5 Pie Pan Substitutes

Ah, pie. The most beloved holiday dessert. But when it comes time to whip up your favorite pie recipe and find yourself without a pie pan, you might start to panic. 

There are plenty of excellent pie pan substitutes, including cake pans, tart pans, and even a DIY method with no pans required.

Hi! I’m Michelle, and I love pie. My favorite is coconut cream pie, but I have an affinity for pumpkin pie – as most of us do. While I have a designated pie pan now, I didn’t always. I have used several other options for pie pan substitutes, and I’m here to share my top five picks.

Using a pie pan substitute is a cinch. You don’t even need to change the baking time for most swaps or do anything “special” to achieve grand results. But the same isn’t true for all substitutes, so it’s essential to know how to use each one.

Let’s find out which pie pan subs made the top five.

5 Pie Pan Substitutes: What You Can Use Instead Of A Pie Pan?

While a pie pan is the prominent vessel for baking delicious pies, it doesn’t mean you can’t be successful using a different kind of pan. You may have to adjust the baking time slightly, but it’s nothing too dramatic – you can do it!

1. Aluminum Pans (Most Convenient for Travel)

Personally, I am a huge fan of aluminum pans. 

For one, they’re easy to bake with. Secondly, they’re easy to transport. Just cover your pie with a piece of tinfoil, and you’re ready to roll. Thirdly, they’re typically sold in bulk, so you can make plenty of pies without spending more money.

Foil is a top-notch heat conductor, so you won’t need to do too much adjusting. The biggest issue comes with the crust. You will want to add another ten minutes to the overall baking time to ensure you achieve your desired flaky crust results.

You might consider placing a baking sheet underneath your aluminum pan. Aluminum pans aren’t exactly the most robust pans out there, so giving them a helping hand is highly recommended.

2. Tart Pan (Most Beautiful Results)

A tart pan is another one of my personal favorites. It allows you to achieve professional, aesthetically-pleasing sculpted edges without doing any of the hard work. Who doesn’t love a good shortcut when it comes to baking?

The best part is that tart pans replicate pie pans in shape and size, so you won’t need to adjust the baking time or do anything unique to achieve lovely results.

3. Cake Pan (Closest Swap)

When it comes to round desserts, cakes and pies are the first things that come to mind. They’re relatively similar in terms of shape and size (although they have very distinct differing qualities). That said, a cake pan can suffice as an excellent sub for a pie pan.

The only significant difference between cake and pie pans is that cake pans tend to be deeper. With that in mind, you may need to lower the temperature by five to ten degrees to avoid burning your delicate pie.

4. Springform Pan (Deep-Dish Substitute)

A springform pan is an ideal option when baking deep-dish pies, but it can work for all pie recipes when you’re in a pinch.

The benefit of using a springform pan is that you can remove the sides, making it a cinch to remove your pie. Even the most dainty pastries can be evacuated without a single mark or smudge showing up on the final product.

However, it’s important to note that springform pans are notoriously taller than typical pie pans. So, you will need to roll your pie crust a bit thicker to compensate for the depth without rips, tears, or other mishaps while baking.

5. Baking Sheet + Parchment Paper (Last Resort)

If baking isn’t in your typical repertoire, you likely won’t have pie pans or suitable substitutes hanging around your kitchen. But even in this situation, you don’t have to nix your pie-making dreams. Instead, bust out your baking sheet and parchment paper and be prepared to test your creative skills.

Most people have a baking sheet on hand, making this a viable substitute for pie pans. Follow the easy steps to make a pie!  

Step 1: Roll out the pie crust onto the parchment paper.

Step 2: Add your fillings, and roll the border to hold the fillings in place firmly.

Step 3: Transfer the parchment paper to a baking sheet.

Step 4: Bake!

For this method, it’s recommended to craft several more miniature pies rather than one big pie, especially if you’re new to freehand pie-making. If making mini pies, you won’t need to bake as long. Drop the baking time by about five to ten minutes for the best results.

Can I Make a Pie in a Pyrex Dish?

If all you have is a Pyrex dish, you can safely and effectively use it. In fact, any oven-safe glassware can be used as a pie pan substitute. Baking glassware provides even heat distribution, leading to a perfectly-baked pie with no hot or raw spots.

The biggest issue with Pyrex, or baking glassware in general, is that it doesn’t conduct heat as well as other materials. 

It’s recommended to lower the temperature by five to ten degrees and bake for a few minutes longer when using this material for baking pies. Otherwise, you can end up with burnt crusts and undone fillings.

FAQs

If you’re planning to bake pies regularly, I highly recommend investing in a proper pie pan. It will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. But in the meantime, any of these subs will work like magic. Check out these frequently asked questions to learn more.

Is ceramic good for baking pies?

Ceramic typically is not the best material for baking pies unless your pie has an exceptionally long baking time. Because ceramic conducts heat at a slow pace, it won’t produce the notorious flaky pie crust we all know and love.

Is stoneware good for baking pies?

Stoneware is a great pick for pies! As the pan retains moisture, it will expel the right amount of hydration into your pie while it bakes, creating a tender and delightful crust with the perfect proportions of moisture and flakiness. Yum!

What is the standard pie dish size?

A standard pie dish size is nine inches. So, when you’re looking for the best substitute for a pie pan, try to find one that is nine inches (or close to it).

Final Words

A gorgeous and delicious pie can be made without a pie pan. The best sub is an aluminum pan, especially if you plan to transport the pan elsewhere. The runner-up is undeniably the tart pan as it is the most aesthetically pleasing, but a cake pan can work in a pinch.

Have you ever baked a cake using one of these substitutes? Do you have a pie pan swap suggestion? Share below!

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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