Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan

Why Professional Bakers Say This Simple Cake Pan Is the Gold Standard for Baking

Best of all, it’s just $13.
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Frosted, glazed, or bare, a great cake has gorgeous height, a golden brown hue, and a plush crumb that's dreamy to run my fork through. A lot of what contributes to this glorious result is the alchemic powers that unleash once cake batter hits the hot oven, which is why people tend to regard baking as a rigid science. In spite of that, I found there's one affordable, fail-proof way to sway cakes towards well-baked success in my four years of working as a culinary assistant, professional baker, and now a recipe developer—and it's all about using the right cake pan. 

Bakeware comes in a variety of materials, like stainless steel, glass, and more. But according to professional and enthusiastic home bakers alike, the anodized aluminum pans from Fat Daddio's take the proverbial cake. And the cherry on top? The pans cost no more than $13 each

To buy: Fat Daddio's 8-by-3-Inch Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan, $13 at amazon.com

Instead of absorbing heat, anodized bakeware reflects it so that it warms and chills quickly. Translation: Your cakes will cook evenly without running the risk of being overbaked, and they're able to cool down lickety-split out of the oven. Anodized pans are also non-reactive, deeming them excellent homes for lemony, chocolatey, or sour cream-based cake batters, acidic mixtures that can set off a nasty-tasting reaction baked in the wrong type of pan. 

Fat Daddio's pans come in many shapes and sizes, from the practical to downright adorable. Yet it's the brand's round cake pans, such as the 8-by-3-inch pan, that attract the most attention, and for good reason. 

Bobbie Lloyd, chief baking officer of Magnolia Bakery, regards this cake pan as the gold standard in the industry by virtue of how heavy-duty and dependable it is. "A few years ago, we had to replace all of the cake pans at our bakeries," she wrote over email. "We knew we needed the best, which meant Fat Daddio's heavy gauge aluminum pans—they stand up to a lot of wear and tear so our cakes are consistently delicious." 

But showstopping layer cakes aren't the only thing the Fat Daddio's 8-by-3-inch pans are excellent for. "[It's] sturdy, easy to clean, and my cinnamon raisin focaccia with Herbs de Provence come[s] out beautiful with a crunchy crust and soft inside," said one baker on Amazon, where the pan has a 4.7-star average across more than 10,000 reviews.

Me personally? While I rely on it mostly to make thick snacking cakes, I've even used it to fashion Nadiya Hussain's banana ice cream 'cheesecake' when it dawned on me, mid-blending the filling, that—uh oh. I didn't own a springform pan Nadiya calls for. I made a beeline for the Fat Daddio's pan, sprayed it, lined it with cling film, and proceeded to build the cheesecake. Once it chilled (super quickly, I must say! Thanks again to anodized aluminum), the cake sprang right out. 

If you're looking to improve cakes and bread tenfold, look no further than to swipe up a Fat Daddio's cake pan from Amazon. At $13, what's stopping you?  

This story originally appeared on foodandwine.com.