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Cake Stuck? Try These 11 Simple Ways to Get it out the Pan

Cake stuck in the pan? You have lots of options ahead of you! Leave the cake to cool down, use a cooling rack, use the refrigerator, try the tapping method, leave the cake upside down, or even loosen the cake yourself!

You could also try the dishcloth method, make use of the microwave or warm oven, or use the freezer and ice it out.

There are lots of options ahead of you, so don’t despair.

Cake Stuck? Try These 11 Simple Ways to Get it out the Pan

We’ve all been baking at one point and had the cake get stuck in the pan.

For some people, this might feel like the end of a lot of effort, but it doesn’t have to be!

Getting a stuck cake out of a pan is actually pretty easy when you know what you’re doing. 

If you have a cake that’s stuck in the pan and need a little advice on how to get it out, stick with us.

You’ll learn everything you could possibly need to get that cake out and continue your baking adventure. 

Quick Answer: How To Get A Cake Out Of A Pan When Stuck? There are 11 super easy ways to get your stuck cake out of the pan. These are as follows: cool the cake; use a cooling rack; cook the cake in the refrigerator; loosen the cake; try the tapping method; leave the cake upside down; the dishcloth method; use the microwave or warm oven; ice the cake out, and use the freezer.

We will go through each of these options in more detail in the sections below. 

How To Get A Cake Out Of A Pan When Stuck

Cool the Cake Down

Cool the Cake Down

The first thing you can try is allowing your cake to cook down on its own.

Let it reach room temperature once it’s been baked, just be leaving it out on the counter.

By trying to remove a cake that is still warm or not, you run the risk of it crumbling when you try to take it out. 

Once baking your cake, allow it to cool down for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove it.

If you have baked a large cake, you may need to extend that up to an hour or more. 

Make Use Of A Cooling Rack

Make Use Of A Cooling Rack

This comes as part of the point above – to cool the cake faster, you should use a cooling rack.

You can do this with the cake still in the pan, as it allows air to circulate all around it.

The cooling rack can also be used once the cake is out of the pan, to allow the cake to further cool. 

When using a cooling rack, make sure it can handle extreme temperatures.

Some products are not cut out for temperatures above 400 or so degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure it can handle temperatures of around 575 degrees, so you can use it for anything.  

Cool It Down In The Fridge

Cool It Down In The Fridge

Yet another cooling method. Using your fridge to allow the cake to cool down is a much faster option, but you need to make sure that your appliance can handle it.

We wouldn’t recommend placing a pan fresh out of the oven into the refrigerator.

Instead, wait for it to cool down for around 15 minutes, then place it in the refrigerator. 

You should only need to leave the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before it’s cool enough to get out of the pan.

This is a great option in the summer, as a warm kitchen will slow down the cooling time.

Use the Tapping Method

Get the plate you want to serve the cake on, and place it over the top of the pan the cake is in.

Hold it in place firmly, and flip everything over. The cake pan should not be on the top instead of the plate.

Now, gently tap the bottom of the cake pan until it releases the cake. Eventually, the cake should drop onto the plate. 

Leave the Pan Upside Down

This is very similar to the method mentioned above. However, instead of tapping the cake loose from the pan, just leave it alone.

Without doing any tapping, the cake will still gradually release and fall onto the plate.

This could take 10-15 minutes, and relies on the shortening on the sides of the pan to help release the cake. 

Loosen the Cake

Loosen the Cake

You can use a knife to carefully loosen the cake from the pan. All you need to do is slide a knife between the cake pan and the cake itself, and move it from edge to edge.

Keep the knife as close to the cake pan as possible, since you want the cake in one piece. 

Once you have separated the cake from the pan, you should be able to remove it.

To do this, get a flat object like a cooling rack, tray, or board, and place it on top of the cake.

Hold the surface down on the cake firmly, and flip it over to transfer the cake from the pan onto the surface. 

If you’re wondering which knife you should use, try to stick to ones that aren’t serrated.

Alternatively, use something like a silicone spatula. 

The Dishcloth Method

The Dishcloth Method

This is an interesting method to try if the others aren’t working for you.

Here, you will need to get a dishcloth and soak it in either hot or warm water.

Once the cloth has been soaked, wring the excess water out, and wrap the cloth around the bottom of the cake pan.

Allow the pan to sit there with the cloth around it for anywhere between 10-15 minutes. 

Doing this allows the pan to heat up and expand a little, as aloof things do when it’s hot.

When this happens, the sides of your stuck cake will be released. Once this happens, you will easily be able to get the cake out using one of the methods above.

Because this method requires a little more effort, we would try the other easier ones before resorting to this.

Chances are, the cake will come out with any of the above techniques mentioned. 

Try the Microwave Method

Next, you can try the microwave method to get your stuck cake unstuck.

Once again, this method is usually reserved for the stubborn cakes, but you never know when you’ll need it.

This method also relies on steaming the cake out of the pan. 

All you need to do is boil some water, pour it into a mug, and place the mug in the microwave.

Carefully situate your cake pan on top of the mug and leave it there for a few minutes!

Don’t turn the microwave on, as the built-up heat should be enough to do the job. The cake should come loose after a few minutes thanks to the steam. 

If you don’t have a microwave, you can still do this. Just pick a spot that is enclosed (but won’t be damaged by steam). The same rule will work.  

A Warm Oven

A Warm Oven

This follows the same rule with heating and cooling. To do this, you will need to wait for your stuck cake to cool down, then preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the cake back into the oven for about five minutes, then remove it and place the pan on the cooling rack. 

