As a published baking cookbook author, I’ve tested out MANY baking pans. And I’m happy to recommend my absolute must-haves to fellow home bakers. This list is a great place to start if you’re a beginner baker, are creating a registry, or are shopping for a gift for someone who likes to bake (or wants to learn).
Today I’m sharing a list of my very favorite baking pans, which I personally use and love. I originally published this post in 2016 and many of my preferred brands have remained the same because they’re such great quality. These are the baking pans that my team and I find the most useful, most versatile, and best quality for their price. They’ve also held up well over the years, which is saying something considering I most likely give them more of a workout than the average home baker!
These are My Favorite Brands
All of the baking pans in today’s list are items I own. None of this post is sponsored—truly just items I love and am happy to recommend to fellow home bakers. A lot of these links are affiliate links.
Overall, my favorite lines are Nordic Ware, Calphalon, Wilton, Fat Daddio, and USA Pan. You can’t go wrong with any baking pans from these brands.
You can find some more of my baking tool recommendations here:
- 14 Best Baking Tools That Every Baker Needs
- Favorite Candy-Making Tools
- 10 Best Cookie Baking Tools
- 100+ Gift Ideas For a Baker
- Best Cake Decorating Tools
8 Baking Pans for Your Kitchen
I use these 8 best baking pans more than anything else in the kitchen and highly recommend them to any and all bakers—both beginner and advanced.
1. HALF SHEET PAN
What I own and love: Nordic Ware Half Sheet Pan or USA Pan Bakeware Half Sheet Pan.
I use half sheet pans for baking cookies, scones, vegetables, potatoes, fish, meat, croissants, pastries, breads, pouring out toffee or chocolate bark, cookie decorating parties, Christmas sugar cookies, and so much more. Both of these brands are excellent quality and have stood the test of time (and frequent use). The 12×17-inch size is just the right size for a dozen cookies, and the rimmed edges prevent any sauces/syrups from dripping off the sheet. Traveling with a sheet cake or cookies? Or just want to keep things fresh? Get the half sheet pan with a lid!
- Parchment sheets are handy for lining these pans!
Quantity recommended: at least 2.
2. 9×13-INCH BAKING PAN
What I own and love: In metal, I recommend USA Pan Bakeware Quarter Sheet Pan or this Nordic Ware sheet pan. In glass, I highly recommend Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Baking Dish.
One of the most useful pans in a baker’s kitchen is the 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan, also known as a quarter sheet pan. This holds about 3 quarts and can be used for everything from homemade brownies, lasagna, vanilla sheet cake, casseroles, overnight cinnamon rolls, rice krispie treats and more. This pan can be made of glass, metal, or ceramic, though I recommend metal or glass because ceramic takes a long time to heat and your bakes will most likely need an extended bake time.
Quantity recommended: 1
3. 9×9-INCH SQUARE PAN
What I own and love: Wilton Recipe Right Square 9-Inch Covered Pan, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Square Cake Pan with Lid, or USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan.
I use a 9×9-inch size square pan ALL the time for things like brownies, cookie bars, fudge, caramels, small cakes, and more. Since they’re so versatile, I recommend having 2. I like these pans to have lids because I usually use them for dessert bars, which travel well. The 8×8-inch square bake pan size also works for most recipes, but if swapping one size for the other, keep in mind the bake time may change.
Quantity recommended: 1
4. ROUND CAKE PANS
What I own and love: Fat Daddio’s 9-Inch Cake Pan or Fat Daddio’s 8-Inch Cake Pan.
Fat Daddio’s is a common preferred brand for cake bakers. I began using these pans in 2018 to bake layer cakes and immediately fell in love. They’re great quality for the price! I recommend owning 3. If you own fewer, you’re limited to how much batter you can bake at once. It’s best to bake cake batter all at once, and if you own only 2 round cake pans, you have to wait to bake that final layer if you’re making a 3-layer cake. Purchase 2-inch deep cake pans or those labeled “deep dish” style—some round pans are only 1.5 inches high, and you could end up with batter spilling over the edges. Pay attention to whether the cake recipe calls for an 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pan, and adjust your baking time accordingly if you swap one for the other.
