What are Some Different Kinds of Baking Pans?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Baking pans are very commonly used in food preparation. There are a number of different types that can be used for several different purposes. Here are some examples of the different kinds of baking pans, including the different materials used in their manufacture.

A jelly roll pan.
A jelly roll pan.

The average baking pan is made of either some sort of metal or glass. Metal versions often are constructed of aluminum, carbon steel, or tinned steel. Occasionally, a metal pan may have a copper treated bottom, similar to the copper coating found on many sets of stainless steel range top cooking pots and pans. Today, many metal pans also feature a nonstick surface. This makes them easy to use for all sorts of baked goods, and certainly makes the cleaning process much faster and simpler.

Metal pans are often made out of aluminum.
Metal pans are often made out of aluminum.

Along with metal, glass is a common material used for baking pans. Glass pans are made of made of tempered glass that will hold up well to prolonged exposure to heat in the oven. Some people prefer to use these pans, since they are rumored to provide an even distribution of heat during the cooking process. They come in clear types, as well as a variety of colors. Some may also include a ridged baking surface in the bottom of the pan, which is considered ideal when baking meats such as fish or chicken filets.

Along with glass and metal, there are other materials used for baking pans. Stoneware and pottery versions are favored in some cultures and with certain types of baked goods. Many people prefer pottery or stoneware when preparing a casserole.

Baking pans are commonly found in square, round, and oblong shapes and may measure anywhere from seven to fifteen inches (18 to 38 cm) in length and width. Depths may range from just under an inch to over three inches, depending on the pan's intended purpose. These pans can be used for the preparation of appetizers, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. While the cost of a pan ranges from inexpensive aluminum types all the way to costly pottery and stoneware models, affordable baking pans are readily available just about everywhere.

Larger baking pans can be used in batch cooking of certain items.
Larger baking pans can be used in batch cooking of certain items.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Does anyone make a round metal covered baking pan? The cover is to be used while baking.


I need a 15"x10" jellyroll pan, but I don't have one, what other size can I use? thank you.


@closerfan12 -- I think that maybe you're thinking of shaped baking pans, which some people use to give cakes a specific shape -- like pound cake or bundt cake, say.

However, as far as I know you can get a perfectly good cake out of any kind of pan, whether it's a cheap disposable baking pan or top of the line silicone baking pan.

So I think that the logic behind cake pans comes down to the shape -- the same reason we have cupcake and muffin baking pans.

Hope that helps!


This may be a silly question, but why do people use cake baking pans? I mean, is there a specific advantage to baking cake in cake pans, or can you just use a normal pan?


Thank you so much for this article -- I'm learning to cook (first time chef!) since I got married, and I had no idea that there was such a difference between pans.

I got a ton of different pans for my wedding, and I still can't tell the difference between a nonstick baking pan and a stainless steel baking pan, much less the different ways I should use them!

This article will definitely become a reference for me -- thank you!


It is good to remember that if you are going to bake cakes with acidic ingredients, such as lemon cake, or cranberry cake, it is better to use materials that do not react with acid. For those cakes, glass and stainless steel pans are better.

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