Bake like a pro: The only baking pans you will ever need

This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Fellow baking enthusiasts, you know the importance of having the right tools on hand. Enter the unsung heroes of the baking world — your trusty baking pans. Let’s go over the essentials — the pans that will have you baking like a seasoned pro in no time. These pans are incredibly versatile and the only ones you will ever need.

Assorted vintage baking pans and kitchen utensils in monochrome.

The bakeware essentials. These are the no-frills, must-have baking pans, sheet pans, pie plates and molds that we rely on daily. Why? Because they’re as basic as it gets, and you can’t beat that. We’re talking about the pans that cover all your bases for any baking adventure. These essentials, for cookies and bread to layer cakes, tarts and beyond, make every baking adventure a breeze.

9 x 13-inch baking pan

The 9 x 13-inch baking pan, a true kitchen classic, is a quarter sheet pan that holds 14 cups of batter. This pan is my go-to for baking single-layer cakes, brownies, rolls, casseroles and various delicious treats. I prefer the reliability of metal pans for baking desserts and glass for casseroles. 

A slice of Elvis Presley Pineapple Poke Cake with icing and mint leaves on a plate.

Elvis Presley Pineapple Poke Cake

The Elvis Presley Pineapple Poke Cake is a delightful dessert of vanilla cake, pineapple, brown sugar, pecans, and cream cheese frosting. It is a dessert fit for a king!
make this recipe
A spoonful of cherry chocolate chip cookie dough in a baking dish.

Chocolate Cherry Cobbler Cake

This Baked Chocolate Cobbler Cake is a simple and delicious dessert that requires minimal effort. With the help of a chocolate cake mix, you can create a rich and gooey chocolate dessert that everyone will love. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat!
make this recipe

“I love my 9-inch x 13-inch pan for holiday baking, bake sales and birthdays. You can make a larger number of cookie bars, brownies, cakes and even slab pies with it. It’s also great for school parties, as a single-layer cake is easier to eat and less messy to cut.”

—  Erin Dooner, Texanerin 

Square baking pan

This pan is perfect for smaller batches of baked goods. The 8-inch pan can hold 8 cups of batter. You can use a square pan for making cakes, cookie bars, brownies, fudge and small casseroles. Keep two on hand, especially when making layer cakes.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding from combining 2 classics this bread pudding dessert has a rich pecan pie topping.

Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Combining two classics into one dessert. Gooey pecan pie combined with bread pudding makes this dessert recipe amazing.
make this recipe

Round cake pan

Round cake baking pans offer countless uses. I favor 8-inch pans as they yield taller cake layers, but 9-inch pans work too. These versatile pans are not limited to cakes; they can also be used for rolls, cornbread, cobblers, and casseroles. It’s advisable to have at least two on hand.

E-far 8 Inch Round Cake Pan Set of 3
$24.99 $16.99
Buy Now
07/23/2024 11:18 am GMT

Half-sheet pan

Consider purchasing three of these pans because you will use them for various recipes, such as baking large batches of cookies or even cooking bacon. These 18-inch x 13-inch baking sheets are indispensable in any kitchen due to their versatility. Choose sturdy, rimmed sheets that are resistant to warping under high heat, as this will ensure consistently baked treats.

Nordic Ware Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet Pan, 2-Pack
  • Commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum, which will never rust and is durable for a lifetime.
  • Foods bake evenly due to aluminum’s superior heat conductivity. Reinforced encapsulated steel rim prevents warping and adds strength.

Buy Now
This easy and delicious Cherry Texas Sheet Cake is made with pie filling and cake mix. It's topped with a yummy cream cheese frosting.


This moist cake is made with just three ingredients and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. It's great for potlucks and parties.
make this recipe

12-count standard muffin pan

A muffin pan is a must-have for all types of recipes, and I suggest you have two 12-cup pans since muffin and cupcake recipes usually yield more than twelve. You can use these pans for more than sweets; try baking your stuffing, egg cups or scalloped potatoes in this type of pans for single servings.