Quantity recommended: at least 2, preferably 3
I include these pans in my Best Cake Decorating Tools list, too.
5. STANDARD 12-COUNT MUFFIN PAN
What I own and love: USA Pan Bakeware Cupcake & Muffin Pan or Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Nonstick Muffin Pan.
I recommend owning 2 standard 12-count muffin pans because some muffin or cupcake recipes yield more than 12. My vanilla cupcakes recipe makes 14! It’s like a Baker’s Dozen +1… we’ll call it a Sally’s Dozen, LOL. And if you like baking muffins or cupcakes often (of course you do!), owning 2 of these is essential.
Quantity recommended: 2
6. 24-COUNT MUFFIN PAN
What I own and love: USA Pan Bakeware Mini Cupcake & Muffin Pan or Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Nonstick Mini Muffin Pan.
This pan is for all those adorably bitesize mini muffins and cupcakes you want to make. The Williams Sonoma Goldtouch muffin pans are a newer addition to my kitchen, and I’m definitely a bit starry eyed for that matte gold finish (which also happens to be super nonstick).
Quantity recommended: 1
7. 9-INCH PIE DISH
What I own and love: Too many to list! I collect pie dishes. A great place to start is this Pyrex Bakeware Scalloped Pie Plate.
Though I own ceramic, metal, and glass, my preferred choice is glassware for pie baking. Glass heats slowly and this gradual heat is perfect to evenly cook pie, including the bottom of the crust, the filling, and the edges. You can also SEE the bottom of the crust browning, which is helpful for dishes with long bake times. This Pyrex pie dish has fluted rims, allowing you to crimp the edges of your crust with ease. It has thick glass and has never warped—even through my hundreds of pies!
- I also love my Emile Henry French Ceramic Ruffled Pie Dish ceramic ruffled pie dish because the pies are consistently gorgeous and so is the pie dish! However, ceramic pie dishes heat slowly and your pies may take much longer to bake.
Quantity recommended: 1
8. 9×5-INCH LOAF PAN
What I own and love: Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9×5-Inch Loaf Pan.
You can cook everything from banana bread and zucchini bread to pull apart bread and croissant bread. This Farberware pan is incredible quality—durable, sturdy, and warp-resistant. A 9×5-inch loaf pan is the standard size most bread recipes call for, but you can also use the 8.5×4.5-inch USA Pan loaf pan too. I own and love both sizes.
Quantity recommended: 1
5 Extra Baking Pans That Are Useful
If you’d like to extend your bakeware collection beyond these 8 basics, I recommend these:
- 9-inch springform pan for cheesecakes and tarts. I use and recommend this Calphalon springform pan because it’s heavy-duty and leakproof.
- 6-count donut pan for baked donuts. I recommend the same pan year after year: the inexpensive and top-quality Wilton Nonstick Doughnut Pan.
- 9-inch tart pan for tarts. Make sure you get one with a removable bottom for easy cutting and serving. I recommend this Wilton nonstick tart pan because it’s great quality for the price.
- 6-count jumbo muffin pan for giant bakery-style muffins. I recommend the Wilton brand (make sure you click “jumbo”). I love extra-large muffins. You can take any regular muffin recipe and bake them in a larger size by upping the baking time to about 25–28 minutes. Try my jumbo raspberry chocolate chip muffins recipe!
- 10-12 cup Bundt pan for Bundt cakes. I own several and my favorite is this Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan. I’m so tempted to buy more of Nordic Ware’s beautiful bundt pans, too—how gorgeous is this gold Braided Bundt Pan, and this Blossom Bundt Pan, oh and this Cut Crystal Cast Bundt Pan…? Ahem. Where was I?
