I have often needed a substitute for parchment paper in baking. I just don't always have it on hand! But when you are in the middle of a baking project and realize that you are out of parchment, you need a quick substitute. So, if you are wondering what to use instead of parchment paper, I´ve got you covered. In fact, I have quite a few solution!
- What is parchment paper exactly?
- Is parchment paper important for baking?
- Is baking paper the same as parchment paper?
- Is parchment paper just wax paper?
- What is the best parchment paper substitute?
- 1. Greased Baking Sheet
- 2. Waxed Paper
- 3. Silpat
- 4. Aluminum Foil
- 5. Non-Stick Pans
- 6. Flour and Grease
- How to use it:
- What not to use instead of parchment paper?
- Parchment paper Substitutes FAQs
- More Substitute Guides
- The BEST Substitute for Parchment Paper in Baking
What is parchment paper exactly?
Parchment paper is a food-safe, silicone-coated paper that is used for baking and cooking. It is completely heat resistant, grease proof, and also do not stick. Parchment paper, also called baking paper or bakery paper, is used to line baking trays and cake pans and is even used for piping frosting onto baked goods.
Parchment paper is often sold in rolls but also comes in pre-cut sheets which are popular in professional kitchens. Brown parchment is unbleached and natural while white parchment is chemically treated to get a cleaner, white color. Both types can be used in the microwave, bamboo steamers, air fryers, or in the oven up to about 420 degrees F / 215 degrees C.
Is parchment paper important for baking?
Parchment paper is very often used by professional pastry chefs and home bakers alike. There are many ways to use parchment paper when baking. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Line baking sheets and cake pans, making them non-stick. Cookies will pop right off of parchment paper and cakes will slide right out of the pan. You can also reuse the parchment paper to make multiple batches of cookies.
- Keep baked goods fresh. Layer cookies in between pieces of parchment paper to help retain their moisture after baking. This will also prevent baked goods from sticking together.
- Cover a work surface. Place a piece of parchment on your table before baking to make clean up easy. Simply roll up the parchment and discard it when you are done baking!
- Piping frosting. You can roll a small piece of parchment paper into a cornet. Fill the makeshift cornet with frosting, icing or chocolate then use it to pipe decorations onto your baked goods.
- Cook en Papillote. En papillote is a cooking technique where foods are cooked in a pouch, steaming them with herbs and seasonings. Parchment paper is essential for this cooking technique.
Parchment paper can be super important to many recipes. That is why learning about ways to substitute for parchment paper in baking is essential! It is also important to know how each of the parchment paper substitutes works. But don't worry, I will explain it all!
Is baking paper the same as parchment paper?
Baking paper is the same as parchment paper. What can you use instead of baking paper and what can you use instead of parchment paper the same questions!
Is parchment paper just wax paper?
Parchment paper and waxed paper are two very different things. They may look the same but they do not act the same. Parchment paper is treated with silicone, making it nonstick, heatproof, and grease-resistant. Waxed paper is nonstick and moisture-resistant but it cannot be heated or baked. In fact, the wax coating will melt so never place wax paper into the oven.
What is the best parchment paper substitute?
Whether you need a parchment paper substitute for brownies or a parchment paper substitute for cake, this guide will help you find the perfect thing to use. I will explain all of these alternatives to parchment paper so you have plenty of options next time you go to bake something delicious!
(I recommend trying a few of these different types of cookies!)
1. Greased Baking Sheet
A simple greased baking sheet is a good parchment paper substitute for baking. This is a good method to use if you are worried about cookies sticking to the pan as they bake. Greasing a baking pan is also very easy and does not require anything other than some butter or baking spray!
When replacing parchment by greasing a baking sheet, you may notice that the bottoms of your cookies bake darker and get crispier. This is because of the direct contact with the hot pan. Keep this in mind when using this parchment paper alternative.
How to use it:
Cover a clean baking pan or cake pan with butter, baking spray, or a neutral oil. Bake your cookies, brownies, and cakes as directed in your recipe! Be sure to wash your baking pan afterward to remove all the grease.
2. Waxed Paper
Waxed paper may not be the same as parchment paper, but it can be used as an alternative to parchment paper in certain cases. It is a good choice for storage and for covering your work surface. Some waxed paper between cookies will prevent them from sticking together!
Do not use waxed paper to replace parchment paper when baking. It can melt, ignite, or even start to smoke when heated to a high temperature. It is a good baking paper replacement when working at room temperature.
How to use it:
Replace parchment paper with waxed paper to keep your work surface clean or layer baked goods for storage. You can also make paper cornets out of waxed paper to use for piping icing.
Silicone baking mats are fantastic when it comes to lining baking trays. Silpat brand is one of the best-known silicone mats and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees F! Any brand of silicone baking mat will work perfectly to replace parchment paper. You can buy them in a variety of sizes to fit your baking sheet trays perfectly.
