With the right cake tin, you can avoid baking disasters and ensure consistent results every time. So how do our experts test cake tins? Cooking delicious cakes is just part of the test method: our experts need to rate how well the cake tins do their job.
There's no doubt that our home economist Fiona Mair knows her way around a kitchen and has endless knowledge about kitchen appliances. With 30 years of experience, she's seen a lot of new technology enter the kitchen space. She is a whiz in the kitchen and knows how to put any appliance, big or small, through its paces to see if it's worth a spot in your kitchen.
With so many cake tins to choose from on the market, what makes us choose one type or size over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models available and what you're most likely to see in stores. We test cake tins which are approximately 20cm in diameter, made of material such as anodised aluminium or a non-stick coating.
We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, we check market sales information and we check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a normal consumer would, so we can make sure the products haven't been 'tweaked' in any way.
Fiona conducts performance and ease of use tests to assess the cake tins.
This consists of two main tests.
- Sponge sandwich: The aim of this test is to see how well the cake tin can release a delicate cake without sticking or damaging it. Fiona assesses the cake tin's ability to brown evenly and how well it produces a firm, fairly dry crumb on the base. She also assesses its shape.
- Apple caramel upside-down cake: In this test, Fiona evaluates how well the cake tin can release a sticky food without damaging it. She also assesses the cake tin's ability to brown evenly without burning the caramel, and how well it produces a firm, fairly dry crumb on the base. She also assesses its shape.
Ease of use
Fiona rates ease of handling (placing the cakes into the oven with oven gloves) and turning out (taking into account the lip around the rim or any handles which could make the job easier). She also looks at how easy the tins are to clean (whether they're easy to wipe out with no soaking, and are dishwasher safe). Both handling and cleaning scores are weighted equally when determining ease of use.
The performance test makes up 60% of the cake tin's CHOICE Expert Rating score, while ease of use makes up 40%. We recommend cake tins with a score of at least 85% overall.