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Should you bake cinnamon rolls in glass or metal pan?

Both glass and metal pans have their advantages and disadvantages for baking cinnamon rolls. The right pan can lead to perfectly browned and crispy edges with a soft, pillowy interior. Let’s compare the pros and cons of each to help you determine which is best for your cinnamon rolls.

Factors to Consider

When choosing between glass and metal pans, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Heat conductivity – How evenly the pan distributes heat
  • Material reactivity – How the pan’s material affects the dough
  • Browning – Whether the pan promotes caramelization and crisping
  • Ease of use – How easy the pan is to prep and clean up
  • Cost – The price difference between materials

Benefits of Glass Bakeware

Here are some benefits that glass bakeware provides for baking cinnamon rolls:

  • Nonreactive – Glass doesn’t react with acidic ingredients like cinnamon and buttermilk in the dough.
  • Allows browning – The lightweight material absorbs heat well to brown bottoms.
  • Won’t corrode – Glass doesn’t corrode or absorb odors over time like metal can.
  • Easy to clean – Smooth glass cleans up easily and doesn’t stain.
  • Visually appealing – Seeing the rolls through the clear sides is part of the fun.
  • Budget friendly – Basic glass baking dishes are very affordable.

Potential Drawbacks of Glass

However, glass bakeware does have some potential downsides:

  • Uneven heating – Without good heat conductivity, glass can develop hot spots.
  • Not as durable – Glass is breakable and prone to chipping over time.
  • Can get too dark – Clear glass provides little insulation, so bottom browning can go too far.
  • Hard to grip – Lack of handles makes maneuvering a fully-loaded pan tricky.

Advantages of Metal Bakeware

Metal baking pans also offer benefits for cinnamon rolls:

  • Conducts heat well – Metal evenly distributes heat to prevent hot spots.
  • Promotes browning – The dark surface encourages caramelization on the bottom crust.
  • Naturally nonstick – Seasoned steel or aluminum develops a nonstick patina over time.
  • Sturdy and durable – Resists warping, denting, and breakage.
  • Often has handles – Built-in handles facilitate easier handling.

Potential Issues with Metal

On the other hand, some drawbacks to metal bakeware include:

  • Can react with acids – Bare aluminum or copper pans may react with dough ingredients.
  • Can warp – Thin, low quality pans may warp at high temperatures.
  • May corrode – Pans can corrode, pit, or rust over time, especially with poor care.
  • Darker appearance – The opaque metal obscures the view of the rolls as they bake.
  • Requires seasoning – For best nonstick results, pans need periodic seasoning.

Glass vs. Metal Bakeware Comparison

Here is a quick table summarizing some of the key differences between glass and metal bakeware:

Factor Glass Bakeware Metal Bakeware
Heat Distribution Uneven Even
Browning Good Excellent
Durability Prone to breaking Very durable
Bake Visibility Clear view Opaque
Nonstick Properties Minimal Good when seasoned

Tips for Baking Cinnamon Rolls

To get perfect cinnamon rolls, follow these tips regardless of what type of pan you use:

  • Grease the pan well to prevent sticking. Use butter or nonstick spray.
  • Let the dough rise fully before baking for light, airy rolls.
  • Bake at the recommended temperature and check for doneness early.
  • Rotate the pan midway through baking for even cooking.
  • Cool rolls slightly before removing from the pan.
  • Add frosting, glaze, or other toppings as desired while rolls are warm.


Both glass and metal bakeware have their pros and cons for baking cinnamon rolls. Glass lets you monitor the baking progress and provides an affordable option that won’t react with the dough. Metal delivers superior heating, browning, nonstick release, and durability.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Glass is great for the occasional baker who wants to watch the rolls bake. Avid bakers may prefer sturdy, seasoned metal pans that promote caramelization. Whichever you choose, proper greasing, rising, temperature, and cooking time are key for cinnamon roll success.