When I was younger, pans were lined with parchment paper. I used to work in the paper industry and can launch into a detailed discussion of how parchment is made, but I'll spare you, especially since there is a perfectly good explanation on Wikipedia.
While used for the same purpose, most baking paper used today is not true parchment. It's a silicone coated release paper. We call it a pan liner (not to be confused with a can liner, which is a garbage bag).
We buy them 1000 at a time and use them with just about everything we put in the oven, from bread to cake and cookies. Absolutely EVERY cake pan gets a custom cut liner EVERY time to prevent cake from sticking, even as we also use pan spray. Entirely too much labor goes into the cake-making process to risk damaging the cake after it is baked. They can also be used to make paper cones for piping (watch this video), although I prefer disposable plastic piping bags at the bakery.
We'll share our stash with you. Conveniently rolled in sets of ten full sheet sized (24x18) liners for $1 each.
Even home-made cakes hold up better when presented on a corrugated cake board. At Mary's Cakes & Pastries, we put every single cake we make on an appropriately sized cake board. When we stack cakes, each individual tier is placed on a cake board before it is supported and stacked. Waxed or grease-resistant boards will not stain or show oil marks from the icing, and can be glued together for additional strength. We stock boards in various round sizes from 6-inch rounds to 18-inch rounds. Plus quarter-sheet, half-sheet and full sheet sizes. The larger boards (10-inch and larger) are double-fluted and grease resistant. We even carry 4-inch gold rounds for individual cakes. Prices start at 25 cents.
Miniature paper pannetone baking cups. Brown with a gold floral print and scalloped edge, these can be used for cupcakes and muffins, individual pannetones, brioche, or just about any other sweet or savory pastry baked in a mold or cup. They are 2 1/2” in diameter, and 1 1/2” tall. Made of rigid and freestanding construction -- no special pan is required. You simply set these on a sheet pan, fill and bake. $2.95 per dozen.
Paper loaf pans let you bake quick breads such as
banana bread without having to buy (or wash) bread pans.Giving home baked sweet breads as a
gift? They are prettier than foil pans and no further wrapping (except for a
cellophane bag and ribbon) is needed. We use them for gingerbread, fruitcake
and stollen during the holiday season. Made of rigid and freestanding
construction, you can simply place them on a sheet pan, fill and bake. They are
3” x 7” and 2” deep. A set of 6 is $4.50.