Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Cake trays are a practical helper in every household. With the help of a cake tray, you can prepare delicious cakes, biscuits and other baked goods. With the right tray, your favourite cake will be a great success and you can enjoy it moist and golden brown. Whether you need a cake tray with a lid, round or extendable, there is a cake tray for every occasion. With our cake tray test 2021 we want to offer you a guide to find the best cake tray for your kitchen. We have compared cake tins with enamel coating and non-stick coating and summarised the most important advantages and disadvantages for you. This should make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the right cake tray.




Summary

  • A cake tray helps you prepare sheet cakes, biscuits and other baked goods deliciously and easily. The choice of material and coating is most important when buying.
  • A distinction is made between enamelled cake trays and cake trays with a non-stick coating, as well as uncoated trays. Coated cake trays help the cake to come off easily and simplify cleaning.
  • When buying a cake tray, it is worth measuring your oven carefully beforehand. The sizes of cake trays are not standardised.

The Best Cake Tray in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Cake trays: buying and evaluation criteria

Below we will show you some aspects that can help you decide on the right cake tray. The criteria that will help you compare different cake tins are:

In the following paragraphs we explain what you should look for in the individual evaluation criteria.

Material

Cake trays are made of different materials. In the following, we compare the properties of the materials listed below.

  • Stainless steel / sheet steel
  • Aluminium
  • Silicone
  • Glass

Stainless steel has the advantage of being particularly resistant to rust and wear. Stainless steel cake trays often have no chemical coating, so they should be greased or lined with baking paper before use. Cake trays made of aluminium and sheet steel usually have a coating. This increases convenience during use and makes cakes turn out even better. Sheet steel in particular ensures good heat conduction, which means that cakes and other pastries are browned all over. Another option are silicone cake trays. These are particularly light at around 300 grams. Thanks to their flexibility and natural non-stick properties, they allow you to remove sponge cake, for example, from the mould without any problems. They can also be safely placed in the microwave or freezer. In addition, there are also cake tins made of glass; these make a good impression, especially when presenting the cake. However, they are the heaviest and do not conduct heat as well.

Size

Since there are no standardised sizes for cake trays, you should make sure that your tray fits your oven. The dimensions vary depending on the manufacturer.

It is worth measuring your oven before buying a cake tray.

For flexible use of a cake tray, there are extendable and adjustable trays. However, you should bear in mind that these are permeable to liquids due to their construction. When baking biscuits, a flat cake tray is sufficient. Layer cakes or cakes with fruit are best baked on a high cake tray. If you only need a small cake tray, you can also place it on a rack. This way you are not dependent on the size of your oven. For more unusual cake ideas, there are round cake trays and moulds with special motifs such as numbers or hearts.

Coating

Cake trays can be bought with a non-stick coating or with an enamel coating. The cake tray itself is often made of aluminium or steel.

A coating makes it easy to remove cakes from the tray.

As the name suggests, a non-stick coating made of Teflon (also called polytetrafluoroethylene) makes it easier to remove the cake from the tray. It also makes cleaning easier. Enamelled cake trays also make it easy to remove the cake. In addition, the cake can be easily cut on the tray. It is also useful that this coating is dishwasher safe and particularly heat resistant.

Heat resistance

The heat resistance of a cake tray is significantly influenced by the material and its coating. The following table lists the heat resistance of various materials in brief:

material heat resistance
enamel coating up to approx. 400 degrees
glass up to approx. 300 degrees
aluminium up to approx. 250 degrees
sheet steel / stainless steel up to approx. 230 degrees
silicone up to approx. 230 degrees

Since temperatures above 230 degrees are rarely needed when baking cakes, most trays meet this requirement. However, it is still good to know about the heat resistance of your cake tray, as this can also be useful for other dishes.

Dishwasher resistance

The ability of a cake tray to be cleaned in the dishwasher can make it easier for you to clean up after baking.

When cleaning your cake tray, you should pay particular attention to the coating. This can be damaged by using a dishwasher.

The non-stick Teflon coating is not dishwasher safe and should be cleaned by hand. A cake tray with an enamel coating, on the other hand, can be washed in the dishwasher without hesitation. Cake trays without a coating made of stainless steel, glass or silicone can also be cleaned easily in the dishwasher.

Cake trays: Frequently asked questions and answers

In the following paragraph, we answer the most important questions about cake trays. We have answered everything you need to know before you buy a cake tray. After reading this guide, you will know the crucial aspects about cake trays.

Who is a cake tray suitable for?

A cake tray is basically suitable for everyone. Its ease of use and versatility make it a useful addition to any kitchen.

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A cake tray is a practical addition to any kitchen for baking delicious cakes. They are especially great for sheet cakes.
(Image source: Jade Wulfraat / Unsplash)

When making sheet cakes, biscuits or rolls, a cake tray can improve your baking results. Especially amateur bakers can use cake trays to make special creations.

What types of cake trays are there?

