One of the first lessons in fashion that I learned is that black clothes make you look smaller while white clothes make you look larger. Just a visual illusion, really, but people who are very conscious about appearing thinner than they really are live by that rule.
Much as I’d like to appear thinner than I am, I’m not a big fan of black clothes except for formal wear. Why? Because black absorbs heat while white repels it. In a tropical country, white is a better choice unless you’re more concerned about looks than comfort.
The thing about black absorbing heat is also true for baking pans. Dark-colored metal pans make cakes, cupcakes or cookies bake faster so it is a good practice to lower the oven temperature by 25F. The standard baking temperature is 350F although some recipes do require a higher or lower temperature. When we use a dark colored metal baking pan, we set the oven temperature to 325F.
Does the rule apply irrespective of the material that the baking pan is made of?
The most common baking pan is made of aluminum. Other baking pans are made of cast iron, glass, ceramic / porcelain, silicone or metal with non-stick coating.
We only apply the lower heat rule when using metal and ceramic / porcelain baking pans, and especially when using cast iron. With silicone pans, irrespective of the color, I stick to the usual temperature.
Updated from a post originally published in January 2, 2011