Although many bakers both hobbyist and professionals are embracing bakeware and cake decorating products made of silicone, some others are still skeptical of them. This is because bakeware and cake decorating tools made of traditional materials are already tested and proven. But silicone tools are fairly unproven by majority of bakers.
Understanding Silicone Cake Tools
A definition found online stated that Silicone is inert and the polymer is made from commonly abundant ions: Silicon(Si); Oxygen(O); Carbon (C) and Hydrogen (H). Silicon is found naturally in sand and rocks.
Although we don’t really need to be experts on the composition of silicone, it won’t hurt to have an idea.
A lot of people argue about the food safety of silicone bake ware and cake decorating tools and we know that this argument would never end. One thing that must be foremost in your mind when shopping for a silicone bakeware or tool is an FDA certification. Once your product has that certification then it’s safe for use.
Different Silicone Cake Tools
These are cake pans made of silicone and they come in different shape and sizes. They are also called cake molds depending on the brand and manufacturer. Many cake makers have adopted this material and they swear that it makes baking much more convenient.
Let’s not just take their word for it let us examine the pros and cons of these silicone cake tools. This would help you determine for yourself whether they’ll work for you or not.
Advantages of Silicone Cake Pans
Most silicone cake tools come in bright colors including cake pans too! These colorful tools retain their color as long as they last; the colors don’t fade or wear off. With silicone cake pans, you are assured of tools that won’t break or bend out of shape.
These silicone cake tools reinforce the advice not to judge a book by its cover. This is because the look of silicone cake pans belies the strength and sturdiness they possess.
Non Stick Feature
Silicone cake pans are usually non stick; this means that you don’t need to grease or spray the pans before use. The absence of pan grease or spray helps to reduce the calories in the cake or baked goods. Because silicone cake pans are non stick, whatever you bake in them pops out without difficulty.
The material of the cake pan (silicone) enables the content to bake smoothly and evenly. Furthermore, it cools faster than metal which means that the food stops baking once the pan is out of the oven. This helps to regulate the baking time of our recipe accurately.
Ease of Cleaning
Silicone cake pans are easy to clean because of the non stick feature. This feature is a major advantage because it also ensures that the pans do not retain flavors or odor of anything baked in them. In addition to this, there are no openings in the surface that can hide germs and bacteria. Best of all it the fact that silicone is hypoallergenic.
To clean a silicone cake pan all that’s required is warm soapy water; just wash and rinse the pans and leave to air dry. Silicone cake pans are also dishwasher safe. Cleaning doesn’t get any easier than sticking stuff into a dish washing machine.
Silicone can withstand a wide range of changes in temperature from as low as -76 to as high as 500ºF. For this reason, a silicone cake pan can be used to bake your food as well as to serve and store it.
The ability to withstand changes in temperature also means that you can stick the cake pan with the cake or baked goods into the fridge/freezer. You can also reheat in the microwave and even go ahead to serve the cake or baked goods with the same pan.
Remember that we have already mentioned that silicone cake tools are usually beautifully designed and colorful. You need not worry about how a silicone cake pan would look on your serving table.
Ease of Storage
Silicone cake pans are easy to store because of their flexibility. This allows the cake pans to fit into any storage without damaging the shape. Just stick them into any available drawer space and retrieve whenever you want to use them.
Silicone cake pans can be found in any store that stocks kitchen and gourmet tools at affordable prices. The simplicity and ease of use of these silicone cake tools save the user extra money. You don’t have to grease the pans or buy cake pan spray.
Because of the durability, you don’t have to replace your cake pans often; you might not even need to replace them at all. You buy cake pans only as a matter of choice and not need.
Silicone cake pans come in aesthetically appealing designs, shapes and colors. This lends to the versatility of the pans because it is beautiful enough to be used to serve the item baked.
Disadvantages of Silicone Cake Pans
The flexibility of silicone cake pans which is an advantage for ease of storage can also be a downside. The floppiness of silicone cake pans makes moving them to and fro an oven dicey. You need to use a solid base to add stability.
Risk of Content Spilling
There’s also the risk of the content of silicone cake pan spilling in process of putting it into the oven and the user getting burnt in the process. This makes it risky to use for a clumsy person or kids that are learning to bake.
Well, this issue can also be handled by using a solid base under the silicone cake pan.
The Need for Regular Cleanup
Due to the fact that static builds up on silicone cake pans, they attract dust and dirt. This means that they have to be cleaned regularly; you can’t just leave them for a long time without cleaning them.
