Parchment Paper Vs Wax Paper: A Guide For Proper Use

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While baking in the kitchen, I’ve found that some baking papers are essential, since they are being used on a daily basis, and some baking papers are not. The difference between papers such as parchment paper and butter paper has been confusing for many bakers. This led me to find out the real similarities and differences between them.

Parchment paper is used in the oven to create a non-stick surface for baking. Butter paper, also known as wax paper or wrapping paper, is used for wrapping food. It’s important to know that putting butter paper, or wax paper, in the oven is not safe. Parchment paper is made to be put in the oven.

In this article, I will describe what parchment paper and butter paper are actually used for. It took me a while to understand the differences between them but it’s crucial for both baking reasons and safety reasons!

What Is Parchment Paper Used For

As a general rule, parchment paper is used for effective non-stick baking. Parchment paper can withstand temperatures of almost 450 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it ideal for the oven. Its non-stick properties also make it very attractive for easy and quick clean-ups.

I tend to see parchment paper as one of the most important elements of a kitchen. It is so useful in baking because it is used as a non-stick surface for pans and tins of all shapes and sizes!

Besides baking, it can even be used as a smooth surface to work on to avoid any messes.

Wax Paper vs Parchment Paper
Both Are Used For Different Things!

I always had the old-fashioned parchment paper roll in my kitchen but I recently came across a Box of Heavy Duty Flat Parchment Paper Sheets that work great without trying to rip the perfect sheet which never seems to work out. These sheets come in different sizes to fit your pans! You can check out these parchment sheets on Amazon!

Another exciting way to use parchment paper, besides baking, is for decorations! Place down a sheet of parchment paper, drizzle chocolate on the paper in fun designs and shapes, allow to solidify, and voila! You have a beautiful decoration to place on top of your baked goods!

To go a more traditional decorating route, you can place your cake or other baked good on a sheet of parchment paper. Then, drizzle on the chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or sprinkles without worrying about the mess!

All you have to do is toss the parchment paper and you’re ready to enjoy your dessert without having to worry about cleaning up.

What Is Butter Paper Used For

Butter paper, also known as wax paper, is used for storing freshly baked goods. The paper is covered in a layer of wax that helps prevent moisture from coming in or out of the paper. Wax paper DOES NOT go into the oven because it can cause the wax to melt and ruin your food and oven.

Butter paper and wax paper are interchangeable words because of the feel of the paper and its purpose. It is covered in a layer of wax that has a specific texture made to prevent moisture build-up.

Besides storage purposes of baked goods and other foods that can spoil from moisture, wax paper can also be used to roll out dough.

When I roll out my raw dough, I found it so helpful to use wax paper.

Instead of having to flour my surface every few rolls, the wax paper prevents my dough from sticking to the surface.

*By the way, if you want to know The Real Difference Between Foil, Parchment paper, Wax Paper, and Freezer Paper, I wrote an in-depth article breaking down the Similarities and Differences of each one, which you can check out here!

What’s the Difference Between Parchment Paper and Butter Paper?

Generally speaking, the difference between parchment paper and butter paper is the textures and their uses. Parchment paper is thin and has high heat resistance for baking in the oven. Butter paper, or wax paper, has a layer of wax that is used for food storage purposes and NOT baking in ovens.

Here’s a table that illustrates the major differences between butter paper and parchment paper:

Parchment PaperButter (Wax) Paper
No CoatingCoating on both sides of the paper
Lining baking sheets and pansWrapping food for storage purposes
Great for assisting in cake decoratingUseful for rolling out pastry dough
Can go in the ovenCan not go into the oven

Butter paper, which is the same as wax paper, CAN NOT go into the oven. It is coated in a film of wax that is used as a moisture barrier for food storage.

To use in baking, you can roll out pastry doughs on its surface to prevent them from sticking.

Parchment and Wax Paper Side by Side
Parchment Paper Feels Like Matte
Parchment and Wax Paper Side by Side
Wax Paper Feels Glossy

Parchment paper, on the other hand, is a person’s best friend when it comes to baking. You can bake so many different desserts on it and line many different pans to help prevent sticking.

This ensures your dessert comes out perfect and doesn’t break!

*By the way, if you are interested in knowing how to get Stuck Parchment Off of Your Cake and how to Prevent It, I recently wrote an article about Removing Stuck Parchment Paper, which you can find here!


Can You Use Parchment Paper in the Oven?

In general, parchment paper can go into the oven at up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Parchment paper is coated in a very thin layer of food-safe silicone that gives it its unique, non-stick properties. This layer of silicone gives it an increase in heat resistance allowing it to go into an oven.

Parchment paper is one of the best tools to use in the oven! It’s a great non-stick surface that prevents my desserts from sticking to pans.

Can You Use Butter Paper in the Oven?

In general, butter paper cannot be put in the oven. Butter paper, or wax paper, is coated with a waxy substance on both sides of the sheet. This is to prevent moisture from seeping in when storing food. If butter paper goes into the oven, the wax will melt and seep into the food.

Can You Use Butter Paper Instead of Parchment Paper?

As a whole, it is not recommended to use butter paper instead of parchment paper unless it’s for no-bake desserts. Because butter paper can’t go in the oven, it’s best to line pans of no-bake desserts which will provide a non-stick surface like parchment paper but prevent it from going in the oven.

Can You Use Parchment Paper Instead of Butter Paper?

As a general rule, you can use parchment paper instead of butter paper. Even though parchment paper lacks a waxy barrier, you can still wrap your food tightly with it and properly seal it in a plastic bag or container to prevent it from going bad while saving the hassle of cleaning.

To Summarize…

I’ve realized that the most important tool in any kitchen is the critical thinking skills to apply various tools in different applications.

Throughout these years, I’ve realized how important it is to know the difference between both of these papers so that I know when to use one over the other!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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