Can You Bake in Aluminum Foil Pans

Aluminum foil pans are such a handy household item. I can’t remember a time when our house didn’t have aluminum foil pans. We use it to marinate, to barbecue in, to store things, and to bake.

Yes, you can bake in aluminum foil pans. Cakes, cookies, and brownies are three common things people bake in aluminum foil pans. Like always, there are pros and cons to baking in aluminum foil pans and I will tell you all about it right here in this article. 

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker who’s been baking for over 10 years. If I were to stack all of the aluminum foil pans I’ve baked in, I could make a tower. In this article, I’ll share with you everything I know about aluminum foil pans, the good, the bad, and all my tips.

Let’s get started! 

Aluminum

Aluminum, also known as aluminium in some countries, is an element on the periodic table. It is a silvery, lightweight, malleable metal that is a great conductor of heat and electricity. 

Because of these qualities and its abundance, aluminum is used in a huge variety of products including cans, foils, kitchen utensils, and more.

While there has been some research linking the long-term exposure to aluminum to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, the results are mixed. 

What we know is that exposure to aluminum is inevitable in everyday life and it is generally safe as long as it is not ingested or inhaled in large amounts. 

Advantages of Aluminum Foil Pans

Aluminum foil is made of aluminum. The lightweight, heat-conducting properties of aluminum make it great for cooking all sorts of food. They generally come in different shapes and sizes catering to whatever it is you’re baking, and they’re a lot more affordable compared to regular baking trays. 

Another great benefit of aluminum foil pans is that each tray can serve multiple purposes. You can bake directly in an aluminum foil pan, use it as a vessel to carry your baked goods, serve in them and simply dispose of them afterward. For a baker, this saves a lot of money, time, and effort. 

Disadvantages of Aluminum Foil Pans

There are a few downsides to baking in aluminum foil pans. 

While aluminum is considered a metal and is sturdy enough to bake most baked goods, the metal is one that is very malleable therefore it can bend and even crack if you’re not too careful with it. 

Also, aluminum foil is recyclable, but because it bends and creases quite easily, it can be hard to clean and reuse. This makes it a less eco-friendly option compared to a regular baking tray.

Lastly, because aluminum is thin and such a good conductor of heat, your food might get heated from the bottom a little quicker when using an aluminum foil pan than it would if you’re baking on parchment paper on a regular tray. Not necessarily a disadvantage, but definitely something to be aware of!

Things to Bake in Aluminum Foil Pans

Here are the most common baked goods you can bake in an aluminum foil pan. 

Cakes

To bake a cake in an aluminum foil pan, you need to first grease it or line it with parchment paper because not doing so can cause your cake to stick to the foil and can lead to a burnt bottom. 

Fill your pan ½ to ¾ the way to allow space for your cake to rise. Place your tray on your baking pan and put it in your oven to prevent it from bending when you’re lifting it. Use a sliding motion when you can and always lift as carefully. 

Once your cake has finished baking, let it cool completely in the pan before attempting to remove it. You can use them as layers for a bigger cake or simply frost the top of the cake with your favorite topping. 

Brownies

You can bake brownies in aluminum foil pans. Simply grease your pan with butter and line it with parchment paper as you normally would with a baking tray and bake away. 

Square aluminum foil trays are perfect for brownies and you won’t need extra packaging them when they finish baking. 

Cookies

You can bake cookies on aluminum foil, but always keep in mind that because aluminum is a good heat conductor so your cookies may cook faster than they would normally. Cookies baked on aluminum foil or pans are also likely to be crispier.

If you want to make sure your cookies won’t burn, line your aluminum foil pan with some parchment paper and bake at a slightly lower temperature than you usually would, leaving them in the oven for a little bit longer than usual as well for even cooking.

FAQs

Still curious about aluminum foil pans? You might find your answers below. 

Do you need to grease disposable aluminum baking pans?

You do need to grease disposable aluminum baking pans. This will prevent the content from sticking to your pan. You can also line the tray with parchment paper for the same effect. 

Is stainless steel or aluminum better for baking?

One isn’t necessarily better than the other. The answer depends on what you are baking and the effect you’re trying to achieve. According to Foodsguy, aluminum heats up and cools down more quickly while stainless steel on the other hand takes longer to warm up, but it also retains the heat for longer.

Which side of aluminum foil is toxic?

Aluminum foil has a shiny side and a matte side. If you’ve chosen a non-stick aluminum foil, it’s likely that the dull side is the non-stick side. While some believe otherwise, neither side of the aluminum foil is toxic. There’s no need to stress over it!

Final Thoughts

Aluminum foil pans are great for baking, you can never have too many of them and you should always stock up on them in your kitchen.

Now that you know you can bake in aluminum foil pans, you have a long list of new things you can do with them outside of cooking a turkey on Christmas. 

Did you know that you can bake in aluminum foil pans? Have you made anything in one and how was your experience doing so? Let us know below!

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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