This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of bakeware, looking at the variety of baking tins and trays available to create a whole host of different cakes and bakes, as well as the range of materials you can expect to find them constructed of!
Using the correct bakeware is essential when baking. Specialty baking tins and trays mould your batter whilst baking, helping to form the recognisable shape you’re looking to create. But they don’t only cater for aesthetics – each type of bakeware has been uniquely designed with heat distribution in mind, thus producing the perfect bake!
This tray comes with either two or three 16" to 20" horizontal lengths with curved bases to form the traditional baguette shape. Sometimes baguette trays even have perforated holes to allow steam to escape while baking, crisping the crust.
Entirely flat to let maximum, even heat surround your biscuits, this sheet is quite thick to ensure the undersides of your bakes don't burn, providing insulation. Baking sheets are not only good for sweet treats, but can also be used to bake stuffed peppers and other savoury delights.
The baking tray is mostly flat with very shallow sides to allow more heat in, so is ideal for baking cookies and biscuits very quickly. These versatile trays are basic requirements when beginning to bake as they open up so many possibilities – why not try making your own meringues or scones?
A traditional Battenberg has an almond flavoured sponge with a marzipan coating. When cut open, it has four yellow and pink checked cubes sealed together with apricot jam – this tin helps create that shape. The Battenberg tin has four separate compartments to allow you to pour in two differently coloured mixtures at an equal size. Once baked, simply glue the components together and proceed to coat in marzipan.
The Bundt pan is designed specifically to mould a Bundt cake with a distinctive ring shape. The walls curve around in a circular shape with an indented pattern throughout and a hollow tube sticking up in the centre. The heavy wall curvature produces a uniform bake, creating the much sought-after golden crust and completely central hole in the middle.
Traditionally designed with heart-shaped handles, the Charlotte mould is perfect for creating the historic Apple Charlotte dessert. Usually made from stainless steel or tinned steel, its construction ensures an even bake while the flared sides and unique handles aid when turning the bake out.
Cupcake tins have smaller, shallower cavities, while muffin tins have larger cavities with more depth. Most of these tins come with either six or twelve cavities and are constructed from a variety of materials. You will usually bake your cupcakes/muffins in paper cases, however some tins have a coating to ensure that the mixture doesn't stick without them.
The deep cake tin is primarily used for heavier bakes, such as fruit cake. As it has high sides, the cake can rise well while baking fully in the centre – this high rise also helps to prevent the top burning! Available in either round or square shapes, they are often found with a loose base for easy release.
Ideal for baking quiches, tarts and flans, the fluted flan tin has pretty fluted detail around the sides to mould the bake into shape. This tin is relatively shallow compared to a cake tin, however this provides excellent heat conduction to ensure a thorough bake. Often coming with a loose base for easily removal, these tins are generally rounded in shape.
Used to bake bread and loaf cakes, like carrot cake, this tin has a rectangular shape to produce the traditional 'loaf' shape. A loaf tin is usually sized by the amount of pounds (lbs) of dough it can hold – the most common tins available hold either 1lb or 2lbs.
Macaroon and whoopie pie tins look similar to cupcake tins, however the cavities are far shallower – the macaroon tin is practically flat, even. Once a small amount of mixture is put into the circular cavities, they will form the tops and bottoms of your whoopie pies or macaroons for you to then fill in the middle and sandwich together – it couldn't be simpler!
This handy little madeleine mould allows you to bake traditional scallop-shaped sponge cakes. These trays have anywhere between 12 and 18 little shell-shaped depressions with detailing on the humped reverse, creating the most perfect French patisserie bakes.
Panettone is a festive Italian sweet bread loaf, baked into a cupola shape. To achieve this traditional dome-like shape, you must use a specially designed panettone tin. Much deeper than ordinary tins, your panettone will bake upright, forming a perfect muffin-style top. They usually come with a loose base for easy release.
The pie dish is a round, shallow pan with slightly sloped sides and a flat or fluted rim. Constructed from metal, glass or stoneware, these dishes often have detachable bottoms for easy removal and generally measure between 9" and 10" in diameter, while just over an inch deep.
Pizza trays are circular in shape, often featuring perforated holes throughout to allow the heat to evenly spread throughout the crust as it bakes. Also perfect for cooking crispy chips, pizza trays are the ideal purchase if you're a huge fan of pizza!
Pork pie tins are, quite literally, exactly what they say on the tin – tins used to make pork pies! Often 3" to 4" in diameter to give you space to layer the pastry and filling, your bake will be moulded into the classic pork pie shape you've grown to love. They usually come with a loose base for easy release.
A pudding basin (or bowl) is primarily used to steam puddings, such as Christmas puddings or sponge puddings. Usually constructed from ceramic, these basins are available in a range of sizes and have a wide lip around the rim to easily tie string or boiling cloth around. Not only are they perfect to use as steaming bowls, but they also make perfect serving bowls!
Designed to create individual layers for cakes such as Victoria sponges, the sandwich tin is shallow to spread heat steadily and quickly, allowing for an even bake. Available in round and square shapes, these tins are the perfect depth to form thin cake layers and often have loose bases for easy release.
A savarin cake is a type of rum baba – a small yeast cake soaked in rum. The savarin mould forms a traditional French bagel-like savarin shape, while baking the mixture beautifully. This tin is a circular shape with a wide funnel coming up in the middle, allowing you to fill with whatever your heart desires once baked and removed from the mould.
The soufflé dish has a round shape and straight sides, allowing the expanding egg whites to move in an even, upward direction for the perfect bake. They generally come with an outset lip around the rim to allow the soufflé to rise above, forming the perfect muffin-like top.
As the name suggests, spherical tins (or 'ball tins') help form a ball-shaped cake. Perfect for traditional Christmas puddings or ice cream bombes, these tins are available in a variety of sizes and are split in the middle, allowing you to fill both sides with cake mixture then clip together to bake. This tin also comes with a stand to hold the sphere in place when in the oven.
This tin has a solid base and a special springform release mechanism to enable you to take off the sides, easily removing your bake. Especially good for baking lighter sponge cakes and cheesecake, this tin ensures cleaner edges for a professional-looking bake. Springform cake tins are available in a variety of sizes and in circular, square or rectangular shapes.
The tiffin mould shouldn't be confused with the chocolaty biscuit treat – or the Cadbury chocolate bar! Used to create a 'crinoline lady cake,' this mould is shaped like a bell to form a skirt-like shape for a Barbie doll, so is perfect for children's birthday parties!
Perfect for baking brownies, flapjacks and other 'traybakes,' this tray has a rectangular shape with straight sides that are 3cm to 5cm in height. They usually come with a solid bottom, however traybakes can also be found with a slide out circle in the base for easier removal.