Chiffon cakes are back! Well, they never truly left, but we have seen a significant increase in chiffon cake recipes and products again! Chiffon cakes are extremely light and fluffy cakes that have a very delicate structure.
When we tried making our own using a regular old cake pan, we quickly realized that those chiffon pans have a specific function. They help the cake rise while it bakes and also help prevent it from deflating when it is cooling upside down.
But, with so many options on the market, what are the best types of chiffon cake pans to look at? First, you have to look at the material used. We prefer aluminum pans with non-stick coatings. Then, you can look at the size you want, and also the cooling features the pan has. Some chiffon pans have legs at the sides while others have elongated tubes.
In today’s in-depth article, we will look at all things chiffon! Mainly, we will look at what the cake pan should be able to do in order to effectively provide structure for the fragile chiffon cake.
We have also compiled a list of our favorite chiffon cake pans that can all be conveniently found online.
What Is A Chiffon Cake?
Chiffon cakes are made using a combination of fat (oil or butter), eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and flavoring ingredients.
What makes this cake so incredibly unique is its extremely light and airy texture, similar to other foam cakes like angel food cake.
This light texture is achieved by beating the egg whites separately and folding them into the rest of the batter. This way, you are incorporating a ton of air pockets that will expand as they are baked.
Furthermore, you can incorporate even more air by using butter as the fat ingredient. Butter can be creamed, unlike oil.
This creaming process also introduces air that will create an even fluffy texture. Butter also adds a much richer flavor and beautiful golden color to the cake itself.
There are two ways these cakes can be served. The first, and arguably the most common, is to bake the cake and use it whole. This cake is usually glazed with frosting or ganache, but can also be dusted with some powdered sugar.
You will also commonly find them being decorated with an assortment of garnishes including fresh berries, chopped nuts, candy decorations, or even just edible flowers.
Alternatively, the cake is sliced into two or three layers. Between each, a layer of frosting or filling is added, sometimes with some fresh fruit pieces or nuts.
Where Do Chiffon Pans Come In?
A chiffon pan is a specific type of tube pan that is used to bake chiffon cakes in. Now, it’s important to note that chiffon cakes can also be baked in regular pans. However, these pans also have a functional purpose.
As we have mentioned, chiffon cakes have very light and airy textures. Naturally, this means that their texture is also quite delicate. A common problem with these cakes is that they fall flat when they cool.
Think about it this way: when a cake cools, naturally, gravity pulls down the crumb. If the cake doesn’t have enough structural support (this is determined by the recipe used), it deflates.
So, where a chiffon cake pan comes in is that it has been designed in such a way to prevent this from happening.
Chiffon cakes are tube cakes with a hollow tube-like center. And, what sets it apart from other tube cake pans is that it has three or four “legs” at the top of the cake.
These legs allow you to turn the cake upside down so that gravity helps lengthen the structure and not weigh it down.
But, the legs also have other functions. If you were to turn a regular pan upside down and cool it, one of two things will happen.
The first is that the top of your cake will touch the cooling rack or counter (or board) you are resting it on. This will affect the appearance.
The second is that you can potentially cause the cake to sweat inside the pan if there is no airflow (if the board or counter is blocking it).
So, the legs eliminate both of these issues while also preventing the chiffon cake from deflating.
Functions Of Chiffon Pans
- Prevents the chiffon cake from deflating
- Helps prevent the cake from sweating while it cools
- The pan helps promote good airflow when the cake is cooling
- The shape of the pan also allows the delicate cake to bake at more even and stable temperatures
- It also helps the cake release better from the pan when you need it to
- Creates beautifully shaped cakes for decorative purposes
Types Of Chiffon Cake Pans
There isn’t a large variety of types of chiffon cake pans. They mostly vary in the material used, size, and sometimes, the decorative details.
Very much like a bundt cake pan, you get some with straight edges or fluted, curved, and decorated edges. Whatever you choose is up to you and it won’t affect the final outcome of the cake, other than how it looks.
