A cake tin is an essential piece of equipment for baking, but they can vary in price and cost from £3 up to £30. We wanted to know whether it's worth investing in a pricier tin to make sure you get the best cakes.
In November 2021, we compared nine round 20cm cake tins from John Lewis & Partners, Le Creuset, Lakeland and more, to see if you can still get delicious, moist and fluffy cakes without breaking the bank.
We looked at build quality and durability, as well as the effectiveness of the non-stick coating and how easy each one was to use. Find out which we recommend below.
We originally tested 10 cake tins, but since then one was discontinued.
Pricing and availability last checked 7 January 2022.
Key features: Dishwasher-safe
This cake tin from the John Lewis & Partners AnyDay range is cheap, simple and is claimed to be non-stick.
In our tests, we bake a cake without greasing or lining the tin to test this non-stick coating.
Weight: 260g each
Key features: One-year guarantee
This set from Argos is a simple and affordable option if you want two loose-based cake tins to make a classic Victoria sponge.
How did they compare to pricier tins?
Key features: Five-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe
This simple loose-based cake tin from Asda's George range has extra deep sides.
In theory, this should protect your cake's top from getting burnt or going crispy.
Key features: Three-year guarantee
This loose-based cake tin from Lakeland is one of the more expensive tins in our test.
It has an extra ring of rubber that's meant to give you more control when pushing the baked cake out.
Key features: Lifetime guarantee
This springform cake tin from Le Creuset is described as having a high-performance, non-stick coating that will easily release your cake.
It's six times the price of the cheapest in our test, but it does come with a lifetime guarantee.
Key features: 20-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe
This loose-based cake tin has has a springform clasp, which should make it easy to remove your cakes intact.
Find how easy it is to use and clean, and whether we recommend buying it.
Key features: 25-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe
This 20cm springform cake tin from Prestige is described as having a premium non-stick interior to ensure removing the cake is effortless.
We put this to the test by baking cakes without greasing or lining the tin first. We also gave it a thorough clean afterwards.
Key features: 10-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe
This is described as having a superior double-layered coating.
We tested the durability of each tin by washing them with wire wool and scratching it with a metal spatula.
Key features: 10-year guarantee, dishwasher-safe
Wilko says this round cake tin needs little or no greasing when you're baking with it.
But were we able to remove the cake from the tin, or did it get stuck and rip apart?
To our surprise, we found that there were a few non-stick cake tins in our selection that worked perfectly fine without greasing or lining with greaseproof paper.
That being said, we always recommend you do this, as the last thing you want is to have it fall apart due to it sticking to the base or sides.
Also, as we've found in our research that even the best non-stick coatings degrade over time, especially if you clean it in your dishwasher, or use wire-wool or a scratchy sponge to wash it.
Cake tins come in a variety of shapes, sizes and even have various methods to help you get the cake out more easily.
In our test, we looked at the following types:
After completing these tests and working with all those in our selection, our researchers said springform tins were generally the easiest to use to get great results.
To find you the best cake tins, we put our selection through the following series of tests:
To begin, our researchers examined each of the cake tins, checking the quality of welds and joins, looking for any manufacturing flaws and any other issues.
The best in our test were well-crafted, smooth, and had mechanisms that worked well and felt durable.
Some of the worst had rough edges, warped sides and other manufacturing flaws.
To test how easy they are to use, our researchers used each one to bake two cakes, and made notes and observations on how easy it was to get the cakes out undamaged.
We found the best had smooth working parts, which made getting the sponges out very easy, while the worst ones could leave you looking at a pile of crumbs.
To test the non-stick coating, we baked a cake without greasing or lining the tin first.
Each cake was prepared using the same ingredients in exact quantities and baked on the same shelf in an oven for an identical amount of time.
While we don't recommend you do this at home, the best worked just as well without greaseproof paper or the grease from butter or margarine.
For this test, we used each tin again to bake a cake, but this time they were lined and greased.
We used the same type and quantity of margarine and greaseproof paper for each one, and the cakes were baked in the same oven for the same amount of time.
In this test, we examined each cake we baked to see if they were crispy at all and to make sure they had properly cooked through.
After each tin was used to bake a cake it was washed in eight litres of warm water mixed with one teaspoon of washing-up liquid. We washed each one twice for this test.
Most of them were easy to wash, but some needed a bit more care due to their design as baked cake mix was stuck in the grooves and indents.
We conducted two tests on each cake tin to test its durability.
In the first, we washed each one with a ball of wire wool, and in the second we ran the edge of a metal spatula up and down the base of the tin 10 times.
The best suffered breezed through these tests, showing few scratches or gouges, but the worst were torn up and unusable by the time the test was over.
The cake tins needed to be 20cm (8 inches) diameter round tins, as this is what is most commonly asked for in recipes.
They also needed to be sold by at least one leading UK retailer.