Have you ever admired a delicate and tidy dessert like a graham crust cheesecake, with its gently curved edges and smooth sides, carefully set on a serving plate? How does the baker keep it so darn neat?
It looks like magic, but it’s simply a matter of using a springform pan!
If you’re ready to move your baking efforts into the next level, you need (at least) one of these. But just which is the best springform pan? What features should you be looking for?
There are many factors to consider when hunting for the best springform pan. Read on for my complete guide on how to find the best springform pan!
Table of Contents
- Why Use a Springform Pan?
- Types of Springform Pans
- So which pan is the Best Springform Pan?
- Finding Your Best Springform Pan
Why Use a Springform Pan?
Unlike a traditional cake pan, springform pans have two pieces—the removable side, and the base. These pieces fit together with some type of groove and a latch that closes on the side.
After the dish has baked, you open the latch and carefully release the side of the pan from the dish. The food is then served on the base of the pan.
This video gives a quick overview of springform pans:
A springform pan is essential for dishes that cannot be flipped over out of a pan, like cheesecake, delicately layered cakes, deep dish quiches, etc. You can even make a deep dish pizza in a springform pan! As with most kitchen tools, you should consider how you primarily want to use the item to determine which will work best for you.
Types of Springform Pans
- Most springform pans are metal. There are a few important things to consider when looking at metal pans.
- One consideration is whether the surface is non-stick or not. A non-stick surface is excellent because, as the name suggests, your cakes and creations won’t stick to the sides, maintaining the shape and look of the dishes.
- However, non-stick surfaces require some special care—they should not be used with metal utensils, nor should they go into the dishwasher or endure heavy scrubbing, because the non-stick coating can scratch. Some people are also concerned with the potential of non-stick chemicals leaching into their food.
- Another consideration with metal pans is the color. Darker metal pans conduct the heat more quickly, which cooks the outside of the dish faster. Because you don’t want to end up with a burned crust, lighter coloured metal pans are usually preferable.
- One drawback of metal pans to note is that when the food is stored on the metal base, it can take on a metallic taste.
As this demonstration shows, silicone makes an easy-to-remove non-stick side for the springform pan. This is the most truly non-stick option and you won’t need to butter, grease, or flour the pan.
The primary drawback of silicone is that it doesn’t offer a firm surface to press a crumb crust against, which are fairly common with the types of dishes you’d bake in a springform. Some bakers also dislike working with silicone bakeware as it can become a bit grimy over time, and the floppiness of the pans make them difficult to wash.
- Some springform pans are made with a glass bottom, a feature I love. The sides can be made of either metal or silicone.
- One advantage to the glass base is that you can see the bottom of your dish when checking on its progress. Another advantage is that there’s no risk of the base of the pan warping. Finally, the glass plate makes an attractive and durable surface for serving.
Other Factors to Consider
- Springform pans come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The most common is a 9” round, and this is a good size to start with as most recipes call for a 9” pan. You can also find larger, smaller, square, rectangular, and even heart-shaped springform pans, which make for some exciting baking possibilities!
- A final consideration when choosing among springform pans is the waterproof factor. Cheesecakes are typically baked in a water bath, so the ideal pan would be able to sit right in this water bath without letting the water seep into the pan.
- However, a truly waterproof pan doesn’t seem to exist, even when they claim to be! Often, even good, leak-proof pans seem to lose their tight seal over time. Many cooks solve this issue by wrapping the pan in tin foil.
So which pan is the Best Springform Pan?
Given all the factors discussed above, it’s difficult to say that any one pan is the absolute best, as you may have different priorities when looking for the best springform pan for your kitchen.
However, there are a few pans that consistently stand out on review sites, cooking blogs, and forums:
This springform pan is moderately affordable option that gets top marks! I like that it’s available in dark or light grey, which gives you some choice in how you want it to bake (again, I recommend the light grey!). It has a nice, sturdy construction, is deep at 3” high, and does a good job of baking dishes evenly.
Some users experienced issues with leakage, particularly around the latch area, but this seems to be the primary complaint.
This is a similar option to the Farberware listed above and is similarly priced. It is also non-stick, and tall, and it comes in a variety of colors. This is a popular pan—a friend of mine has one and swears by it, promising that it has never leaked.
However, other users do note leaking, even on the first use. Given this issue, you should note that the way in which the pan sticks out from the side will make wrapping it with tinfoil a bit trickier. Another blogger felt the pan to be flimsy, and found that the dark coating over-browned cakes.
This silicone springform gets good reviews on Amazon, and is a surprisingly affordable option. It comes with a glass base, as well. A nice thing about the silicone is that it is truly non-stick, no greasing required!
One thing to consider with silicone (and especially with a heavy glass base) is that it can be tricky to handle, as you must pick it up from the bottom, otherwise the squishy silicone will deform the food. Some commenters noted that the silicone ring expanded a bit while baking, which made it leak or even fall off. It also did not work well for a water bath.
Wilton is another popular brand of bakeware that gets excellent reviews for its springform pans. It offers a darker, non-stick steel finish and a 10-year warranty! This pan is available in a variety of sizes, including this adorable set of 3 mini cake pans.
Some reviewers had issues with this pan leaking. Others noted that the pan rusted in spots after only a few uses. Another issue is the lip at the base of the pan that makes it difficult to slide finished cakes off of the pan.
USA Pan manufactures their bakeware in the USA. This pan is made from silver alumnized steel with a silicone nonstick finish, and has corrugations on the bottom meant to increase airflow and assist the nonstick. It measures 9” in diameter and is 2.625” deep.
Some reviewers found that this pan does leak, and extra edge of the base can make it tricky to fully cover the pan for a water bath. On the other hand, many people find the extra lip on the base to work very well to contain any leaks from the pan. Overall, most bakers rave about the quality of this and other USA pan products.
Rachel Ray is a well-known TV chef who has successfully marketed her own line of kitchenwares. This springform pan is made from non-stick coated carbon steel and features a silicone covered clasp to the side. It measures 9” across and 3” deep.
Many cooks have great success with this pan, and find the heat-resistant clasp especially useful. Some people, however, find that the pan leaks easily, and others had issues with rusting.
Finding Your Best Springform Pan
Every kitchen can benefit from a good springform pan for those cheesecakes, tortes, and deep dish delicacies! With so many options of springform pans out there, you must consider your preferences: metal, non-stick, silicone, glass base. It’s also important to be realistic—no single pan will be perfect for every dish you may want to make!
My top choice is USA Pan’s springform pan. I love that the nonstick is silicone rather than Teflon, and the extra lip on the bottom is definitely useful to keep possible leaks from the bottom of the oven (I really hate cleaning my oven!). But it is a bit of a splurge compared to some other options!
The Farberware is a good affordable option. It is a classic springform pan that can be used for many dishes, and with its simple shape, I find it’s easy enough to wrap this pan with tin foil (because it seems like a truly leak-proof springform pan doesn’t exist!).
If you have a basic springform pan and want something different, try the Norpro silicone springform. I love the glass base, and it would be useful to add a silicone pan to the mix for those particularly sticky treats!
Once you’ve found your best springform pan, test it out with this classic cheesecake recipe from Home Cooking Adventure. Do you have a favorite springform pan? Let us know!