The Surprising, Old-School Baking Pan I Use for Cakes, Pizzas, and More
I take my baking pretty seriously. Because I come from a professional pastry background, baking in my home kitchen can sometimes seem disorganized or overly complicated. Unlike a restaurant’s categorized and labeled shelves, my kitchen cabinets are cluttered with a well-loved mess of baking pans and dishes. Besides needing an organizational makeover, I also needed to let go of some of my rarely used baking vessels. I was left with one pan, and it’s the pan I turn to over and over and over again: My trusted Nordic Ware 9-inch springform.
This pan is my go-to because of its versatility. Springform pans are often shoved to the back of the shelf and only dug out for the rare homemade cheesecake quest (which I’m all in favor of). But the truth is, they do so much more! Their most underrated and rarely discussed superpower is that springforms can be used for normal cake rounds. Yes, this pan can be your go-to for making single or multi-layer cakes (like my favorite chocolate cake) just like you would use a normal 9-inch cake pan. Secret revealed: The springform has got your back for the basics, not just the more extravagant baking adventures, although it’s there for those, too.
Other lesser-known uses: ice-cream cakes, tarts, savory go-to’s like quiche or deep-dish pizza, and even casseroles! It does everything. The sides widen as they detach from the bottom, making this pan perfect for delicate baked goods and ultra useful for lining your pan. (No more tracing outlines in pencil — just place your parchment on the bottom of your pan before attaching the sides, then trim the excess after it’s assembled). Essentially, I can’t rave about it enough.
Because they’re better known to be used for more obscure and intensive baking projects, many of us don’t even own a springform pan. Just like any other metal baking pan, your new pan must distribute heat evenly and not warp as you use it repeatedly (which you definitely will). This Nordic Ware is my go-to for high quality, a sturdy side buckle, and PFOA-free non-stick coated aluminum. I still use my grandma’s (yes, it has lasted 60 years!), but I might just have to get a second pan in this super-cute cherry red color.