Silicone baking mats are completely non-stick and they are also reusable. Just like parchment paper, they are coated in silicone, the magic oven-safe, non stick material! Silicone baking mats may just be the best substitute for parchment paper in baking cookies since the mats are so similar to baking paper.
How to use it:
Use silicone mats as alternatives to parchment paper when you bake cookies, roast vegetables or even cook meat. Place the silicone mat on your baking tray and bake as needed.
4. Aluminum Foil
Can I use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper for cookies? Sure!
Many of us already have aluminum foil in the kitchen making this a convenient baking paper alternative. Foil is great for lining baking trays, making them easier to clean. Foil also makes a great cooking pouch for fish and meats, similar to cooking en papillote.
Baking on top of foil may cause the bottom and edges of your baked goods to brown faster. Cookies will be a little crispier than if they were baked on parchment. However, if you are roasting vegetables on foil, you may enjoy the extra caramelization.
Greasing the foil to make it non-stick is also a good idea when using this parchment paper substitute for cookies. The grease may cause your cookies to spread as they bake, making them thinner as well.
How to use it:
Line your baking tray with a piece of foil. Lightly grease the foil to make it non-stick. You can also buy non-stick foil which will require no baking grease at all! Bake your cookies then discard the foil when you are done.
5. Non-Stick Pans
Investing in some high quality non stick pans may be a good substitute for parchment paper. If your pans are truly non-stick, they will be easy to clean and your cookies, brownies, and cakes will pop right off! Baking without parchment paper can be easy when you have the right tools!
I like to use non stick square pans as a substitute for parchment paper for brownies because it is easier to pop out those corners! Try my favorite espresso brownies to test out this parchment substitute.
How to use it:
Buy a set of high quality, non-stick baking sheet trays and cake pans. You will need to keep your non stick pans very clean to retain their power.
Non stick coating does wear off after a few years so they will need to be replaced. You can add a little extra grease to the pan when the non stick surface begins to wear off.
6. Flour and Grease
Simply baking on a greased baking tray can cause the bottoms of cookies to turn brown or make the cookies spread too thin as they bake. By greasing the pan and then dusting it with a very light coating of flour, you can prevent these two baking problems.
The flour will give the baking cookie dough something to grab onto, preventing it from spreading. The flour also acts as a barrier between the hot metal pan and the dough, preventing it from burning. This is a great way to replace parchment paper when baking cookies.
Greasing and flouring a cake pan is also a good idea when you do not have a parchment circle to go in the bottom of the pan. The cooled cake will pop right out of the pan thanks to the flour. It may be the best substitute for parchment paper for cake.
Also, read my article here and learn how to get a cake out of a bundt pan - a task that is trickier than you may think!
How to use it:
Lightly grease a baking sheet tray, brownie pan or cake pan then dust with flour. Tip the pan in all directions so the flour coats it completely. Flip the pan upside down and tap it to remove any excess flour.
You may want to brush off the bottoms of your baked cookies to remove extra flour as well. There will not be too much and it should dust right off!
What not to use instead of parchment paper?
Do not use waxed paper as a substitute for parchment paper in baking. As I talked about already, waxed paper will burn, smoke, or melt in the oven. It is not a good option for replacing parchment paper when you need to bake.
Parchment paper Substitutes FAQs
Absolutely! All of the parchment paper baking substitutes listed above will help you bake perfect baked goods without ever needing parchment. Many people bake without parchment every day! Do not feel like you need baking paper just to make delicious treats.
Yes! Parchment paper is a good non-stick substitute for foil. It works well when a recipe asks for foil in baking or cooking. It may subtly change how your items bake since parchment paper will not brown foods as well. However, this can be a good thing when baking chewy cookies.
Parchment paper is the best tray liner when it comes to baking cookies and lining the bottom of cake pans. Your baked goods will not stick to the parchment and it makes for easy cleanup. This is why it is preferred by pastry chefs around the world! However, you do not need parchment to bake. There are plenty of ways to bake without parchment as listed above. You can use foil, baking spray, non stick pans and, in some cases, waxed paper. Read all the details above!
So, What can I use instead of parchment paper? You have plenty of options! Next time you run out of parchment paper, simply check this guide, find the best parchment paper substitute for your needs then keep on baking!
And don't forget to check out my favorite fun things to bake that will help you enjoy every minute in the kitchen!
More Substitute Guides
The BEST Substitute for Parchment Paper in Baking
The best parchment paper substitutes
- 1 silicone baking mat
- Use a silicone baking mat to line your baking trays in place of parchment.
- Greased baking sheet
- Waxed paper - more for storing, not baking
- Aluminum foil
- Non stick pans
- Flour and grease