I’ve Used this Internet-Famous Bakeware for Over 18 Months and It’s Still Worth the Hype

updated Mar 27, 2024
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Caraway Home bakeware entire collection in rack on kitchen counter
Credit: Courtesy of Caraway Home

My cabinets are filled with a hodgepodge of bakeware collected over many years. I baked with a muffin tin that came from my grandmother’s house, a scratched loaf pan that was a wedding shower gift, and a stack of baking sheets from a restaurant supply store. The pans have served me well, but I was intrigued by the beautiful bakeware that showed up in my Instagram feed.

The bakeware that I saw again and again (and again) came from Caraway, a company that promises pieces made from safe, nontoxic materials, and a stylish design. While I’m not one to buy the newest cooking gear on a whim, I had to admit that much of my bakeware had seen better days.

I’ve been using their full 11-piece bakeware collection for more than a year, and I can honestly say that this internet-famous bakeware is still worth the hype.

What Is All of the Hype Behind Caraway’s Bakeware?

Caraway hit the scene in 2019 with a tagline of “Non-toxic cookware made modern.” The line of bakeware is made of ceramic-coated aluminized steel core rather than Teflon or other PTFE for its nonstick properties. The pans are also free of other potentially harmful chemicals, so that even if the coating becomes scratched or overheated, your food remains safe to consume. 

What’s Included in Caraway’s Bakeware Set?

You can shop most of Caraway’s bakeware collection á la carte, or buy everything including bakeware essentials and organization accessories in the 11-Piece Caraway Bakeware Set, which I tested. No matter which way you go, the bakeware has a sleek, modern look and items are  available in more than 7 colors ranging from the brand’s signature Perracotta to classic black or white with gold handles from its best-selling Iconics collection.

Included in the 11-piece bakeware set that I tested are:

  • A large (18×13-inch) baking sheet
  • A medium (10×15-inch) baking sheet
  • An 18×13-inch cooling rack
  • A 12-cup muffin pan
  • A 9×13-inch baking pan
  • A 9-inch square pan
  • A 1-pound loaf pan
  • 2 (9-inch) round pans
  • A pair of cork trivets
  • Two storage organizers

Where to Buy Caraway Bakeware

Caraway is one of the many DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands all over my social media feed, but if you want to see the 11-piece Caraway bakeware set IRL before buying, you’re in luck. You can shop directly at Caraway and other online retailers like Amazon and Home Depot to see the full spectrum of items and colors (plus take advantage of any special promotions). Caraway products are also available online and in-store at retailers including Costco, Crate & Barrel, Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and TJ Maxx.

An Honest Review of Caraway’s Bakeware After 18 Months of Use

The Caraway bakeware set was delivered in a single, sturdy recycled box free of any plastic packaging, just as the website promised. My initial impression of being struck by the sturdiness of the pans still rings true after 18 months of baking. The pans still feel solid in my hands even with hundreds of sweet treats and sheet pan dinners behind us. 

One of Caraway’s major selling points is its appearance. I ordered my baking set in Slate, a deep navy blue that coordinates with the blue hues of my kitchen. Although I will admit to being more interested in function than form, I was definitely drawn to the stylish look of these pans.

Because these pans are an investment, I made sure to follow the care instructions closely over the past 18 months. I avoid using utensils that will scratch the non-stick ceramic coating, like metal or sharp knives. It’s a habit I picked up to extend the life of other nonstick cookware that I’ve owned and it’s continued to serve me well as I bake with Caraway’s pans.

I haven’t had any issues with staining or chipping, possibly thanks to the dark hue of my set’s exterior. I clean the pans as soon as they are cool with a nonabrasive cleaner and sponge, and return them to the provided storage organizer. Using the organizer, rather than stacking pans in the cabinet, keeps the pans’ coating intact and prevents scratches.

The bakeware heats evenly, so that every cookie on the pan or cake layer baked turns out equally well-done. Even though the nonstick coating is still intact, I tend to add parchment paper and cupcake liners to the pans as extra insurance to ensure that my recipes come out of the pans with ease.

