The best cake tins and what to bake in them

Whether you're a keen baker or reluctant birthday-cake maker, we've tested the best to bring you the most practical and hard-wearing cake tins on the market.

Peanut butter brownies in a square tin

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A good quality cake tin is a kitchen staple, even if you only get it out on special occasions. Baking is a science – if you have a good recipe, follow it to the letter, including the correct tin, and success is guaranteed.

If you start changing tin sizes and shapes, you’ll need to adjust cooking times and quantities – okay if you’re a seasoned baker but challenging if you’re not. 

Which cake tin should I buy?

If you don’t want to buy a broad range of tins then careful selection is key. Think about the type of cake you love – loaf or sandwich, brownies or traybake – then check a few recipes to see which tins crop up frequently.
We’ve tested the tins we use most often in our recipes and find a 900g loaf tin, 20cm springform tin, 20cm square tin, 20cm sandwich tins and a 20 x 30cm traybake tin are among our favourites.
In addition we wanted the tins to stand the test of time. It’s great to build up a collection over the years so you always have the right tin for a new recipe. Buying a tin that’ll last means you can add, rather than having to replace.

The best cake tins to buy

Read on to discover our pick of the best cake tins, from springform round tins to brownie dishes and bundt pans. For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find 200+ round-ups of everything from stand mixers to electric beaters.

Le Creuset round cake tin on a white background

Le Creuset springform round cake tin

Best for round cakes – springform 

Not all springform cake tins are created equal – with some models the bases are hard to align, while others have a clunky mechanism. Not so in the case of this Le Creuset tin, which has a clasp with a heat-resistant silicone cover to make unclipping that bit easier. Worth spending the money for a tin you’ll be able to use over and over again. Available in 20cm, 24cm and 26cm.

 

What can I bake in this tin?
Chocolate marble cake (20cm), pineapple upside-down cake (20cm), raspberry Bakewell cake (20cm), ultimate chocolate cake (20cm), gluten-free lemon drizzle cake (20cm), chocolate courgette cake (24cm)

For a 23cm (9") springform, try this Circulon tin.

Lakeland baking tin on white background

Lakeland loose-based square deep cake tin

Best tin for square cakes and brownies

A loose base really helps for ease of release, especially when you’re dealing with gooey brownies, and the non-stick surface on this tin made getting out our best ever brownies a doddle. We liked the weighty carbon steel structure – built to last yet still reasonably priced. Available in 18cm, 20cm, 23cm, 25cm and 30cm.


Available from Lakeland (from £9.99)

What can I bake in this tin?
Yummy scrummy carrot cake (18cm), best ever brownies (20cm), lemon drizzle slices (20cm), peanut butter brownies (20cm), gingery plum cake (23cm)

Invicta cake tins on white background

Invicta round deep cake tin

Best tins for celebration cakes

Invicta offer both round and square deep cake tins in a full range of sizes, which means if you’re making a tiered cake you can create a uniform finish. These tins are perfect for lengthy cooking times – ideal for your Christmas cake. They bake evenly and withstand frequent use. Part of a classic range that you can add to over time. Available in 4" (10cm) (round only), 5" (12cm), 6" (15cm), 7" (18cm), 8" (20cm), 9" (23cm), 10" (25cm), 11" (28cm) and 12" (30cm).


Available from Squires (from £9.25)

What can I bake in this tin?
Light fruit cake (15cm round), easy vanilla cake (20cm round), make and mature Christmas cake (20cm round), zingy lemon cake (23cm round), rich dark chocolate cake (30cm round)

Prestige cake tin on white background

Prestige Inspire loose base round sandwich tin

Best tin for sandwich cakes

A loose base and ultra non-stick finish saw our Victoria sandwich pop out with ease. Out of all the cakes baked in this category, this tin produced the best result, with a golden well-risen appearance and light texture. We liked the lack of handles – practical when you’re trying to squeeze two halves of a cake on the same oven shelf. Available in 7" (18cm), 8" (20cm) and 9" (23cm).


Available from Prestige (from £10)

What can I bake in this tin?
Classic Victoria sandwich (20cm), cherry Bakewell cake (20cm), easy chocolate cake (20cm), parsnip & maple syrup cake (20cm), coffee & walnut cake (20cm) cappuccino cake (20cm)

Sainsburys baking tray on white background


Sainsbury’s Home non-stick traybake tin

Best tin for traybakes

Rectangular baking tins vary greatly in dimensions, so for ease most of our recipes use a 20 x 30cm tin. This Sainsbury’s tin is both economical and effective. Perhaps not as robust as some of the more expensive brands but it does the job! Available in 32cm (internal dimensions 31cm x 21cm).


Available from Sainsbury's (£4.50)

What can I bake in this tin?
Raspberry & white chocolate traybake, triple ginger & spice cake, coconut & carrot slices, peach Melba squares, coconut chai traybake, lighter spiced carrot cake, swirly lemon drizzle fingers

Our Dorset apple traybake can be cooked in this Le Creuset tin (28cm) which doubles up as a small oven tray.

Bundt tin on white background


Nordic Ware heritage bundt cake pan

Best tin for bundt cakes

Nothing beats original bundt tin brand Nordic Ware. These sturdy tins come in a variety of beautiful shapes, creating architectural cakes that require no additional decoration for that wow factor. We love this 2.4-litre classic design. The non-stick finish ensures the shape holds perfectly on release. Available in 2.4 litres and 1.4 litres in different designs.

 

What can I bake in this tin?
Banana & choc bundt cake with peanut caramel drizzle (2.4l), blood orange & olive oil bundt cake (2.4l), chocolate & almond marbled bundt cake (1.4l), soured cream bundt cake with butter glaze (1.4l)
 

Selection of cake tins in piles

How we tested cake tins

We chose our most popular recipes for the size of tin. We also drew on our years of testing to reflect the brands we know can deliver over time.

We reviewed a representative sample of cake tins of different shapes and sizes and scored them against the following criteria.

Practicality: We tested the tins we use most frequently in the Good Food kitchen.
Sturdiness: We chose tins that could withstand frequent use over time.
Easy release: Non-stick surfaces, springform release and loose bases were all given extra points.
Even cooking: Tins that conducted heat effectively came top of our list.
Cleaning: Tins with smooth curves, rather than sharp edges and folds, for ease of cleaning. 

Cake batter in tin with blueberries

Cake recipes and tips 

Classic cake recipes
Traybake recipes
Brownie recipes
All our cake recipe collections
Mary Berry’s top 10 baking tips

This page was updated in April 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. 

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