You Should Use Cocoa Powder To Flour Cake Pans. Here's Why

There are certain kitchen tips that are so common, so ubiquitous, and so essential that most people never think to question them. Thankfully, there are still a few innovators out there that can add a simple step or substitution that feels like a game changer. This is one of those tips.

Any cake baker worth their salt — or maybe sugar in this case — knows that an important step in making a cake (or any other baked good that uses a mold) is to dust the pan with flour. Doing this before adding the batter helps the final product release from the pan easily once it's finished baking. The L.A. Times Test Kitchen took that simple trick one step further. They recommend using cocoa powder instead of flour when making chocolate cakes. 

Whether you're making vegan chocolate cupcakes, brownies, or the ultimate chocolate cake, making this one small swap can help elevate your dessert.

Cocoa powder serves the same purpose as flour but has an added benefit

Flour may be the tried and true choice for dusting a cake pan, but it shouldn't be your only option. According to Cuisine at Home, dusting with flour may be a great way to keep your baked goods from sticking to the pan, but having a chocolate cake that comes out with a chalky coating of flour on the outside of it doesn't make for the best presentation. Even if it's just going to get dressed up in icing, why not use an ingredient that's going to add to the flavor instead of take away from it. Next time you're baking something that calls for cocoa powder, just keep a little extra on hand to dust your mold with once it's been greased.

One note to this tip is to make sure that you're not using sweetened cocoa powder. As one Reddit chef has noted, sweetened cocoa powder has sugars that may caramelize in the oven. A nice, caramelized crust might not sound like the end of the world, but there's a good chance that it would stick to the pan. The whole point of the dusting in the first place is to avoid sticking, so opt for unsweetened or semi-sweet cocoa powder when trying out this new trick.