Does dark pan color affect baking?
Does dark pan color affect baking?

Baking takes time and patience. You cannot learn all theories at once and expect to become a professional baker. There are so many things, from knowing the ingredients you’re using, knowing the process of preparing the mixture for your baked goods, to the kind of pan or baking tray you’re using for baking. Yes – the kind and color of a pan can affect baking.

One of the secrets that are not so well-known is the difference between light and dark baking pans. Cakes baked in dark pans tend to be darker, while cakes baked in light-colored pans usually turn out in lighter colors. Why is that so?

Dark baking pans are attracting heat more than light ones. They absorb heat and distribute it really quickly. As a result, your cake will not only bake faster – it could also burn if you’re not aware of this fact. When you’re using a dark pan you should reduce your oven temperature and decrease it to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Is it better to use dark pan color and bake cake faster?

You might wonder isn’t it better to use a dark pan color and bake cake faster? Well, using a dark pan is perfectly fine, as long as you’re aware that you should decrease oven temperature. 

Shorter baking time is not recommended. While baking the parts of the cake that are next to a pan’s wall are most exposed to heat and they will bake first. If you bake the cake shortly at a high temperature, it’s inside will stay liquid and unbaked. 

Also, baking shortly at high heat could make a hard crust, that blocks the heat from penetrating the cake’s inside. That way inside of your cake will end up liquid and unbaked, too.

High baking temperature and dark pan color will probably result in a burnt cake.

What is the best pan color?

Metal pans are available in numerous shades – from the lightest grey color to absolutely black. Assuming they are made out of quality metals, the color of your baking pan is a matter of choice. Every color preferential is perfectly fine, as long as you remember that you should start checking on your cake 5 to 10 minutes earlier if it bakes in a dark color pan.

If you’re choosing dark pan color, keep in mind to lower oven temperature. It will make a difference. Not only your cake’s crust will come out lighter. The temperature will also affect the texture of your cake. A cake that is baked at a lower temperature will be moister, softer, and fluffier, as well as its crust. A cake that’s baked at a higher temperature is on a dry side and its crust is darker, as a consequence of burnt caramelized sugar.

Tip: If you’re an inexperienced baker, choose light to medium pan color. Baking in lighter pans is easier and the probability to burn your cake is reduced.

Should I use parchment paper in dark pan color?

Parchment paper is great, as it prevents sticking cake to walls and the bottom of the pan, but parchment won’t block the heat that dark pan color attracts. By all means, use parchment paper, it will allow you to easier bring the cake out of the pan and it will reduce washing time. But parchment paper won’t prevent the dark color of cake crust nor burning.