Many recipes I've seen request this.

Is it just to stick the paper to the pan to make it easier to work with?

  • I've never seen a recipe advise this. Reference?
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 14, 2011 at 5:12
  • 2
    Many recipes advise this actually - a bit of a stretch to give hundreds of references. Every cake recipe in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking suggests this, for starters. Dec 14, 2011 at 9:13

3 Answers 3


Greasing and lining with paper is something of a belt-and-braces approach to simply ensure the cake doesn't stick to the bottom of the tin. I have several recipes that go one step further and suggest greasing the paper as well afterwards. As you suggest, greasing the tin first also stops it from curling up.

  • The paper is non-permeable so ideally no batter should ever get between it and the pan. Or do people go to the trouble of eliminating folds in the paper by cutting out overlapping sections?
    – jontyc
    Dec 18, 2011 at 2:08

As ElendilTheTall already pointed out, this is to prevent the paper from curling up. I have recipes with tin foil (that's aluminum) and grease. It goes like this: grease the tin, put the aluminum then grease the aluminum and flour...

But, I have great success (no cake sticking to the aluminum) without all this. I put the aluminum in the tin, pour the batter and bake. No problem. OK, doesn't answer your question...


This is required when using grease proof paper.

Grease proof paper and parchment paper are different things.

Parchment paper is neither fat nor water permeable so is non-stick in itself and doesn't require further greasing (although it's an option).

Grease proof paper isn't non-stick because while it isn't fat-permeable, it is water-permeable. By adding a lining of fat, it becomes impermeable to water and properly non-stick. I.e. it must be lined with fat to help release - like in your recipe.

The terms are often confused. Actual grease-proof paper was standard but has now been mostly replaced with parchment paper. The name and often the method persists though. Many don't realise there's a difference and have probably never actually seen grease-proof paper.

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