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A patty pan, sometimes known as a patty maker, is a compact baking pan with little indentations around the sides.

Since the 1930s, they have been used to bake cakes and other sweet and savory foods. Patty pans, according to the Oxford Dictionary, are used for baking.

The pans have been replaced by bigger, sturdier versions with few to no decorations. Patty pans that are well-designed and old are still desired and utilized by baking aficionados today.

The Patty Pan’s History

Patty pans were also referred to as Queen cake tins, teacups, and sauce pans.

At one point, the pans were made of glass, tin, and even stone. The golden age of the pan was between 1930 and the 1970s. Little quiches, miniature cakes, mince pies, asparagus rolls, and jam tarts were all made with it.

Households used to conduct a weekly patty pan baking competition back then, according to tradition. The goal was to provide little and big confections for lunch boxes and social occasions.

Petites Pates are sweet and savory pies that inspired the term patty pan. Throughout the 17th century, they were quite popular in France.

Currently, the term refers to simple culinary tools that provide a decorative touch to baked foods.

The patterns are inspired by the occasions in which the pans were utilized. Vintage patty pans from parties, Christmas, and even the war effort may be found.

Some were even created just for particular events. This includes the Victoria Centennial in 1934. That’s how popular and adaptable the pans were.

Patty Pan Production

The basic premise guiding patty pan production was heat balance and application. Paper blanks were fed into the machine and processed as a unit known as a nest.

Depending on the size, a single nest might produce 12 to 30 patty pans. The more the quantity created, the smaller the pans.

The dwell time was also crucial. It was the amount of time that the paper was under pressure in the mould.

It guaranteed that the paper fibers could stretch and set into the desired form of the mold. Heat sculpts the form by drying the fibers. The paper could not return to its former shape after it had dried.

The paper would flatten out again if the heat was too low. If the temperature is too high, it will burn or fuse with the mold.

To prevent this from occurring, a special greaseproof paper was utilized. It was malleable enough to take on the appropriate shape. It was also sufficiently thick to retain the cake mix or batter.

Moreover, the paper was resistant to butter. This substance is still used to coat baking sheets. Indeed, good patty pans are greaseproof. Also, they must not weigh more than 54 grams and must be at least 38 grams in weight.

Back in the day, making these pans was not difficult. Each was created using paper circles cut from paper spools.

These sheets were initially produced with a distinctive design in the 1930s. They were then sliced using steel cutting dies.

With a single stroke, the hand press used to cut the pattern may define the thickness of a single roll. Great care was taken to ensure that the circles were perfectly aligned over the page.

It reduced waste and made more paper available for other designs.

After being cut, the paper circles were stacked and formed in a machine. A mechanical hand would choose a certain number of circular sheets.

It would then turn at a 40-degree angle. Instead, it might swing to the side and deposit the circles on an open die.

Smaller circles profited from the 40-degree movement, whereas bigger ones benefited from the sweeping one. The latter kept the paper’s sides from flapping.

The paper would next be inserted into the die’s head. The heat was then administered for a certain amount of time.

The procedure required repeated motions. The nests were pushed through the die and into a box below. The newly produced patty pans were then hand packaged and distributed.

Paper patty pans were used. This is because printing on paper was thought to be less expensive than printing on metal. Paper absorbs the inks utilized in the fibers, which also survive the cooking process, and so retains the printed image.

How Are Patty Pans Manufactured Today?

The machinery used to create patty pans are now entirely automated. Each is fed by a paper reel, and the number determines the number of blanks in a nest.

A cutting die is inserted into the forming die’s mouth. At the die mouth, the paper reels are brought together. They are positioned in this manner so that the pan may be sliced and put into the forming die in a single process.

In other words, mechanical feeding arms and timing systems are no longer required.

Earlier machines are outmoded since they took longer to create patty pans. There is no need for hand cutting, and waste paper falls to the side.

Yet, machine automation decreased the flexibility needed to manufacture various forms. It’s one of the reasons why complex patty pans are so uncommon.

It also had a lot to do with rising unit prices. The use of reels enabled larger volume production per design. As a consequence, the unit cost has decreased.

What is the primary cause of the downfall of the golden era of ornamental patty pans? Labor prices are rising. Female operators were paid less than male operators in the 1960s and 1970s. The gap was rectified in the 1960s with the introduction of equal pay for equal labor.

Manufacturers were able to respond to this development because to automatic machinery. A single machine could easily provide the output of three to four employees.

Without the use of a hand cutter, a single female could produce the output of numerous employees. The shift increased the appeal of machine engineering.

How to Create Patty Pan Queen Cakes

Queen cakes were the most well-known confectionaries created using patty pans. Queen Mary, who reigned from 1689 to 1694, inspired the cakes’ names.

The cakes are modified versions of Portuguese cakes. The name comes from one of the components. The confectionaries were created using sweet or fortified Portuguese wine.

Sugar, flour, currants, and eggs were essentially same in both cakes.

Some had brandy in them, although non-alcoholic versions were also available. In their cakes, some bakers would include orange-flower water, mace, rose water, and crushed almonds. Some would use thin frosting to cover their Queen cakes.

Patty pans, which were also used to create mince pies, were used to produce both Portugal and Queen cakes. Several pans for making Queen cakes were created in the mid-eighteenth century.

What is the distinction?

They came in a variety of forms and sizes. The most common design was a heart. Nonetheless, some bakers form their cakes with plain teacups or saucers.

Here’s an ancient dish that will remind you of what the royals ate:


  • A splash of milk.
  • Half a cup of soft butter,
  • 2/3 cups of caster sugar.
  • 2 large eggs.
  • Lemon zest.
  • 1 tsp of baking powder.
  • 1½ cups of flour.
  • 1 cup of dried currants


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Butter a patty pan that has 12 holes or eight holes that are heart-shaped.
  • Line the bottom of the holes/tins with baking paper.
  • Mix the butter and sugar till the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs in one at a time.
  • Add the lemon zest and beat the mixture again.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and add in the currants.
  • Fold the flour mixture in the wet mixture using a large spoon. Add a splash of milk to make it consistent.
  • Spoon the mixture into the patty pan holes till each is about 2/3 full.
  • Pop the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • When time’s up, take the patty pan out and check the cakes. The tops should spring back when touched.
  • Allow the pan to cook for 10 minutes before you take out the Queen cakes on a wire rack to cool down.
  • Dust some icing sugar on top and serve.

The cakes are best eaten immediately after they have been removed from the oven and allowed to cool. If there are any leftovers, they may be eaten later.

Just store them in an airtight container to avoid spoilage. Consume them within one to two days. Following that, the cakes will begin to lose taste.

There are several cookbooks with recipes for patty pancakes. If you come across old cookware, make full use of them.

Try savory dishes like chicken patties. If not, you may always do it as a hobby. A antique patty pan may be quite expensive.

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