How to Line a Cake Tin or Cake Pan

Knowing how to line a cake tin is a very basic step in cake baking. There are many different ways in which people line their cake tins , and I have 3 main methods which I use interchangeably; the 'grease' method, the 'grease and flour' method and the 'grease proof paper' method. Personally, I use the 'grease and flour' method most of the time as it is the easiest and the least time consuming. The simplest method of all these is the 'grease' method and this is the only method my mom uses she bakes cakes. And this was also the only method I used to use for a very long time until I started attending cake decorating classes. I prefer to use the 'grease and flour' method nowadays. I picked up this method from a couple of cake decorating classes I have attended and have been using it since.

How to Line A Cake Tin

Here are the 3 methods I use to line a cake tin:

Method 1 : Grease Method to Line a Cake Tin

This is the simplest method of all three, I just brush my cake tins with margarine (hydrogenated palm oil) or shortening and pour my cake batter in.  And I make sure there are no spots on the cake tin that are left not brushed with margarine especially at the corners. As for the amount, a little too much is ok, but under coating the cake tin can be a problem, so I make sure I don't comprise on the amount. 

And once my cakes are baked, I run a jam knife through the sides of the cake to loosen any parts of the cake that is attached to the cake tin. Only then do I turn it out onto a cake rack. 

Method 2: Grease and Flour Method to Line a Cake Tin

This is my most preferred  method now. Its similar to my 'grease' method above, but has one additional step.

I start by brushing my cake tin with a layer of margarine (shortening can also be used). Again, I make sure the entire inside of the cake tin is well covered and there are no spots or corners left ungreased. 

After that, I drop about 1 tablespoon of flour into the cake tin and coat the insides of the cake tin with a layer of the flour. To do this, I simply tap the cake tin with my hands while turning it around so that the flour gets distributed evenly.  If there are any spots that have not been covered by grease earlier, it will show clearly now. I simply dab a little margarine in those spots and coat it with flour. Once the tin is completely covered with a thin layer of flour, I turn the tin around and tap it against the kitchen sick or my counter top to remove any excess flour. 

And the cake tin is all greased and floured and ready to be used.

Method 3: Grease Proof Paper Method to Line a Cake Tin:

I personally find this method very convenient on occasions when I have to bake a number of same sized cakes in one day. This used to be the case when I was actively taking orders. I normally bake all my cakes on Wednesdays and since I have limited number of cake tins of the same size, I have to use each tin up to 3 times in any one day. If I use the above two methods to line my cake tins, I have to clean off all cake crumbs that are left in the tins after each baking session, before I can use the tins for the next batch of batter. That was time consuming. So I use this grease proof paper method instead, which does not require me to clean any cake crumbs after each baking session.

For this method, I start by tracing on the grease proof paper. I place my cake tin on a large piece of grease proof paper and trace the diameter of the cake tin onto the paper. I use a skewer to do this instead of a pencil to avoid the pencil lead traces from seeping into cake batter when baking.

Next, I measure the height of my cake tin and mark another circle outside the diameter of the cake tin (following the height of the cake tin, plus an extra 1 inch allowance). I then cut it out following the second outline made. 

And then I make snips all round the paper as shown. 

The distance between each snip would depend on the size of the cake tin. For a 7 or 8 inch round cake tin, I cut them about 4 to 5 inches apart. The distance will be shorter for smaller cake tins, vice versa. 

I place the grease proof paper into my cake tin and fold the top as shown. And then I brush a thin layer to margarine (or shortening) on the paper (bottom and sides) before pouring my cake batter in.


To safe time, I have a number of these grease proof paper cut outs ready before hand. That way, I don't have to spend time cutting them when I need them. And after each baking session, if I have to reuse the same cake tin for another cake, all I have to do is place another piece of cut out grease proof paper into the cake tin, grease it lightly and pour my batter in! There is not need to clean any crumbs off the cake tin as there will not be any in the cake tin in the first place.

These are all the methods I use to line a cake tin. If you have any other method that you would like to share, please do let me know below. I will be happy to hear from you!

Thank you for reading :)

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