“As a baking lover, one of my absolute must-haves is a 12-cup muffin pan. I use it all the time to make delicious muffins, mini cakes, cupcakes and savory treats such as quiches or mini breakfast casseroles. It is such a versatile tool that I can’t imagine baking without it.”
— Angela Pagliarello, The Bella Vita

9-inch glass pie plate

The preferred choice for baking pies is glass because it heats up slowly and ensures even cooking of the crust, filling, and edges. The transparency lets you watch the crust for browning, which is particularly convenient for longer baking times. Deciding between a deep-dish pie plate and a shallower one ultimately boils down to personal preference. I recommend both types for different reasons. The shallower dishes are best for cream pies and graham cracker crusts, while deep-dish plates are ideal for fruit pies.

9 x 5-inch loaf baking pan

If you love baking bread, you need a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, the standard size for most bread recipes. Opt for a non-stick, sturdy, and durable one for better baking. I highly recommend having a metal loaf pan in your kitchen cupboard. A metal pan heats up faster than glass, promoting a better rise and delivering crisper browner edges to your baked goods. Keep two baking pans on hand for multiple loaves.

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread

Moist and full of flavor, Strawberry Bread is inspired the crowd-pleasing and popular Banana Bread, but replaces the bananas with strawberries in this recipe. You’ll love it more than banana bread!
make this recipe
Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bread

Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bread

Lemon Blueberry Streusel Bread has a bright lemon flavor and is soft, moist, loaded with blueberries, and topped with the best crumb topping!
make this recipe

Classic Bundt cake pan

Cake bakers make sure to have a 10 to 12-cup Bundt pan for those special occasion cakes. My top choice is the classic Bundt pan with a fluted shape. This pan can transform any ordinary cake into an elegant masterpiece. In addition to making Bundt cakes, these pans are versatile, allowing you to create ice rings, jello molds and delightful monkey bread. Always choose a sturdy, non-stick pan for easy release, ensuring your cakes maintain their intricate shapes without sticking to the pan.

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe is tender and moist. It's sweet and simple with a buttery flavoring that melts in your mouth!

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe is tender and moist. It’s sweet and simple with a buttery flavoring that melts in your mouth!
make this recipe
A Mardi Gras Pound Cake on a plate.

Mardi Gras Pound Cake

Mardi Gras Pound Cake is a cream cheese and cinnamon filled pound cake with vibrant
Mardi Gras colored sugars to garnish. #poundcake #cake #MardiGras #dessert #recipe #cinnamon #creamcheese #bundt
make this recipe

Tart Baking Pan

Having a 9-inch tart pan is essential in the kitchen for several reasons. First, it provides versatility for making different types of tarts and quiches. Second, its removable bottom makes cutting and serving easy. Lastly, its fluted sides give the baked goods a distinctive shape. I find that the classic round-tart pan is my go-to choice, as it not only offers versatility but also has a timeless appeal.

Blue Cheese Grape Tart

Blue Cheese Grape Tart

This savory Blue Cheese Grape Tart recipe makes a great appetizer or a decadent lunch paired with a green salad.
make this recipe
Slice of tart with cherries and a label overlay.

Mascarpone Cherry Tart

Mascarpone Cherry Tart was an experiment. I wanted a cool not-too-sweet dessert since it's, like, 1006 degrees outside right now.
make this recipe

Springform pan

If you make cheesecakes, you need a springform pan that is heavy-duty and leakproof, perfect for recipes that involve a water bath. These pans have a detachable ring that creates the sides of the cake. Once the cake is baked, you can easily remove the ring to expose the cake, making it simpler to cut and serve. Springform pans are an excellent choice for baking dishes, such as cheesecakes and quiches, that cannot be easily flipped over.

Strawberry Oreo Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

This luscious cheesecake has a perfectly crunchy Oreo crust, New York style cheesecake, and slightly sweet strawberry topping. Irresistible!
make this recipe

Get ready to up your baking game with the only baking pans you need. You’ll always bake like a pro with these in your kitchen cupboard. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting, these pans are your recipe for success. Happy baking!

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *