Baking with a parchment paper sling: a time-saving tip

The best shortcuts not only save time but also produce superior results. And that’s exactly what baking with a parchment paper sling does: it makes tasks like transferring cakes, cooling quick breads, and removing bars a breeze. We’re no strangers to using parchment paper in pans, but this time-saving tip now has us head over heels for this stuff!

A parchment paper sling doesn’t just cover the bottom of the pan, it also goes up and over the sides, too. The overhanging edges serve as handy little tabs to easily and cleanly lift delicate baked goods out of the pan.
Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflourImagine transferring your delicate lemon squares or still-warm fudgy brownies from their pans without worry. No need to laboriously pry hardened edges from the sides of the pan while fretting about the bottom sticking. Say goodbye to the plate-on-the-top, close-your-eyes and flip method of getting cakes out of the pan.

Parchment paper slings are a life-saver, and a time-saver too! Click To Tweet

When to use a parchment paper sling

There are few limits to the kinds of recipes that can be made in a parchment paper sling. Any time you’d like to bake and serve something outside of its pan is a worthwhile opportunity to use a sling.

The exceptions are recipes that necessitate a round pan. (The curved edges make the parchment wrinkle, which gets tricky.) Instead stick to bars, sheet cakes, quick breads, and other treats typically baked in square or rectangular pans.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

How to use a parchment paper sling: 4 easy steps

1. Cut your parchment paper to size

If you’re using a roll of parchment paper, start by cutting a piece that’s at least as wide as the pan in one direction and notably longer in the other. (An extra 8″ to 10″ is usually a safe bet.)

If you’d like to be precise, you can do some quick math to ensure you have just the right amount. Add the width or length of the bottom of the pan (depending on whether the handles will be on the short sides or long sides), plus two times the depth of the pan, plus 3″. (This will allow for 1 1/2″ overhang on each side.)

Example: For a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan with handles on the 9″ ends — 13″ + (2 x 2″) + 3″ = 20″-long piece of parchment.

Now that you have your piece cut (or if you’re working with our parchment half sheets), lay the parchment in the pan. Trim any excess so it lies flat on the bottom of the pan, with the extra parchment hanging over on either end. It’s OK to trim it a little narrower than the pan — it doesn’t need to be a perfect fit to be effective.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

Use metal (oven-safe) binder clips to prevent the sides from folding downward.

2. Secure parchment in place

It’s a good idea to secure the parchment paper sling in place to prevent it from moving around when you add the batter. I like to use binder clips to attach the parchment to the edges of the pan. This will also keep the edges from folding into the batter during baking.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

No clips? Not to worry — just be mindful (or recruit another pair of hands) when pouring your batter into the pan.

Trim the edges or “handles” of the sling so that there’s only about 1″ to 2” of excess overhang on each end to prevent them from folding downward.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

3. Lightly grease, if necessary

Our parchment paper is non-stick coated. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to give the parchment and exposed sides of the pan a light coating of grease.

I swear by Everbake Pan Spray, but use whatever non-stick spray you prefer to make your baked goods release easily.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflourOnce your pan is lined, add your batter (or crust, if making bars) to the pan and bake as directed in the recipe.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

4. Remove your baked goods from the pan

Once you’ve baked your recipe and it’s cooled at least slightly, you’re ready to put the sling to use! You may want to use a knife or nylon spreader to loosen the edges not covered by parchment for extra release insurance.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflourGently pull on the overhanging edges to lift your perfectly baked treat out of the pan. Let it finish cooling on a rack, if necessary. It’s really that easy!

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

A parchment paper sling = superior results!

You’ll be able to easily move your freshly baked treats without a hitch, and they’ll also look immaculate. The edges will be crisp, and slices will be neater since you can cut them on a cutting board. Making precise slices is much easier when you’re not worrying about scratching the bottom of your pan.

Using parchment paper in pans via @kingarthurflour

A parchment paper sling even works when baking quick breads in ceramic pans, like our tea loaf pan.

I love using parchment paper in pans to make a sling, especially when baking cheesecake bars or lemon squares, but the possibilities don’t end there! A parchment paper sling is also helpful when making quick breads, like my favorite morning treat: Double Chocolate Banana Bread (with a sprinkle of slivered almonds for pizzazz!).

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflourBaking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflourAnd those warm Fudge Brownies I talked about? These too can be perfectly sliced and served when baked in a parchment paper sling.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

One more reason to use a sling

If you’re not already eager to use parchment paper in pans to make a sling, consider this added benefit: easy cleanup!

Even if you’ve become accustomed to using parchment paper in pans to line the bottom, edges often leave stubborn residue and provide the most trouble during cleanup. No more standing over the sink scrubbing stubborn pans or chiseling chunks out of the corners when you use a parchment paper sling.

Baking with a parchment paper sling via @kingarthurflour

Share with us the ways using parchment paper in pans has made your baking life easier in comments, below.

Thanks to fellow employee-owner Seann Cram for taking the photographs for this blog.

Kye Ameden
About

Kye Ameden grew up in Fairlee, Vermont and has always had a love of food, farms, and family. After graduating from St. Lawrence University, she became an employee-owner at King Arthur Flour and is a proud member of the Digital Engagement Team.

comments

  1. Joanne Vitiello

    I love parchment for baking. However, I always use another strip in the pan, overlapping it with the first one and letting it hang off the other sides.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Kye recommends using metal, oven-safe binder clips in this post, Rebecca. If you don’t have those, it’s ok! Use the binder clips until you’ve poured your batter into the pan. Then remove them to bake as the batter should keep the parchment in place from there on out. Happy baking! Annabelle@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Certainly, Debbie — we do it all the time and love it! It’s easiest in a loaf pan but you can also use a couple of strips under a round loaf in a Dutch oven. Annabelle@KAF

  2. Fran

    How would I use parchment paper in a tube pan? I was going to cut a round piece of parchment to fit the bottom and cut a circle in the center so it would fit over the center piece. I grease and flour the pan, would I do the same to the parchment paper?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fran, there’s actually parchment paper that’s specifically made for tube pan, which already has the hole cut out of the center. If you’re not able to find some of this, you can use any parchment paper and cut it to size by tracing the pan and trimming the circle slightly smaller. You’ll need to also cut a small circle in the center for the hole. You can use a bit of non-stick spray on top of the parchment and sides of the pan for extra insurance. Skip the flour—we’ve found in other test kitchen experiments that can do more harm than good when it comes to getting baked goods out of their pan. We hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  3. Barbara

    I haven’t tried a sling; most of my bar cookies are baked in 9 x 13 pans, and I don’t think the sling would lift them without bending/breaking. But I did want to mention one thing. I see that for your examples, you show the sling, but two sides of the pan are bare of parchment. Why? I regularly bake your fudge brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars in 9 x 13 pans that are totally lined with parchment. I just miter the corners–clip at a 45-degree angle down the corner and let the two parchment sides overlap, then press into place and clip. I use binder clips on all four sides of the pan. Even with the miters, I rarely have to wash pans, sometimes just a bit in the corners, and the bar cookies come out perfectly.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Barbara, your approach sounds very precise and clean, which is something we certainly appreciate! We find that having parchment on the two longest sides of the pans (if rectangular) tends to provide enough coverage and support to safely transfer the baked goods. Plus, making mitered edges isn’t something that all bakers want to take time doing. That being said, we encourage you to use whatever method works best for you! Kye@KAF

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *