Tart Pan vs Pie Pan

Tart Pan vs Pie Pan: What’s the Difference? (Updated)

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Lori Walker

Many dessert lovers often ask if they can use a pie dish instead of a tart pan, or the other way around, since these two scrumptious goodies have a lot in common.

So, to avoid confusion, here’s a detailed comparison of tart pan vs pie pan and if they can be interchangeable. Read on. 

Comparing Tart Pan & Pie Pan

tart pan on a wooden table

The tart pan is shallow and wider, while the pie pan is deeper but smaller. Both pans come in various sizes and can help you in baking different goods [1]. 

Tart pans and pie pans can be used interchangeably, but since tart pans have a detachable bottom, it is easier to use them in specific baked goods. 

In addition, you may also notice that tart pans have fluted sides while pie pans have thin sides that slant outwards. Tart pans are equally wide from the bottom to the top, while pie pans have a wider top.

But what’s the difference between a pie pan and a cake pan?

What is a Tart Pan?

A tart pan is an oblong or round shallow pan with fluted sides and removable bottom. It also comes in different sizes and shapes, but its depth only varies from ¾ to 2 inches. 

“There is a mystery inherent in a pie by virtue of its contents being hidden beneath its crust.”

Janet Clarkson, Culinary Author

The fluted sides give tarts a distinctive shape. The detachable bottom and ring edge can help remove tarts without damaging their shape. 

Tart pans also have a ring on the top called a flan ring. It is a thin circle made from metal, and it sits directly over the baking pan for a crisper crust.  

What is a Pie Pan?

Pie Crust

A pie pan is a round baking dish with thin slanted sides. Typically, a pie pan has an outward sloping side, so the top is wider than its base. 

Pie pans come in different sizes, but their depth varies from 1.2 to 2 inches. You can use a pie pan to make a tart, but you cannot make your pie in the tart pan. 

Pie pans are versatile because they are handy baking pans. It also comes in ceramic, glass, stoneware, metal, and aluminum. 

Read: Steps To Measure A Pie Pan

Spot The Difference

Shape & Dimension 

Tart pans are wider and more shallow than pie pans [2]. Common tart pans have a 1-inch depth, while a pie pan’s depth usually measures 2 inches. 

Pie pans are traditionally round or oblong, while tart pans are usually rectangular and round. 

Tart pans can be 4-12 inches in diameter, while pie pans usually measure 9 to 9.5 inches. 


Tart pans are used for baking tart shells and filling them with curds, pastry creams, fruits, and savory custards. Tarts can be sweet or savory with shallow sides and bottom crusts (no top crust).

Pie pans are versatile because you can use them for baking goods other than pie. You can make a tart with pie pans, but you cannot make pies in tart pans. Pie pans come in hand for crisps, oven-baked cobbler, and coffee cake. 


Most tart pans come in two parts: (1) ring edge and (2) detachable or removable bottom, called two-piece tart pans. 

It is easier to use two-piece tart pans because you can easily remove the tart without damaging its shape. 

On the contrary, pie pans can make single-crust pies and double-crust pies because of their depth and shape. 


Regarding versatility, the pie pan is the clear winner because pie pans can be used in baking other goods. You can use it for baking loaf cakes, brownies, and even tarts. 

A tart pan can also help bake goods, especially if you don’t want to ruin the shape of your baked goods. However, it can be an issue since it can be too shallow, and the sauces may drip into the removable bottom. 

Check out the differences between moon pie and scooter pie here.

Do Tart Pan & Pie Pan Share Similarities?

Yes. Tart pans and pie pans are both used for baking goods. They can be used to form the crust and hold the fillings of the baked goods. 

Read: Is An 8-inch or 9-inch Cake Pan Better For Baking?


Can tart pan and pie pan be used interchangeably? 

Yes, tart pan and pie pan can be used interchangeably. However, if you use pie pans for tart, removing the form may be challenging and ruin its shape. Find out if you can put aluminum pans in the oven here.

Why do tart pans have removable bottoms?

Tart pans have removable bottoms because it makes it easy to serve the tart without worrying about ruining the shape of the crust. 

Also, it is an advantage to use if you have too much grease in the gluten. It can drip down and make the removal of the crust process much more manageable. 

Key Takeaways

Pie pans are better than tart pans. While the best pan depends on what you are baking, the pie pans are more versatile and valuable. 

The pie pan is deeper and smaller, while the tart pan is shallow and wider. The slope of the sides of the pie pan makes it easier to remove the pie. It comes in handy if you need it to make tart if you don’t have tart pans.  


Lori Walker

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