Stock Your Kitchen with These 8 Baking Pans

Here’s a set of 8 must-have baking pans that every baker needs. Updated in 2019.

collage of 8 baking pans that every baker needs

Let’s chat about even more baking tips!

As a sequel to my 14 kitchen tools every baker needs post, today I’m sharing a list of the exact baking pans that I use in my kitchen. These are baking pans that I find most useful, most versatile, and best quality for their price. I use these 8 baking pans more than anything else in the kitchen and highly recommend them to any and all bakers– both beginner and advanced.

My goal is to encourage you to bake with the most reliable tools available. Recipes are only as successful as the tools you use to create them, so don’t overlook this list! I own a few different brands so I can happily provide options at different price points.

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 5 lines. I bake in my glass Pyrex pans as well, but that’s mostly for casseroles and savory dishes. Why? Glass takes longer to heat than metal, but when things do get hot– they get really hot.

From one baker to another, my 8 recommended baking pans:

1. HALF SHEET PAN

What I own and love: Calphalon Classic Rimmed Baking Sheets and USA Pan Bakeware Half Sheet Pan.

Both excellent quality. I find the USA Pan pans don’t warp as easily, which is great. I use half sheet pans for baking cookies, scones, vegetables, potatoes, fish, meat, croissants, pastries, breads, pouring out toffee or chocolate bark, and so much more. The 12×17 inch size is perfect for holding a dozen cookies and the rimmed edges prevent any sauces/syrups from dripping off the sheet. Traveling with a sheet cake or cookies? Or want to just keep things fresh? Get the half sheet pan with a lid! (Nordic Ware is also an excellent brand.) Quantity recommended: at least 2

2 rimmed baking sheets

2. 9×13 INCH PAN

What I own and love: USA Pan Bakeware Quarter Sheet Pan. For glass, I highly recommend Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong 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 brownies and lasagna to casseroles and rice krispie treats. This pan can be made of glass, metal, or ceramic, but metal seems to be the most basic option. Quantity recommended: 1

3. 9×9 SQUARE PAN

What I own and love: Wilton Recipe Right Square 9 Inch Covered Pan, Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Square Cake Pan with Lid, and USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan.

I use this size pan ALL the time for things like brownies, cookie bars, fudge, caramels, small cakes, etc. Since they’re so versatile, I recommend having 2. I like these pans to have lids because I usually use them for dessert bars– I travel a lot with bar treats. The 8×8 square bake pan size also works for most recipes, but if swapping one size for the other, the bake time may change. Quantity recommended: 2

2 square baking pans

4. 9-INCH ROUND CAKE PAN

What I own and love: Fat Daddio’s 9 Inch Cake Pan.

Fat Daddio’s is the common preferred brand for cake bakers. I began using these pans in 2018 and immediately fell in love. 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 only own 2 round cake pans, you have to wait to bake that final layer. Purchase 2-inch deep cake pans or those labeled “deep dish” style– meaning that you are not limited to the height of cake. Some round pans are only 1.5 inches high and if your recipe calls for a 9×2 inch round cake pan (most of mine do!), you can’t use it. Quantity recommended: 3

Fat Daddio's round 9-inch cake pan

5. STANDARD 12-COUNT MUFFIN PAN

What I own and love: USA Pan Bakeware Cupcake & Muffin Pan and Lucentee® Large Muffin Pan

I recommend owning two standard 12-count muffin pans because many muffin or cupcake recipes yield more than 12. And if you like baking muffins or cupcakes often (of course you do!) owning two of these is essential. The silicone muffin pan is SUPER non-stick– everything slides right out and it’s dishwasher safe. The listing says “jumbo” but it’s for standard size muffins and cupcakes. Bonus: it’s a gorgeous blue color. Quantity recommended: 2

12 count muffin pans

6. 24-COUNT MUFFIN PAN

What I own and love: Wilton Perfect Results Premium Mini Muffin Pan.

This pan is for all the mini muffins and cupcakes you make. I’ve had this Wilton mini muffin pan for years and besides a few scratches, it still gets the job done. Fantastic quality for its price. I don’t own one yet, but the Lucentee® silicone muffin pan linked above comes in mini muffin size too! Quantity recommended: 1

24 count mini muffin pan

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 Glass Pie Dish.

Though I own ceramic, metal, and glass, my preferred choice is glassware for pie, quiche, & pot 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 ceramic ruffled pie dish because the pies are consistently gorgeous and so is the pie dish! Ceramic pie dishes are similar to glass in that they heat slowly and evenly. Again, this gradual heat is fantastic for pies. Quantity recommended: 1

glass pie dish and ceramic pie dish

8. 9×5 INCH LOAF PAN

What I own and love: Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 9 x 5-Inch Loaf Pan.

You can cook everything from banana bread and zucchini bread to pound cake and yeast bread. This Farberware pan is incredible quality for its super low price. Durable, sturdy, and warp-resistant– which is what you always want to look for! 9×5 inch is the standard size recipes call for. Quantity recommended: 1

loaf pan

5 Useful Extras

If you’d like to extend your bakeware collection beyond the basics, I recommend these pans as well:

  1. 9-inch springform pan for cheesecakes and tarts. I use and recommend this Calphalon springform pan because it’s heavy-duty and leakproof.
  2. 12-cup bundt pan for beautiful bundt cakes. I own several and my favorite is this Anolon fluted pan. It’s top quality, has lasted through all my bundt cake baking, and its design makes the prettiest cakes. Nordic Ware is another popular choice for bundt cakes.
  3. 6-count donut pan for donuts. I recommend the same pan year after year– inexpensive and top quality Wilton Nonstick Doughnut Pan.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 in about 25-28 minutes.

