This old 8-inch round pan is the cake pan I reach for above all others for the simple reason that I know whatever cake I make in it will come out neatly and easily. Why? Because of the slider bar, which completely rotates around the pan, neatly separating the bottom and sides of the cake from the pan. Once a more common feature, it's rare (although not impossible) to find the slider bar feature these days. Have you ever used one?
I grew up with cake pans like this, so I'm very used to them. I still butter and flour my pans, of course, and even use a parchment circle if called for in a recipe. But when it comes to that moment of faith when I have to flip the cake out of the pan, I'm always glad I used the one with the slider bar.
I'm not sure why the slider bar feature has fallen out of favor, but the majority of cake pans these days are sold without them. While it's true that most cakes will come out of their pans if the pans are properly buttered and floured (or if parchment is used) and they are baked long enough. But it's also true that every now and then, you encounter a sticky cake and disaster ensues.
Have you ever used a cake pan a with slider bar? Do you prefer it to newer pans?
→ Find one: Cake Pans With Cutter Bars (Set of 2 Pans) - $10.95 for two 8-inch pans at Vermont Country Store
(Image: Dana Velden)