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The Best Bakeware Every Home Cook Should Own

A collage of the best bakeware for home cooks


The best bakeware makes spending time in the kitchen easier and more fun! Check out my list of the baking essentials to add to your home kitchen.

 

titled collage of the best bakeware for home cooks

Do you love baking as much as I do? Perhaps you’re just getting started. If so, this list of the best bakeware that every home cook should own will help! While this list doesn’t cover everything I use, these are the items I use on a regular basis. 

Today, I’m sharing a list of my top 12 favorite bakeware items. I think anyone who’s serious about baking should consider most if not all of these items.

I’ve been breaking this recommendation series into different post categories to keep the lists from becoming overwhelming. This does not include small appliances like blenders, electric cookware such as skillets, or small kitchen tools like whisks. 

You can also check out my previous two roundups if you’re seeking cookware or kitchen tools:

A FEW NOTES

  • I’ve accumulated my bakeware over many years. I’m not recommending that you to go out and buy all of this at once. Pick and choose based on what you think you’ll use on a regular basis.
  • None of the items shared below are sponsored by companies, but I have included affiliate links. This means I get a small percentage if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. I truly appreciate if you use my affiliate links!
  • Some of the items listed are sold as “dishwasher safe.” I highly recommend you wash bakeware by hand, especially anything nonstick. Dishwashers wear down surfaces over time. Your bakeware will last much longer if you wash it by hand, and you want to get the most out of your investment. 
  •  

The Best Bakeware

 

1. Round Cake Pans

My Recommendation: Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Round Cake Pan, 8-inch or 9-Inch

I use these cake pans for all of my layer cakes, including my homemade yellow cake, white cake, and chocolate peanut butter cake. If you plan on making layer cakes, I recommend purchasing three of these (or two, if you don’t see yourself ever making triple layer cakes).

If you don’t use the same exact pans, there’s a chance one layer will bake differently than the others. I’m speaking from experience! 

If you’re not sure whether to get 8-inch or 9-inch pans, look at the cake recipes you plan on baking, and go with the size used most often. Keep in mind that more often than not, these two sizes aren’t interchangeable in recipes without doing a bit of kitchen math to adjust the ingredients.

You can read more about swapping cake pan sizes in this article from Epicurious.  

 

2. Cupcake/Muffin Pans

My Recommendation: Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan, 12-Cup Non-Stick

I use this pan for all of my cupcake and muffin recipes, including my dark chocolate cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, and banana bread muffins. Again, I recommend getting two at once, since many recipes yield more than 12 cupcakes or muffins. 

Depending on your personal preference, you may also want to consider mini and/or jumbo muffin pans. 

 

3. 9×13-Inch Pan

My Recommendation: Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 9 x 13-Inch Pan with Lid

A 9×13-inch nonstick pan is a must. Like a casserole dish, it can be used for both sweet and savory applications, and you’ll find it to be the required size for many recipes including brownies, tiramisu, and cake (for example, my sour cream coffee cake or pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting). You can also use it for things like baked mac and cheese. 

The pan I use comes with a lid, and that’s always a bonus. It makes traveling with recipes so much easier!

 

4. Square Cake/Bar Pan

My Recommendation: USA Pan Bakeware 8-Inch Square Cake Pan

Many dessert bar recipes require an 8×8 or 9×9-inch square cake pan. Some examples you’ll see here are my pecan pie bars, blueberry bars, and chocolate pretzel peanut butter blondies. 

I’ve found that in most instances, bars (unlike cakes) can easily be swapped between 8×8 and 9×9-inch pans. If you swap out the size, your bars might be thicker or thinner (depending on whether you size up or down), but it won’t impact the bake time by more than a couple minutes, if at all.

I prefer to stick with 8×8 since I’d rather the bars be on the thicker side if I have to make an adjustment.

 

5. Pie Dishes

My Recommendation (Standard Dish): Pyrex Glass Bakeware Pie Plate 9-Inch x 1.2-Inch
My Recommendation (Deep Dish): Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish

I like to use neutral-color pie dishes, either white or clear, so that they don’t distract from the beauty of the pie itself. Clear pie dishes (such as the one linked above from Pyrex) are also convenient because you can see if the crust looks fully cooked on the bottom.

