How to Grease and Flour a Pan

Many recipes for baked goods call for the baking pan or cake pan to be greased and floured prior to adding the batter and baking. This is an important step in the baking process to ensure that the finished product doesn't stick to the sides of the pan. Even non-stick pans need to be greased and floured for some recipes. By greasing and flouring the pan you're creating 2 layers of non-stick protection. The greasing agent will allow the flour to adhere to it and as the cake bakes, it will cling to the flour and not to the side of the pan. When baked and cooled the product should release from the pan easily. To do this, all you'll need are the right ingredients and a little practice.


  1. Image titled Grease and Flour a Pan Step 1 preview
    Choose your greasing agent.
    • Butter and shortening are the 2 most common fats used to grease baking pans. Butter will impart a slight richness to the batter and will help the exterior bake to a golden brown. Shortening is flavorless and the batter is less likely to brown. Oil based sprays and vegetable oil should not be used to grease the pan. When heated, the oil polymerizes and the result is a hard glaze that is difficult to remove without harming the surface of the pan.
  2. Image titled Grease and Flour a Pan Step 2 preview
    Choose your flour.
    • Various flours can be used to flour the pan, but the rule of thumb is to use the flour that the recipe called for. This way you won't be altering the taste or composition of the batter. If it is a chocolate cake made with cocoa powder, you can use cocoa powder in the place of the flour so that the cake retains a rich, dark exterior with no white flour residue.
  3. Image titled Grease and Flour a Pan Step 3 preview
    Grease the pan.
    • Cut a square of wax paper large enough to hold 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of butter or shortening. Hold the butter so that the wax paper is between the butter and your fingers. Spread the fat over the interior of the pan being careful to cover the entire interior. You don't have to apply a thick coat. Continue until each baking pan that you'll be using is greased.
  4. Image titled Grease and Flour a Pan Step 4 preview
    Add the flour.
    • Add 1 or 2 tbsp. (15 to 30 ml) of flour or cocoa powder to the greased pan. Pick the pan up and tilt it about, allowing the flour to distribute and cover the entire interior of the pan. The flour will stick to any greased surface. Invert the pan over the garbage or a sink and tap it gently with your hand to remove any excess flour. Continue in this fashion until each required pan is floured.
  5. Image titled Grease and Flour a Pan Step 5 preview
    Add the batter. Your cake pans are now greased and floured and are ready for the batter.


  • Always follow the recipe. If the recipe says to grease and flour the pan then you can rest assured the cake will not release easily from the pan. If the recipe doesn't specify to grease and flour the pan then it may not need this step to release after baking.

Things You'll Need

  • Cake pan(s)
  • Butter or shortening
  • Flour or cocoa powder
  • Waxed paper

Article Info

Categories: Pots and Pans | Basic Cooking Skills