If you have just used your last sheet of parchment paper, don’t run out to the store just yet. You can actually use paper bags in place of parchment paper if you’re baking cakes. I learned this trick from “Joe the cake guy” who helps run a small cake supply shop in the next town over, which his mother has owned for over thirty years.
I popped into his shop one day looking for chocolate molds and a new cake pan. We ended up in a two-hour conversation where Joe taught me all kinds of tricks and shortcuts. One of my favorites was his thoughts on parchment paper.
“I must’a baked over a thousand cakes by now” he said to me in a thick Brooklyn accent,
“I gave up parchment paper a long time ago though; too expensive.”
So I decided to give it a try the other day when I decided to make Hubby a coconut buttercream layer cake for our seven year anniversary.
I had a few paper grocery bags saved from a recent trip to Safeway. You can use any brown bag that, once cut open, will fit the cake pan.
PAPER BAG CAKE ROUNDS
1. Cut the bag so it lays flat
2. Trace around the cake pan
It’s better to have the cake pan facing right-side-up and to trace around the bottom of the pan, rather than tracing around the top of the pan. A seemingly insignificant difference, but tracing around the top of the pan makes the round just too big to fit inside.
3. Cut out the cake round and proceed with the recipe as normal.
Using a paper bag worked like a charm for me. I’ve been wondering if this trick will work as well for other types of parchment needs, such as cookies and a couple of dinner dishes that require roasting. However, I having a feeling this only works because the paper is completely covered by the wet cake batter. Cookies will leave parts of the paper exposed and cause it to smoke. A few dinner dishes that require roasting under a broiler set on high with the pan only inches away from the heat sounds particularly fire-hazardous. So for now, I’m sticking with cakes.
Have you also heard about this trick? What do you think about it also working for cookies and broiling?