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Pans For Gluten Free Baking

Gluten free baking can be a challenge. There is so much more that can, and often does, go wrong.

So much of what I did before going gluten free, no longer works with gluten free baking. I have had to figure out new things and find what works and does not work with the gluten free flours.

One of the things that I have found really makes a difference with gluten free baking is the pan.

I used to use stoneware, regular cake pans, and air bake type pans for baking, but I have found that with gluten free baking they do not work as well.

The main problem that I seem to have with gluten free baking is the texture and spreading. My gluten free cookies often become one giant cookie because they spread during baking. My cakes often don’t get quite done in the center, yet the edges will be very done.

I have found though that changing the pan I use can really make a big difference.

I have found that smooth pans do not work as well as the pans with ridges on them do. If the pan has ridges on the bottom the air and heat circulate better. This gives you a more even heat and more even cooking.

The ridges also seem to keep things from spreading. They act like a mini barrier that stops the cookies from spreading so much.

In regular baking this might not make as much of a difference, but I have found that in gluten free baking it makes a huge difference. I have not had nearly the trouble with my cookies spreading since I started using these pans and my cakes and other items seem to cook more evenly.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you noticed that certain pans work much better for gluten free baking than other types of pans do?

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. I never use my air-bake pans now for anything with gf flours (I’ve noticed they work for flourless cookies just fine). I just use my regular rimmed sheets now.

    I read somewhere in a gf cookbook to use textured pans, I just haven’t wanted to spend the money to replace every pan I own.

    And I know all the gf cookbooks say to NOT use the dark pans, but I have tested this theory several times and I found no difference.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    One thing you can try if your cookies are spreading is to put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour. If that doesn’t work, you probably have to add a bit more flour. Not much, just a bit. Bake a couple of sample cookies first and see how they turn out. Air Bake doesn’t give good results. I gave my Air Bake sheets away. I used glass pans before and for some things they still work fine. It took me a while to get to the testing a couple of cookies stage! Lesson learned the hard way! Good luck.

  3. I’ve found that smaller pans seems to work better than larger pans, so I use muffin tins and my 8×8 pan a lot more than anything else these days. I have a problem with spreading cookies also. She’s been on a brownie kick, so I haven’t made cookies in a while.

  4. I’ve read that gluten free baking needs more “support” than regular baking. Bread pans should be narrower , etc. King Arthur catalogs offers pans just for glluten free baking.

  5. Pat Landes says

    Thanks for the info. Several cake baking recipes for GF cakes call for either a 9″ or 8″ deep pan. What does deep mean…how deep does the pan have to be? Thanks

    • Cake pans and 9×13 pans vary in depth, but most are 2 to 3 inches deep. You want the cake pan to be deep enough so that the cake doesn’t rise over the top. Most cake pans should be deep enough for a gluten free cake. I hope that helps answer your question.

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