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The Best Bakeware for Successful Summer Treats

From birthdays and holidays to after-school snack breaks and elegant dinner parties, every occasion is made better by cake!

With more than 240 recipes, The Perfect Cake is the definite guidebook to any cake you crave, from a simple Chiffon Cake (pictured) to a showstopping Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise. The best bakeware and utensils will help make your dessert dreams a reality. There’s no better tool for scraping bowls, folding ingredients, mixing caramel, or smoothing batters than our top-rated silicone spatula. And our favorite cake stand is sturdy on the counter and spins smoothly, so you can frost cakes with ease. Forget the bakery. With our recipes and test kitchen–approved tools, you can bake picture-perfect cakes to celebrate every occasion.

This stand was tall, providing excellent visibility and comfort. It was solid but light, and its surface and base were attached. This made it easy to carry but also meant it couldn’t be submerged in water (although we did just to see what would happen; it still spun perfectly). It rotated quickly and smoothly yet stopped precisely where we asked it to, and it had three shallow circles etched onto its surface for easy centering.   More on this test

Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.   More on this test

With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk was like an extension of a hand. It whipped cream and egg whites quickly, thanks to 10 wires that were thin enough to move through the liquid quickly but thick enough to push through heavy mixtures and blend pan sauces to smoothness.  More on this test

These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.  More on this test

Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.  More on this test

Our winner had it all: Straight sides that produced attractive cakes with well-defined edges and a 1⁄2-inch lip that made it easy to hold. It was the only metal model in the lineup that was molded, a construction technique that renders it seamless and therefore easy to clean (even though it is not dishwasher-safe). It lacked a nonstick coating, but baked goods released with ease when we greased and floured the pan. We did notice very faint scratches in the bottom of the pan after repeated passes with a paring knife.  More on this test

The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.  More on this test

This pan was the only one in our lineup that ultimately had every feature we loved: a nonstick surface, a removable bottom, and feet. Baking with this pan was easy from start to finish, and it turned out flawless angel food and pound cakes. Though it has a removable bottom, it didn't leak, even when we baked a heavier batter, our Tunnel of Fudge Cake. Though we'd be happy if it churned out only perfect angel food cakes, it's a versatile pan that can also be used to make pound cakes and Bundt cakes. Like many of these pans, it looked a bit scratched at the end of testing.  More on this test

All copies of this model aced our accuracy tests. It sports a wide, sturdy base and clear temperature markings with large numbers and boldly visible dashes at 50- and 25-degree increments. Its silver face is more prone to glare and light reflection than models with white backgrounds, but it’s still fairly easy to read.  More on this test