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Article

Test Drive: Springform Pans

This two-piece baking pan is essential to any well-stocked kitchen.

Fine Cooking Issue 104
Photos: Scott Phillips
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A springform pan is a must-have for bakers. It consists of two removable parts: a metal ring that forms the sides of the pan, and a base that the ring fits into. To assemble the pan for baking, set the ring into the grooved edges of the base and close the ring’s clasp to tighten the sides. Once the contents of the pan are baked and cooled, you can open the clasp to remove the ring, leaving the cake intact on its base.

A springform pan’s removable sides come in handy when making delicate cakes and baked goods that can’t be easily moved from baking pan to cooling rack to serving plate, such as cheesecakes, tortes, crumb cakes, mousse cakes, and quiches. But of the many springform pans on the market, which should you buy? We’ve done the research (well, baking) for you, and here are our favorites.

Best Design

Frieling Handle-It glass-bottom springform pan (9 inches)
$42.95 at cooking.com

The handles on this pan are easy to grasp when pulling a cake from the oven or out of a hot water bath. The pan performed beautifully in all our tests, and its glass base—scratch-proof, dishwasher-safe, and suited for serving—only boosts its appeal. Sold as a 9-inch pan, it’s actually about 1/2 inch larger, so watch baking times when following a recipe that calls for a 9-inch pan (cakes baked slightly faster, and baked goods did not achieve the same height). The nonstick coating isn’t scratch-resistant, so handle and store accordingly.

Professional Grade

Kaiser La Forme Plus springform pan (9 inches)
$46 at kaiserbakeware.com

Made of heavy-gauge steel, this pan has an environmentally friendly two-layer, highly scratch-resistant ceramic nonstick coating. The ring settles into a groove that extends around the pan’s base, so it’s easy to put the pan together. The groove also acts like a trench, helping to prevent leaks from dripping onto your oven’s floor. Left-handed users will love that the ring flips so it can be opened or closed from either direction. And finally, the nonstick base is flat all the way across, which allows for excellent release and easy transfer from the base to a serving plate. The pan’s dark gray color means it browns baked goods deeply, so watch baking times carefully.

Best Buy

Wilton Avanti Everglide nonstick springform pan with glass bottom (9 inches)
$21.49 at wilton.com/store

This is an ideal starter springform pan—good quality and affordable. Like the Frieling, it has a flat glass base that doubles as a serving plate. The heavy-duty ring has a scratch-resistant nonstick coating for clean release and the construction is sturdy. This pan baked evenly and is very easy to clean.

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