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. Kim

      Really? Doesn’t wax paper melt and maybe even catch fire? I’ve always heard you shouldn’t use wax paper in the oven. I just checked my roll and it says it’s good for wrapping sandwiches, crushing crackers and can be used in the microwave. Nothing about the oven.

  1. Susan Rosevear

    Help! Every time I try using a sling, the brownies, bars, etc. pull out of the pan in one piece with no problem except that it sags in the middle, resulting in cracks. Any ideas to avoid this?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Great question, Susan! If you’re baking something particularly delicate, you can using a two sling approach. Line your pan with parchment paper strips going in both directions. The only catch is that you’ll need an extra set of hands to help you lift the baked goods out of the pan, each of you holding two edges. While it requires a friend, this method should prevent any bending or cracks! Kye@KAF

    2. Deb

      Perhaps let your baked goods cool a bit more prior to lifting it from the pan, so that it is more firm in the middle.

    3. Margaret

      To prevent the middle-sagging problem, one could easily fabricate a support from a piece of clean cardboard. Just cut the cardboard 1/2″ more narrow than the width of the pan, and a few inches longer that the length of the pan. Slide the cardboard beneath the baked product and the parchment paper, place the hand beneath the cardboard to support it while lifting the product out of the pan.
      If there are extra hands around, they can reused to lift the parchment, too.

    4. Kathleen LaGattuta

      I think Deb has the right idea… let it cool a bit in the pan .I do that anyway when not using the parchment paper. It makes it easier to get banana bread out. I will try the parchment paper.

    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      It depends on what we’re baking, Judy. Sometimes the clips are only necessary to give a little extra support while you pour your batter into the pan, and then they can be removed and the sides trimmed. Feel free to use either approach–just be sure you’re not using plastic clips if you plan to bake with them. Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Judy, you can remove the clips before baking if you like—it’s most helpful to use them while you pour your batter or crust into the pan. If you do want to bake with the clips on, we recommend using oven-safe metal versions (not plastic). We hope this helps! Kye@KAF

  2. Jean

    This is awesome. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to try very hard to remember this.

    I use parchment sheets for lots of things both in the kitchen and in my quilting studio. Couldn’t live without it.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Kerry, you can definitely use parchment paper to line your glass pans. Just keep in mind that glass pans bake differently, so you might want to turn down the oven temperature by 25°F and check for doneness about 5 minutes early. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Like we’ve mentioned to some other readers, baking with the clips on or off is your choice. If you want to take them off, just trim the sides of the parchment so they don’t fold down into your batter. If you choose to bake with them on, just be sure you’re using metal clips. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Sylvia

    Love the clips, to keep parchament paper in place, thank you for the tip! I will be buying clips to keep in the kitchen!

    Reply
  4. BGM

    I use parchment as a sling to transfer risen dough into my dutch oven when baking artisan breads. Much gentler and lass chance of a burn than the traditional flop.

    Reply
  5. Pamela J Robinson

    I’ve been using this technique for a few years now, without the binder clips. However, no matter how I crease the parchment paper beforehand, the paper usually curls back onto the surface of the batter. I definitely need to buy some binder clips before I bake brownies again.

    Reply
    1. Melinda Pickworth

      Pam, This may not be recommended for a cake where you want a smooth surface but I always crumple my parchment paper up before using it. I smooth it out and then it stays in place. I do it for cookies, bars and cakes and have NEVER had a problem.

  6. Cappy

    Why not use two strips of parchment paper, placed into the pan perpendicular to each other, so all sides of the pan are covered? Just wondering if there is a reason that this is a bad idea. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      There’s no reason why that’s a bad idea, Cappy except for the fact that you’ll end up using two times as much parchment. Parchment is like gold around here, so we try to be as conservative as reasonably possible with it. Parchment is reusable though, so you might be able to save at least one, if not both, of your pieces of parchment. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  7. Bonnie Spalding

    Totally Awesome! Tks for the post. I love King Aurthur Flour, I’ve just started using it…..none better. And now for the baking…….love you!!!
    ❤💋

    Reply
  8. Adele Keyes Raines

    Genius! Pure Genius! I have a small container of the Acco Clips right in my kitchen. I use them for everything.