More Baking Tool Recommendations
- 14 Best Baking Tools That Every Baker Needs
- 10 Best Pie Baking Tools
- 10 Best Cake Decorating Tools
- Favorite Candy-Making Tools
- 10 Best Cookie Baking Tools
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi Sally: I appreciate your baking recipes, instructions and tool lists! Thank you!
I want to get an OXO scale. I will probably only use it for baking. Is the 5 pound model the best choice for baking use only?
Hi Mary, you can find our favorite baking scale on our baking tools page!
I struggle with getting my baked items out of pans. Do you always line with parchment and can you do a tutorial on best ways to line pans with parchment so it isn’t wrinkled at the corners?
Hi Erin! We often use parchment paper to line pans for cake, bars, and other recipes where we want to remove the final baked goods. We do have this post on how to use parchment paper rounds, but at this time we don’t have a tutorial for how to line square/rectangular pans. I’m sure there are many great tutorials online, and we will definitely keep this in mind for the future!
I have a recipe calling for a 9″ x 13″ pan OR a kugelhopf pan. They differ greatly in the amount theyll hold. Think i can use a bundt pan instead to mimic the kugelhopf shape?
Hi Alice, it really depends on how many cups of batter your recipe will produce. This cake pan sizes and conversions guide may be a helpful resource.
I wonder if an 8×8 square pan is necessary. I have a metal 9×9 one. Is there a durable, safe, and reliable 8×8 square pan for baking?
Hi Allison, some recipes are written specifically for 8×8 pans, and a 9×9 pan will result in a thinner baked good. We link to one of our favorite 8×8 pans in the post above.
I appears in your video that you baked your dinner rolls in a glass dish. Is this right?
Correct. I use a glass 9×13-inch dish often.
Your recipes are above and beyond expectations as well as your easy to follow instructions and videos. I thank you and your challenges for getting me out of my pies and cookies comfort zone! I’m about to embark on my first ever scones (your banana nut) Do you recommend a specific scone pan for consistency of size and shape? Thanks for all you and your team do!
Hi Joan! We use a simple half sheet pan (linked above) for our scone recipes. Hope this helps!
I love all of your baking tool recommendations, but can you recommend a good dish drying rack that can handle lots of sheet pans, bowls, etc. at one time? Every time I bake it seems like it’s a battle to fit all the baking dishes into a configuration that won’t inevitably collapse. Ideally I would dry everything right away but that doesn’t often happen. Thanks!
Hi JoAnna! What a great question, it can be so tricky to deal with all those dishes. We usually use a standard drying rack that can hold some plates and cups, and also dish drying mats where you can pile dishes up without a rack. Let us know if you find a dish drying rack you love!
Thank you for your baking tips. In your pie recipes do you use deep dish pans (about 2 inch depth) or the standard 1 inch depth? In particular, I am making the strawberry rhubarb pie? Thanks again.
Hi Jacquelin, for our strawberry rhubarb pie we use a 9×2 inch pie dish.
Hi Sally. You are very talented and creative, and also a great teacher. Thanks. Question. I have baked 6 of your cakes in two 8”x3” round Wilton mismatched pans. Cakes finish at different times. I will buy new pans. Can I stay with 3” height, or do you feel that 2” is more optimal for rising?
Hi Maria! We’ve never needed cake pans deeper than 2 inches. They’re our favorites!
Hi Sally and team: I would love it if you could answer a question I haven’t been able to find an answer to yet: how do you convert pie crust recipes for smaller individual pies? I would like to try some 4″ or 5″ pies but I can’t find good advice about converting a standard 2-crust pie recipe.
Hi Laura, We don’t have a separate post for making smaller pies, but we do have a post for mini galettes. Our full pie crust recipe makes two 12-inch circles or as you can see in the mini galettes post, it also makes ten 5.5-inch circles. Depending on how many you need to make at once, you can use one half of the crust and freeze the other half for later!
