[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Considering how many baking pans I own, paper bakeware was never really on my radar. But I thought it would be fun to test.

The paper bakeware from Welcome Home Brands comes in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, either in single sizes or assortments ($24.99).

They're oven-safe up to 400 degrees, and they're freezer safe, so they're great for that emergency dessert that you've thoughtfully remembered to freeze for later.

Some of the ones I tested had a brown cardboard-looking interior, while others were white inside; in practice, though, I didn't notice any difference between them. The interiors are coated, so the pans don't need to be greased, either—so far, all the baked goods I've made came out of the pan easily. Or, really, I peeled the pan off of the baked goods, like you'd remove the paper from a cupcake.

While these are sturdy enough to stand on their own, they're not completely rigid and I put them on a baking sheet for easy transport into and out of the oven. My first thought was that these would be nice for making baked goods as gifts, since the pans are colorful and relatively inexpensive. Size-wise, they range from small(ish), down to cute and tiny. The loaf pans in the photo are approximately 7x3, 5x3, and 4x2, so the smallest is about equal to a cupcake, but in loaf form.

But then I realized that they're even more interesting because of the range of shapes and sizes, many of which aren't available in metal bakeware. I'm particularly liking the round baking pan. It's about 4 1/2 inches in diameter, so it could be used make cute little pies or quiches, but I'm especially excited to make myself some miniature layer cakes.

The only downside—and it's not a big one—is that since you're working with pans that are a different size and shape than a normal cake or cupcake pan, it's likely you'll need to adjust the baking time to compensate.

Overall, I really like these pans. I'm not about to replace my metal baking pans, but there's nothing wrong with some back-up options—especially when they hardly take up any storage space at all.

Disclaimer: Testing samples were provided to Serious Eats.


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