What’s the best kind of cookie sheet to use?

Jam-Filled Mezzaluna Cookiesenlarge
Photo: © Marie Hennechart

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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The best kind of cookie sheet or baking pan to use depends on the type of cookies you’re baking. For example, nonstick cookie sheets are convenient because they don’t need to be greased and are easy to clean.  But nonstick pans work best for higher, round-topped, cake-like cookies that rise but don't need to spread out much because cookies don’t spread well on nonstick pans.  So, don't use a nonstick pan when you want a crisp, thin cookie.

I like to use a rimmed cookie sheet—it’s called a half sheet pan—for most of my cookies.   But a rimmed pan is not the best choice if you’re baking light and delicate cookies like lace cookies because those are often hard to lift of the pan if there is rim in the way.

In general, heavy-duty aluminum cookie sheets conduct heat well, and the shiny, reflective surface helps cookies bake evenly.  If you have dark cookie sheets, they can cause the bottoms of the cookies to get too brown because the dark color absorbs the heat more quickly than lighter-colored pans. 

For more cookie tips, see Top 10 Cookie Secrets.

Recipe: Jam-Filled Mezzaluna Cookies 



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