Essentials: Bakeware Part 2 — Cakes

This is a continuing series.  For all posts in the Essentials series, please click here.

The Essentials:

I thought I’d do the next Essentials series with bakeware, but as I went to collect it all to take pictures, I realized just how much I had.  So, I’m breaking it down into types: Cookies, Cakes, Pies, and Desserts.

I’m afraid that this post is going to be a little long.  Making cakes, decorating cakes, playing with different cake recipes — that is a passion of mine.  I have been collecting cake related paraphenalia for two decades, and have an extensive collection.

But, to narrow it down to just bare-bones basics, I offer the following:

To make a 13×9 cake, you need a 13×9 cake pan:

For a round cake, you need two 8-inch round pans.  9-inch round pans are also available, but I’ve never owned them.

And, every kitchen is not complete without a cupcake pan:

Kind of extras, but what I still consider essentials are 9-inch square cake pans:

and the Bundt pan.  I love the Bundt pan because it allows me to quickly throw a cake together without a lot of effort:

To cool a cake, you must have wire cooling racks.  You’re bound for mishap if you try to use anything else.  They come in a variety of sizes:

The Extras:

Here is where the post is going to get long:

Little mini-cupcake pans offer a great hostessing opportunity:

I pulled out my mini-heart pans because I’m doing some Valentine’s Day baking this week.  I also have mini-pumpkins, mini-trees, and mini-Easter eggs:

One of my favorite cakes is the pineapple upside-down cake.  We found this pan to make mini pineapple upside-down cakes in the shape of pineapples one day and just couldn’t resist:

I’ve had a lot of fun with the checkerboard pan.  (Don’t ask me why I have 2 – don’t have any idea.)  I’ve done yellow/chocolate, red velvet/white, pink/blue — festive color combinations are just a squirt of food coloring away.

Character pans are always fun.  I have everything from Tigger to Barbie and many things in between.  These are just the ones I grabbed to take a picture.

I even have some 3-dimensional cake pans like this little teddy bear:

I love cake plates.  I love serving cakes on cake plates, having pretty cake plates.  Some of my plates say, “Happy Birthday,” some are just pretty floral cakes, and some are actual cake stands.  The clear one with the cover stays in my kitchen all the time, and usually has some form of a cake available in it:

You can serve a cake with a butcher knife, but pretty cake servers are nice to have on hand for hostessing opportunities.  I have several different kinds, from ceramic to metal.  But this style is my first go-to for cake servers, and the one with the serrated edge is my absolute favorite.  It allows me to cut and serve the cake with the same utensil.

The Extra Extras:

For wedding cakes and diva birthday cakes or just a little more than the ordinary sheetcake birthday cakes, you need several sizes of pan, from 15-inches to 4-inches.

To do a tiered cake, you need to use wooden dowels to give it support.

One of my smartest buys ever made was this rotating cake stand.  It spins, so I can decorate the whole cake without moving around the table or turning an immobile plate.

I’ve been decorating cakes since I was 13.  My collection of cake decorating supplies fills a 30-gallon bin in my basement.  I just grabbed a few items to take some pictures.  Here are some lettering guides, some scalloping guides, some fondant molds, etc.

I have two different sizes of leveling guides – though I’ve only used the big one regardless of the size of cake I’m leveling.

I have this handy box to store and organize my cake decorating tips, couplers, bags, food coloring, etc.

I even have this insert thing to form a center hole in any kind of pan:

Basically, there is an unlimited amount of tools available to you to assist you in doing just about anything you want to do with a cake.  The best part of it is — you get to eat the results!  And if it’s a disaster, you can set it aside, eat it later, and try try again.


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