Whilst nothing beats home baking, nothing ruins it more than finding your goodies stuck to the base of the baking tray, leading to scraping, scrapping and eventually having to peel your baking off in chunks.

This is why it is key to line your baking tray, yes, even non-stick ones, and we’re here to show you how, in simple steps. Greasing your baking tray is a very quick step, but it is a key one that will ensure the following:

  • bakes come out in one piece
  • bakes do not have chunks stuck to the trays or tins
  • trays and tins aren't damaged with burnt remnants
  • trays and tins are easier to clean 

Prior to starting however, you have to know your tray (or tin).

There are lots of different types of baking trays and tins.

Flat trays are best for cooking things like cookies. As they are flat and not too deep they’re best suited to batters that aren’t too liquid prior to cooking. A baking tray is also good for things such as baked chips and vegetables as it is a large flat surface.

How to Grease a baking tray

For tray bakes, you want your baking tray to have some depth to it. These are better suited to liquid mixtures and are great for things like brownies.

How to grease a brownie baking tin

For loaf bakes, there are special loaf tins. These can sometimes be a little more difficult to remove baked goods from, so you may want to consider using baking paper (see instructions below for details).

How to grease a loaf tin

For cupcakes and muffins, a cupcake tray is best. You can either choose to include cake cases or not with theses trays.

Grease a muffin tray

Finally, if you are baking a large cake you’re best with a round tin. These often have spring releases on the side, to make it easier to remove your cake, or a removable base. 

These days, many of these tins will be non-stick. We do however insist on greasing your tray as it will not ruin your baking but it will prevent any sticking. Yep- even non-stick trays stick sometimes, particularly if the tray is older and well used. 

For this demonstration we will be focusing on the flat tray, but the method is the same regardless of your choice of tin. 

Make sure your tray is clean

Previous mistakes with greasing trays can lead to burnt remnants on the tray and this is the last thing you want- they can leave an acrid burnt taste in whatever you are cooking. Make sure the tray is thoroughly clean and dry.

How to Grease a baking trayPick your grease of choice

You can use many types of grease to oil your tray, such as butters or shortening. A top tip is to melt it, to make it easier to use. You can also use oil sprays.

How to grease a baking traySpread grease evenly 

Using kitchen paper or a pastry brush will stop the process of greasing being too messy and allow you to get a thorough even coating. Add a little of the grease to this kitchen roll/brush and grease the tin by rubbing it all over the interior surface. This creates a layer of oil and when this is heated up when cooking your baking, it stops the baking sticking to the surface of the tray. How to Grease a baking tray

How to grease a baking trayFlour or grease proof paper (baking paper) 

While often all is required is butter/shortening, using flour or baking paper in addition can add an extra layer of protection against sticking, and the cleaning up after is easier. This is particularly true when cooking something like a large cake.

If you decide to also use flour, simply take a tablespoon of flour and deposit this in the greased tray. Gently tap and shake the tray around until the flour has coated all the surfaces. Tap any excess into the bin. This means the grease will stick to the flour when it is cooked and not harm your baking. We would recommend using whichever flour is used in the recipe. If no flour is used, a plain white flour is fine. If the recipe includes chocolate it can also be nice to use cocoa powder. 

Using grease proof paper can make it easier to remove certain items, such as a loaf bake or heavy cakes such as fruit cake. Some people like to only line the base of the tin, whilst others prefer to line the sides as well. To use greaseproof paper, you still must grease the tray and then you add the grease proof paper cut to the shape of the tray. Using grease before adding the paper will stop the paper from gathering and make it easier to add your mixture.

How to line a baking tray with grease proof paperBake, allow to cool and remove 

Before trying to remove your baking from the tray, make sure you allow it to cool fully. When it’s time to remove your baking, make sure to use an item that does not have sharp edges, such as a knife, as this can destroy your tray by scratching it. A spatula or pallet knife works well.

Cleaning baking trays and tins

The best way to clean your baking trays and tins are by soaking in warm soapy water before using a sponge to wipe off grease and any remnants.

If you do have any stubborn burnt bits (which you wouldn't if you followed this guide on greasing your tins...but hey, we know some of you can go rogue at times!) then RESIST the urge to use a rough metal scourer that could damage the coating on your trays, while causing your arm to fall out of its socket. Instead, do the following:

  1. Cover the base of the pan with warm water
  2. Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to make a paste
  3. Let the paste sit in the pan for a few hours (or overnight, depending on the burn)
  4. Add another two teaspoons of baking soda and use a dish sponge to scrub the burnt remnants off

Our Hero Sponge is the best sponge recipe for cakes, loaves, traybakes and cupcakes. This one versatile recipe is also easy on your pans (you don't need to line your tins other than using cupcake liners if making cupcakes). Download it and try it - we guarantee you won't want to use another cake recipe again.

3 Responses

Xander Mcauley-Fry

Xander Mcauley-Fry

August 18, 2021

I’m not really that good at cooking so this will help a lot.

yeet my meat

yeet my meat

August 18, 2021


Asrad Abid

Asrad Abid

March 17, 2020

Now i can bake my dish properly avoiding stickiness.

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.