    Reply
    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      The parchment paper sling used to bake the brownies had just enough overhang that it made sense to leave the clips on during the bake to prevent the sides from folding downwards. Don’t worry–we use metal (not plastic) clips! Kye@KAF

    1. Kye Ameden, post author

      Velma, our parchment paper is made of a very high-quality, durable material; we’ve used it to lift loaves of this size of out pans before. If you’re using one that’s less thick and made to last, you might consider doubling up the sheets to give yourself some extra-insurance. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  9. Marianne

    I was glad to see in your one answer that you reuse your parchment. I’m glad that I’m not the only one. I line my cookie sheets with parchment and use one sheet until the whole batch is baked before I throw it away. It’s like gold to me also. Good to know. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Sue

      I also reuse my parchment sheets when baking cookies, as I see no reason to throw it away when it’s not messed up with anything from the cookie dough. I did ask a manufacturer once about it and they said it should never be reused; of course they wanted me to keep on buying it!!

  10. Carolyn

    One parchment half sheet will cut into 7 1/2 inches for 8 inch square pan and 8 1/2
    inches for 9 inch square pan with only the slightest waste. I precut the two sizes and
    keep them in the plastic wrapper that the half sheets came in. I use a paper cutter from art supplies and cut the half sheets crosswise. Always have the paper slings in the kitchen ready for use. Great results.

    Reply
  11. Kathryn Hughes

    Glad to see someone, besides me, using the clips. I have been using them for 3-4 years and love them. I bought a big container of them, in various sizes, at the local office supply company and now they are some of the best “utensils ” in my kitchen. And Everbake Pan Spray is the best I have EVER used. When I run low, I use that as an excuse for a trip to Vermont! Shhh….don’t tell my husband I can order it.

    Reply
  12. Kathleen

    I just showed the picture of the parchment and paper clips to my husband and we both laughed as I have been making my signature brownies in 13 x9 inch pans using this technique for close to 20 years. It works beautifully as long as you let them cool for about 10 minutes before you wisk them quickly out of the pan. Also does make dishwashing a breeze!

    Reply
  13. Belinda, MI

    I have magnets from the craft store that I use on the outside of the pan to hold my paper flat. I slide the magnets off once my pan has cooled a bit. Binder clip is a great idea. Love my KA pans and your parchment paper!

    Reply
  14. Beth

    I use double sided paper,parchment one side,tin foil the other. It is sold by Reynolds. I often brush it off and freeze it for one more use,
    I get that the metal on the clip is probably oven safe. Not as confident about the black “paint”.

    Reply
    1. Patricia

      The paint concerns me as well. I’d like to know more about how it reacts at 350 degrees as it was never intended to be heated or used with food. Would love a reply to this.

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Beth, we always encourage bakers to use techniques they’re most comfortable with. There certainly are plain, all metal clips available, which you’re welcome to use if you’d like to actually bake with the clips on the pan. Kindly, Kye@KAF

  15. Linda C Parkins

    Commercial bakeries re-use parchment often! I love it for a turkey & spinach loaf. You have to roll it up and transfer to a long pan..parchment won’t stick like wax paper. For cakes you can put a round in the bottom, a rectangle around the outside. You can gently pull out the rectangle, then invert on a cake board.

    Reply
  16. Margy

    I’ve been doing this for a long time. I love parchment paper because of its versatility. It involves a little more clean-up, but I lightly spray the pan before I smooth the parchment sheet into it, then spray the paper. The parchment sticks to the sides of the pan, and don’t flop down into the batter while you are pouring it. I started doing this when people kept swiping the binder clips I kept in the kitchen. 🙂

    Reply
  17. Sherrey

    Love using parchment paper and the clips, I leave them on during baking. An easy way to measure your parchment paper is to flip your pan over and measure up the sides and across the bottom and add a few inches for coverage to go over the edges, let it roll up again and measure it exactly across the bottom of your pan and cut off the excess paper. When you flip your pan over, the paper should fit perfectly as a sling.

