How to Line Pans with Parchment: this easy baking hack will guarantee that your cakes, brownies, bars, and cookies won’t ever stick to the pan!

How to Line Pans with Parchment

We’ve all been there: you work your tail off to bake an incredible dessert, only to have it stick to the pan and be ruined. It’s so heartbreaking!

Over the last few months I’ve been trying really hard to supplement all the great recipes on this site with some really useful baking tips. We’ve covered weight conversions, how to measure ingredients properly, and why so many of my recipes call for cake flour.

And today, we’re getting to the root of that pesky problem of stuck on cakes, bars, cookies, and loaves.

It’s as simple as lining your pans with parchment!

How to Line Baking Pans

Why line pans with parchment?

I would estimate that about 90% of the recipes you’ll find here begin with lining pans with parchment. To me, it’s an absolute necessity, and it makes baking so much easier!

The number one reason being, parchment paper will prevent anything from sticking to your pan. If you give the sides of your baking pan a good mist of non-stick spray, and line the bottom with parchment, it’s practically a guarantee that things will come away from the pan flawlessly.

Parchment has a naturally slippery, non-stick quality to it that makes baking a breeze.

Not only does it keep things from sticking, but (in the case of brownies, bars, or cakes baked in rectangular or square pans) it can provide a really nifty “handle,” that allows you to lift things straight up and out of the pan like a boss.

And if you’re baking something that’s not overly wet or oily, it can save you from having to scrub your pans. After baking a batch of cookies or scones, I’ll often just give the cookie sheets a brisk wipe with a damp sponge, and they’re good to go for another use.

What kind of pans can be lined with parchment?

The only kinds of pans you can’t line with parchment would probably be decorative bundt cakes and cupcakes or muffins (for which you can just buy paper liners).

So, cookie sheets or half sheet pans, square or rectangular pans, loaf pans, and round cake pans, can all easily be lined with parchment paper.

How to Line Cake Pans with Parchment

How to line cookie sheets with parchment

Cookie sheets or sheet pans are the easiest. Parchment paper sheets are sold to fit perfectly on a half sheet pan, so all you have to do is slip the parchment on top and you’re good.

How to line rectangular pans with parchment

Rectangular pans are pretty easy too. Just orient the parchment so that it criss-crosses the narrower width of the pan. Crease the overhang so that it snugs right in and around the top edge of the pan. (Check out the video below.) And there is your handle to lift out the final baked good, after it’s baked and cooled.

The two short sides of the pan (and possibly a couple strips along the bottom) will not be covered by the parchment, but that’s ok as long as you also use non-stick spray.

How to line square or loaf pans with parchment

For square and loaf pans, you will want to zigzag fold the parchment lengthwise, so that it is as close to the exact width of the pan as possible. You can see what I mean if you check out the video at the bottom of this post.

How to line round pans with parchment

Whenever I make a layer cake or cheesecake, I just place the cake pan over a sheet of parchment and trace around it. Then, just cut out the circle and place it in the bottom of the greased pan. Easy as can be!

How to Line Square Pans with Parchment

Where to get parchment for baking

You can easily find rolls of parchment paper in the regular grocery store. It’s usually on the same shelf as the foil, plastic wrap, and zip-top bags.

But I really prefer the pre-cut sheets. They’re a perfect fit and they don’t try to roll back on you!

I purchase mine from Amazon. They usually arrive within a day or so after they’re ordered.

Here’s a link: parchment paper sheets.

I think you’ll find it so useful to keep a stack of parchment paper sheets on hand! They keep everything no-muss, no-fuss, and you’ll never have to worry about sticking again!

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Stack of baking pans on a light background with a text overlay above reading "How to Line Pans with Parchment."

Stack of baking pans on a light background with a text overlay above reading "How to Line Pans with Parchment."

Stack of baking pans on a light background with a text overlay above reading "How to Line Pans with Parchment."


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.