I just returned from the store with all the ingredients for baking cookies, and now I notice that I am out of baking paper.

Is there some common household item I can use instead (Regular paper? Tinfoil? Just put them on the raw baking tray?), or do I have to make another trip to the store?

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    @Stephie I would say those are duplicates, especially the first one.
    – Damila
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 16:34
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    Does this answer your question? Can't I just grease the Baking Sheet instead of using Parchment Paper Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 22:24
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    Given this got slightly better answers than the other two, it may be appropriate to close those in favor of this one?
    – Joe M
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 18:00
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    Sorry for my ignorance, is "baking paper" the same thing as "parchment paper"? Commented Dec 5, 2020 at 13:42
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    People have been baking cookies for a heck of a lot longer than "baking paper" has existed. It is, in fact, a relatively recent invention.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 7:04

5 Answers 5


First of all, if your baking sheet is nonstick you may not need baking paper at all. If it is not, then either directly greasing the baking sheet, or putting tinfoil on it and greasing that works reasonably well as a substitute.

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    My mother never used baking paper in 60 years of cookies baking, (in several different ovens and as such different baking sheets.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 18:55
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    What I was thinking. I'm always curious about questions like this, which suggest the OP thinks baking was impossible before the invention of baking paper. It makes things easier to clean, is all.
    – Graham
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 9:08
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    @Graham: You're mostly correct, but there is one logical gap here, i.e. if since the advent of baking paper, baking sheets were no longer made to be non-stick because baking paper is (allegedly in this example) a clearly superior solution. I'm not saying this is the case (because it isn't), but the principle is valid, and from OP's point of view, it can't logically be excluded that their oven expect baking paper to be used in it.
    – Flater
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 13:06
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    @Graham: It's only odd if you already know there wasn't anything special in the past. Based on today's baking sheets, it is impossible to deduce whether baking sheets have always been the same way as they are today. Technologies change, sometimes by reverting certain decisions e.g. after new information shows previously unknown dangers (asbestos is a great non-culinary example) or if a consistently superior solution is invented (i.e. why cell phones have mostly driven phone booths away).
    – Flater
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 14:20
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    @Flater, see my comment at the start of this series. When my mother started backing cookies in her own oven, 61 years back, there was nothing like 'non stick' baking sheets. As far as I remember those baking sheets, used till I was a teen at least, they were just common steel. And when my grandmother was baking in the early part of the 20th century, before my mother moved out, the choice of baking sheets was as simple, only kind of metal on offer. No 'non stick' and no baking paper either.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 5, 2020 at 12:47

In Spain it's very common to "grease and flour coating" to any baking mold or tray!

It is quite easy! Get some butter, apply it to the tray evenly, add some flour (regular flour works) and with your hands tapping on the mold or tray, make sure it gets evenly spread!

It will be easier if you see it by yourself! Below you can see very short videos!

For a cake mold

For a tray (I pasted the exact second as well).

So doing this will ensure that as the cookies grow and get flat, they will do on top of the flour nd won't get sticky. IT may seem a bit messy but ADVICE: if you spill some flour or whatever, clean asap. The tray will be easy to clean afterwords if sipped in water.

More or less something like this but with the tray! I'd definetly do this before using tin foil! I haven't found any "100% scientific based report on not using tin foil when baking", but definetly avoid using foil when cooking at high temperatures or cooking acidic foods.

Image of chef coating a pan with flour after greasing it Image from https://www.cocinadelirante.com/tips/como-engrasar-un-molde

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    Most foil local to me is actually aluminum foil, and cookware is frequently also made out of aluminum, so I'm not sure why you're avoiding it.
    – Kat
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 18:34
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    The only thing I see to be worried about aluminium foil is the edges; sometimes it doesn't tear cleanly, and you end up with a thin line of foil in your food.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Dec 3, 2020 at 22:43
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    @Kat, aluminum foil is definitely not good for the environment when not several times reused before it's finally recycled... Most people use it once and not even recycle it. M.K's suggestion with butter and flour is also used in Switzerland.
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 3:08
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    For cookies, you probably only need to butter/grease the pan, and skip the flour. The flour is an extra step that helps ensure that very little sticking occurs. This is quite helpful for a cake, but for cookies you can just slide a spatula between the cookie and the baking sheet if there's a little bit of sticking. Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 13:51
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    If you like this method but are lazy, Pam makes a baking spray that is regular Pam nonstick spray plus flour. Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 5:23

At my house, we simply grease our pans with some olive oil, spreading it around with a piece of tissue. Sometimes, we dust our pans with all purpose flour instead.

The flour dusting takes away a little of the crispness, but I like it more than the grease option because it feels healthier.


I've never used anything between the pan and the dough when baking cookies. Sometimes they stick, but they're just cookies; it's easy to pop them off with a spatula or even your hands.


Yes, you can bake cookies without baking paper. I've been in the same situation before. Instead of baking paper, you can use greased aluminum foil or simply grease the baking tray directly.
Just ensure the surface is well-greased to prevent sticking. I've used this method countless times, and the cookies turn out just fine. No need for an extra trip to the store!

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