Tart Pan vs Pie Pan: What’s the Difference? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Lori Walker

Pies and tarts, although dessert cousins, are often subject to confusion when it comes to using the appropriate pan. Can a tart pan be used for pies, and can a pie pan be used for tarts? Let’s delve into the world of baking pans and unravel the differences between tart pans and pie pans.

Comparing Tart Pan & Pie Pan

Tart Pan

The tart pan, known for its wider and shallower shape, differs from the deeper and smaller pie pan. Both pans come in various sizes and can be employed for baking different delicacies [1]. While tart pans and pie pans can be used interchangeably, tart pans, with their detachable bottoms, offer more convenience for specific baked goods. Furthermore, tart pans feature fluted sides, while pie pans have sides that slant outwards. Tart pans maintain a consistent width from the bottom to the top, whereas pie pans have a wider top.

Now, let’s explore the essence of tart pans and pie pans individually.

What is a Tart Pan?

Tart Pan

A tart pan is a shallow, oblong or round pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom. It comes in various sizes and shapes, but its depth typically ranges from ¾ to 2 inches. The fluted sides give tarts their distinctive appearance, and the detachable bottom and ring edge make it easier to remove the tarts without compromising their shape. Additionally, tart pans often feature a thin metal circle called a flan ring, which sits directly over the baking pan, resulting in a crisper crust.

What is a Pie Pan?

Pie Crust

A pie pan, on the other hand, is a round baking dish with thin slanted sides. Traditionally, pie pans have outward-sloping sides, making the top wider than the base. Pie pans come in various sizes, with depths ranging from 1.2 to 2 inches. While it is possible to use a pie pan to make a tart, the opposite is not true. Pie pans are versatile, serving as practical baking containers available in ceramic, glass, stoneware, metal, and aluminum.

Spot the Difference

Shape & Dimension

Tart pans are wider and more shallow than pie pans [2]. Generally, tart pans have a depth of 1 inch, while pie pans usually measure 2 inches in depth. Tart pans are often rectangular or round, while pie pans are traditionally round or oblong. Tart pans can range from 4 to 12 inches in diameter, whereas pie pans usually measure 9 to 9.5 inches.


Tart pans are primarily used for baking tart shells and filling them with curds, pastry creams, fruits, and savory custards. Tarts can be sweet or savory, featuring shallow sides and a bottom crust without a top crust. Conversely, pie pans offer versatility beyond pies, allowing the creation of crisps, oven-baked cobblers, and coffee cakes.


Most tart pans consist of two parts: a ring edge and a detachable or removable bottom, referred to as two-piece tart pans. These pans are easier to use as they allow for easy removal of the tart without compromising its shape. In contrast, pie pans accommodate single-crust and double-crust pies due to their depth and shape.


In terms of versatility, the pie pan takes the lead, as it can be used for baking various goods. Apart from pies, pie pans can facilitate the creation of loaf cakes, brownies, and even tarts. While a tart pan can also be used for baking, it may pose limitations due to its shallow depth, which could lead to sauces dripping into the removable bottom.

Do Tart Pan & Pie Pan Share Similarities?

Yes, both tart pans and pie pans are utilized for baking purposes. They serve to form the crust and contain the fillings of various baked goods.

Key Takeaways

Considering versatility and value, pie pans take the cake, so to speak. While the ideal pan choice depends on the specific baked good being prepared, pie pans offer greater adaptability. With their deeper and smaller dimensions, pie pans enhance ease of pie removal. Furthermore, they can double as tart pans in the absence of the latter.


  1. Baking – Britannica
  2. Pie vs Tart: What’s the Difference Between the Two? – Times of India

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