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

As a sequel to my 14 kitchen tools every baker needs page, 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.

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. 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– durable, sturdy, and warp-resistant. 9×5 inch is the standard size recipes call for. I own and love the 8.5 x 4.5 inch USA Pan loaf pan too. It works just fine for most bread recipes that call for a 9×5 inch loaf pan too.

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!

156 Comments

  1. Anna-Sophie says:

    Will definitely save this list for when I move out of my parents’ home in a couple years time! Thank you!

  2. Good list. I could not LIVE without my square pan or my half sheet pan. Back in the day, I accidentally bought a 10-inch pie pan instead of 9-inch, and I kept wondering why my pies were so…flat. Live and learn!

  3. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg says:

    Thank you for all of the advice, Sally! I need to buy a new mini muffin pan. Mine are outdated! 

  4. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It says:

    Great baking pan roundup Sally! Is there a huge difference in results for a 9×5 loaf pan recipe baked in an 8×4 pan? I currently own an 8×4!

    1. Not a HUGE difference. It’s a smaller pan, obviously, so the bread will likely be taller and if a recipe calls for a 9×5 loaf pan and you bake in the smaller 8×4 loaf pan– the bake time will be longer than the recipe states. Does that make sense?

      1. Makes perfect sense! Thank you!

  5. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says:

    There’s so much great stuff on this list, and I use it all! I also love my mini donut pan and mini (5.5 x 3 x 2.25) loaf pans. I usually divide a normal 9 x 5 bread recipe into 3 of them, so I can have one to snack on, one to freeze, and one to give away!

    1. I love that Ellen– and a couple others mentioned their mini loaf pan too. I need one now!

  6. demeter | beaming baker says:

    Sally, I’m so glad you made this post! Erik and I just moved cross country (like a year ago… but it goes quick) and we had to get rid of almost everything… Yep, even my beloved bakeware. 🙁 As a fellow baker, I’m always drooling over the millions of pans and other kitchen tools on the market, but I’m never really sure what I actually need. It’s super helpful to be able to read your advice on this.
    Love that you suggested the TWO half sheet pans. Those half sheets are big, but fit into most common ovens. Plus, who really has time to wait for a pan to cool off straight out of the oven when they have like 48 more cookies to bake? 😉
    Lot of sugar browning in glass pans: Interesting factoid. The more ya know…
    Thanks so much for another helpful baking basics post. Looking forward to the next! Have a great weekend, Sally! xo

    1. More power to you– I could get rid of all my clothes if needed but never my baking pans. I’m so glad this is helpful Demeter!

      1. demeter | beaming baker says:

        Haha… yeah. But it was a good thing (although it was tough at the time). It was a healthy purge of, frankly, a lot of novel bakeware that was just giving me a big headache during baking. The cool part was that I was able to shop again once I got here! And now I’ve got this nifty guide to help point me towards more awesome tools of the trade. 😉

  7. I love these posts! As a novice at baking, it’s so helpful to see the basics listed her. It makes me super happy to see how affordable all your picks are- it’s nice to know all my baking essentials don’t HAVE to come from Williams-Sonoma (though I would love that, my wallet would not) to get the picture perfect results we see from you. Keep the baking basics posts coming!

    1. Most of the pans I use are less than $15 each. And all excellent quality, standing the test of time. AND heavy usage!!

  8. Yes, yes, and yes! The only other bakeware that I use as much as this stuff (or more!) is my pair of quarter sheet pans. There’s only two of us in my house, so if we want a couple cookies baked from frozen or a few slices of bread tossed into the oven alongside whatever’s already in there they are perfect! (and fit into the sink way easier for washing up…)

    1. Woops – realized you had the 9×13 labeled as a quarter sheet. I always thought of that as having higher sides… I have one similar to the Williams-Sonoma plus two like the Nordic ware 🙂

      1. Any 9×13 size pan (high sides vs low sides) is typically also called a quarter sheet pan, yes!

  9. Leah @ Grain Changer says:

    GREAT recommendations, Sally! I desperately need to get my hands on a 24 count mini muffin pan (or “Pecan Tassie pan” as my family calls them haha) – I only have 12-counts and it would be SO nice to not have to juggle pans!