When it comes to materials, there are only really one or two options. The first and most common will be made from some type of aluminum or steel material. And, often, they will have a non-stick coating as well.
Then, you also get silicone chiffon cake pans. In our opinion, don’t waste your money.
Silicone is a flexible material so you will have to support it during baking with a baking pan. Furthermore, the cake has a much higher possibility of deflating or misshaping.
You also get glass or ceramic chiffon pans, but there are very pricey, rare, and usually only available in much smaller sizes. And, in our opinion, they don’t work as well.
How To Use A Chiffon Cake Pan
A chiffon pan is incredibly easy to use. What also makes it nice, especially when making chiffon cakes, is that you don’t have to prep it at all. You don’t have to spray it with non-stick cooking spray, brush it with butter or oil.
An unlined pan will actually help your chiffon cake rise more and help prevent it from falling out when you are turning it upside down.
And, the legs of the cake pan mean you don’t have to create any makeshift cooling rigs to promote airflow. You can just turn the pan upside down and wait – that’s it!
So, as we have mentioned before, there aren’t many factors that you have to consider when it comes to choosing a specific chiffon pan. We will cover the most important considerations such as material, size, and design.
However, just to be extra thorough, we have included some tips you can use when looking at a specific product.
This includes things like looking at product reviews or product descriptions. This will allow you to look at any chiffon pan, even if it’s not on our list today.
Okay, so we have already mentioned that you can buy chiffon pans made from metals, silicone, glass, and ceramic.
We would only consider metal or silicone as a viable option for chiffon pans.
Glass and ceramic are excellent conductors, but finding these pans in those shapes is going to be extremely difficult, not to mention expensive. And, even though they are durable, they are very fragile.
So, let’s discuss the silicone option first.
Silicone baking pans are great because they are generally more affordable, come in a wider range of shapes and sizes (including elaborate designs), they are lightweight and easy to maintain and wash.
Their downsides, however, specifically when it comes to chiffon cakes, is that they don’t offer much support.
At the end of the day, they will create more work for you. Because of the flexibility of the material, it often needs support when baking to prevent the pan itself from misshaping.
Then, especially because should cool the chiffon cake upside down, you have to create all sorts of rigs to allow proper airflow and keep the pan in the correct shape.
If the cake cools without airflow it will sweat. And, if it cools while being misshapen, it will set like that as well.
There are a few metal materials you can choose from. The most common ones you will find will be aluminum, an aluminum-blend, or steel.
It is also very common to find these pans with a non-stick coating. This coating is great because it means you don’t have to spend time lubricating the pan. But, it also allows the cake to stick to the sides enough so it can rise beautifully.
When looking at specific materials, just make sure that the pan is always made from food-safe products and that they are made using high-quality metals and plastics.
Chiffon cake pans do come in a variety of sizes. The standard size for these cake pans is usually between 7 and 9-inches (18-23 cm) in diameter. However, they can be much smaller or larger.
The larger the pan, naturally, the higher the sides will also be. Chiffon cakes should always be very tall because of their fluffiness.
So, for example, a 7-inch chiffon cake pan will be around 2.8-inches tall. An 8.5-inch cake pan will be roughly 3-inches tall.
Now, so far, we have only mentioned legs to help with the cooling when the cake has been turned upside down.
Well, there is actually another design that you will commonly find. Often the tube part (in the center) is slightly higher than the sides of the pan.
This means that you rest the pan on that area when it is turned upside down to cool. This allows the airflow to cool the cake and space for the cake to hang and elongate.
In terms of which is better, that is entirely up to your personal preference. Personally, we prefer the legs as they feel more stable to us.
Now, more often than not, a chiffon pan has straight sides. However, sometimes you will find some products with fluted edges.
The straight sides allow the cake to climb higher. But, at the end of the day, the choice is up to you.
The 5 Best Chiffon Cake Pans
Below, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite chiffon cake pans that can be found online. All of these products work very well, are durable, made from quality materials, and is worth every penny.
