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Today I’m walking you through my favorite technique for ensuring round cakes don’t stick to the baking pans: parchment paper rounds. This is such a simple concept, but it makes a big difference!

peeling parchment paper round off bottom of round cake pan.

In all my many layer cake recipes, I mention how to prepare your baking pans so that the baked cakes release easily from the pans, intact and ready to assemble. Have you ever had a round cake stick to your pan, tearing completely, and ruining all your efforts? I’ve been there too.

I use parchment paper rounds and I want to demonstrate how quick and easy it is to make these yourself at home.

homemade wedding cake layers

Parchment Rounds

Lining cake pans with parchment rounds is the trick I use every single time I bake a round cake, whether I’m making a 1-layer easy sprinkle cake, a 9-layer Smith Island cake, or even a homemade wedding cake. No more stuck cakes, please.

Store-bought pre-cut parchment rounds are convenient, but it’s really easy to just make them yourself, and more cost-effective, too. I especially like that you can cut the exact pan size you need, whether you’re making a 6-inch cake, an 8-inch cake, or a 9-inch cake.

If you don’t make a lot of round cakes, just cut them as you need them. If you bake a lot, cut many at a time and store them with your baking pans or cake-baking tools, ready for the next time you bake.

Video Tutorial

It’s a really easy concept, but I figured showing you the process in a video would be most helpful. No matter what size or brand of round cake pan you’re using, here’s how to prepare it for baking:

Grab These 4 Things to Make Parchment Rounds

  1. Parchment/baking paper: You can use any brand, and either brown or white.
  2. Cake pan(s): Make sure you have quality cake pans. From one baker to another, I swear by Fat Daddio’s cake pans. Incredible quality for the price. I’m not working with this brand, I’m just a genuine fan.
  3. Pencil
  4. Scissors

Some DIY methods for making parchment paper rounds instruct you to fold a square a bunch of times. I don’t do that; I find tracing a circle and cutting it out to be easier.

How to Line a Round Cake Pan

Step 1: Trace the Cake Pan on the Parchment. If you’re using a roll of parchment paper, start by measuring out how much you’ll need for the number of pans you’ll be using, and cut it off the roll. Set one of your cake pans on the parchment, hold it steady with one hand, and trace around it with a pencil. Repeat this step for however many cake pans you’re planning to use.

tracing a round cake pan on brown parchment paper.

Step 2: Cut Inside the Circle. Cut out the circles, just inside the pencil line.

cutting out a circle of parchment paper.

Step 3: Lightly Grease the Pan. Very lightly grease the cake pan with butter or nonstick spray. I usually use coconut oil nonstick spray or “baking spray,” which has a little flour in it. You could also just grease it with butter.

Step 4: Line the Pan With Parchment Round. Place the parchment round inside, pressing it to the bottom of the pan.

Step 5: Lightly Grease the Parchment. Yes, you grease the pan and then also grease the parchment. This creates an ultra-nonstick environment for your cake. The cake won’t stick to the pan, and the parchment round won’t stick to the cake.

Step 6: Pour in Cake Batter and Bake.

pouring batter in round cake pan lined with parchment paper round.

Peel Off the Parchment Round

When the cake has cooled, run a thin knife around the edge, invert the cake on your hand or work surface, then lift off the cake pan. The parchment round may stay in the pan, or stay on the bottom of the cake. (I find it’s different with every recipe.) But whichever it “sticks” to, you just need to peel it off.

Peel off the bottom of your cake or bottom of your pan, whichever it “sticks” to:

And voila! You have a beautiful round cake that releases easily from the pan.

More Cake Baking Tips

How do I cover a frosted cake without ruining the frosting? A cake carrier! I own a handful of these and they’re an absolute lifesaver when it comes to storing and transporting cakes.

Find more of my best tips for cake baking in my cake baking tips post.

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Teresa, you can do this for a flat tube pan, but it would be impossible for a textured/designed Bundt cake pan. For a tube pan, I would trace the pan like you do with a round pan. Cut out the circle and then cut a circle in the middle for however large the tube is in your tube pan. Hope this makes sense.

  1. For Bundt cakes I have used the flour, shortening, oil combo. Equal parts mixed and brushed into all the cracks and crevices of the pan. Works wonderfully. I used to make up a bunch at a time, as it stores well in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Now I mix it per recipe as I don’t use Bundt pans as often as other items.

  2. Hey Sally, love your recipes & tips!
    What about lining the sides of a pan? I’m never sure if I should or not.

  3. What depth on the Daddio round pans? For a 2 inch layer cake?
    Thank you!! Excited to get these.

  4. I’ve been baking since I was in junior high school. As I’ve aged (now in my 70s) I have discovered parchment paper rounds for cakes. Creating the rounds is a simple process but it’s so nice that you have explained it clearly. Once you go with parchment you’ll never go back to just plain grease and flour. It makes all the difference and you never have to worry about any cake sticking again! I look forward to receiving your recipes and tips. I have shared your website with many people, experienced bakers and novices alike. Thanks so much Sally and keep up the good work.

  5. Ok… I get all the “pan-greasing” … it’s the good old way to make sure cakes don’t stick. But, why were “nonstick coated” pans invented, then? Pans like “Oxo ‘Gold’”and “Williams-Sonoma ‘Goldtouch’” pans were sold to not need all the greasing and flouring. Does that still need doing? I could see the parchment paper keeping ALL the cake WITH the cake, leaving nothing on the base. But, the primary purpose of the nonstuck, I thought, was to NOT be concerned with the old-fashioned “grease and flour”.

    1. Hi Hank, in our experience, non-stick pans still need to be greased and many cake pans are not non stick. But if you find that your pans don’t need it then you can definitely do what works for you.

      1. Thank you…. I guess I need to pick up some baking “Pam” …. Don’t use that often at all, and I have a “very ‘expired’” can right now. Off to Giant.

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