You can either wait for the cake to cool down completely before removing it, or tip it upside down and get it out straight away.

This method is especially helpful for Bundt pans, as their shape makes it difficult to remove the cake without damaging it. 

Ice The Cake Out

If you have a flat and round pan, this is a good option for you. You will need to turn the pan upside down on a cooking rack, and pack some ice cubes in a bow.

Place the bowl on the bottom of the pan and leave it there for a couple of minutes. 

After a few minutes have passed, the cake should be able to come out of the pan without an issue.

Again, this one requires a little more work than others, so only do it if you are really desperate.

Go through the other options before dealing with ice cubes. 

Use The Freezer

Use The Freezer

Allow your stuck cake to cool down completely, then use a silicone spatula or non-serrated knife to separate it from the edges.

Once you have done that, place the cake pan in the freezer and allow it to freeze for anywhere between 1-2 hours.

After that time, take it out of the freezer and use the knife or spatula to separate it from the edges again. 

After doing that, you can get a board or plate and place it over the top of the cake.

Turn the cake and pan upside down, and gently tap on the sides and top. The cake should come out of the pan super easily and in one piece. 

Preventing Your Cake From Sticking In The Pan In The First Place

Thankfully, there are a couple of easy things you can do to prevent a cake from getting stuck in the pan in the first place. If this is something that you have struggled with a lot in your baking, check out the tips below. 

  • Grease the Pan – cover the inside of the cake tray with shortening to prevent the cake from sticking to it. Use either a pastry brush or a paper towel to do this. Get into all corners and crevices, or the cake can still stick.  
  • Sprinkle the Pan With Flour – one the whole inside the cake pan has been covered with shortening, you can sprinkle flour in it to cover all the grease. Work from one side of the cake pan to the other to spread the flour around and get into all the cracks and crevices. Once all surfaces have been covered, get rid of the excess flour. Make sure the layer of flour is thin, and that there are no lumps. 
  • Use Parchment Paper – use either parchment paper or some kind of alternative is a surefire way to prevent sticking from occurring. This will only work if your pan has a flat bottom, though. All you need to do is measure out the correct parchment paper sizes, cut it out, and line the pan.
    • Grease and Flour the Parchment Paper – if you’re very concerned about sticking, feel free to grease and flour the parchment paper, too. This isn’t necessary, however. 
  • Use a Baking Spray – use some baking spray and spray the inside of the cake pan to prevent sticking. This is an easier option for greasing before you flour the pan. 

Other Types Of Pans

Non-Stick Pans

Use a non-stick pan like you would any other. Cakes can still stick to them.

Use parchment paper or grease and flour to prevent sticking from happening.

You might not think it will happen to you, but sticking can, and will, eventually happen to everyone!

Bundt Pans

The shape of a Bundt cake pan is a challenge itself. However, to prevent sticking, you need to take extra care to properly grease and flour them before using them for backing.

Since parchment paper isn’t an option, be sure to coat it properly. 

If these pans are an issue for you, create an extra barrier to prevent sticking.

Using something almond flour to coat the grease has been known to work wonders, so why not try it out?

If you’re baking a chocolate cake, use cocoa! This will be a life-saver, we promise!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Easiest Way To Get A Stuck Cake Out Of The Pan? 

Allow the cake to cool down, then use a knife to gently ease it away from the edge of the cake pan. 

Why Does My Cake Keep Getting Stuck In The Pan? 

Things stick to each other, and that applies to baking. If there is no barrier (like parchment paper) preventing your cake from sticking to the pan, it will get stuck. 

How Long Should You Wait Before Taking The Cake Out Of The Pan?

Half an hour to one hour should be enough time for the cake to cool down enough before removing it. 

Should A Cake Be Allowed To Cool Down Before Removing It From The Pan?

Yes, a cake should cool down before being removed from a pan. This is because it will likely crumble to pieces and fall apart if it is too warm. It won’t be able to keep the shape it’s supposed to, reading to it falling apart.

What Will Happen If My Cake Doesn’t Cool Down Before Removing It From The Pan?

There’s a good chance that a cake that is removed from a pan while too warm will just fall apart.

The heat makes the structure of the cake weak, which leads to it crumbling or breaking. 

What Type Of Pan Is Best For Preventing A Cake From Getting Stuck To It?

Any kind of pan can result in a cake being stuck to it, even non-stick. Take the right precautions to prevent sticking by looking at the tips in this post.

Cake Stuck? Try These 11 Simple Ways to Get it out the Pan

How To Get A Cake Out Of A Pan When Stuck

If your cake is stuck in the cake pan, then allow it to cool down for a few hours. Place it on a cooling rack and into the fridge. If the cake still doesn't move, then you can also cut it out gently with a knife.

Materials

  • Freshly baked cake

Tools

  • Cooling rack
  • Refrigerator

Instructions

  1. Let the cake cool: The best way to remove your cake from the baking tin is by allowing it to cool down. Place it onto a cooling rack and then into the fridge.
  2. Use the tapping method: If your cool cake is stuck, then it's also a good idea to try the tapping method. Hold your cake over a big enough place, then turn the cake upside down and gently tap the bottom of the cake pan. The cake should drop onto the plate.
  3. Cut the cake out: If nothing works, then you can loosen the cake from the pan by cutting around the cake as close to the cake pan as possible.
Jess Smith
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