In this article, a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)–active substrate with great stability and usability is reported. It is composited with a two-dimensional ordered array of Ag spherical caps and an aluminum coating. The ordered aluminum template formed during the synthesis of anodic aluminum oxide film was used as the patterned matrix. After sputtering a Ag layer and then peeling off the aluminum template, the patterned structure was replicated on Ag layer. The aluminum template could serve as a coating that protected Ag from being oxidized. Ultraviolet-visible reflection measurement was performed to monitor the adsorption process of probing molecules. Taking 4-mercaptopyridine as probing molecules, SERS spectra were investigated. Comparing with the ordinary Ag film, the patterned Ag layer exhibited better SERS activity. The convenience for preparing, storing, and using makes it a promising candidate for SERS application in the fast field analysis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.