How to Bake Cookies Without Parchment Paper

Baking sweet treats like cookies is a popular past-time we all love to enjoy.

It’s fun, creative and you get to enjoy the delicious treat at the end. There’s nothing better than homemade baked cookies fresh out of the oven. You can’t wait to have that sweet scent of sugar and butter filling your nostrils.

But what if you’re out of parchment paper, and you need to bake some cookies pronto? 

The most popular method of baking cookies usually requires parchment paper. Parchment paper is a crucial element of baking as it is a useful and easy-to-use kitchen staple.

How to bake cookies without parchment paper

Parchment paper is a non-stick, heat resistant and disposable tool used to line baking trays and to reduce clean up time. You can place your cookies right on top and when they’re done, they’ll slide right off and you don’t have to wash up! What’s not to love? 

If you’re a cookie expert and have your own recipe and methods in place, the last thing you want is to run out of parchment paper and have to worry about a mess or struggle to peel your baked treats from the pan. But there are so many ways to bake cookies without parchment paper and without the hassle.

Why you don’t need parchment paper

Not every recipe calls for parchment paper, and we’re here to tell you why.

There are so many alternatives to parchment paper that are often cheaper, more useful, sustainable and easier. The main appeal of parchment paper is that it is simple to use, and reduces clean up after baking. If that is the only reason you like to use it, then there are many other options you could try.

Although parchment paper has many virtues and uses, it isn’t a necessity to bake the perfect cookies. It can be easily replaced or substituted by household items you definitely have lying around that’ll work just as well. 

Most experienced bakers will tell you that a simple greased, oiled or buttered pan will suffice for all your cooking and baking needs. Others argue that aluminum foil is the way forward. If you’re looking to stop spending on expensive parchment paper that you just throw away and waste after every use, then silicone pans and mats are a much more sustainable and eco-friendly option. 

So step out of your comfort zone, and try a new method that makes equally delicious cookies!

How to use a greased pan

Greasing a pan is the most traditional method of ensuring your baked goods do not stick. Many accomplished bakers will argue that using a greased, oiled or buttered pan is the simplest and best method to bake cookies.

Not greasing or lining your pans can cause cookies to stick, or become really difficult to get out of the pan. The last thing you want after labouring over your cookie recipe and then waiting for them to bake is to watch them crumble and break before your eyes as you lift them.

The easiest method to avoid this is:

  1. Grab your cookie pan/tray.
  2. Using your fingers, a pastry brush or some kitchen paper, take your chosen grease (butter, cooking spray, oil) and apply to all of the corners and interior of your pan or tray.
  3. Make sure the whole pan is coated evenly to avoid sticking.
  4. Add a small dusting of flour all around the pan, making sure you reach all the sides and nooks.
  5. Tap out any excess flour from the pan.

Then you’re ready to add your cookie mixture to the pan and pop in the oven; hassle free.

Using Aluminum Foil

The most favoured method is aluminum foil. It’s a highly versatile kitchen and baking staple that most households keep handy at all times. Unlike greasing, using aluminum foil to line your pans before baking cookies makes clean-up time so much easier.

You can simply dispose of the foil after removing your cookies and you can reuse your tray time and time again. However, aluminum foil does not have a non-stick coating unlike other methods. This is easily rectified with a little grease so that you can remove your cookies without breakage, and you get every ounce of crumbly goodness.

To bake cookies with aluminum foil:

  1. Lay out your aluminum foil with enough space to line your chosen baking tray.
  2. Apply the foil to the tray, pressing neatly into the inner corners.
  3. Lightly grease the foil with cooking spray or oil.

You should also remember that using foil will bake your cookies faster, so adjust the cooking time accordingly and keep an eye on the corners of your cookies crisping quicker than usual.

Using a Silicone Pan

Some bakers swear by silicone pans as a must-have utensil for the kitchen. Although many argue that silicone is a non-stick material, you will benefit from lightly greasing the pan to ensure your cookies do not stick.

Silicone is also extremely heat-resistant and cleans up easily. One of the main pros of using silicone kitchenware is that they are eco-friendly, sustainable and worth the money as you can reuse them hundreds of times before having to replace them! It is a perfect substitute if you’re hoping to step away from parchment paper and utilise something more sustainable.

Silicone also helps bake your cookies more evenly and without burning the edges.

Using a silicone pan to bake cookies is especially easy:

  1. Make sure the silicone is clean before using.
  2. If needed, very lightly grease the silicone pan with cooking spray.
  3. Adjust cooking time depending on colour of pan (darker pans require extra time).

Using Silicone Mats

Alternatively, silicone mats are also a great substitute to parchment paper, and can even be used to roll out dough without it sticking. Silicone mats are typically more expensive than parchment paper, but can last for years whereas paper is disposable and can tear or break after one use.

Silicone is also very flexible and durable, and easy to clean without any stress. Just place the silicone mat on top of your pan as a replacement for parchment paper, and place your cookie mixture on top. If you prefer browned or crispier cookies, then silicone mats will not achieve that effect. Silicone mats will bake your cookies evenly and all the way through without burning the bottoms.

They are, however, easily cleaned and keep the pan beneath them spotless to cut clean-up time in half!

How to Mix Your Own Anti-Stick Spread

If you run out of parchment paper, foil or simply don’t have the utensils, a quick fix to this problem is to make your own anti-stick spread to bake cookies.

It’s efficient and much quicker than the greasing and flour method we mentioned previously. The recipe for your own non-stick spread is so easy.


  1. Measure equal parts of flour, oil, and any type of shortening (butter or fat).
  2. Mix together.

And that’s it! This method is also super quick, cheap and saves you running to the store to get parchment paper or foil last-minute! 

There are so many different ways to bake cookies without parchment paper. You can substitute aluminum foil, grease your pans, use silicone utensils or even make your own non-stick solution. 

This means that you don’t need to worry or scramble to find parchment paper and you can enjoy those cookies so much sooner.

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