How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans – How to scale a cake recipe to fit any pan Adjusting the number of cake layers or converting a layer cake recipe to a cupcake or sheet cake recipe can seem daunting at first, but ask the right questions. All the answers to success.

Stella Parks is a CIA-trained baker and pastry chef named one of America’s Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. He was Pastry Editor of Serious Eats from 2016 to 2019.

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

The best thing about cake is that it comes in many forms. You can serve it in any number of layers, shaped in a classic Bundt pan, wrapped in cupcake liners, or simply as a single thick slab. But there’s a problem: most cake recipes are written with instructions tailored to a specific pan.

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Fortunately, any batter can be baked in a variety of shapes, from a large cast iron pan to a half pan, or in slightly different sized layers than the recipe calls for. Changing your approach has less to do with science than intuition, but I’ve done my best to extrapolate some rules from my own experience (which includes hundreds of weddings of all shapes and sizes).

It’s about making the right amount of batter for the pan and asking the right questions to get the answers you need to avoid common problems (is that stand mixer big enough to hold a double batch???) and a reasonable baking time for the cake in question.

It’s a lot, but with a little practice and care, you can fit most any cake into any pan.

Most cake batters are baked in standard pans, such as those in our cake pan guide, and are adaptable when it comes to different shapes and sizes.

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But some cakes have special structural considerations that warrant a special pan — angel food cakes, for example, should be baked in a natural aluminum tube pan.

If you’re looking at a recipe that calls for a specific pan, it may have been baked for some reason, and trying to reformat it could have unintended consequences. This applies to cakes made with special formulas or unusual methods.

Again, let’s take a look at the angel food cake: it’s a low-fat sponge cake made with whipped egg whites that needs to be cooled upside down. Or think of cheesecake: a flourless mixture of cream cheese, sugar and eggs, usually baked in a bottom or springform pan and placed in a water bath.

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

It’s certainly possible to adapt these combinations, but those methods are beyond the scope of this article, which are more focused on traditional cakes—think along the lines of classic vanilla butter cake, devil’s food, gingerbread and carrot cake, and more. related styles.

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Cake pans come in an infinite number of sizes and shapes, and a general rule of thumb is to fill the pan halfway to two-thirds of the way, and who’s to say how many cups of batter that will be? And although the baker fills the pan with one cup of water at a time, no recipe includes the amount of batter to determine its capacity.

However, it is easy to count the ingredients to determine the total weight of the dough in the given recipe. For that reason, I’ve learned to think of my pan-to-batter ratio in terms of weight, not volume. My approach is not based on science, but rather the kind of intuition that a baker can use after accumulating enough information over the years.

It’s worth noting that my methods are influenced by personal preferences, both aesthetic (I like thick cake layers) and culinary style (I often work with relatively dense American cake batters rather than airy European sponges).

For round and square cake pans that are at least two inches deep, I multiply the area of ​​the pan by 0.45 to determine the approximate amount of batter needed. For that I need to remove the word “pie is square” from school (πr)

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3.14(25) or 78.5 is. Multiplied by 0.45, I get the dough cost for 35 ounces. It’s pretty basic math, and the prize is cake, but for those less inclined to do the math, here are estimates for the most common pan sizes.

To determine the approximate amount of batter needed for a rectangular pan that is at least two inches deep, I multiply the area of ​​the pan by 0.37. To find the area of ​​a rectangle, simply multiply the length of the base by its width.

For example, a nine by 13 inch brownie pan has an area of ​​9 x 13 or 117 square inches. Multiply 117 by 0.37 and I get 43 ounces of batter.

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

Traditional half plate, quarter plate, etc. For shallow, rectangular pans like this, I multiply the area of ​​the pan by 0.3 to determine the approximate amount of batter. To find the area of ​​the plate, simply multiply the inside length and width of each side.

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To adapt recipes for Bundt pans, I multiply the capacity of the pan in cups by 4.2 to determine the approximate amount of batter needed per ounce. If the capacity is unknown, you can place the pan in the sink and fill it with water one glass at a time.

There is a degree of flexibility in scaling any recipe based on the purpose and purpose of the cake, the depth of the pan and personal preference, as well as the logistics of scaling (more on that in the next section).

That said, underfilling and overfilling the pan can cause problems of their own, so don’t go more than two or three ounces over the approximate amount. An underfilled pan can produce an underfilled, hard, and dry cake, while an overfilled pan can produce a cake that’s dense and has a slightly sunken center or oddly curved crust (not even overflowing).

To determine the required batch size for a given cake, divide the total weight of the ingredients in the original recipe by the total weight of batter required.

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For example, let’s say I want to make one batch of my three-layer devil’s food cake (70 oz batter) as a 10-inch cake pan.

My rule of thumb is that a 10-inch round pan requires 35 ounces of batter. Divide that new amount by the original amount in the recipe (70), and we get 0.5 as a multiplier — making it half a batch.

In other cases, the math is not very neat, and you may be left with a piece of egg. Broadly speaking, the pros of whipping up whole eggs to scale up what you need far outweigh the cons.

How To Adjust Cake Recipe For Different Size Pans

As far as I can tell, the downsides have to do with the emotional pain of bakers pouring 0.42 ounces of eggs down the drain, or the frustration and absurdity of saving less than a tablespoon of eggs and giving the fridge a purpose. their breakfasts.

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That said, there may be times when it makes sense to scale a recipe around eggs. For example, let’s say I wanted to make my three-layer toasted sugar and brown butter cake layer cake (82 ounces) as one eight-inch layer for a Neapolitan cake.

My own rule of thumb is that an eight-inch round requires 24 ounces of dough. Divide that new amount by the original amount in the recipe (82), and we get 0.29 as the multiplier. That means we’ll need 2 ounces of eggs, which unfortunately makes 1.16 large eggs.

We can hang around and hope for the best, or hide our tracks with some other trick (eggs? A little extra water?). Alternatively, we might look at a recipe that calls for 4 whole eggs and decide that 0.25 would be a more convenient multiplier to create a one-egg cake. 20 ounces of dough, which is a little below average for my ideals, but the ease and convenience of this batch size can be useful for many bakers as well.

Please note that the new recipe includes its own timetables, and the physical cues in the recipe always take precedence over the ballpark figures listed in time—the same is true for the original recipe, but for a smaller batch.

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Many recipes can be doubled or even tripled. This is especially true for small batch recipes where the yield is a single cake layer, such as my BlackBerry snack cake or the classic olive oil cake and other similar low volume creations.

Some bakers claim to have some

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