Few things are as tantalizing as home-baked goodies, but it's frustrating to have cookies or cake stuck to greaseproof paper. While un-sticking baked goods poses a challenge, some tricks and tips can save the day.
Cookies Stuck to Parchment
In an interview with LIVESTRONG.com, Lisa Richards, CNC, creator of the Candida Diet, provided suggestions on how to remove cookies and other baked goods stuck to baking paper. "After baking and allowing cookies to cool, try using a spatula to remove them," she advises.
"If you encounter stickiness, place the cookies and paper on a warm, damp towel with the paper side down. Let it sit for a few minutes. This towel method can do wonders.
"Another unsticking approach, called 'the water method,' may be the most effective strategy for getting macaroons and other kinds of cookies off of baking paper. Once you take them from the oven, lift the parchment paper, and place a few drops of warm water underneath, between the paper and the baking sheet. Allow the cookies to sit like this, until the steam created begins to loosen them from the paper. This trick will likely salvage your cookies."
Cake Stuck to Greaseproof Paper
Home bakers often want to know the best way to prevent cake from sticking. According to North Carolina State University, a comparison of wax paper vs parchment paper shows that the latter is preferable, because it releases cakes better and decreases the amount of loose crumb. Dorsey Schools advises that parchment is better than using non-stick spray, as it helps prevent burns and promotes easy cleanup.
To prepare a baking pan for cake batter, cut out a square of parchment a little larger than the pan. Then, put the pan on the parchment, and trace around it. Cut out the paper, insert it in the pan, and pour the cake batter in over-top. Take off the paper immediately after cooking, as soon as the baked cake is inverted on a cooking rack.
If the paper sticks to the cake, you can try to pry it loose with a wide spatula, or use the warm, damp towel method, advises Richards. "You may need to cut off a bit from the bottom of the cake, but luckily, this isn't detrimental to the aesthetics."
Read more: How Do I Make a Cake Extra Moist?
Other Sticky Problems
Some bakers use parchment paper for baking bread, but others, such as those at Tufts University, recommend coating the pan with cooking spray. It's a good idea to always follow your recipe's instructions on how to prepare the pan before putting in the dough.
Unfortunately, bread tends to stick to wax paper, especially if the bread dough is fairly wet before baking. "To unstick the bread, try the warm towel method used to unstick cookies," says Richards.
Another issue involves preventing pastries from sticking to baking paper. "When ingredients are heated, especially chocolate, jelly and sugar, they can become sticky and hard, making them likely to adhere to the paper. This is fairly unavoidable, since these ingredients are in most pastries," states Richards.
"Once the pastries are done, it helps to quickly remove them, along with the paper, and place them on a wire cooling rack. Otherwise, you are allowing the goodies to continue cooking, and adhering to the paper, because the pan is still hot from the oven," she adds.
Sometimes you can remove baked goods from baking paper, but the paper sticks to the pan. "The key to dealing with this is to begin the removal process as quickly as possible after baking. You are going to have to simply peel with your hands, or use a knife, or other kitchen tool, to help in the process," Richards explains.