How to Choose the Right Bakeware for Beginners? | Get to Know the Materials First!

How to Choose the Right Bakeware for Beginners? | Get to Know the Materials First!

When selecting bakeware, it's important to consider the material and surface treatment. Different surface treatments can affect the final baked goods in various ways. This article will introduce three types of bakeware, with the hope of helping baking novices! Also, find some secret tips from the experienced MolalaCook.

Metal Bakeware

Metal has excellent thermal conductivity and is generally sturdy and durable, making it widely used in baking. There are several types of metal materials, such as aluminum alloy, copper, iron, aluminized steel, and stainless steel.

Copper Molds

Copper has the best thermal conductivity but is prone to corrosion and oxidation discoloration. It is also the most expensive and typically chosen by professional bakers. Commonly used for canelé molds, which helps create the signature crispy exterior and soft interior.

Molala's Secret Tip: Not recommended for beginners due to its high price and the need for regular maintenance.


Aluminum Alloy

Aluminum alloy has good thermal conductivity, allowing for rapid and even heat transfer to the baked goods. This contributes to thorough baking and ensures the texture and quality of the pastry. It can be made seamless, with good heat conduction, lightweight, easy to process, and affordable. Usually used for cake molds.

Molala's Secret Tip: Aluminum alloy is a great cake mold, essential for making chiffon cakes.

Aluminum Alloy

Aluminized Steel

A material between iron and stainless steel, aluminized steel features a steel plate coated with a layer of aluminum. It has good thermal conductivity but is prone to scratches and corrosion. Commonly used for baking tools and molds, such as cake molds, bread molds, and cookie molds.

Molala's Secret Tip: May rust, prone to scratches and corrosion, not suitable for perfectionists.

bread mold

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a shiny surface, is easy to clean, and is 100% recyclable. However, it has poorer thermal conductivity. When using, it's best to add parchment paper and apply extra butter when baking bread. Commonly used for mousse and cookie molds.

Molala's Secret Tip: Stainless steel pound cake molds are also highly recommended.

Stainless Steel

Surface Treatments for Metal Bakeware

Why is surface treatment necessary for metal bakeware? It's to form a protective layer on the surface of the mold, preventing oxidation, scratches, and potential harm to the body when in contact with food.

There are four main types of surface treatments:

  • a. Anodizing (usually applied to aluminum alloy)

A protective film is applied to prevent the aluminum alloy from oxidizing and coming into direct contact with food, providing antioxidant and corrosion-resistant properties. The surface is fragile, so avoid using hard materials to clean it.

Molala's Secret Tip: Essential for making chiffon cakes, as it helps the cake rise and prevents shrinking.

  • b. Hard Anodizing (usually applied to aluminum alloy)

A "super hard" protective film is applied, providing wear resistance, scratch resistance, and non-stick properties. The mold will appear grey-black with good heat absorption.

Molala's Secret Tip: Must-have for making sponge cakes, pies, and tarts.

Hard Anodizing
  • c. Non-stick (suitable for baking trays and loaf pans)

A special non-stick coating is applied, appearing shiny black. It is easy to confuse with hard molds. The surface is fragile and not very hard, so avoid using hard materials (e.g., steel brushes) for cleaning.

Molala's Secret Tip: Must-have for making sponge cakes, pies, and tarts.

  • d. Electrolyzing (usually applied to stainless steel)

Enhances the surface brightness and lasting gloss, increases corrosion resistance, and delays the occurrence of rust spots.


Silicone Molds

Silicone molds have a smooth surface, are easy to demold, and are flexible and resilient. They can be conveniently folded for storage, but their heat conduction is relatively poor, resulting in uneven coloring of baked cakes. The maximum heat resistance should not exceed 260°C (500°F). If using a connected mold, pour some water into the empty spaces. They are most commonly used for chocolate molds and cake molds.

Molala's Secret Tip: Recommended for making frozen desserts, such as ice cream or mousse. It is not advised to use silicone molds for high-temperature baking due to safety concerns and poor heat conduction that prevents proper coloring.

Silicone Molds

Disposable Paper Molds

These can be divided into hard paper materials with a lining and soft paper materials. Soft paper materials need to be used with a connected baking tray, while hard paper materials can be used alone. The maximum heat resistance is 180°C (356°F). Paper molds save the trouble of cleaning and demolding, and after baking, the finished products can be directly given to friends without needing additional containers. Most commonly used for muffin cups and greaseproof paper cups.

Molala's Secret Tip: These are very convenient molds, suitable for making chiffon cakes and cupcakes. Just choose a qualified material for purchase.

Disposable Paper Molds

Glass Molds

Characteristics: Glass molds are made of heat-resistant glass and have thermal insulation and preservation properties. They have an attractive appearance and are environmentally friendly and harmless. However, they have poorer heat conduction, are fragile, and require careful use. When baking, pay attention to temperature changes to avoid sudden heating or cooling, which may cause the glass to crack.

Molala's Secret Tip: Choose heat-resistant glass materials and oven-specific branded products.

By understanding the materials and characteristics of various molds, you can achieve more beautiful and successful finished products. For example, when making a chiffon cake that needs to be inverted immediately after baking, it is recommended to use an anodized mold. This is because the cake needs to climb and expand along the edges, while using a non-stick mold may cause the cake to be denser and flatter. Therefore, knowing the different materials will help you choose the most suitable mold for your needs.

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