Tube Pans

Published August 1, 2009. From Cook's Country.

We ask two things from a tube pan—no leaking and no sticking.

Overview:

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.

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.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Chicago Metallic Professional Nonstick Angel Food Cake Pan with Feet

    Dark, heavy, and nonstick, this pan, which is made of aluminized steel, yielded tall, evenly browned cakes. The removable bottom does not leak, and feet on its rim elevate the cake while it cools (so we don't need to turn it upside down over a bottle). For all those reasons, this pan is our favorite.

    • Browning ★★★

    $19.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    Calphalon Classic Nonstick Bakeware Angel Food Cake Pan

    This sturdy, dark pan produced golden, evenly browned cakes. The sides of the cakes released easily, but because the pan lacks a removable bottom, we had to line it with parchment paper, an extra step we'd just as soon avoid.

    • Browning ★★★

    $19.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Bridge Kitchenware 16-cup Tube Pan

    This substantial pan holds 16 cups (compared to about 12 for the other pans we tested). The pan looks impressive, but would we ever bake a cake this gigantic? Also, given its price, we expected feet and a removable bottom. It has no feet, the bottom isn't removable, and the cakes we baked in it were pale.

    • Browning

    $43.60

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Fante’s Professional Deep Tube Pan

    The lighter colored metal on this one-piece model left cakes pallid. Cake stuck to the bottom and the pan left a tinny color on the cake.

    • Browning

    $39.99

  • Not Recommended

    Williams-Sonoma Classic Angel Food Cake Pan

    The removable bottom of this lightweight pan wasn't heavy enough to prevent batter from seeping under it. This pale pan left cakes anemic and sticky.

    • Browning

    $22.00

  • Not Recommended

    Wilton Tube Pan

    This lightweight pan had a removable bottom, but it let batter seep under the bottom, gluing it to the rest of the pan. Its pale, tinny finish left cakes pallid and sticky.

    • Browning

    $16.99

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