Now, we have tried to include a variety of sizes, designs, and even price tags so that you will a pan that works best for your needs
|1.||Chicago Metallic Professional Chiffon Cake Pan||Best overall chiffon pan|
|2.||Chefmade 8-inch Chiffon Tube Pan||Made from thickened carbon steel|
|3.||Fox Run Loose Bottom Chiffon Cake Pan||Made from a very durable yet lightweight aluminum|
|4.||Suncity Flower Chiffon Tube Pan with Two Removable Bottoms||Easy to clean|
|5.||Wilton 7-inch Chiffon Cake||4-point-of-contact design|
1. Chicago Metallic Professional Chiffon Cake Pan
This is a two-piece chiffon cake pan with a removable bottom.
This amazing feature allows you to very easily remove the cake from the pan without excessive banging or cutting.
The pan itself measures at 9.5-inches in diameter and 4-inches in height, making it a good-sized cake. It will produce approximately 8-10 servings of cake.
This pan is made of heavy-weight aluminized steel with a non-stick coating. This unique material can be safely used in temperatures up to 450°F (230°C).
This makes the pan extremely durable, an excellent heat conductor, and obviously, non-stick. It is also very easy to clean and store. You can even place it in the dishwasher!
2. Chefmade 8-inch Chiffon Tube Pan
This is another 2-piece chiffon cake with a removable bottom.
It has been designed with straight sides and an extended tube so that you can cool the cake upside down with ease.
It measures at 8-inches in diameter at the bottom of the cake and will produce cakes up to 3-inches in height.
The pan is made from thickened carbon steel and has been coated with food-grade silicone. This coating can be used in extremely high temperatures and is completely PTFE AND PFOA-free.
3. Fox Run Loose Bottom Chiffon Cake Pan
We had to include a large cake pan! This cake pan is 10.75-inches in diameter and 5.5-inches in height, making it perfect for baking for the masses.
The pan is made from a very durable yet lightweight aluminum.
This material will conduct heat throughout the cake evenly and very efficiently. And, it is also very easy to clean!
It has also been made with legs and an elongated tube. This provides extra stability when you are cooling the chiffon cake. You can rest assured that your pan will not move or fall over.
4. Suncity Flower Chiffon Tube Pan with Two Removable Bottoms
This is an amazing cake pan to have. What we love about it most is its interchange bottoms.
The one bottom is a simple base so that you can bake regular cakes.
Then, the product also comes with a tube base, for which you can make chiffon cakes or angel food cakes.
And, did we mention the shape of the pan is that of a flower! Now you make a more interesting design with a beautiful shape.
This chiffon pan is 8-inches by 5.5-inches in height. It is made from high-quality carbon steel that is great for conducting heat and is easy to clean. And finally, the pan also has a non-stick coating to make your life even easier!
5. Wilton 7-inch Chiffon Cake
Our final product for the day is this simple and effective chiffon cake pan from the famous baking brand, Wilton.
The pan is 7-inches in diameter and makes a pretty high cake, about 4.5-inches.
The pan is also made from a heavy-duty food-safe aluminum blend. It is easy to clean, durable, and will bake your delicate chiffon cakes evenly and efficiently.
And, the removable bottom makes it even easier to loosen the cake from the sides without having to bang the pan on the counter.
Finally, it has a 4-point-of-contact design that allows the cake pan to stand upside down without moving. This also allows for sufficient airflow to cool the cake.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best chiffon pans, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
What is a tube pan?
A tube pan is essentially any type of pan with a hollow tube in its center. This naturally includes a chiffon pan, but also a bundt pan.
Now, both these pans fall into the same category of pans, but they are not the same pan. They are used for different reasons and in different ways.
Can you use a bundt pan instead of a chiffon pan?
The main difference between these two pans is the legs. Bundt pans (for bundt cakes) do not have to be turned upside down, so there is no need for legs or an elongated tube. Other than that, they are pretty much interchangeable.
You will just have to create some type of setup to allow airflow as you turn the bundt pan around. It is easier (not impossible) to use a chiffon pan to make bundt cakes than vice versa.