More Baking Basics Posts

I am not working with any of these brands, though some of these links are affiliate links. These baking pans are brands I trust and encourage you to use in the kitchen as well!

145 Comments

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  1. Brenda Silverstein says:

    Hi Sally,
    Thanks for your recommendations!
    I had 2 Nordic Ware half sheet pans that I was very happy with, for making cookies, etc. My oven broke and my new oven is a tad too small to fit those baking pans inside. If they didn’t have the rimmed edges, they would still fit.
    Do you know of a good company that is just a bit smaller? I would prefer not going down to the next size, so I can still fit 1 batch of your chewy chocolate chip cookies on 2 pans! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Brenda, I use a lot of USA Pans cookies sheets and one of them doesn’t have rims on 3 of the 4 sides (perfect for sliding cookies off). It comes in a few sizes that might work for you: https://www.amazon.com/USA-Pan-1030LC-Resistant-Aluminized/dp/B00282JLDK/ref=sr_1_7?crid=LN6AAFFNJ6KT&keywords=usa+pans+baking+sheet&qid=1570799215&sprefix=USA+pans+%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-7

  2. Hi Sally,
    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)?
    Thanks!
    MK in Seattle

    1. 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!

  3. I have had great success with the USA Bakeware brand, especially the muffin tins. They come right out, even blueberry!

  4. I’m interested in round cakes; three layer round cakes at that. I see a lot of recipes out there for 8″ round cakes. Do you prefer the 9″ round sizes? Is there a true standard?

    1. Hi Lyla, 8 and 9 inch round pans are usually interchangeable, oven temperatures and bake times are the same! Eight inch is more popular when making tiered cakes (For example if you have 10, 8, and 6 inch layers).

      1. I will be making layered cakes, but not tiered cakes. It seems like your recipes call for 9″ pans. Do you prefer that size for some reason or is that just what you have? Thanks for your response btw!

  5. I’m curious about loaf pans. I have two that re Le Creuset… gifts. Should I adjust my baking time for breads because of the type of loaf pan?

    1. If they are ceramic pans, the baked good(s) will take a little longer to cook through.

  6. Hi Sally! I love all of your recipes, and you have helped me excel in the baking world. I bought a stoneware cookie sheet from pampered chef, and am afraid to use it. Have you tried these? Do you recommend stoneware?

    1. Hi Tara! Thank you so much! I don’t recommend stoneware for cookie sheets. Though great for casseroles and other items that take awhile in the oven, cookies require such little time in the oven and that time is crucial for even baking. Stoneware takes a long time to heat and the cookies’ edges and tops could be finished before the centers are anywhere near cooked.

  7. Hi Sally,
    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.

    1. Hi Dahlia, Just about all of my pans are 2 inches high. Have fun shopping 🙂

      1. Thanks so much Sally!! Much appreciated. 🙂

  8. Hi, Sally!
    I’ve seen a lot of recipes that say to multiply ingredients in 2 8″ inch pans by 1.5 for 2 9″ inch pans. Is this true, or will the amount of ingredients be the same for both?

    Mo

    1. It really depends on the recipe. You’d have too much batter for 2 9-inch pans. My cake pan sizes and conversions post is definitely helpful for converting!

  9. Vanessa Strickland says:

    Fat Daddios no longer has the 9 x 2 cake pans, at least on Amazon. Any other suggestions for this size or another seller? I’m really just getting into baking but understand the necessity of having good tools for whatever you do. I’ve searched online and can’t find another seller of the Fat Daddios 2in pans.

    1. Hi Vanessa, the 1.5 or 3 inch depth is just as versatile and convenient. Not sure if those are available, but they work too. I also love USA Pan or Wilton brand 9-inch cake pans.

  10. Pamela Winter says:

    Great recommendations! I have the pans but not the quantity. My challenge is finding room for all of these. I was surprised you didn’t list the angel food cake pan. I simply wouldn’t be without it!!

  11. I see you recommend Fat Daddios pans, which I just bought a set of. I also note that they say to lower the temperature when baking in their pans (they recommend lowering it by 15 degrees at least).

    So the question is, when you post a recipe with a temp and time, is that what you actually used for your Fat Daddios pans? Or is it what “standard” pans would use?

    1. Hi Jason! I’ve never changed the oven temperature when I bake cakes in Fat Daddio pans– and they seem to come out just fine! I test with and use the temperature listed in my recipes.

  12. 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?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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.

  13. 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!
    Jodi

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      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.

  14. Hi Sally,
    I’m trying to figure out which pans and baking materials to buy. Everything on this list seems to be too much for me because I’m not a baker; I just bake and cook for fun. I already have measuring cups, measuring spoons, two baking sheets, two cooling racks, a 9 by 13 glass baking dish, 8 by 8 glass baking dish, and two cast iron loaf pans (and also glass mixing bowls). What else do you think I need? I don’t think I need this many pans, because baking’s not my full-time job, I usually just bake for fun.
    Thank you SO much!
    Love, Michelle

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michelle, It really depends on what you enjoy baking for fun. For example if you love to make cakes then you might consider getting yourself a couple of 9 inch round pans.

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