Always pay attention to what size dish your recipe calls for, because the recipes aren’t always labeled as “deep dish.” Fruit pies (like my strawberry pie) often require a deeper pie dish than something like key lime pie. 

 

6. Loaf Pan

My Recommendation: Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Loaf Pan, 8.5-Inch x 4.5-Inch

Loaf pans come in a variety of sizes, but 8.5 x 4.5 and 9 x 5 are the ones you’ll see most often in recipes (I find these sizes are usually interchangeable). And the pan is so versatile! I use it for bread, pound cakes, baked French toast, and even to store my homemade ice cream. 

Check out my caramel apple pound cake, pecan pie French toast bake, and no-churn vanilla ice cream to see this loaf pan in use. 

 

7. Bundt Pan

My Recommendation: Nordic Ware Pro Cast Original Bundt Pan, 12 Cup

Bundt cakes are beautiful, and having a good quality bundt pan makes the job so much easier. It will help the cake bake evenly, and provides a bit of extra protection against sticking.

To see the results I get from this pan, check out my rum cake (one of my favorite desserts on the blog!)

 

8. Tart pan with Removable Bottom

My Recommendation: Wilton Non-Stick Tart and Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom, 9-Inch

If you like baking quiches and/or tarts, a tart pan with a removable bottom is essential. This makes it super easy to remove the tart from the pan without damaging the appearance. I love the Wilton tart pans.

If you’re interested in smaller tarts or quiches, they also sell the same pan in smaller sizes. You can see it in use in my strawberry tarts with mascarpone cream. 

Check out my chocolate tart, cranberry pecan tart, asparagus quiche, and bacon, egg and cheese quiche, 

 

9. Springform Pan

My Recommendation: Wilton Excelle Elite Non-Stick Springform Pan, 10-Inch

Most people love a good cheesecake. If that sounds like you, a springform pan is a must. The most common sizes are 10 and 9-inches, so if you have a particular recipe in mind, see what size it uses before spending the money. I typically use a 10-inch pan.

See any example of how I use this pan in my chocolate peanut butter cheesecake! 

 

10. Sheet Pans

My Recommendation: New Star Foodservice Commercial Aluminum Sheet Pans

I use sheet pans constantly. They’re perfect for cookies, sheet cakes, slab pies, and they make it easy to transfer multiple cakes in and out of the oven at once if I’m baking a layer cake.

Sheet pans come in a variety of sizes; I own two half sheet pans and one two-thirds pan (which takes up almost an entire shelf of my oven). This might be overkill for most people, but I’ll tell you exactly why I own three.

I love baking sheet cakes and slab pies, which go on half sheet pans, so I try to keep one pan in pristine condition. My other pan is a mess because I use it constantly for savory applications like roasted broccoli, sheet pan shrimp scampi, and miso salmon (if you look closely, you can see how grungy that pan is in my salmon recipe).  

I use the larger two-thirds pan when I’m baking a large batch of cookies or transferring 3 cakes in and out of the oven for a layer cake (like my chocolate malt layer cake). 

You’ll find both size options at the link above. 
 

11. Ramekins

My Recommendation: Le Creuset Stoneware 7-Ounce Stackable Ramekin

I use both larger 8 ounce souffle-sized ramekins and smaller 6 or 7-inch ramekins in various recipes. Which size you’ll need depends on what you’ll be using it for. 

Ramekins are good for single serving recipes (like my apple crumble and mushroom pot pie). You can also use them for more basic tasks like roasting garlic. 

I’ve linked to the Le Creuset ramekins used in my apple crumble recipe, but they’re definitely on the pricy side. While they cook very evenly and are pretty, you can also find much cheaper options. 

 

12. Casserole Dish

My Recommendation: Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware 12×9-Inch Covered Rectangular Dish

Casserole dishes are very similar to 9×13 baking pans, so you can likely get away with having just one, at least when you first start out. I use my casserole dish for both sweet and savory recipes, like my apple noodle kugel, bread pudding, and eggplant lasagna.

If you plan on baking a lot of casseroles, I definitely recommend investing in one at some point!

That concludes my list of the best bakeware! I hope you found it helpful.

You can find more of my kitchen recommendations in my online shop! If you liked this roundup, you may also enjoy the 20 Kitchen Tips I Learned at Culinary School.



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