How to Grease a Baking Pan

An ungreased baking pan is a recipe for a sticky nightmare – trust me, I’ve been there. But with simple ingredients, such as butter, flour, cooking spray, or parchment paper, you can easily grease your baking pan for success.

Hello! I’m Michelle, and I am here today to talk about greasing a baking pan because, well, I have had plenty of “OOPS!” moments where I completely forgot. Of course, this led to a very sticky situation. That said, I try not to forget, and I’m sharing my favorite ways to grease a baking pan!

If you are new to the world of baking and want to know the best tips and tricks for how to grease a baking pan, you’re in luck. Below, I have a few different methods for successful greasing. With these methods, you will be able to slide your tasty treats right out of the pan without hassle.

Grab your aprons, bakers, and let’s get bakin’!

How to Grease a Baking Pan

The cool thing about greasing a baking pan is there is no one size fits all answer. There are plenty of ways to properly grease, and they each offer great results. So, if you don’t have butter on hand, you can easily use a different method and vice versa.

Enough talk – let’s get down to business.

1. Butter + Flour

Go ask your Grandma how to grease a baking pan. She will likely share this popular duo: butter and flour. Butter and flour is the traditional way of greasing a baking pan. Why? Because it is a foolproof method that works every time.

To use the butter and flour method, simply do the following:

  1. Grab a stick of butter.
  2. Rub it along the entire baking pan. Don’t skip the edges!
  3. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the butter.
  4. Shake the excess flour off over the sink or trash can.
  5. Bake your treats!

Aside from being an incredibly reliable way to grease a baking pan, it’s also handy. After all, if you’re baking, you likely have butter and flour on hand. 

What happens if you only have butter in a tub? Don’t worry; you’re not out of luck. You will just need another vessel to apply the butter rather than your hands. Some people like to use paper towels. I like to use my basting brush. Some might have to get creative and use a spoon!

You can also use sugar or cocoa powder as opposed to flour. Obviously, you will only want to use cocoa powder if your recipe has a chocolatey flavor, though. Otherwise, you might find hints of chocolate where you don’t want them. No, thanks!

2. Nonstick Cooking Spray

Ok, so the butter and flour method might be too old school for you, I get it. (Although, I will say don’t knock it till you try it!) If you’re looking for a simpler method that speaks more to the year 2021, then bust out your nonstick cooking spray.

I will say this much – I always have a nonstick cooking spray in my pantry. It is so handy. While I still prefer to use butter and flour for my baked goods, the nonstick cooking spray works just as well. Plus, it’s a lot quicker, too. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get your nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Take off the cap.
  3. Spray the entire baking pan thoroughly.

And… yup, that’s it. Simple, right? I find that nonstick cooking spray is especially handy for baking pans that aren’t flat, such as muffin tins. It can be awfully challenging and time-consuming to try and butter up every inch of those crevices!

Now, if the nonstick cooking spray does the trick, can you use oil to grease baking pans? Essentially, yes. However, be wary that some oils, like olive oil and coconut oil, tend to have a somewhat strong presence and may alter your final product. 

Vegetable oils are your best bet, but you don’t want to use them too much. Don’t pour vegetable oil onto your baking pan and expect perfection. Instead, use a paper towel to grease the baking pan thoroughly and mess-free.

3. Alternative – Parchment Paper/Silpat Mat

Ok, so this isn’t technically “greasing” a pan, but it’s the same theory. The whole point of greasing is to make sure your baked goods don’t become a part of the pan. With that in mind, parchment paper and Silpat mats make excellent alternatives to traditional greasing.

Which one is my favorite, though? I love my Silpat mats. They may be a bit pricey, but you have to remember that they are entirely reusable. I have gotten several years out of my Silpat mats. As long as they’re cleaned properly after use, they have quite impressive longevity.

Parchment paper is a great choice, too, and works just the same. It provides a layer between your baked goods and the baking pan, making it much easier to avoid sticking. 


If you have more questions about greasing a baking pan, keep reading. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions you might want to know the answer to.

What is the best way to grease a cake pan?

The best way to grease a cake pan, specifically, is with butter and flour. This will provide the best results. You can also use shortening instead of butter if that is all you have on hand.

Can I use olive oil to grease a baking pan?

Yes, you can use olive oil to grease a baking pan, but be careful. Olive oil has a fairly strong flavor that can alter your baked goods. When using olive oil, use a very small amount and make sure that the ingredients can mask the olive oil flavoring.

Can you grease a baking pan with vegetable oil?

Yes, in fact, this is the preferred oil for greasing. This is because vegetable oil has a very mild flavor. It is the type of oil used in most nonstick cooking sprays, so you can feel confident using it as a greaser. However, don’t overdo it. Use a paper towel to apply it to the baking pan.

Final Thoughts

Greasing a baking pan is easy. You can use butter or shortening with flour, or nonstick cooking spray, or ditch the greasing altogether and opt for Silpat mats or parchment paper.

How do you grease your baking pan?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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