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I am wondering whether it is better to butter and flour cake pans, or to use parchment paper.

I have tried looking it up online and see a lot of information, sometimes conflicting.

One site even says I should butter, parchment, then flour. But is that necessary?

I've had luck using butter, then a parchment round. Just wondering what the pros and cons are of each approach.

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    I use something that my cake decorating instructor called ‘pan release’. It’s equal parts (by volume) of flour, oil, and shortening. You can smear on with a paper towel or a pastry brush. If you have a cake that you know is particularly prone to sticking, then I might put parchment on the bottom but the side I can always release with a small spatula if needed. (Unless maybe if it’s something like a cheesecake). I’m not experienced enough to know exactly what the pros and cons are, although parchment can get pricy, and I suspect professionals are more likely to use it for reliability
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 13:22

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Parchment paper is fine. Butter and flour is fine. In a pinch, just butter will work almost as well.

Parchment paper tends to be coated with a release agent (look for “non-stick” on the package), so no need for butter on top. Putting butter below parchment paper would be silly (Joe mentioned in a comment that it can help glue the paper down, which makes sense). I’ve never put flour on top of parchment paper, though I guess I can see how it might be off some theoretical help.

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    The butter under the parchment is to keep it from sliding around. It acts as a mastic, then releases after heating
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 28, 2023 at 13:17

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