For a layered cake, a baking sheet can be used to layer separately.
A pound cake pan is traditionally a rectangular loaf pan or a tube or Bundt® pan. Some common features to look out for when choosing the best loaf pan are the pan’s weight, which shouldn’t be too light in most cases, and the side handles so it can be easily put in and out of the oven. The material the pan is made with can also make a difference, with some pans having a non-stick coating and others being made from unique materials such as flexible silicon. Pound cake is a versatile type of cake and choosing the best pan for one really involves knowing how the final cake will be served, because some pans – like Bundt® ones – are often difficult to use for making layered cakes, while a thin crust The baking sheet can be perfect for the same situation.
Choosing the best loaf pan starts with knowing how the final loaf will be assembled. Most of the time, a loaf pan is used to present the cake without any icing. A Bundt® or tubular pan makes a pound cake with a shape that is suitable for frosting or topping other toppings. Some pans have multiple wells, so multiple single serving loaves of English cake can be made at the same time. For a layered cake, a sheet pan can be used to make layers separately, or a tube pan can provide a single cake that can be easily cut into layers.
Whatever the shape of your loaf pan, the material it’s made from can make a difference in the way it bakes. Regular aluminum pans are inexpensive and readily available, but they need to be well lubricated before use. Aluminum pans with a non-stick or anodized surface help the cake come off when it’s finished cooking, but may have a shorter shelf life than an uncoated pan. Silicone pans – made from a flexible, rubbery material – provide excellent non-stick and heat-distributing qualities, but they can be expensive and can only be used a certain number of times before they have to be replaced. It is possible to use a disposable pound cake pan, but it requires special attention as the outside of the cake can easily burn if you are not careful.
Some of the features that can help make a good loaf pan easier to use are handles, sturdy walls, and sometimes a removable bottom. Pans with basic handles or flaps on the sides or edge are much easier to move and turn when unmoulding the cake. An English cake pan made with sturdy but not too thick walls will help distribute the heat around the cake during baking, although walls that are too thick can retain too much heat and brown the outside of the cake too quickly. With tubular pans, a removable bottom can help release a large, dense cake, especially when the bottom is coated with a non-stick material.