These easy substitutions will help you pull off delicate desserts that might stick to a regular baking pan.
springform pan
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From cheesecake and quiche to trifle and mousse, there are a range of recipes that call for using a springform pan. The handy piece of bakeware is best known for making it easy to remove delicate desserts from the pan without damaging them. If you don't have a springform pan in your kitchen you can still make a recipe that calls for one. Two experts explain alternative ways to bake and serve your dessert if the recipe calls for a springform pan. 

What Is a Springform Pan?

If you've never used a springform pan, you may be wondering why it's used for certain desserts. Food stylist and baker Molly Wenk explains that a springform pan is essentially a "two-piece baking pan with a base and a high-sided band with a clamp. Its design is to expand and pull away from the bottom, allowing the bottom to be released and easily removed." She notes that this type of bakeware allows a dessert to be removed without any kind of inversion, which can ruin delicate treats like cheesecake and mousse. "I personally like to build layered desserts in a springform pan because it keeps the layers nice and neat," she says. 

Alternatives to Using a Springform Pan

Serve It in the Baking Pan 

While avid bakers will want to have a springform pan in their kitchen, Wenk says if you don't have one, simply use the same size of a regular baking pan and you can just serve the baked good directly from its pan. There's no need to remove a delicate dessert from its pan and risk losing part of it in the process. This is alternative work if you're not so concerned about presentation.

Use Paper Baking Molds

If you want your dessert to look slightly more photo-ready, buy paper baking molds with perfectly straight sides, says Jennifer Dalquist, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Nordic Ware. Similar to what you'd find bakery desserts served in, these molds are typically oven safe up to about 390 degrees and have grease-resistant wrapping, so they can easily be removed from your dessert without much damage to its edges. Use the mold the same way you'd use a liner—by placing it directly into a same-sized baking pan and bake the dessert directly in the mold. Once cooled, remove the dessert from the pan and serve it in the mold.

Line Your Pan with Parchment Paper

Wenk says the best method to use if you don't have a springform pan is to use a regular baking pan that's the same size as the springform pan the recipe calls for, and line it with parchment strips. Let the strips hang over each side of the pan so you can use them to gently lift your dessert out of the pan once it has cooled. Remember that springform pans are taller than regular baking pans so this trick works as long as the dessert you're making isn't very tall. And Wenk notes that while lining a pan with parchment paper is a suitable substitute if you don't have a springform pan, "your layers won't be nearly as neat, and you risk breaking the bottom if it isn't something sturdy, like pie crust. "A springform [pan] is very versatile, so it's worth having one on hand," she says.


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