    1. Aaaaaaand now I want to bake pecan tassies. Ha!!

  10. I love to bake too and my cookie sheets are my go-to for cookies, scones, biscuits and for roasting. I don’t own a jumbo muffin pan and I do like to make muffins in mini and standard sizes. I do own 4 donut pans since it’s easier to bake with multiple pans when doubling a donut recipe.
    Thanks for the recommendation! 

  11. Hi Sally!

    This is such a great list, and I a few of these things. Now I want to stock up on more stuff from your list!

    I was wondering I have three spring form pans and I thought they were meant for baking cakes in it. I did some research online and it says for cheesecake and tortes…I was wondering do I need to get a cake pan like the one you listed for regular cakes?

    Let me know what you think!

    1. They’re mostly used for cheesecakes, but I’ve used mine for regular cakes before too. Having regular cake pans is ideal because if your cake batter is slightly runny, it can leak out of the springform pans.

      1. Ah I see, thanks for getting back to me! This really makes sense since the last time I tried to make a cake it did leak out a little in one of the pans. I am definitely going to make sure I get some soon! 

        Thanks again! =)

  12. My go-to baking dish is my 12 by 15 Pampered Chef baking stone. I use it for everything from cookies to buns to scones to pizza. Everything comes off beautifully soft and it’s basically impossible to burn the bottom of your baking. It’s the secret to most of my baking success.

    1. I’ll look into those! Thanks for sharing, Shauna.

  13. I might not be the best baker, but I love Williams Sonoma Gold touch pans. They are far and way the best pans and worth the investment. little by little, I swapped out all my old bakeware for the WS ones. 

    1. The goldtouch are incredible. I want to add more to my collection!

  14. Sharon K (The Farm Chick Bakes) says:

    Hi Sally! TGIF! Oh my! The Emile Henry ruffled pie plate is GORGEOUS! I just ordered one off of W&S in burgundy…must have! I love my mini muffin pan….I too have the 24ct Wilton pan and use it for mini muffins, brownies and mini quiches.

    1. I own two and they are absolutely stunning. I always get compliments on it! I have the brown and beige. I want the burgundy, too!

  15. Andrea @ Cooking with a wallflower says:

    I already own some of the classic size baking pans and sheet pans, but I didn’t know that some of them came with lids. Those would be so convenient when you’re headed to parties or bringing treats to a friend. Now, I’ll have to look into it. Not that I need more… lol

    1. I LOVE using the pans with lids– I wish I had more. Such a lifesaver at times!

  16. Austria Azaceta says:

    Hi Sally,
    Great post!!  Its nice to know about the glass vs metal too, I had no idea.  Will have to invest in a metal 9 x 13 (currently have 1 glass & 1 ceramic).  One pan I have that I like is a mini loaf pan. The batter that would go in a 9 x 5 loaf pan fits nicely in it making 8 mini loaves (essentially muffins really, just different shape).  Oh, and my mini muffin pan holds 32 which is nice. I will be making your funfetti layer cake next week for a friend’s birthday but gotta go get a 3rd cake pan first!! 🙂

    1. I don’t have a mini loaf pan, but it is on my wish list!

  17. Great selection! I can’t live without my 9×9 pan and the baking sheets. I use them for almost everything. 

  18. Ah, I have many copies of those 8 pans 🙂 but I don’t have a jumbo muffin tin or a mini muffin tin! Kind of want one too, nothing is cuter than mini cupcakes! And nothing is more fun then splitting a giant muffin right down the middle with your BFF. Maybe this list will help me get on ordering these two pans. When I do, the first thing I’ll make will probably be your snickerdoodle cupcakes (SO good), mini style! 

    1. Nothing better than bite size snickerdoodle cupcakes 🙂

  19. Nice roundup!! I love my baking pans and we agree on several of them!

  20. Carol Gerard says:

    Thank you so much for all your Baking Basic Series. I have been pinning these to Pinterest and then sending them to my granddaughter who is only 11 but loves to bake with me. Hopefully these will give her tools to build on as she continues baking on her own.

