Gold Niblet Award: Cake pans

Niblet Welcome to an occasional feature: the Gold Niblet Award, highlighting products I consider the cream of the crop. Today’s subject: cake pans.

If cake pans aren’t a subject of religious importance in your family, then you’ve never held a lumpy and unevenly browned cake layer in your arms and shed a silent tear as it breathed its last. I’m talking about the relatively deep, rectangular or round pans used for baking cakes and bar cookies. You probably have a 9×13 Pyrex pan–we do, and it’s fine for lasagna and the like, but it can’t compete when it comes to sweets.

For that we turn to Magic Line. Usually, even my favorite kitchen implements have some annoying flaw. I’m pretty loyal to All-Clad pots, but the handles are lousy. In the case of Magic Line, though, I can’t think what could possibly be done to improve them. They’re made of sturdy aluminum, come in a huge variety of sizes, don’t cost much, have handles on all four sides (the rectangular ones, anyway), and produce perfect results. We have 9×13, 8×8, and 9" round Magic Line pans. Plenty of professional bakers use them, and right now they’re wondering why you don’t have any.

Magic Line pans

You can get Magic Line pans from Sur La Table, either in the store or online. If you’re ordering online, for some reason they don’t use the Magic Line brand name anywhere on the site. These are the square pans and these are the circular ones (which are also available 3" deep or with removeable bottoms). I can’t find the 9×13 pan on the web site.

Future installments of the Gold Niblet Award will cover digital scales, timers, spice grinders, and anything else I can dig out of my closet.

One thought on “Gold Niblet Award: Cake pans

  1. Andrew Feldstein

    I love Alton Brown and his sensibility, but I can’t agree on his obsession with “multitaskers.”

    The right tool for the right job can make the job a joy.

    Many years ago I stocked up on cookie sheets that were a couple of bucks apiece made by the local Jaycees out of sheet aluminum with slightly crimped edges. They were clearly the best in the store, albeit the cheapest, at that time. And they’ve worked wonderfully ever since. (Mystery of the ages: Why don’t jelly roll pans last as long as cookie sheets?)

    Offhand, I would also add the venerable Swing-A-Way can opener to the list.

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