Prepare Your Baking Pan
Check to see whether your recipe requires a greased pan. If so, you should grease and flour your pan before pouring in the batter. If your recipe doesn't call for a greased pan, skip this step. Angel food cakes, for example, are baked in tube pans that allow cakes to be easily removed without greasing.
Step 1: Brush pan with shortening
Using a pastry brush or paper towel, brush solid shortening evenly over the bottom of the pan, being careful not to leave any uncoated, shiny spots.
Take extra care when greasing fluted tube pans, making sure you've coated the entire surface, including crevices. Cakes baked in these kinds of pans are notorious for sticking.
Step 4: Evenly distribute flour
To distribute the flour over the pan, hold one edge of the pan and tap the opposite edge with your free hand. The flour will "skate" over the greased surface and stick to it. When the bottom of the pan is coated, tilt the pan, tapping to move the flour over the sides. Tap out any extra flour into your sink.
How to Line a Pan with Waxed Paper or Parchment Paper
The extra step of lining the bottom of the pan with waxed or parchment paper is an even surer method for getting the cake out of the pan. Keep in mind that you can only use this method for cakes baked in flat-bottom pans. (Use the grease-and-flour method, above, for fluted tube pans).
How to Remove a Baked Cake from the Pan
Always follow your recipe's instructions for cooling your cake. Some recipes, such as those for cake rolls, specify turning the cake out of the pan immediately after baking. Other cake recipes specify setting the pans on a cooling rack and cooling the cake in the pans for a short time (often 10 minutes) before removing the cake. Set a kitchen timer for this step -- if you cool the cake too long in the pan it might be difficult to remove.