Holiday baking is going to be here very soon. And, if you frequently bake bread, banana bread, or loaf cakes for the holidays then you may be wondering – what are the best loaf pans for baking?
Have you ever burned your banana bread or removed a freshly baked loaf of bread only to cut into it and find it to be raw in the middle? Maybe you have a loaf pan that has just been in your cabinet for years, and you use it. However, it may not be the best.
Today I am going to share the best loaf pans for baking (or at least what I believe are the best!). And I have made a lot of loaves – cakes, breads, and babkas. I have used aluminum loaf pans, ceramic loaf pans, glass loaf pans, and silicone loaf pans.
And just because it is a loaf pan and it’s the right size it doesn’t mean that they are all created equal. I am going to explain the four main types of loaf pans, what they are good for, what they aren’t good for, and which ones you should have in your kitchen!
Aluminum Loaf Pans
Aluminum loaf pans are going to be your top choice for the best loaf pans for baking. There is a reason all commercial baking pans are aluminum. When you use an aluminum loaf pan it creates the most even bakes as far as browning and color goes. They prevent cakes from burning on the bottom or sides because they promote even heat distribution. They also allow for the most even browning of cakes and breds.
But not all aluminum pans are created equal. There are higher quality and lower quality ones, just like anything. My top choice is USA Pan as they have the little ridges in their aluminum pans. This also goes one step further and it creates even more equal heat distribution and helps with rising evenly! These pans are high quality, but they are really budget friendly. I highly recommend upgrading your current loaf pans to a USA Pan if you can. I bake every single loaf cake or bread in a USA Pan!
Ceramic Loaf Pans
Ceramic loaf pans are so pretty, and they are my second choice for baking loaves of bread or cakes. Ceramic doesn’t conduct heat as quickly as aluminum; however, most loaf cakes or breads bake for a long time (like an hour or more). So, this isn’t as big of a deal as it is with cookie sheets or brownies where the baking times are shorter, and we need that heat to distribute fast and efficiently.
Ceramic loaf pans can brown cakes and breads a little more than aluminum. So, if you have hot spots or are baking with gas and your oven tends to be on the darker side, then I would be careful or lower the temperature or baking time and adjust where needed.
Ceramic loaf pans are a great option for savory bakes like meatloaf or baked mac ‘n cheese. They also work well for cinnamon rolls or sweet rolls, so you can always use these loaf pans for these types of bakes. I have a ceramic loaf pan in my cabinets, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I used it!
Glass Loaf Pans
Glass loaf pans are much slower to heat up than aluminum. This can cause problems for your baked goods as it can cause uneven baking. This could mean that it may look done on the outside, and still be raw on the inside.
I have some glass loaf pans that someone sent me, and they have a sweet Tupperware top that goes with them. I only use them for storing baked goods after they have been baked, such as banana bread. These also make a lovely gift if you’d like to bake banana bread, drop it into this glass dish, and top it with a lid.
Glass loaf pans are going to be best suited for dishes that don’t rely solely on cooking in the oven, but more so warming. Think baked mac ‘n cheese or a baked pasta dish.
Silicone Loaf Pans
Silicone loaf pans are a great option if you struggle with removing cakes or breads from your loaf pan, and you want something fool proof. However, silicone doesn’t conduct heat very well, so if you bake with a silicone loaf pan your breads or cakes may not brown as much.
On the contrary, if you are baking in a gas oven and you have issues with hot spots and burning, then I would highly recommend trying out a silicone loaf pan and see if it helps!
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