We could wax rhapsodic about the wide world of cake for hours (and likely have), but whether we're indulging in a fudgey chocolate-almond stunner or a classic yellow cake, one crucial step in cake prep holds constant. In our less-informed days, we occasionally skipped taking the care and time to prep a cake pan properly, writing it off as a fussy, time consuming step. Let's just say we learned our lesson the hard way . . . and when it comes down to it, this step is a necessity — and actually quite simple. So learn from our mistakes, and do it right.