  21. This is just what I needed! I have all of the basics but I’m considering getting a donut pan. I’m a total donut junkie, and I can still have my donuts, but healthier, right? 😉

    1. EXACTLY! 😉

  22. Tiffany @ A Kitchen Fable says:

    Very informative! I think I have all the pans you listed except the square 9×9 pan. Gonna get that one soon! And I never knew about the difference between glass and metal pans, so thanks for putting that down.

  23. When it comes to baking in glass pans I have always reduced the oven temperature by 25 degrees and all turns out well

    1. Yes! Excellent tip. Thanks for sharing Lisa.

  24. Cara @ The Little Blonde Baker says:

    Sally this is a great list! I think that ll beginning bakers should know this list! I would be lost without my 1/2 sheet pans and parchment paper! I use them multiply times a week. Great read! 

  25. Carly @ Littleladynibbles says:

    This is SUCH a helpful list! I find myself with too many items in the kitchen and always get stuck when trying to choose something to remove. We don’t have much storage space in our kitchen, so having a list of essentials is so useful.

  26. Hey Sally- so glad you wrote positively about the silicone muffin pan. I have a small collection going on of Silicone pans. I have 2/ 9 inch round pans with 2″ sides, 2 9″ square pans and 2 sheets that I always use for candy making. I really enjoy using them- no spray needed and everything slides right out! Oh, I also have silicone muffin cups(6). I mostly use these for my tasting cakes. I wouldn’t dare “taking ” a cake to someone that hasn’t been tasted! Since I have been cooking/ baking for a very long time because I love it, I own many pans, of many sizes and of many materials! The silicone is something new for me. The 9″ square silicone is wonderful for candy and bars-you would love it! Got mine at Aldi’s for either $2.99 or $3.99! Can’t beat it! They sell for $12.99 up at kitchen shops! Love you! You are a favorite! Feel like I know you!

    1. Love the silicone pans- they’re amazing. No sticking, easy clean up!

  27. Kathryn @ Hungry Little Bear says:

    This is such a helpful list! I need to get my hands on some 9 inch round cake pans, ones without a removeable bottom!

    And pans with lids?! I never even knew they existed, so cleaver and handy for transporting baked goods!

    1. The pans with lids are a lifesaver. I always have batches of brownies or bars to take with me somewhere, so it’s perfect! I just need to remember to NOT forget it when I leave!

  28. Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen says:

    Such a great list and I couldn’t agree more! I just recently used my round pans for the first time and I am so excited I can finally make a layered cake! Also– LOVE my silicone muffin pan. But mine is red and I’d much rather have blue color, too pretty.

  29. I love your baking basic series, I found the information really helpful especially the last couple of posts which I will use when I buy new stuff for my kitchen. I would love it if you make a post on the different flours and also the different names they are known by. All the different flours that I see in recipes do get a bit confusing, especially for someone like me that is Australian, and not sure if whole wheat flour is what we call wholemeal 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you find these posts helpful! What a great idea for a post. Though I’m unsure I can fit it in, I’m always happy to help if you want to shoot me an email about it. 🙂 sallysbakingaddiction (at) gmail.com

  30. Jamie | Hola Croqueta says:

    What an incredibly helpful list! Do you have a place to store all these, Sally? I have a small kitchen. I have my pans in the oven (hate that). I’m wondering if you have a separate storage unit (or if you can recommend one) to store all your baking supplies.

    1. Between a coat closet (that should just be for coats… but instead is home to baking tools!) and the cabinets, I do have enough room. It’s all jammed in there somehow, but it fits. My recommendation would be a cart or something. Maybe something like this? http://www.wayfair.com/Irma-Kitchen-Cart-ANDO1656-ANDO1656.html

      1. Jamie | Hola Croqueta says:

        That cart is so cute! I love the size. That’s great that you’re able to fit everything in a closet + cabinets. I gotta keep researching. Thanks so much for replying + the link! <3

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