Homemade Cake Release

5 from 5 votes

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Just 3 ingredients and you’ll never have trouble getting your cakes out of the pan again!

A jar of homemade cake release.

Well, hello there, baker! I’m going to revolutionize your life today. 


Truth be told, this won’t be a very long post today, because when it comes to cakes, I seem to have a lot to say about them and can keep this one nice and short. 

This post/”recipe”/thing is many many many years overdue to you. In fact, it was overdue to myself, but that’s not your fault and only 100% mine. 

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You may recall that I’ve been baking cakes since 2010 when I started my own home based baking business. I’ve made approximately eleventy billion cakes in my more-than-a-decade cake baking years, and I have this magic thing called “cake release” to thank for it.

A tall rainbow cake on a cake stand.

When I started baking cakes, I found Wilton made this product called “cake release,” and I kid you not, cakes just slipped out of the pan when they were done.


And it wasn’t until a couple months ago when I ran out of my last bottle of it that I started wondering… “Can I make this myself? I have to be able to make this myself. I can definitely make this myself.”

So I did a little research (as in, I read the back of the bottle/the list of ingredients) and realized that I had, umm, all of the necessary ingredients. 

All three of them.

Ingredients for homemade cake release in a glass bowl with a whisk.

This is kind of like that time when I realized I could make my own magic shell at home. Hello, two ingredients.


Like I said, just 3 ingredients. And those ingredients are:

•vegetable shortening
•vegetable oil
•all-purpose flour

Boom. Done.

You’ll need to whisk these ingredients together fairly vigorously, because you’ll want to make sure all those flour clumps disappear, but holy moly, friends. This stuff is your cake baking BFF.

Homemade cake release in a glass bowl with a whisk and cake pans in the background.

It works just as wonderfully as the original stuff I used to buy from Wilton, and it’s significantly less expensive to do it at home.

A hand brushing homemade cake release into a cake pan with a pastry brush.

And if you’re wondering what these amazingly colorful layers of cake are, you can visit my rainbow cake recipe!

So there you go. If you’ve ever struggled with how to keep cake from sticking to pan, here’s your best bet. 

Lather up those cake pans and pour your batter in worry-free that the bottom of that cake will see the glorious light of your kitchen at some point in an hour or so!

A cake pan with homemade cake release painted onto the inside of it.

Now, which one of my cakes will you bake first? Here are some of my favorites: Butterfinger poke cake, dulce de leche cake, lemon layer cake, berry cake, orange creamsicle layer cake, and carrot walnut cake.

5 from 5 votes
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Homemade Cake Release

Just 3 ingredients and you'll never have trouble getting your cakes out of the pan again!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 1 cup


  • cup (63g) vegetable shortening
  • cup (75mL) vegetable oil
  • cup (40g) all-purpose flour


  • Combine all 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together until no flour pockets remain. You may need to whisk vigorously and/or for awhile. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place up to 1 year.
  • To use: paint generously onto cake pans with a pastry brush as needed.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 1380kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 142g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 61g | Monounsaturated Fat: 45g | Trans Fat: 9g | Sodium: 3mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

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    1. Hey, Debbie– the recipe will WORK, but it won’t be shelf stable and you’d need to keep it in the fridge. Using shortening insures you can leave it at room temp.

  1. Are you saying I don’t have to line my pans with wax paper!! I’ve been baking cakes all my life and have even taught a class on baking. I prefer old cake recipes from way back years ago and my Great Great Grandmothers are some of my favourites. But I have never ever heard of Cake release !! Definitely going to give it a try Then I’ll get back to you!! Thanks so much!!

    1. Haha! Listen, Melissa, everyone has tried and true methods that work for them. I also like using parchment or wax paper, but this method is just so so simple. Let me know what you think, but know I won’t be offended if you want to stick to your beloved method!!

  2. I just made this and tried it on my non-stick Bundt pan for the Red, White & Blue Swirl Bundt Cake. Not sure where I went wrong, I applied it liberally from one side of the pan to the other, let the cake cool for the prescribed 10 minutes after coming out of the oven and that sucker did not come out! Had to loosen with a plastic knife and of course the top stuck to the pan. I’ve been having sticking problems for some time and they just seem to be getting worse. Was hoping this was the answer. Have you got any other suggestions? Is cooking with convection a problem?

    1. Hey, Kit– I’m not sure what to tell you! I always have success with this cake release, and it’s been my tried and true method for many years. I use it and that turn out method on all of my bundt cakes, and I’ve only had a couple times where a piece of the cake didn’t come out, though I was able to manually pull it out and plop it on top and it fits perfectly. I don’t have a convection oven, so I’m unsure of how to guide you there. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

    2. Thank you for responding! I do like the ease of the cake release to make and apply. Will continue to work on this.

    3. If you have used commercial cooking sprays on you pans they may have built up stickiness. May want to search for a solution to remove it. My nonstick pan is no longer non stick due to teen spraying it with it.

  3. 5 stars
    Does exactly what it says it will do!
    I don’t know why I dragged my feet on this cake release for so long! It couldn’t have been easier to make and my cake came right out of the pan. It was pure magic! Thanks FAF, now all the bottoms of my cakes will be fully intacted!

  4. 5 stars
    I have used this method for many years . It is similar to the manufactured stuff in a spray can but doesn’t have any propellent or chemicals. One thing I learned that if you wait too long to remove the cake from the pan it might not release as easily as it does while the cake is warm. An easy fix if your cake is to cool to release is to just put the cake pan over the top burner of the stove for a few seconds which softens the oils in the release and allows the cake to release from the pan. Also make sure that the sides are loosened from the pan before inverting it . I made wedding and all occasion cakes for years and never had it fail me.

  5. Hopefully this hasn’t already been asked and I missed it! Has this recipe been used with light olive oil instead of just “vegetable oil”? Yes I know olive oil is also veggie oil but has some different characteristics then the veggie blends.

    1. Hi, Diana– I’ve never tried it, but it could work! As long as you’re ok with a little stronger of a flavor with the olive oil, it should work the same exact way. Let me know if you try it!

  6. Do you know if canola oil would work also? Do you use this for all baking recipes that call for greasing the pan or parchment paper (including brownies)?

  7. Hi! This sounds fantastic! I always have a problem without parchment paper. Do you think coconut oil would be ok in place of shortening??

    1. Hey, Lori– I think that would work just fine, though I’ve never tried it so I can’t be 100% sure. In theory, yes! Let me know if you try it!

  8. I tried this recipe (1/3 batch) using coconut oil in place of the shortening, it seems to work well, too. I’m very happy that I won’t have to buy cans of baking spray anymore, this is a lot more budget friendly.