Cake Pans: 2 In Or 3 In?

Business By daniellepghbake Updated 28 Aug 2013 , 7:18pm by ddaigle

daniellepghbake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 2:55pm
post #1 of 19

Hello all!

I'm a student and have been trying to get things in order to start my own business. I've been researching cake pans for prices. I've read about the brands of cake pans everyone prefers, but I haven't heard/seen anything about what the advantages/disadvantages are of 2 inch cake pans versus 3 inch. So I have a couple questions..


1. Which do you prefer and why?

2. Have you had more problems with one or the other? (ex: Does one help the cake rise higher?)


Thanks for the help!

18 replies
DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 3:06pm
post #2 of 19

AI'm sure you'll get many different opinions.

I bake 2" cakes & I prefer the 3" pans. I accidentally purchased 2" x 16" pans & they work just fine. Still, my preference is 2". Gives my hand more room to grab the cake pan without hitting the cake.

MimiFix Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 3:33pm
post #3 of 19

I agree with Delicious. Thumb marks on cake tops are rather annoying. And the taller ones are multi-purpose. (If you need a 2" pan the 3" pans will work just fine. But if you ever need a 3" pan, the 2" ones will not work.)

daniellepghbake Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 3:52pm
post #4 of 19

Another quick question:

Where did you purchase the bulk of your pans?

ddaigle Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 3:56pm
post #5 of 19

I think a 3" pan has it's place & use, but I don't use them.  I think one 3" pan for a tiered cake is too short....2 - 3" pans will be too tall.   Most sites that show you a tiered cake and the servings it based on 2 - 2" pans per tier.   


Pfeil & Holing ( have great prices on pans.  But you need a business account. 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:50pm
post #6 of 19

AI do like Pfiel. I used ultimate Baker when I purchased. I was buying a lot of pans, & they offer 20% off $200.

I should also mention I prefer the removable bottom pans. Even more flexibility in use (cheesecakes, etc.) & makes drowning easy.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:51pm
post #7 of 19

ARoflmco! *de-panning* not drowning

ddaigle Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 4:52pm
post #8 of 19

Hmmm I need to check out ultimate baker. 

ttaunt Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:50pm
post #9 of 19

I get my pans at Michaels or Hobby Lobby with the 40% off coupons. Its a steal.

ddaigle Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 5:55pm
post #10 of 19

They do have great coupons...but I won't use wilton pans for my sheet & square.. I use Magic Line and they are outrageous at Sur la Table..the only store here that sells Magic Line.   They charge $25 for a quarter sheet....P&H charges like $11

maybenot Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 10:29pm
post #11 of 19

Whenever I can get a 3" pan in the size I need, I buy it.  I never bake 3" layers, though [too finicky in my home oven]--I bake really full 2" layers that come out generally pretty flat to start with and, therefore, need only minor leveling.


I really like my Wilton Decorator Preferred pans and my Magic Line pans--most of which I've come by second hand thru Ebay.


When I need new pans, I generally buy from Lloyd Pans [].  They offer 3" pans galore in nice 14 gauge aluminum.  I buy the bare aluminum because it's cheapest [and that's what all of my older pans are], but the new Silver-Kote option sounds nice [but it's pricey].  I never buy dark pans.  Spend $200 and shipping is free--that's the easy part!


I use Ateco heating cores in all of my cakes, too.

Dayti Posted 27 Aug 2013 , 11:25pm
post #12 of 19

I bake 2" layers in 3" pans. I would never try to bake 3" layers in one, it would take forever, and anyway all my cakes are made up of 2 2" layers which have been leveled and torted. I agree about them being easier to handle than 2" ones, and I think the top surface and edges of the cake are protected a bit by the higher sides of the pans. Not that I have done a scientific experiment though, so it could just be me imagining things!

mermaidcakery Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:10am
post #13 of 19

AThis might be a stupid question, but if you want a two inch layer in the three inch pans, how full do you fill them? If I were making one recipe at a time, then it would be half the batter. But if you made more batter for cupcakes etc, its nice to know when to stop pouring.

Dayti Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:28am
post #14 of 19

In my case it depends on the cake I'm baking - they rise differently. But I have a spreadsheet set up so I know how many grams of each kind of batter has to go in each pan in each size I have. You bake one and see how tall it gets, and take notes, and keep experimenting and adjusting. It's a long process!

MimiFix Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:30am
post #15 of 19

This is one of the reasons why using a scale is to your advantage. When making a single recipe, put your pan on the scale and weigh how much batter goes into that pan size. Make a note on your recipe card with the pan size and batter weight. Then when you scale up that recipe and use the batter for different products, you can fill your cake pan with confidence since you already know how much batter to use. 

maybenot Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 12:59am
post #16 of 19

Like Mimi says, weigh the batter.


I use the Wilton guide for how much batter goes into a pan to get a 2" cake layer.  I weigh the # of cups suggested and put that amount in each pan.  It works very well for me and I have never, ever gotten a layer that was less than 2 full inches in my 3" pans.


Weighing is especially important when I have 2 [or more] pans in the oven at the same time.  When they weigh the same, they bake the same.

mermaidcakery Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 1:52am
post #17 of 19

AWhat a great resource! Thank you guys!

chaka1 Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 2:11am
post #18 of 19

I've replaced all my pans with 2"  Magic Line brand pans. It's the only brand I'll buy now. The sides are super straight, which is good so you get nice even sides, but bad because they don't stack inside one another and they take up more room when storing. I got mine online at Country Kitchen SweetArt. They are located in Indiana. The pans are a great price there, but you do have to pay for shipping. Around the holidays, which is coming up, many places offer free shipping. I recommend you get on a lot of mailing lists because around the holidays they all want your business!!

ddaigle Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 7:18pm
post #19 of 19

Maybenot..I'm going to have to try to weigh my batter.   I have never got a 2" layer cake with the amount of batter that Wilton says...but I did not weigh it either.   I always eyeball my batter amount...and sometimes they are not exact so they don't come out at the same time.   I also use WASC which is more dense and I need a good 2/3 pan full of batter to get a full 2" layer.   I have a dome to cut off...but that's snacks so I don't mind.   I just want a 2" layer. 

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