Published August 1, 2009. From Cook's Country.
We ask two things from a tube pan—no leaking and no sticking.
Tube pans (or angel food cake pans) are not just for looks. The tube also helps cakes bake faster and more evenly by providing more surface area in which to heat the thick batter quickly. We tested six tube pans by baking angel food and yellow sponge cake. The three variables that mattered most were weight, finish, and a removable bottom. Pans heavier than one pound (some were almost a pound and a half) retained heat and resulting in even browning. Darker pans produced similar results by absorbing rather than reflecting heat. Finally, a heavy bottomed pan was important—lighter removable bottoms weren’t heavy enough to create a leak-free seal. We found pans with feet on the top rim handy for elevating the upturned pan during cooling.