Ina Garten's Tip For Cutting Parchment Paper Into A Perfect Circle

Parchment paper is a baker's best friend. It's an easy way to prevent cakes from sticking and for minimizing clean-up after your food has been baked to satisfaction. While it is quite easy to line a square pan or rectangular tray, things become a little more complicated when using round pans. Cutting the parchment paper into the perfect circle can be quite a frustrating task, too — especially for perfectionists. 

One trick some people like to use is tracing. They simply use a pencil or pen to trace the bottom of the round pan onto the parchment paper. After that, they simply use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut along the line they drew. 

Though there are several methods you can use to cut the parchment paper into a circle, the easiest way to cut parchment paper into a shape that will fit your pan perfectly every time is even simpler. Of course, it comes from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. As it turns out, folding your parchment paper first can make it easier to create a seamless circle.

Fold the parchment paper to get a better cut

If you're having trouble getting a clean circle, you can try folding the parchment paper in half several times before cutting. This will help you get a more precise circle, as you'll only need to cut once instead of tracing and cutting the entire circumference of the circle. To use this Garten-approved method, start by tearing a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to cover the entire round pan. Next, fold it in half from one cut edge to the other. With the paper doubled over, fold it in half again from side to side. At this point, the parchment should look like a square. For the final fold, crease the paper from side to side again to create a triangle. 

To cleanly cut the parchment into a circle, hold the narrow point at the center of the pan and trim the excess off along the edge. Follow the curvature of the pan to get the perfect fit. Once you've cut your circle, place it at the bottom of your baking pan. With this simple technique, you can spend less time prepping and more time baking delicious treats. You just might be surprised by how this simple change can help keep you moving while baking.