It can be one of the most frustrating things for the home baker – you go through all the time and effort of making a dessert, only to have it stick to the pan. That big 3 tier cake is ruined and half crumbling apart! Your kid’s 5th birthday cake half broke off and flopped onto the counter. Little sweetheart mini cakes are ruined for Valentines Day, and there’s not enough time to make a new batch! OH the horra! In order to help you avoid this catastrophe, here are some tips on how to make sure baked desserts never stick to the pan again!
Make Sure You Made the Recipe Correctly. It can happen to the best of us. We’re trying a new and possibly complicated recipe, or perhaps we’re just trying to do too many things at once in the kitchen. When we don’t pay close enough attention, mistakes happen. Even the most skilled bakers make mistakes. For example, you might be making a new recipe and glance down to see that it calls for ½ cup butter. But a minute or two later and you only remember the “½”, and you proceed to only add half a stick of butter.
Adjust For Your Oven. Nearly all home ovens are at least a little bit off when it comes to their thermostats. It’s not uncommon for an oven to be 5 degrees off one way or the other, and some ovens can be 15 or 20 degrees off. Clearly this can make a significant difference in your baking times, and occasionally lead to your desserts sticking if they over-bake or over-caramelize. If you find that your cooking times are off on a number of recipes, adjust them accordingly.
Make Sure Your Pans are Clean. Dirty pans, even if it’s just a thin layer of oil that’s left over from a prior baking project, can cause things to burn and stick. Make sure your pans are clean before doing any baking, and give them a good scrubbing periodically, assuming that it’s acceptable for your pan type.
Make Sure Your Nonstick Pans are Still Nonstick. The Teflon and other nonstick coatings of baking sheets and baking pans can slowly degrade over time (particularly if you don’t care for them in precisely the way specified by the manufacturer). If your nonstick pans seem to be becoming sticky pans, consider replacing them.
Use a Different Nonstick Method. Finally, if you find that using butter to grease the pan for a particular recipe isn’t giving you the results you want, consider using butter flavored shortening, cooking spray, or coconut oil. For baking cookies, you might want to start using parchment paper, or perhaps even buying a silicon baking mat to place on top of your cookie sheet. You may find that different nonstick methods will work better with different recipes.
There is no reason to put up with cakes, cookies and other baked goods where you end up leaving part of the desert on the pan. You worked hard to make them, so make sure you get to enjoy them.