How To Line A Cake Pan With Parchment Paper

How to line a cake pan with parchment paper explains why you need to take this extra step of ensuring a nonstick surface. The result is a no-fail approach to turning out the cake in a single stunning round without any sticking to the pan.

How to Line A Pan With Parchment Paper

From Izy Hossack | Everyday Delicious | Hardie Grant, 2017

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Why do you need to know how to line a cake pan with parchment paper? Because one day, you’ll be perusing cake recipes and happen upon an alluringly lovely specimen and as you scan the instructions you’ll stumble upon the words “Line the cake pan with parchment paper cut to fit.” The first time you encounter this command, you may be either flummoxed. You also may be tempted to omit this step. Don’t. It creates a nonstick surface that guarantees your cake comes out of the pan as the stunning creation it was intended to be rather than a broken pile of clumps that stuck to the pan.

Rest assured, lining a cake pan with parchment paper requires all the dexterity of a kindergartener, so even those of us who aren’t exactly gifted in the arts and crafts department can accomplish this with ease. You just need to know what to do. Fortunately for us, blogger and cookbook author Izy Hossack is exceptionally adept at explaining how to accomplish this simple little kitchen trick. Here’s how she goes about it. Like what you learn? It’s just one of several how-tos that she shares in her latest and loveliest cookbook, Everyday Delicious.

1. Cut a square of parchment paper

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Turn your cake pan upside-down. Then cut a square of parchment paper a little bigger than the bottom of the pan. You want the parchment to extend slightly beyond its edges.

2. Fold the parchment paper in half

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Fold the parchment square in half to form a rectangle.

3. Fold the parchment paper in half again

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Fold it in half again to form a small square.

4. Fold the parchment paper in half yet again

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Yes, fold it in half again. You should end up with a triangle of sorts.

5. Place the tip of your parchment triangle in the center of the pan

How to Line a Cake Pan 5
With the pan still upside-down, position the parchment paper triangle so the thinnest, longest point is in the center of the pan.

6. Trim the parchment paper along the curve of the pan

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Grab your scissors and trim the parchment paper using the edge of the pan as a guide, cutting it ever so slightly smaller than the pan.

7. Unfold

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Unfold the parchment. It should fit the cake pan perfectly. Tada!

8. Line that pan!

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Turn your cake pan right side up and smooth the circle of baking parchment into the cake pan. See how easy that was?!



  1. I just place the pan on the parchment wrong side, then draw around it and cut it. It takes like one minutes. Sorry, but this method seems a bit over-kill and time consuming. But it may work better for some! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great tip, Sara! They are also perfect for greasing a pan, usually just the right amount of butter to skim over a cake pan.

  2. That’s a wonderful trick to know but 8″ & 9″ parchment circles are also available for sale and just too useful not to have on hand.

    1. Yep, they are spectacular, rainey, thanks so much for the reminder. Although those who don’t bake often may not want to invest in them or may be caught off-guard by a last-minute cake craving and need to know how to line their pan NOW!

  3. Back in the olden days…
    We used the brown paper bags our groceries came in. They were going into a hot oven–nothing bacterial or insect-erial would live. No one had heard of using parchment paper for baking! So, we cut open the grocery bag, flattened it out, and set the cake tin on the paper. Then we took our scissors (the kitchen scissors, not the good dressmaking shears) and opened them up to use one blade as a scribe to circle the tin and mark where to cut. And then we cut. A circle. Or 2 circles at the same time if we were planning a layer cake. Into the pans they went, cake batter poured over the top, and everything baked together and came out very nicely. I’d suggest you try it, but these days if you opt for paper bags at the store the bags are probably made of poisons and noxious fumes would be emitted.

    1. Alix, yeah, I think you’re probably right about the bags nowadays. What a lovely memory you have, though! Simpler times. I miss them.

  4. I have a more impromptu method.. I have been placing the parchment beneath the cake pan and just taking a pen/pencil and circling the outside of the pan, then cutting it a little inside the line. Voila. 🙂 Not as perfect but it works

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