This 3-Ingredient “Cake Goop” Is the Secret to Perfect-Looking Cakes

published Jun 18, 2021
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removing bundt cake from pan onto rack
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The eternal struggle for most bakers, especially beginners, is getting cake out of the pan cleanly. For the perfect round, flat layer cakes and beautiful Instagram-worthy Bundt cakes, it’s important that the finished product slide directly out of the pan without leaving a single crumb stuck behind. But traditional methods don’t always net that result — especially if anything else goes wrong in the baking process. 

Luckily baker Jocelyn Delk Adams, of Grandbaby Cakes, let everyone in on her secret to getting a picture-perfect, pristine cake that retains its shape every time. She posted about it last year on her blog, and reminded us this week on her Instagram. Her homemade cake release recipe is a simple mix of flour, oil, and shortening — sometimes called cake goop or pan release — that she coats the pan with before putting in the batter.

As she explains in the video, you basically just melt equal parts of the three ingredients together and stir until it’s all smooth, then you can just brush it into the pan. It puts nonstick spray and store-bought versions to shame, says Jocelyn in her post. And, like nonstick spray, you can just keep it in the cabinet until you’re ready to use it — it lasts for about three months there in a glass jar, or up to six months in the fridge. 

Jocelyn smartly advises going pretty heavy on the cake goop to make sure that it works its way into every nook and cranny. If you’re looking for ideas to test out the magical cake release recipe on, Jocelyn offers a few on her blog (and there’s also apple cider doughnut cake, this Sara Lee dupe, and Jocelyn’s cinnamon roll pound cake).