Stock up your kitchen with these 8 baking trays

As the author of a published baking cookbook, I’ve tested many baking pans. I am happy to recommend my absolutes to my fellow home bakers. This list is a great place to start if you’re a novice baker, creating a registry, or shopping for a gift for someone who loves baking (or wants to learn).

Today I am sharing a list of my favorite bakeware, which I personally use and love. I originally published this post in 2016 and many of my favorite brands have remained the same because they are so high quality. These are the baking utensils my team and I found The most useful, the most versatile, And Best quality for its price. They have also held up over the years, which says something considering I probably give them more exercise than the average home baker!

These are my favorite brands

All of the bakeware on today’s menu are items I own. None of these posts have been sponsored – really just items that I love and would be happy to recommend to my fellow home bakers. Many of these links are affiliate links.

In general, my favorite lines are Nordic Ware, Calphalon, Wilton, Fat Daddio, and USA Pan. You can’t go wrong with any baking trays from these brands.

You can find more of my baking tool recommendations here:

8 baking trays for your kitchen

I use the 8 Best Baking Pans more than anything else in the kitchen and highly recommend them to any and all bakers – both beginners and advanced.

1. Half a sheet

What I own and love: Nordic Ware Half Sheet Frying Pan or USA pan bake half sheet pan.

I use half sheet molds to bake cookies, scones, vegetables, potatoes, fish, meat, croissants, pastries, bread, candy molding or chocolate bark, cookie decorating parties, Christmas sugar cookies, and more. These two brands have excellent quality and have stood the test of time (and frequent use). The 12″ x 17″ is the right size for a dozen cookies, and the rimmed edges prevent any sauces/syrups from dripping off the sheet. Traveling with a sheet cake or cookies? Or just want to keep things fresh? Get a half tray with a lid!

Recommended quantity: at least 2.

Nordic Ware 2 Baking Sheets

2. 9 x 13 inch baking trays

What I own and love: In metal, I recommend USA Pan Baked Sheet Quarter Pan. In the glass, I highly recommend the Pyrex Basics 3 Quart Glass Oblong Baking Dish.

One of the most useful pans in a baker’s kitchen is the 9″ by 13″ rectangular baking tray, also known as quarter paper pan. This holds about 3 quarts and can be used in everything from homemade brownies, lasagna, vanilla cake, casseroles, overnight cinnamon rolls, crispy rice and more. This frying pan can be made of glass, metal or ceramic I recommend metal or glass Because ceramics take a long time to heat up and your bread will likely take a long time to bake.

Recommended quantity: 1

USA baking sheet pan quarter sheet pan

3. 9 x 9-inch SQUARE PAN

What I own and love: Wilton 9-inch square pan, natural aluminum square pan with lid, Nordic Ware, or USA Square baking pan.

I use a 9″ x 9″ square pan all the time for things like cupcakes, cookie sheets, candy, caramel, mini cakes, and more. Since they are so versatile, I recommend getting 2. I like that these pans have lids because I usually use them for candy bars that go well. An 8-by-8-inch square baking pan size also works for most recipes, but if you switch one size for the other, keep in mind that baking time may change.

Recommended quantity: 1

Wilton . Square Baking Trays

4. Round Cake Molds

What I own and love: 9 inch fat dadieo cake pan or 8 inch fat dadieo cake pan.

Fat Daddio’s is a popular brand of cake baking. I started using these pans in 2018 to bake cake layers and fell in love right away. It’s high quality for the price! I recommend having 3. If you have fewer, you are limited to the amount of batter you can bake at once. Cake mixtures are best baked in one go, and if you only have 2 pie pans, you have to wait to bake that final layer if you are making a 3-tier cake. Purchase 2-inch deep cake pans or those labeled “deep dish” – some round pans are only 1.5 inches high, and you may end up with batter spilling over the edges. Pay attention to whether the cake recipe calls for an 8-inch or 9-inch round pan, and adjust the baking time accordingly if you swap one out for another.

Recommended quantity: at least 2, preferably 3

3 cake pans with cake mix

5. Standard 12-container muffin pan

What I own and love: USA Cupcake Baking Pan and Muffin Pan Or Muffin Williams-Sonoma Gold Touch Pro Nonstick Mold.

I recommend having two standard 12-count trays because some muffin or cupcake recipes yield more than 12. It’s like a baker’s dozen + 1…we’ll call it Sally’s Dozen, lol. And if you love baking cupcakes or muffins a lot (of course you do!), owning 2 of these is a must.

Recommended quantity: 2

USA pan muffin pan


What I own and love: USA pan baking mini cupcake & muffin pan or Muffin Williams Sonoma Gold Touch Pro Nonstick Mold.

This pan is for all the mini muffins and cupcakes you want to make. The Williams-Sonoma Gold Touch Muffin Pans are a new addition to my kitchen, and I’m definitely a little excited about it Matte gold finish (which also happens to be very non-stick).

Recommended quantity: 1

7. 9 inch pie plate

What I own and love: So much to list! I collect pancake dishes. A great place to start is the Pyrex Bakeware Scalloped Pie.

Although I own ceramic, metal, and glass, my favorite choice is glass pans for baking pies. The glaze heats slowly and this gradual heat is perfect for evenly cooking the pie, including the bottom of the crust, filling, and edges. You can also see the bottom of the peel turning brown, It is useful for dishes with long baking times. This Pyrex pie plate has fluted edges, allowing you to easily crimp the edges of the crust. It has thick glaze and has never warped – even through hundreds of pancakes!

  • I also love the Emile Henry Ceramic Crinkle Pie Dish because the pies are consistently great and so is the pie plate! However, ceramic pie plates heat up slowly and pies may take longer to bake.

Recommended quantity: 1

Apple pie, cake and cream pie pictured in glass pie plates

8. 9 x 5 inch LOAF PAN

What I own and love: Farberware non-stick 9″ x 5″ baking pan.

You can cook everything from banana bread and zucchini bread to cracker bread and croissants. Farberware frying pan is amazing quality – durable, strong and resistant to twisting. A 9″ x 5″ loaf pan is the standard size most baking recipes require, but you can also use an 8.5″ x 4.5″ loaf pan as well. I own and love both sizes.

Recommended quantity: 1

Two loaf pans from Farberware and USA Pan

5 extra useful baking pans

If you want to expand your baking tool collection beyond these eight basics, I recommend the following:

  1. 9 inch springform frying pan For cheesecake and pies. I use and recommend this Calphalon Springform frying pan because it is heavy-duty and leak-proof.
  2. 6- The number of donut pan For baked donuts. I recommend the same pan year after year: this high-quality, inexpensive Wilton Nonstick Donut Pan.
  3. 9 inch tart pan for pies. Make sure you get one with a removable bottom for easy slicing and serving. I recommend this Wilton cake pan because it is high quality for the price.
  4. 6- Count Jumbo Muffin Pan For giant bakery-style pies. I recommend the Wilton brand (be sure to click “Jumbo”). I love very big cakes. You can take any regular pie recipe and bake it to a larger size by increasing the baking time to about 25-28 minutes. Try this Jumbo Chocolate Chip Raspberry Pie recipe!
  5. 10-12 cup bandit For bundt cakes. I own several and my favorite is the Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Fryer. I’m very tempted to buy more beautiful plate bundle sinks from Nordic Ware, too – how cool is this gold braided pan, Blossom Bundt sink, oh and that cast crystal pan…? most important. where have you been?
Carrot cake Bundt cake with cream cheese swirl in a Nordic Ware Bundt skillet

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