Best loaf tins
A good quality loaf tin is an endlessly versatile piece of bakeware and every cook should own at least one. We tested a variety of tins to help you find the very best
A good quality, versatile loaf tin is a piece of kit every cook should have in their arsenal. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s actually quite a bit to consider before you buy.
We tested these 2lb loaf tins using olive’s delicious Amalfi lemon loaf cake recipe, but loaf tins are endlessly versatile and can be used to make a whole range of sweet, savoury, hot and cold foods. There are loaf cakes, of course – try lime and pistachio loaf cake, Maltesers marble cake or Vietnamese coffee loaf cake. Or, as the name suggests, use them for your loaves of bread, like sweet potato, chestnut and apricot loaf or seeded rye bread.
You can also use loaf tins as moulds: for sweet and savoury terrines, including this chocolate and raspberry terrine or a nougat terrine with caramel sauce. Or, for classic savoury terrines such as ham hock terrine and duck, chicken and sour cherry terrine.
For even more inspiration for recipes that require a loaf tin, take a look at our best loaf cake recipes. A delicious cup of coffee makes the perfect accompaniment for a slice of cake: for the very best, read our best coffee machines round-up. And for more essential baking kit, read our best tart tins and best stand mixers summary.
Best loaf tins at a glance
- Best loaf tin: Netherton Foundry Black Iron 2lb loaf tin, £31
- Best special occasion loaf tin: Nordic Ware Wildflower Loaf Pan, £48.86
- Best loaf tin for professional results: KitchenAid loaf tin, £20
- Best colourful loaf tin: Nadiya x Prestige loaf tin, £9
- Best budget loaf tin: ProCook loaf tin, £6
- Best wide loaf tin: Stellar James Martin loaf tin, £5.63
- Best easy to use loaf tin: Circulon Momentum loaf tin, £12
- Best basic loaf tin: Judge loaf tin, £8.40
What to look for when choosing a loaf tin
On the face of it, choosing a loaf tin seems a simple enough task, but there are a few things to consider before you buy.
- Size: Loaf tins are typically sized in pounds (lbs) – 1lb and 2lb cake tin recipes are most common, but some tins are also available as 3lb or 4lb versions, too.
- Lips on the side: Lips or overhangs on the edges of your loaf tin make them easier to remove from the oven and turn out.
- Non-stick coating: While you may still opt to line your tin, a quality non-stick pan will make removing your cake or loaf a lot easier, while also allowing the sides of your bake to brown nicely.
- Ease of cleaning: A dishwasher-safe loaf tin makes clean up simple. Look out for rolled edges on the tin, as water can easily become trapped inside.
Best loaf tins 2022
Netherton Foundry Black Iron 2lb loaf tin, £31
Best loaf tin
Gorgeous form meets impeccable function with this Netherton Foundry loaf tin. Made in Shropshire, this beautifully designed tin is made from 99.1% pure iron and features a single brass rivet at the head of the tin. This tin was the heaviest of all those we tested but the reassuring weightiness makes this a high-quality option that’s built to last and sustain high temperatures.
This loaf tin comes pre-seasoned in Sussex flax oil, and Netherton Foundry features a whole guide to seasoning its cookware on its website.
This tin was nothing short of a joy to use. Its generous size meant there was no risk of overflow when baking our cake. Once baked, the two lips at either end of the tin were easy to grip while wearing oven gloves, making it easy to remove from the oven. After allowing our cake to cook slightly, we turned it out. Nothing stuck to the pan and we enjoyed an evenly browned and risen lemon drizzle cake. A smaller 1lb tin is also available.
- Available from Netherton Foundry (£31)
Nordic Ware Wildflower Loaf Pan, £48.86
Best special occasion loaf tin
Nordic Ware is best known for its gorgeous bundt tins. This loaf pan features the same high-quality engineering and intricately designed pattern on top. This well-built, sturdy cake tin is made from aluminium and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Although the inside of this pan is non-stick, we’d recommend buttering and flouring the floral design inside to ensure a smooth and easy release from the pan.
The Wildflower loaf pan has a six-cup capacity and this offered enough space for our 2lb lemon drizzle loaf cake batter. Although this pan doesn’t have the largest lip, we found it easy to remove from the oven once baked. After resting for 20 minutes, the cake released from the pan with absolute ease. The flower design on the top was perfectly intact.
Because of the intricate design, we’d suggest reserving this pan for special occasion bakes. It would also be ideal for jellies and frozen desserts.
KitchenAid Loaf Tin, £20
Best loaf tin for professional results
The majority of the loaf tins on this list are short and wide in design. By contrast, this KitchenAid offering is square, long and slim. This thin design gives the finished bake a professional, sleek appearance.
Made from stainless steel, this loaf tin is a sturdy piece of kit. For added convenience it’s also dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 230C. After washing, do take time to thoroughly dry this cake tin as the rolled edges have a tendency to trap water.