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Storage Organizers

All 11 of the bakeware pieces fit snugly into a pair of gray, cloth-lined storage containers. For anyone who doesn’t need the full set, there is a half bakeware set with five pieces that fits into a single caddy. No matter which set you get, the cloth caddies add to the sophisticated appearance, while also organizing the pans vertically. Stacking can lead to scratches and scuffs in the ceramic coating, so storing the set vertically helps maintain the integrity of the nonstick surface. I’m often working quickly in the kitchen, so it was helpful to know exactly where to reach for each pan. The storage organizers are included when you purchase either the 11-piece or the 5-piece bakeware sets, but are not available for purchase separately.

The light gray cloth covering is quite pretty and helps to cushion the bakeware, but with extended use in the kitchen, I know it’s only a matter of time before stains begin to show. Additionally, while I know I should dry pans completely before storing them, realistically, I know that is a standard I won’t maintain. Whether the drips from damp pans will negatively affect the storage caddie remains to be seen, but it’s a concern that Future Me can deal with later. 

Finally, the muffin tin and medium baking sheet, the large baking sheet and cooling rack, and the 9-inch baking pan and one of the round cake pans fit snugly in slots together. This consolidates the bakeware, but it also means that both pans must be removed both before baking and after cleaning, adding an extra step. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Baking Sheets

A pair of baking sheets is included in the Caraway bakeware set, although you can also purchase them in a set or by themselves. The large size measures 18×13 inches while the medium baking sheet is 10×15 inches. The large baking sheet has sturdy handles on the short ends of the pan. I’m used to using restaurant-grade baking sheets made of uncoated heavy-duty aluminum with a raised lip around the edges, so the handles on the large baking sheet were a new-to-me feature. The handles may be ergonomically useful for some cooks. I didn’t find the handles useful for me at first, I’ve found myself grasping the handles rather than the rim when rotating or transferring the pan. The rivets that connect the handles to the baking sheet also need extra attention when cleaning.

The cooking surface of the large baking sheet is the same as a standard half sheet pan, while the medium baking sheet is slightly larger than a quarter sheet pan. Both pans feel larger than they are because of the slightly flared sides, but rest assured that your favorite sheet pan meals will fit perfectly onto the pan. 

Baking sheets are the workhorse of my kitchen. I use them for both sweet and savory foods. To test these pans I baked a Mardi Gras king cake, a batch of coffee chocolate chip cookies, and several sheet pan meals. In an effort to test the nonstick properties I did not butter the pan or add a layer of parchment paper. The baked goods browned evenly and slid off of the pan easily every time.

The large baking sheet buckled while one batch of cookies baked. I rarely have this happen with my restaurant-grade bakeware. Upon cooling, the baking sheet returned to its original, flat state. Caraway’s care guide notes that this can happen to the pans when exposed to heat, but that the sturdy edging will help the pans return to their original state upon cooling. One of my sheet pan meals did not go as planned, and I ended up with a layer of blackened BBQ sauce and overcooked bites of chicken breasts after I lost track of time one evening. While that dinner was a failure, it did provide the opportunity to test the strength of the ceramic nonstick coating. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was shocked at how easy it was to remove the stuck-on shellacking of sauce. 

The pans are oven-safe up to 550°F, but are not broiler-safe. That’s something to consider if you like to finish your sheet pan meals with a flash under the broiler for browning cheese or crisping chicken skin. Preheating baking sheets is a handy trick for baking homemade pizza and crisping frozen veggies, but Caraway does not recommend heating the baking sheets without food on them, so those recipes are best left to your other baking sheets. The Caraway baking sheets are a nice complement to my standard sheet pans and have earned a place among my favored baking gear. 

