4 Best Springform Pans, Tested by Food Network Kitchen
We baked and sliced dozens of cheesecakes to find the best springform pans.
Our Top Springform Pan Picks:
- Best Overall: NordicWare 9-inch Springform Pan
- Another Favorite: Calphalon 9-inch Springform Pan
- Budget Pick: Hiware 9-inch Non-Stick Pan
- Best for the Occasional No-Bake Cheesecake: Food Network 9-inch Springform Pan Textured Performance Series
A springform pan might not be considered an everyday piece of baking equipment, but you can’t make cheesecake without one. Fortunately, we found several options on the market that will help you turn out flawless no-bake and baked cheesecakes. But springform pans are worth the investment beyond cheesecake. Use your springform pan to make desserts such as ice cream cake, bread pudding and tarts, as well as savory dishes like rigatoni pie, deep-dish pizza or chicken pot pie.
What Is a Springform Pan?
A springform pan is a baking pan designed for making cheesecake, most commonly. Most springform pans are designed with two pieces, a base and a circular, removable wall with a buckle clasp. Before you buy, be sure you understand how the walls attach to the base. Pans that have an interlocking design, in which the wall clicks into a groove in the base, tend to be more leak-resistant than pans that connect by aligning the wall flush with the edge of the base.
What to Look for in a Springform Pan
Look for features such as easy-release, which indicates that the clasp is easy to unbuckle and that the walls smoothly release from the pan’s base. Also look for non-stick pans for the best chance at baking success. A non-stick finish tends to ensure a more seamless removal of the walls with minimal crust or filling sticking, and most non-stick pans don’t require an additional coat of baking spray or greasing. A design that includes a textured base can also be a boon for easily removing baked goods and also ensure air flow and even baking.
Consider the size. Although all the models we tested are 9-inch springform pans, a few of them had a wider diameter and didn’t fit into a traditional 9x13 roasting pan for the water bath cheesecake portion of the test. Consider the height of the walls, too. If you’re planning to make dishes other than cheesecake, like rigatoni pie or deep-dish pizza, ensure that the depth or cup capacity is adequate for your recipe.
Before you start baking, be sure to inspect your pan once you receive it to ensure that it is in good condition. Because springform pans are a more fragile piece of baking equipment, they are prone to shipping mishaps. When we assessed each pan during our initial product intake, we noticed that one of them had scratches, another had a slight dent and one pan was missing its base. Look before you bake.
The NordicWare name is synonymous with bakeware and the quality of this pan lived up to its reputation. We loved the durable-yet-light-weight steel construction and were a big fan of the pan’s design with an interlocking base and wall. The as-promised tight seal ensured that no water leaked into the pan during the water bath cheesecake test. Since there is no lip on the base of the pan, the design also facilitated easy slicing and removal of slices in both the no-bake and the baked cheesecake recipe tests. The slices of cheesecake also held their shape well after removal.
The pan also lived up to its non-stick promise; during the no-bake cheesecake test, no crust or filling stuck to the walls or the base, and during the water bath cheesecake test, very little filling stuck to the sides after the wall was removed. The non-stick surface made clean-up a breeze and the pan wiped clean with warm, soapy water and a sponge. If you want extra no-stick security, the pan’s instructions label indicates that you can use a baking spray with flour to coat the base or grease it with shortening and dust with flour or cocoa powder.
This pan also has deep walls with a 10-cup capacity, which is essential if you’re planning to make things other than cheesecake, such as Deep-Dish Pizza. The pan has a wider diameter and it didn’t fit squarely into a traditional 9x13 roasting pan, so if you’re baking a water bath cheesecake, you’ll need to opt for a wider roasting pan. This pan also comes with a 10-year warranty.
This pan boasts a similar design with interlocking walls and base, making for easy slicing and removal of slices for both the no-bake and water bath cheesecake tests. It was one of the heavier pans we tested, and its durability speaks to its quality, which is backed up by a lifetime warranty.
The pan claimed that its heavy gauge steel core heats evenly, and we found that to be true. The baked cheesecake test yielded even cooking results for both the browning of the graham cracker crust and the baked cream cheese filling. It also claimed to be non-stick, which it also lived up to. The no-bake cheesecake had flawless results; no crust stuck to the bottom of the pan and virtually no crust crumbs and no filling stuck to the walls. For the water bath cheesecake test, a very minimal amount of crust stuck to the walls of the pan, though we noticed that some filling stuck to the walls which can inhibit presentation. The slices held their shape well upon removal during both the no-bake and water bath cheesecake tests.
This was the only pan we tested that claims to be oven-safe up to 500 degrees F, so if you’re going beyond cheesecake, this feature can be useful if you’re finishing something under high heat, like browning the cheesy top of this Rigatoni Pie alla Vodka.
This value-for-money pan outperformed some of its more expensive counterparts. It’s non-stick, has a solid construction, is good quality and has a clasp with a smooth, easy release. It performed very well for the no-bake cheesecake test, setting up within the specified time. Both the cake and slice held their shape well. The pan fulfilled its non-stick promise, too. Virtually no crust or filling stuck to the walls and no crust stuck to the bottom of the pan.
This pan’s wall locks in around the base (rather than interlocking), so it doesn’t form as tight of a seal. As a result, it isn’t entirely leak-proof. During the water bath cheesecake test, some water leaked in along the base which yielded a little bit of a gummy crust around the edge of the base.
Putting the pan together is intuitive but it doesn’t come with a manual or instructions. It does come with a stack of pre-measured parchment liner to facilitate easy removal and transfer of baked goods to a cake stand or platter.
If you’re only making no-bake cheesecakes once in a while, this pan is a solid bet. It performed especially well during the no-bake cheesecake test. We found that the cheesecake chilled and set within the recipe’s specified time. The pan lived up to its easy-release promise and the clasp released the walls of the pan smoothly. The non-stick coating ensured that nothing stuck to the walls. The textured base helped to seamlessly remove a slice, and the slice held its shape very well. The pan's textured bottom does promote air flow and even baking on water bath cheesecakes, but the pan’s seal did allow some water to enter, which yielded a gummy crust near the base’s edge, which also caused some of the crust to stick to the rim.
How We Tested
We purchased nine top-rated springform pans in a range of price points. We chose to test 9-inch springform pans because it is the size commonly called for in making cheesecakes and many desserts and savory dishes, too.
We assessed the pan’s design, measurements and weight. We noted the number of pieces, its diameter and the height of the sides. We also noted what material it was made of, if it was heavy or lightweight and how easily the walls could be removed. We observed if a manual was included or if instructions were provided on the label on how to use the pan.
For each pan, we made one no-bake and one water bath cheesecake. For the both tests, we followed exact cooking and cooling times. We observed how easily it released and if any of the crust or filling stuck to the wall’s sides. We noted whether the whole cheesecake held its shape when the walls were removed. We then sliced one piece of cheesecake and observed if any of the crust stuck to the bottom of the pan and how well the slice held its shape.