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 Marketing Team.

comments

  1. 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

  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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

  8. 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

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