    Reply
  18. Irene

    Saw this same tip for taking cheesecake out of a cake pan (instead of using a springform pan). You end up cutting 2 strips for the sling, 1 strip to go around the “height” of the pan and the circular liner for the bottom….but it worked great when I tried to make a Japanese cheesecake and there was no leakage.

    Reply
  19. Jan

    I have a 9×13 inch springform pan and a 9×9 inch springform pan that I use for all my brownie and bar cookie recipes. I put a piece of parchment over the bottom plate, snap on the ring and it’s ready to go. After the baked goods come out of the oven and cool for a few minutes, I remove the ring, and slide the brownies (or cake or whatever) off the base and onto a cooling rack.

    This is especially handy when I need to reuse the pan for a second batch or another recipe. I no longer have to wait until the baked good cools completely to remove it from the pan.

    (FWIW, this also works for freezer meals.)

    Reply
  20. Suible

    Fabulous idea!

    The first time I used parchment paper was for a coconut cake. I read and reread the instructions about using the parchment. There was no note that one needed to trim the paper for round pans. So, I didn’t.

    The baked cake was …. shaped rather oddly. Delicious, but odd. Not a King Arthur Flour recipe. A couple of friends talked to me about parchment paper advantages and how to work with it.

    They also told me that parchment paper only comes in rectangles …. Ha! Research always pays off …. Well, almost always.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Research does help, Suible! And we’re always here to answer questions if any arise. Like we mentioned in this post, a parchment paper sling works best for square or rectangle pans, but you can always line your cake pans with parchment rounds. You might need to loosen the sides of the cake, but it definitely helps ensure the bottom doesn’t stick. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  21. sandy

    What did we do before we had parchment paper? I use it for so much. I love to use it to line my pie crusts when I blind bake. I crinkle it up, smooth it out, and then put in the pie shell. Crinkling it helps to get rid of the sharp edges that could cut into the dough and makes it easier to shape. I also (as others have mentioned) re-use my parchment especially during Christmas cookie baking season. After I am done baking for the day, I wipe off the crumbs and roll up the parchment. I slip it into a zip top bag and store in the refrigerator. Because there is a light film of butter on the paper from the cookies I baked, I feel better keeping the paper in the refrigerator.

    Reply
  22. Cynsalz

    I have also found a parchment sling to be useful in baking anything in my slow cooker. Actually “baked” a pecan pie in the cooker for Thanksgiving, a recipe I picked up somewhere on the ‘net, and it came out fabulous AND was easy to remove with a parchment sling AND was easy to clean up afterwards.

    Reply
  23. JACQUES LAMARCHE

    I don’t use clips, I just spray a few dabs of oil on the sides before putting-in the parchment paper or you can just smear a few spots of the cooking fat you are using and this will hold your paper in place

    Reply
  24. Gayle

    I love this tip! I use parchment paper for baking a lot! With fish, or chicken packets, as well as vegies, so much. Also baking. I was cutting to fit, this is so much quicker and easier. Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Kathy

    I just made a meatloaf the other night and put a parchment sling into the pan before putting the meat in. When the meatloaf was done, I just lifted it out of the pan onto a serving plate for slicing. Very little cleanup with the pan. Loved it!!

    Reply
  26. Maria Rose

    I have just started using parchment paper for baking bread on those quarter sheet pans and yes the cleanup is easier and nothing sticks to pans especially if you use the overlap method, plus using parchment paper doesn’t have the negative aspect on body as using aluminum foil.

    Reply
  27. Barbara

    I have been using the sling method for many years for baking quick bread loaves. Only way to get them out of the pan! I use wood clip type clothespins to hold the paper in place and then remove them before baking.

    Reply
  28. Kathleen

    Use parchment paper under your enchiladas, too. You will be able to lift them out cleanly, and not have a cheese-sauce-tortilla encrusted pan to deal with afterwards.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      You are an absolute genius! I’ve been using parchment slings for almost 15 years and never even thought to do this. My clean pans and I salute you! ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Connie, you can click on the orange link where it’s mentioned in the article, or you can simply find it here. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  29. 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

  30. 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

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