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Silicone vs. Aluminum Round Cake Pans

Long term bakers and those new to the scene alike are familiar with the debate between the more classic aluminum round cake pan and silicone round cake pans. When it comes to which one to choose, the decision can be difficult. If you are wondering which is best for your baking needs, read on.

Aluminum Round Cake Pans

Benefits: Superior heat conductivity, durable and sturdy

Drawbacks: May cause sticking

Aluminum round cake pans are the classic choice for bakers. Having the ability to quickly conduct heat and evenly heat cake batter, these types of pans deliver superior results almost every time.

Which is the problem – “almost” every time. Cakes baked in these pans do so according to instructions and are perfect while still in the pan. However, metal pans often like to hold onto the cake which they baked, which can result in ripped cake bottoms and shredded sides. There are two solutions to this problem:

    1 Adequately greasing the cake pan; or

    2 Flowering the cake pan throughout the removal process.

Neither are sure-fire ways to guarantee a perfect cake, and your aluminum cake pan may still cause sticking. On the flip side, the cake itself will be baked to perfection and right on time, every time.

Silicone Round Cake Pans

Benefits: Quick and easy cake release thanks to the pan’s flexibility, pans are light and easy to clean

Drawbacks: Poor heat conduction in comparison to aluminum pans (this interferes with leavening and may result in flatter cakes), often results in over browned yet under baked cakes.

Silicone round cake pans come with a host of benefits: they are flexible, durable, and can deliver a perfectly shaped cake. But along with these benefits come some drawbacks which bakers must take into consideration before using these pans.

The primary issue with this type of cake pan is that silicone is a heat insulator. This not only results in flatter and unleavened cakes, but also the cakes are then less fluffy and are denser.

Another problem is that baking instructions are not tailored to suit the silicone pans. When baking with silicone, a baker may need to divert from the instructions and have to reduce his or her heat to reach desired results. This then results in extended bake times, and even then, the final results of your silicone-baked cake are uncertain.

The final issue is the flexibility of the silicone and how it can affect your cake. While handy during the cake removal process, this instability can result in poorly shaped or lopsided cakes. If you choose silicone cake pans, choose them carefully and consider how well that particular pan will work for you and your specific needs.

Author: Alessandro Alcala

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