How to Line a Cake Tin

Updated on January 2, 2017

Easy Guide to Lining a Cake Tin

If you are baking some kinds of cake, for example fruit cakes, Christmas cake and other large or celebratory cakes, you will have to line the cake tin. This is easy to do once you know how, but if you don't have anyone around to point you in the right direction, have a look at these helpful hints. Lining a cake tin really isn't very difficult.

Now, it may be if you buy non-stick cake tins you won't need to line them. I'm a traditionalist and still cook with the tins my mother gave me, but even my modern spring form tin needs to be lined.

Please note: Having read Nigel Slater's book Toast (see below), I thought I'd better add this note - line the cake tin before you start to make the cake!


Equipment for Lining Cake Tins

  • A cake tin
  • Baking paper (also known as grease proof paper or parchment paper)
  • Butter, oil or margarine
  • A pair of scissors

Baking Paper to Line the Tin

You'll need grease proof paper—also called baking paper or baking parchment—what you call it depends where you come from, but it's all the same!

You'll also need a pair of scissors, some butter or oil, and a cake tin. I've chosen to show you a traditional round one like mine that you can get from Amazon, but you can also find heart-shaped ones, square ones, and number versions.


Mark the Base With Scissors

But Don't Cut Along This Line

The first thing to do is to grease the tin with the butter, oil, or margarine. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Place the tin on the grease proof paper, allowing a margin of 2 - 3 cm all around.
  2. With the scissors, score around the edge of the tin as shown in the photo.
  3. Take away the tin and then cut about 2 - 3 cm outside.
  4. You should now have a circle of paper 4 - 6 cm wider than your tin.

Wilton Decorative Preferred 8 by 3-Inch Round Bakeware
Wilton Decorative Preferred 8 by 3-Inch Round Bakeware

This is a traditional cake tin - like mine


Snip the Edges of the Baking Paper

This is so that you get a snug fit. Snip the edges all around just inside the score line that you made around the base of the tin. I have tried to be neater than my usual self for the photo. It doesn't need to be too precise, but it will allow you to place the base into the tin and to turn up the edge neatly.


Your Paper Should Look Like This

The butter will help it to stick to the sides. Press the paper into the base and smooth up the edges, sticking them to the greasy sides of the tin. Put another layer of butter or oil over the paper.

Now you're ready to tackle the sides.

Don't be put off by all these instructions. It is like writing down exactly how to open a matchbox. Much more complicated to describe than to do!


Make the Sides of the Lining

You'll need two rectangles of baking paper.

First measure the length of paper that you'll need - the circumference of the tin. You can see in the photo that I have a seam in mine, so I place this seam at one end of the paper and I roll it along until the seam has gone full circle and I allow a bit more - say 5 cms. I make a snip at that point.

Then measure the sides by marking the back of the tin. Roll your tin back marking every now and then. When you cut the paper, allow at least 3 cm as you will be snipping the edges again. I allow more and leave it sticking up out of the tin, see below. I'm a born pessimist and think 'better safe than sorry'.


Snip the Lower Edges of the Sides

Snip the edges as you did for the base. Place the snipped edge into the tin and ease it down until the snipped edge is folded under and the paper is stuck to the sides of the tin. You will have to grease the overlap to stick it down. Now it is a good deal fiddlier fitting the sides than fitting the base, but I managed to get there in the end. Grease again and smooth down all the snips.


All Done!

I lined this tin for a Christmas cake so there are several layers of paper. the extra paper at the top does no harm, and if the cake rises above the tin, the paper will support it.

Good luck and good cooking!

Celebrity Chef Nigel Slater on Lining a Cake Tin for Christmas

In his autobiography, Toast, Nigel Slater writes lyrically about his memories of childhood food. I found a wonderful description of his not-such-a-good-cook mother preparing the Christmas cake. I'd have loved to quote you a passage where he describes, more lyrically than myself, how to line the cake tin, and about his poor mother's failings to get it properly organized! You'll just have to take my word for it and buy the book.

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 Barbara Walton

    Cake lining problems or stories? Do leave a message here

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      • Gypzeerose profile image

        Rose Jones 4 years ago

        I can't wait to be invited over for dinner! Linked to my board: "This I want you To Know."

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        Great instructions for making a cake tin liner. Thanks

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        This is the best advice ever! I would never thought of that, thank you for sharing. Now I'm really looking forvard to baking my next cake.

      • profile image

        Funkysi 5 years ago

        Great lens. I must try this

      • dolphinstar lm profile image

        dolphinstar lm 6 years ago

        Good to know

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @traveller27: Many thanks for dropping by, Heidi

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @AlisonMeacham: Thanks so much, everythingmouse for your kind blessings and words.

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @JoshK47: Many thanks Josh, for comment and blessing.

      • traveller27 profile image

        traveller27 6 years ago

        Very nice lens - well-presented.

      • AlisonMeacham profile image

        AlisonMeacham 6 years ago

        An excellent and informative lens/ Blessed by a Squid Angel

      • profile image

        JoshK47 6 years ago

        Wonderful information - blessed by a SquidAngel!

      • privresearch profile image

        privresearch 6 years ago

        Excellent tutorial! Very detailed

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        Not a stupid question, Miki-G. Problem with international audience. I've looked at pictures of parchment paper and it looks like grease proof paper/baking paper and is used like it so I guess it is another name for the same stuff. Many thanks for your interest and many thanks for your blessing. Spread your wings and fly.

      • Mickie Gee profile image

        Mickie Goad 6 years ago

        I have a stupid question. Is grease proof paper the same thing as parchment paper used for cooking?

        This is a wonderfully written lens. Blessed by a squid angel stretching her wings.

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @Blackspaniel1: Henry and Mark, many thanks for dropping by.

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @dogface lm: Thanks for the compliments, dogface.

      • Blackspaniel1 profile image

        Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

        Nice lens

      • dogface lm profile image

        dogface lm 6 years ago

        Great, valuable info. The cakes in those pics look mmmmm.

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        @anonymous: It is sometimes useful to know. The trouble with our home economics classes was that they taught us to make food that we didn't want to eat. Then Jamie Oliver came along! Many thanks for leaving a comment. I'm adding you to my Friends of this Lens list.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Remember been given such information in home economics class in high school.

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 7 years ago from France

        @Salvatore LM: Salvatore, thanks for stopping by. Lets hope cake will be Mmmmm...

      • Salvatore LM profile image

        Salvatore LM 7 years ago

        Mmmmmmmmmmm..... that is a pure goodness!!!

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 7 years ago from France

        @ChemKnitsBlog2: Many thanks for your kind comments. I do hope it's clear. Difficult to write good instructions when you know yourself how to do something. If anything isn't clear, do feel free to point it out.

      • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile image

        ChemKnitsBlog2 7 years ago

        Very helpful step-by-step instructions!