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Cooling Rack and Cork Trivets

The set comes with an 18×13-inch cooling rack that fits snugly inside the large baking sheet. The stainless steel rack can be used to elevate foods above the large baking sheet to allow for all-over crisping and enhanced airflow. I use this method whenever I make zucchini fries or crispy, breaded pork chops. The cooling rack can also be used on its own for cooling baked goods like cookies or brownies. If I’m glazing a cake, I set the cake on a cooling rack to allow any excess icing to pool away from the base of the cake. This cooling rack is sturdy, fits snugly inside the baking sheet, and is easy to clean. 

The baking set also includes a pair of cork trivets, which are a soft landing zone that will not scratch the exterior coating. They do a nice job elevating hot baking pans above the counter and also have a place in one of the storage containers. These trivets are not available for individual purchase on Caraway’s site.

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Baking Pans 

The Caraway bakeware set comes with many of the baking pans a home baker might need: a 9×13-inch rectangle pan, a 9-inch square pan, two 9-inch round pans, a 12-cup muffin pan, and a 1-pound loaf pan. To test these pans, I pulled out a bin of flour and began baking. Again, I took a risk with every batch by relying on the ceramic nonstick rather than parchment, butter, or oil. To my surprise and delight, everything I baked slipped cleanly out of the pans. 

Layers of chocolate cake rose as expected and baked evenly in the pair of round cake pans. The larger, 9×13-inch baking pan, was easy to clean even after a Sunday brunch featuring a make-ahead egg casserole. I made a batch of brownies in the square pan. I love a thick, fudgy brownie, and usually use an 8-inch square pan. The 9-inch pan resulted in brownies that were thinner than I like, so I’ll need to hang on to my old-standby for now until Caraway comes out with a smaller pan — fingers crossed!

Credit: Patty Catalano

The Loaf Pan

I baked a loaf of my mom’s cheddar swirl bread in the loaf pan, and because there is only one in the set, I used it as an opportunity to test this pan against the one I have used for years. Caraway’s 1-pound loaf pan is slightly smaller, measuring about 8 1/2×4 1/2 inches rather than 9×5 inches. The dough still fit nicely in the pan, rose, and baked as I expected. As with all of my other baking tests, the loaf of bread slipped easily out of the pan, while I had to scrape and pry the second loaf out of my old loaf pan.

The Muffin Pan

To test the muffin pan, I baked a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and every muffin slipped out of the pan with ease. The light gray coloring of the ceramic coating did result in lighter browning. While I missed the darker coloring on the muffins (a personal preference), using lighter colored pans can be useful when you don’t want the edges and bottoms to darken too quickly. This can be desirable if you’re baking a white cake, for example, so that the center and crusts of the cake are similar in shade.

How to Care for Caraway Bakeware to Make it Last

The best way to get years of use out of this bakeware set is to treat it well from the start. 

  • A small amount of oil or butter, or a strip of parchment paper maintains the nonstick surface better than nonstick sprays.
  • Don’t use metal utensils or cut directly in the pan. Doing so can scratch the ceramic coating. 
  • Let the pan cool before cleaning. Sudden temperature shocks can cause cracks in the ceramic coating.
  • Hand wash with non-abrasive cleaners and sponges.

Caraway Bakeware Is Expensive, but Is It Worth the Cost? 

Caraway’s bakeware set is expensive — there’s no avoiding that fact. Depending on the food you love to cook, how often you bake, and the importance of your bakeware’s material, Caraway’s bakeware line may be just the investment your kitchen needs. Inexpensive pans are often flimsy, distribute heat unevenly, are coated in the traditional nonstick materials, and can be difficult to clean. 

Here’s what you get when you choose Caraway.

  • A slick ceramic nonstick coating that contains no PTFE, PFOA, cadmium, or lead.
  • Sturdy construction of aluminized steel in a ceramic coating. 
  • Even heating and browning of all your baked goods and sheet pan meals.
  • Oven-safe up to 550°F but not broiler-safe.
  • Sophisticated, modern design in a variety of colors that makes any dish that comes out of your oven look spectacular.

Buy: Caraway 11-Piece Bakeware Set, $395

Have you tried Caraway’s bakeware? What brands of nonstick bakeware work for you? Share your picks in the comments.