water and a sponge to wash all of my pans. I do not use an abrasive pad.

I don’t put my metal pans in the dishwasher. Aluminum that has been placed in the dishwasher can discolor. It’s still usable but not always as attractive as it was before its exposure to dishwashing detergent which can be strong and abrasive. Silicone multi cavity pans and muffin pans can go in the dishwasher. I try to make sure most of the crumbs are removed prior to loading in the dishwasher. I’m also careful not to bang my pans on the stove or countertops.

Make sure your pans are totally dry prior to storage. To save space in your kitchen, do what I do….stack all cookie sheets and cookie pans. Smaller ones fit inside or on top the larger ones. Depending on the type of bakeware you have, some rounds, squares, and 13 x 9 pans will stack inside others while the straight sided versions stack but not inside each other. This will sound funny but I put my Dimensions® cast aluminum pans in pillowcases on shelves out in the garage. They stay dust free and if my husband puts something on top of them, they’re protected. You could also use paper plates or paper towels.

I try to take good care of my baking pans because I know if I do, they will last me a very long time.

Nancy Siler Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs, is a registered and licensed dietitian plus a certified home economist. She has been baking and decorating desserts longer than she wants to admit…..much before she started working at Wilton 11 years ago. Nancy also shares her expertise in the Wilton sponsored Public Television Show Bake Decorate Celebrate!

16 Replies

  1. Debbie Wronker says:

    I love you ideas about washing your pans I wash mine the same way. I have been baking and decorating cakes for over 15 years. I am teachering my granddaughter how to bake and decorate cakes, cookies and cupcakes and even making candy with me, she only 6 years old and can decorate a great looking cake I been baking with her from the age of 2 and she learning about cleaning up the right way. What ever I can teach her she wants to learn she got a talant already
    I plan to open my own shop selling Wilton supplies and I hope to teach decorating and candy making also.
    I love reading everything from the comments

  2. amigos wilton sus consejos son muy buenos pero me encanteria que me envíen e-mail en español ya que me encuentro en arequipa perú

  3. Cindy Butts says:

    I am trying to find out how much batter and the cook time for an 11x15x2 pan.

    • lisa says:

      find out how much water it takes to fill the pan about 2/3 full, that is your amount of batter needed. If you are using a box mix,(and there is nothing to be ashamed of if you are, my best tasting cakes have often come out of a box) each box mix is right about 5 cups. so you can easily figure out how many mixes you will use. I use 2 box mixes for a 13×9 and I get a nice almost perfect 2″ layer.


      this causes them to bake slower, and eliminate the wasteful HUMP in the middle casued by the outer edges cooking too fast & forcing the cake to rise 3 inches in the center. Just watch your cooking time, be sure to turn your pan for even more level baking and you will have well baked, nice even layers that usually just need a bit trimmed of the top to make a perfect level.

      you can use the strips they sell to create the same effect, they simply cool the sides of the pan so it bakes evenly. lowering your oven temperature does the same.

      Also, put a half full pan of water in your oven to see how level it is inside. most oven have feet that can be turned to level out the shelves. but getting to know your oven & realizing it’s a bit off level will help you even more, just turn your cake layers about 15 minutes into baking, earlier if they are smaller. this will help them stay level before they have baked too much & one side is already “set” in it’s way.

  4. Suzanne Galazka says:

    My large baking pan has been “dry baked”. Is there any way to clean it now? I’ve tried soaking in hot soapy water, “teflon-safe” scouring pad, to no avail. Just got the pan for Christmas and am afraid I’ll have to ask for another this Christmas. Can this pan be saved?

    • Nancy Siler says:

      You didn’t say if your pan was aluminum but it sounds like it is. If it is aluminum, it may be discolored however it will still function just as it did prior to the dry bake….it just doesn’t look as pretty and new.

      • Phyllis B. says:

        I had a similar problem. We baked a sweet potato casserole in a 13x9x2 non-stick Wilton pan. After serving them, I popped it back in the (still) hot oven to keep it warm. The areas we served from that were “exposed” became brown and I’m afraid to use anything too harsh to get the stains out. Is it alright to try Easy-Off or similar product?

  5. Pat Fawcett says:

    Do I need to spray my fluted tube pan before I use it each time. This is the first Wilton fluted pan I have ever had. I was given another brand for Christmas and I could never get the cakes from it. they stuck and were all tore apart by the time I got them out. In desperation I tried everything. Spray, oil, flour nothing worked. Well it got threw out finally and for my birthday I was given a Wilton and I want to do it right. Is it safe to use anything it or does it even need anything.
    Thank You

    • Nancy Siler says:

      I really like to spray “everything” as insurance for easy release and clean-up. If you have a regular fluted tube, just spray with vegetable pan spray every time you bake. The Wilton Bake Easy product is good to use.

      If you are using the Wilton Dimensions Cast Aluminum fluted pans you should spray with vegetable pan spray that has flour in it everytime you bake. The Wilton Cake Release product is quite good and does contain flour.

  6. Sally Zalud says:

    I recently purchased a muffin pan. The instructions do not say if you need to spray the pan with coating spay. Please let me know. Thank you

    • Emily Tatak says:

      Is the new muffin pan a non-stick pan or an aluminium pan? Just in case I like to spray all my pans (non-stick or aluminium) with a little cooking spray and lightly wipe it with a paper towel; this way there is no pooling. If you are using baking cups you do not need to spray your pan. Hope this helps!

  7. Patti Price says:

    I just purchased a Wilton scalloped cookie pan and made my first batch of cookies today. I love the pan but am not crazy about the recipe. Is there anywhere I can find other recipes that will work in that pan?

  8. shirley says:

    I have a vintage Mickey Mouse Pan that I just put in my dishwasher. I am so upset. It came out chalky looking and it has lost its luster. On the outside of the pan, it seems as though some of this chalky stuff can be rubbed off, but the inside looks a dull “chalky white” Is there anything I can use to bring back the shine? I would appreciate a response. Shirley, Massachusetts

    • Emily Tatak says:

      Unfortunately once you dish wash an aluminium pan there is nothing you can do to get that shine back. Dish washing causes oxidation of the metal giving it that chalky white appearance. Although it does not look as nice there is no performance issue or hazard as a result of the oxidation. Just give it a thorough hand washing before using it again.

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