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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

    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!!

    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

    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

  5. Adele Keyes Raines

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

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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!

    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

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