Use Breadcrumbs To Help Prevent Cake From Sticking To The Pan

For bakers, the most stressful moment of the baking process is "the release" — that tense moment where you wait for your cake to slip from its pan onto the waiting cooling rack. Whether it's a bundt pan with its built-in decorative design or a simple straight-sided loaf pan, it can be difficult to get the cake to release cleanly from the mold. For many, that's where butter and flour come in. This pan prep helps with the release, but it can leave you with a chalky, floury exterior on your cake. Is there a better, tastier way to avoid this? The answer lies in butter and breadcrumbs

This tip comes from the late great baker, Maida Heatter, whose many cookbooks helped generations of bakers learn the tricks of the trade. As far back as the 1970s, Heatter published a recipe in the New York Times for an East 62nd Street Lemon Cake that calls for using a fine coating of bread crumbs, held on with butter. The benefits of this breadcrumb swap are twofold: The cake releases beautifully from its pan and has a better-tasting, crunchy coating. So how should you go about using this breadcrumb trick for your next cake

A crunchy and tasty alternative to a flour

To kick off this pan prep, you'll want to melt your butter or shortening. With a pastry brush, you'll apply a thin coat of butter to the wall and ridges of the pan. This is easier and more thorough than just rolling melted butter around in your pan, but you can do that method if you lack a pastry brush. 

Next, you'll reach for your breadcrumbs. These can be homemade or store-bought, but make sure it's an unseasoned variety of breadcrumbs if it's from the store. For a 9-inch tube pan or bundt pan, Heatter used roughly half of a cup of breadcrumbs, but you may need as much as 1 cup of breadcrumbs for a larger pan. Spoon, roll, and crust the breadcrumbs onto the buttered walls of your bundt pan until properly coated. Apply this coating not too long before you add your batter, as the coating can slip and slide the longer it sits. All that's left is a bake, cooldown, and easy release.