If you are thinking about buying a cake tray, you can distinguish between 3 different types. The enamelled cake tray, the cake tray with non-stick coating and the uncoated cake tray. We have summarised the advantages and disadvantages of the different alternatives:
Type Advantages Disadvantages
Enamelled cake tray Resistant, durable material, Easy to remove the pastry, Cut-resistant, Dishwasher-safe, Heat-resistant up to 400° More cost-intensive
Cake tray with non-stick coating Easy to remove the pastry Manual cleaning necessary, Scratch-prone
Uncoated cake tray Durable, robust material, No harmful substances, Dishwasher-safe Baking paper necessary

You can find more details about the different types of cake trays below:

Enamelled cake tray

An enamelled cake tray has many advantages. The tray can be used at temperatures up to 400 degrees. The enamel seal makes it easier to remove cakes from the cake tray. It also makes the tray particularly resistant to scratches and cuts. This has the advantage that the cake can be cut into pieces directly on the tray. In addition, it can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

Cake tray with non-stick coating

A non-stick coating also makes the cake tray easier to use. The coating makes it easy to remove the cake from the tray. However, care should be taken with this cake tray, as the coating can easily be scratched by knives, for example. To protect the coating, the tray should only be cleaned by hand.

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Professional bakers also need a cake tray. It can be used to bake and decorate delicious specialities.
(Image source: Elevate / Unsplash)

Uncoated cake tray

Uncoated cake trays are usually made of stainless steel and are therefore durable and robust. With the right care, they can still be in good condition after many years. Unlike coated trays, there is no risk of harmful substances getting into the baked goods. However, they should be greased or lined with baking paper before use.

What are the alternatives to a cake tray?

Cake trays are versatile and each of the types presented has its advantages and disadvantages. If you are looking for an alternative to the classic cake tray, we present a few more options:
Alternative Description
Cake tin Cake tins come in many varieties, mostly round. They have a high, removable rim.
loaf tin The loaf tin is rectangular and is good for baking bread or loaf cakes.
Muffin tin The muffin tin has cut-outs for muffins. It is a sustainable alternative to using paper moulds on a tray.
Baking frame A baking frame is an adjustable frame for any size cake. It is simply placed on the baking tray for baking and can also be used for decorating.

Depending on the type of pastry, the kitchen utensils presented are easier to use. However, the cake tray is still best suited for use as a practical all-rounder. The cake tray is also most useful for preparing sheet cakes and biscuits.

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Uncoated cake trays should be lined with baking paper before use. Both biscuits and cakes can be baked without leaving any residue.
(Image source: Cayla1 / Unsplash)

How do I grease a cake tray?

A pastry brush should be used to grease a cake tray. A pastry brush with silicone bristles is particularly easy to clean.
You should grease the cake carefully and generously, otherwise the cake will stick to the tray.

Coated cake trays do not need to be greased. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to grease the tray as a precaution. It is annoying for a successful cake if the dough sticks to the tray due to lack of preparation. The following greases can be used:

  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Tasteless vegetable oil

Alternatively, baking paper can be laid out on the tray; it fulfils the same function as greasing.

How many pieces fit on a cake tray?

Since the size of cake trays can vary greatly, it is not possible to make a general statement about how many pieces will fit on a tray. A cake tray with a size of approximately 30 x 40 centimetres fits in most household ovens.

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When cutting sheet cakes, a cake divider can be a practical aid
(Image source: NordWood Themes / Unsplash)

You can cut about 24 to 30 pieces on a tray of this standard size. The number of pieces depends on how big you cut them. There are also special sheet cake dividers that cut even pieces on a standard sheet. This makes the cake look more even when served.

How do I transport a sheet cake?

Once the cake has been baked and is to be transported to friends and family, the question arises of how to transport it on the cake tray most easily. The simplest solution is to cover the tray with aluminium foil. Another option is to remove the cake from the tray and transport it in a fresh-keeping box. For some cake trays there are removable bonnets that can simply be used as a cover for transport. This is worthwhile if you often take cakes with you and want them to arrive safely.

How do I clean a cake tray?

You can clean your cake tray using these methods:

  • Salt: This home remedy is especially helpful against burnt-on cake trays. Put the salt evenly on your tray and put it in the oven at 50 degrees for about 30 to 60 minutes. When the salt starts to turn brown, remove the tray from the oven. Remove the salt and you can simply wash off the encrustation. Then wipe the tray again with washing-up liquid, warm water and a sponge.
  • Baking powder: If your cake tray is slightly soiled, it is sufficient to use baking powder. You can mix a packet of baking soda with a little warm water. Spread the mixture on your tray and let it work for a short time. Then simply rinse off the dirt with a sponge and warm water.
  • Washing-up liquid: For light traces of use, it is sufficient to clean the tray with warm water, a sponge and washing-up liquid.

Conclusion

A cake tray helps you to prepare cakes, biscuits and other baked goods that are golden brown and juicy. When buying a cake tray, you should pay attention to the dimensions of your oven, as cake trays do not have standardised sizes. If you want to buy a cake tray, you can choose between coated and uncoated trays. Coated cake trays can be bought with an enamel or Teflon coating. Enamelled cake trays are particularly durable and allow for convenient handling. They are the right choice for anyone who bakes a lot. Especially with uncoated and Teflon cake trays, proper care is important. They should be carefully greased and cleaned by hand. Image source: serezniy/ 123rf.com

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