At the top and tail of the loaf tin are two large lips, making this KitchenAid tin safe and easy to remove from the oven. Turning our finished loaf cake out was a breeze, too, as nothing stuck to the pan. The cake was evenly risen and – for the most part – evenly coloured, too, except for a fine line of slightly darker brown around the perimeter of the cake.
Prestige Nadiya Hussain Non-Stick Loaf Tin, £9
Best colourful loaf tin
Eschewing the traditional (and sometimes boring) grey metal tin design, this Prestige loaf tin, in collaboration with Nadiya Hussain, is available in bright and bold teal and gold. Inside there’s a geometric trellis pattern printed on the base.
This lightweight loaf tin is made from carbon steel and has a non-stick coating both inside and out. For ease of cleaning, this tin is also dishwasher safe.
This is a wide and stout cake tin. It offered a good amount of additional space when filled with our lemon drizzle cake batter, meaning there was no overflow when baking. Only a thin lip runs the perimeter of the loaf tin, meaning it wasn’t as easy to remove from the oven as some of the others on this list. But, once baked, the cake came out of the tin with ease. The final loaf cake was spongy and moist with consistent browning on all sides in the tin.
ProCook Loaf Tin, £6
Best budget loaf tin
Simple, understated and just over £5, this ProCook loaf tin is an inexpensive option ideal for cakes, loaves, terrines and a whole host of other dishes. This tin is available in three sizes: 1lb, 2lb and 3lb.
Like many of the other tins of this list, this one is also made from heavy gauge carbon steel. It has rolled edges but no lips or extended elements to help when removing the pan from the oven. But it’s non-stick inside and out, and durable.
Its generous capacity allowed us to fit all of our lemon drizzle cake batter inside with a little space for rising during baking. Our finished loaf cake was evenly risen, even in colour, with no hot or cool spots. The lack of lip made turning the cake out a little bit of a fiddly process, yet it slipped out of the tin easily with no sticking at all.
- Available from ProCook (£6)
Stellar James Martin Loaf Tin, £5.63
Best wide loaf tin
Another chef collaboration cake tin, this time between James Martin and Stellar. Looking not dissimilar to the ProCook loaf tin above, this tin is a good option if you favour the appearance of wider cakes. It’s 13cm wide and 23cm long, so ideal for loaf cakes with lots of filling, meaning you’ll get a great cross-section when sliced.
The non-stick coating meant our finished cake tipped out of the tin with ease, leaving nothing behind. The cake itself was fluffy, spongy and moist inside, with even and consistent browning around the outside.
This is a sturdy cake tin, it’s oven safe up to 240C and is also dishwasher safe. The edges are rolled so do take care to remove all the water that gets trapped on the underside.
Circulon Momentum Loaf Tin, £12
Best easy to use loaf tin
This generously sized loaf tin from Circulon is a lightweight offering with ultra-handy lips at the top and bottom of the cake tin.
True to form with the Circulon Momentum range, this loaf tin features a concentric circle pattern on the base. This design did become baked into the cake, so this is worth considering if you’re after a specific look when it comes to your final bakes. That being said, we actually quite liked the look of the finished imprint.
The non-stick coating on this tin is impressive. The cake was removed with absolute ease, leaving nothing behind. The cake had a consistent rise and was evenly baked inside. We did feel the browning around the outside was a little inconsistent however.
Judge Loaf Tin, £8.40
Best basic loaf tin
If you're looking for a simple, inexpensive loaf tin, this Judge offering is a good choice. There are no nifty or innovative features, but a basic tin is something every baker should have in their cupboard.
This tin is made from carbon steel. It has a non-stick coating on the inside and out, and also has reinforced rolled edges. It’s also dishwasher safe.
After making our batch of lemon drizzle batter and filling the tin, we noticed the tin looked very full. We scooped out about three tablespoons of the batter as we were concerned the cake would overflow when baked. We’re glad we did because once cooked, the cake was nicely domed on the top and sitting on the lip. The cake came out of the tin easily thanks to the non-stick coating and overall it was pretty consistent in colour.
- Available from Horwood (£8.40)
How we tested loaf tins
The loaf tins featured in this review were tested in controlled conditions using a standardised testing criteria. We tested a range of 2lb loaf tins using olive’s delicious Amalfi lemon drizzle loaf cake. This light cake allowed us to see the level of browning achieved by the loaf tin. All loaf tins were scored against the following criteria:
- Appearance of the final bake: we looked for evenly risen and baked loaf cakes. The browning around the outside of the cake needed to be consistent in colour with no warm or cool patches.
- Value for money: while a loaf tin is a brilliantly versatile cake tin, we questioned whether the features and results of the bake justified the price.
- Ease of use: a loaf tin should be easy to remove from the oven after baking, so we looked for lips on either side of the pan. We also looked for easy to clean tins – dishwasher safe tins scored well. We also noted features such as rolled lips, which have a tendency to trap water.
- Quality of design features: many of the loaf tins tested come with additional features including intricate patterns, extended handles and silicone lips, so we assessed whether these additions added to the overall product.
To find out more about how testing appliances and tools is done at olive, head over to our how we test page.
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