How can I keep my cake from sticking in the tube pan?

Classic Angel Food Cakeenlarge
Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

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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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"Lately my 10" tube pound cake has been sticking on the sides and bottoms of the pan. I lightly grease and flour the tube pan and test the cake for doneness with a piece of spaghetti. The last time I cooked the pound cake I got the same results!! Am I not letting the cake cool long enough or am I not preparing the tube pan correctly? Do I need another pan? (The pan doesn't have that much wear and tear). Also, do you have a list of causes of why a cake didn't turn out right.? I never use to have this problem. I haven't baked in a while and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I NEED HELP!!"

It doesn't sound so much like the cake isn't turning out right, as it won't come out of the pan. Other than that, I am assuming the cake is good.

So, why is it sticking and what can you do about it? Here are a number of guesses:

  • Perhaps you are too lightly greasing and flouring the pan. Try being more liberal with your coatings.
  • Is it burning—too brown—on the sides and bottom, and that is why it is sticking? If so, perhaps your oven is too hot, causing the cake to brown on the outside too much by the time the inside is cooked. Try putting an oven thermometer in several spots of your oven to determine if it has hot spots or if it is running too hot overall.
  • You say the pan has only been lightly used, but if the surface somehow got scratched or degraded, that might also cause sticking.

In addition to those suggestions, you might also try Wilton's Cake Release, which I use when baking pans with tricky shapes and lots of edges.

Marge Perry
Aug, 2012
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