You’re about to bake a cake and the instructions give 2 different times depending on the type of pan you use. Find out today the difference between light and dark baking pans.
At some point in all of our lives we’ve bought a boxed baking mix and somewhere in the directions it said “dark coated pans bake 25 minutes at 325 F and light coated pans bake 30 minutes at 350F” or similar. But do you know why this is the case? And do you know that there actually is a difference on when you should use each type? Well today I’m sharing you the skinny on all of this stuff.
Dark Pans – Pretty simple really, dark pans are made out of dark materials; think cast iron for example. Because they are dark they tend to absorb and retain the heat. But the downfall of these items is that they take longer to heat up.
So what does this mean to you and your baking? Well if you tried to bake a cake in a dark pan, more than likely the edges were crispy/dried and the inside may not be fully set.
Light Pans – Lighter pans reflect heat. Light pans are most often used in baking as they allow the baked goods to cook more evenly; i.e., not creating that hard, crunchy crust. Lighter pans help you obtain that lighter, fluffier texture with a more pale crust.
So then when do you use them? What if you only have one type?
Dark – These are used predominately when you want that crispy crust. Ever wonder why most cornbread recipes are made in a cast iron pan? Crusty pizzas or potato wedges bake best on a darker pan.
Light – I tend to use lighter pans for cookies, brownies or cakes
Dark – If your recipes calls for baking at 350F, play it safe and reduce the temperature to 325F.
Light – If your recipe calls for baking a crusty item at 350F, play it safe and increase the temperature to 375F.