I know from reading your posts for many years that you really appreciate the benefits of using a Silpat, silicone mat when baking. I’m wondering if you have ever used any of their other baking pans and what you think of them. I have been using them for over ten years and can’t imagine using anything else.
Hi Barbara, I’m a devoted fan to silicone baking mats and Silpat brand is a great choice. I see they sell baking trays and baking molds for muffins/cupcakes but I haven’t tested with them. They have wonderful pastry workstation mats for rolling out doughs; I use mine often.
I have been baking for over 40 years . And I now go to your site first for interesting new and fun suggestions. I have not been disappointed whatsoever at anything I have tried, and I am going thru your recipes like an out of control tornado. My neighbors are very happy about my elevated baking addiction since I have retired. I’m looking forward to a new branch of your Sally’s Baking Addiction brick and mortar opening down the street from my house, it would even get me out of retirement to come work for you. So when you are ready to branch out let me know. You’re the BEST.
Keep it up. We love your dedication.
Peter, what a lovely note to read this morning! Thank you so much for popping in to say hi and I’m glad you find my site and articles helpful. I have a lot more posts like this coming and you can always check back in the Baking Tips section for new articles/posts.
Hi Sally, I have 3 8×2 inch round pans. 2 of them are Fat Daddio and the other is Wilton, I believe (it has Magic Line on the back). When I am using all three pans the Fat Daddios browns the cakes more. The cake in the other pan comes out pale looking. Any thoughts?
Hi Toni, is the Wilton pan lighter in color? Fat Daddio is my preferred choice for round cake pans. Cakes typically cook beautifully without over-browning around the edges. (Some browning if, of course, normal and expected!)
These guys should sponsor you because you just made their business’s prosper more
Thanks for the recommendations here, Sally.
A couple years back I read another post on your blog recommending tools for the kitchen, and I bought a USA half sheet pan. Omg! I threw out all my other large sheet pans. You know, those pans that partway through roasting vegs and you hear that DDZZIIIINNNGGG and see the pan has warped?? Never happens with the USA pan, I’ve even added other pans because I love their quality.
Thanks for keeping us all in the know.
Agreed! I haven’t had any warping from my USA Pan half sheet pans– same with my Nordic Ware too!
Very concise article…thank you. I have Corningware pie plates and various sizes of baking dishes that I love. My Corningware lasagna pan is 40 years old! I’ve been adding USA pans and throwing out the cheaper metal pans I had that always rusted. Life is too short to use lousy bakeware!!!
I really do love USA Pan pans! Quite durable. I love Corningware bakeware too!
Hi Sally, thanks for your advice and tips. I wanted to ask your thoughts on the Masterclass brand? I have a few of these especially for making pies and quiche as they have holes at the bottom to prevent soggy bottoms on pies etc.
What are your thoughts on this?
Also, for macarons, would you recommend a silicone mat or a Masterclass macaron tray. Thank you lots AM xx
Hi AM! Thank you so much for asking– I have no experience with the Masterclass brand baking pans. A lot of the products I’m checking out do have wonderful reviews though. I would be nervous baking butter-heavy pie crust in a pan with holes only because butter is bound to leak out, but I again– I haven’t tried these pans out to really know!
Hi sally, this is a great news helpful article! I love these selections. My question is, with the USA pans (and any other non-stick) do you ever have to adjust your cooking time or temperature? Do they react differently than regular aluminum in that regard?
What a great question, Donice– I’ve never had to adjust my oven temperature when using nonstick. With lighter colored pans, bake time may be longer than when using a darker pan. But the USA Pan pans are pretty light.
Your list will make a great housewarming gift for my son!
Hi; trying out new recipe named Banana Bars w/ Cream Cheese frosting..Recipe calls for 15x10x1 in baking pan. My USA Pan measures
14 1/2 X 9 1/2 X1. , will this pan work as it’s under measurement quoted??
