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

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 Marketing Team.


  1. 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.

    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.

  2. 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.

  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!

    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

    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

  4. 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.

    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

    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

  5. 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?


    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. 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.

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