Pie Pan vs Cake Pan

Pie Pan vs Cake Pan: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on April 21, 2024 by Lori Walker

A pan corresponds to the beams in a structure, playing a crucial role in determining the form and stability of the building.

If you are planning on making a pie or a cake, chances are, you are deciding whether to buy pie pans or cake pans. 

Should you go with the wider-rimmed pie pans or deep cake pans? Our team made a side-by-side comparison of the pie pan vs cake pan to help you out. 

Comparing Pie Pan & Cake Pan

glass pie pan

 Generally, a pie pan (also known as a pie tin or a pie plate) is designed to support more pie filling, making them essential for baking pies [1].

An example is a tart pan, a variation of the pie pan. It concentrates on shaping the tart shell pie crust and has a flat bottom, unlike cake pans which focus more on forming the cake’s layers.

Key Differences


Pie pans are used to make any pie recipe with lots of fillings, while cake pans such as round cake pans and a springform pan are made not to stick to the cake wall.

Pie pans are used to make a pie dish, and cake pans are used for baking cakes. Pies have a crust filled with the main filling, and cakes are created with bread and icing.

“I rely on quality pans and quality recipes that will give me wonderful results regardless of what I’m baking.”

– Jocelyn Delk Adams, Author of the Grandbaby Cakes Cookbook

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t use a pie pan for a cake pan. It wouldn’t be ideal, but it will still work depending on your cooking skills and experience.

But is it possible to put the baking pan on the stove?


Pie pans are generally made with metal, glass (pyrex glass), or ceramic materials such as fired clay. Cake pans, on the other hand, are made with aluminum, steel, or silicon materials.


Pie pans generally have tall crusts to accommodate the fillings and are commonly 4 to 16 inches in diameter. 

Cake pans, on the other hand, usually have an inside diameter of 6, 8, or 10 inches. But how do you measure pie pans?


Pie pans are designed for baking with the dough in a tall crust, tart shells, and quiche pies with different shapes and sizes.

Meanwhile, cake pans are designed to bake cakes using soft batter and baking powder like a bundt cake or layered cakes [2]. They are typically round and rectangular. 

Today, many cake pans have removable sides, such as springform pans. Depending on the shape, cake pans can have less depth or more depth than pie pans.

Also Read: Why Is The First Pancake Always In A Bad Shape?


When comparing a pie pan vs cake pan, note that they have countless variations. 

From a removable bottom to donut-shaped walls, you can make almost any type of pie and cake you can think of.

Tart pans, for instance, are made to make tart shells that can withstand a significant amount of filling from fruits to jams, and a cake pan cannot replicate the crust itself.

You might also like to read about how Calphalon differs from Cuisinart cookware here.


One advantage of using the right pan for your recipe is having less baking time. Pie pans with glass material tend to bake slower as glass is not a good conductor of heat.

Moreover, using the right cake pan can help you retain the shape of your cakes, especially when making a layered one. But how does a tart pan differ from a pie pan?

Do Cake Pan & Pie Pan Share Similarities?

cake pans on a table

Yes, you can opt for 8 or 9-inch cake pans as a substitute for your pie pan since it provides the same shape and volume needed when baking a pie. 

However, note that pre-baked pie crust relies exclusively on the pie pan walls.

Also Read: Is It Okay To Put Aluminum Pans In The Oven?

How To Take Care of Cake Pan & Pie Pan?

You can take care of both pans just the same. Soak them to loosen any residue and clean them with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive scrub to avoid scratching their surface.

Also, after baking cakes or pies, do not run cold water in your hot pan so as not to warp them. Check out these simple ways to save a runny pie after baking here.


Can I use a cake pan as a pie pan?

Yes, a 4 to 12-inch cake pan can also be used as a pie pan, but of course, the wall made using a cake pan might look different from a pie wall.

Find out if you can use olive oil to grease a pan here.

How to choose the right pan for your baking needs?

To choose the right pan for your baking needs, ask yourself precisely what you need: is it to make a tall crust, support more filling, create a tall cake, or create a shallow pie?

With this, you’ll be able to decide exactly what kind of pan to use. Find out if discolored aluminum pans are safe to use here.

In Summary

To summarize, here are some points to remember when deciding between a pie pan vs cake pan:

Starting with the obvious one: pie pans are for making pies, while cake pans are for making cakes.

Pie pans also concentrate on the crusts and support for fillings, while cake pans concentrate on shaping the batter and for layering.

You can use pie pans for making cakes and cake pans for baking pies, but don’t expect the quality to be the same as when you use the proper baking pans.


Lori Walker

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