Trial and Error
Because of the mixed reviews that most silicone cake pans get, you might need to try a number of brands before you know the good ones.
Even when you get the right ones, you would also need to learn how to adjust the baking time and temperature appropriately. This is because each silicone cake tool has the appropriate temperature they are made for.
How to Remove Cake/Baked Goods from Silicone Cake Pans
Silicone cake pans are different from metal or glass cake pans; this means that there are some facts that you have to consider when using them. One of such things to pay attention to is how you remove your cake or baked goods from the pan.
When you want to remove your cake, allow the cake pan to cool for not less than ten minutes. In this period, the cake would shrinks as it cools. Place a wire rack, plate or tray on top of the cake pan and turn the pan over to remove the cake. When this is done, you can flip over the cake right side up with another plate or cake board.
For other baked goods such as muffins or breads, you can remove them as soon as they get out of the oven. Always remember to hold the silicone cake pan with a towel to protect your hand.
Silicone spatulas are so cool to use. Though flexible, they are strong enough to be used to stir your icing and batter. You can also use them to scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and stir hot sauces and recipes.
Advantages of Silicone Spatulas
The following are also the other advantages of silicone spatulas. These advantages are also true of other silicone cake tools. For this reason we’ll just give a brief summary of these advantages.
(i) They withstand a wide range of temperatures so can be used for both hot and cold recipes.
(ii) The handle of a silicone spatula is always cool to touch. This reduces the risk of the user getting burnt in the process of using it.
(iii) Silicone spatulas can last for a lifetime. They also remain in their original state for long; there’s no peeling or flaking. You don’t need to worry about getting particles from your spatula into your food.
(iv) There’s no risk of rust with a silicone spatula.
(v) Silicone spatulas are easier to clean and more hygienic to use because of the non stick quality. You don’t have to deal with food particles or residue of batter and icing stuck on the spatula.
(vi) They also come in fun exciting colors; you’d be amazed at how the color of a cake tool can help the mood of the user.
Disadvantages of Silicone Spatulas
The disadvantages of a silicone spatula include the following:
(i) You have to clean them as soon as you are done using them. This is due to the fact of static build up in silicone.
(ii) The softness of silicone males the spatula vulnerable to damage by sharp objects.
(iii) There’s the danger of getting a product that’s not one hundred percent silicone.
There are a few reasons why professional cake decorators like silicone cake piping bags. They include the following:
(i) Silicone piping bags are lightweight yet strong.
(ii) They are supple and flexible which makes it easier for the bag to be folded and twisted unlike other cloth/canvas piping bags.
(iii) A silicone piping bag can last a lifetime if used and maintained properly. It doesn’t tear neither can it be split by heavy or hot recipes.
(iv) Silicone piping bags are heat resistant and can also adapt well to cold temperatures. This makes them ideal for all types of recipes and also microwave and dishwasher safe.
(v) The inner part of a silicone piping bag is smooth and makes for the free flow of icing while the back of the bag is textured for a firm and non slip grip.
(vi) Silicone piping bags do not retain stain or absorb flavors or odor. That’s why they can be used for different recipes.
Tips for Using Silicone Cake Tools
A lot of people confuse silicone cake pans and utensils with their rubber counterparts. This confusion has led a lot of people to misusing their silicone cake tools, bakeware and cookware. Here are a few tips on how to use your silicone materials.
(i) Always place a tray, plate or wire rack under a silicone cake pan when removing it from the oven.
(ii) Do not forget to use oven mitts when handling hot silicone cake pans.
(iii) Silicone cake pans may make your baking time shorter so be observant when using them. This would help you make the necessary adjustment to your baking time.
(iv) Yes, silicone cake tools are heat resistant but don’t be tempted to put them to test by keeping them in contact with direct heat.
(v) Do not use strong and abrasive cleaning chemicals and tools to clean your silicone cake tools. If you do, the surface of the tool would be damaged.
(vi) Also ensure that you do not use sharp objects to scrape your silicone cake tools. Always use silicone spatulas on silicone pans.
(vii) Ensure that your silicone cake tools are always washed and properly dried before storing them. If not properly washed and dried, these tools can harbor germs which would contaminate your food.
(viii) If food residue is on your any of your silicone cake tools, soak it in warm and mildly soapy water. Leave it to soak for a while before washing. This would help preserve your tools.
You can also click here to read one of our reviews on silicone bakeware. It would give you further information on what to look out for in a silicone cake tool.