Hi Evelyn, It’s difficult to say since this isn’t our recipe but it should be fine, your bars may simply be slightly thicker.
I read your article on the must-have baking pans. I’m currently using two 9X2 inch Nordic ware pans for over a decade. I was looking to make smaller cakes and I noticed you recommend Fat daddies brand. Is there really that much of a difference between the two brands? I’m looking for an 8 x 2 round cake band
Hi Michael, If you love your Nordic Ware pans then stick with those! The most used cake pans in our kitchens are Nordic Ware, Calphalon, Wilton, Fat Daddio, and USA Pan and you really can’t go wrong with any of those brands.
Thank you for the quick reply. I decided to buy two Nordic Ware springform pans and try two Fat Daddio round baking pans.
I have some of the Fat Daddio round pans, but they’re all 3 inches deep instead of 2. Will that make any difference in my cakes? Obviously I won’t fill to 2/3 full and will instead just evenly split my batter between pans, but just wondering if that extra inch changes anything.
Hi Cathy, from what I’ve tested and learned, it doesn’t make a difference as long as you don’t over-fill the baking pans.
Hi! I am a beginner that should’ve paid WAY more attention in math eons ago! I am making one cake and going to use 2 8″ pans. I have an 8×3 and an 8×2. Can I use 2 different depths if I am pouring equal amounts and keeping an eye on the doneness?
Thanks so much for helping the baking-challenged like myself! You’re the best! Stay safe!
Hi Jodi, Yes you can use them both and the bake time will still be the same if they have the same amount of batter in them.
Hi Sally! I was going to buy the Pyrex glass pie dish that you listed on Amazon, but after reading reviews I’m kind of wary about buying. Multiple people all had the pie dish explode during/after baking, glass flying everywhere. The first 10 pictures are all of exploding pie glass. I assume this has never happened to you or else you wouldn’t recommend it. Would ceramic pie dishes be less likely to break?
Hi Ashlee, Sally uses the linked Pyrex pie dish in most of her pie recipes and has never had a problem with it! I just checked the link and don’t see any exploding pictures but you can certainly go with ceramic if you are more comfortable.
I love your baking tips and advice. I’ve been baking for many years and would like to get some new baking pans… as layer cakes go, all I have is 9″x1.5″ I got from my mom. I find 1.5″ is too low. I’ve been contemplating to get an 8″ but cannot decide which will serve me better in the long run… 8″x 2″ or 8″x 3″. What do you recommend? Appreciate any advice on this. Thanks so very much.
Hi Dahlia, Just about all of my pans are 2 inches high. Have fun shopping 🙂
I have had great success with the USA Bakeware brand, especially the muffin tins. They come right out, even blueberry!
When I bake cakes, I typically half the recipe because I have a household of two. A whole cake is simply too much cake for two people!
What round cake pan size would you recommend for half a cake recipe? A 5″round? A 6″ round?
And if I go with a 3″ deep, will that effect baking times vs if I went for a 2″ deep (which I think is more standard)?
MK in Seattle
Hi MK, When I make smaller cakes I like to use a 6 X 2 inch pan. My best tip for making 6 inch cakes is to use a cupcake batter instead of trying to alter larger cake recipes. Cupcake batter that produces about 12-15 cupcakes is the perfect amount for a 3 layer 6 inch cake. I wrote this post on it with lots of tips that you might find helpful!
good to know!
I love your site and recipes. I’ve learned alot. Your tips are so helpful.
I have a recipe from Bon Appetit for a 1/2 cake and it uses two 5” round cake pans.
I adore your site and agree with you on all of the pans. I do not have your bread pan suggestion…just have a glass Pyrex. It rocks!
I’m new to your site and to baking I’m making heart cakes for Valentine’s Day I got the first one to full. Next year I figure my amount with cups of water.
Love your recipes. Made your lemon bars, best ever.