### Kitchen Hacks

# How to Use One Cake Pan For Any Baking Recipe

With a little math, you can adapt any baking recipe to work with what you've got.

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### 262 Comments

Nikki
August 14, 2022

Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t see where you’ve discuss if and how the depth of the pan impacts the math mathematical calculations. A 9x1 inch round pan has a smaller volume than a 9x3 inch pan.

Smaug
August 14, 2022

The general rule is to keep the depth the same (or as close as you can- baking isn't really as precise a process as it's often painted), as that's the primary factor in how it cooks. It's best to avoid big changes in depth of the pan, mostly because a cake designed for a 1" deep pan will not heat the same from the top in a 3" deep pan.

Nikki
August 15, 2022

Smaug, thank you for a response, but your answer hasn’t really addressed my question.

I just would like to know whether the square area measurements provided in this blog, will be affected by the depth of the pan. Are the measurements based on pans that are 1 inch, 1.5 inches, 2 inches

depth?

I need to modify a recipe to accommodate a pan that is the same in depth as the original recipe (2 inches), but a different shape, larger surface area and larger volume as well. My pan size is not listed in the chart provided.

I just would like to know whether the square area measurements provided in this blog, will be affected by the depth of the pan. Are the measurements based on pans that are 1 inch, 1.5 inches, 2 inches

depth?

I need to modify a recipe to accommodate a pan that is the same in depth as the original recipe (2 inches), but a different shape, larger surface area and larger volume as well. My pan size is not listed in the chart provided.

Smaug
August 15, 2022

You need to calculate the surface area of the pans, which is generally very simple; not going to reread this ancient article, but I assume they give the basics- for a rectangular pan the area is the product of the lengths of the sides; for a round pan it is the radius (1/2 the diameter) squared, times pi. If calculating the area is a problem, you could measure the volume of water to fill the pan to the desired depth. And no, the depth will not affect the square area measurement- you only need to compare square areas because the depths are the same, which is why I brought that up.

Nikki
August 15, 2022

Great.

Smaug, I appreciate the quick and very helpful response. If the depths between pans were to be different, what additional calculations, if any, would be required?

Smaug, I appreciate the quick and very helpful response. If the depths between pans were to be different, what additional calculations, if any, would be required?

Smaug
August 15, 2022

Um- this is getting hard to do without a lengthy treatise; if the depths of the pans are different but you're filling them to the same depth you needn't worry about it, except that if your pan is excessively deep the top may not brown as it otherwise would. If you're filling them to different depths, it will have a considerable effect on the whole baking process; the whole timing and possibly temperature would need adjusting, and I don't think there's any simple formula for it, you'd just have to experiment and do a lot of doneness testing.

Byron
February 21, 2022

This is information I have needed. I’ve been winging it for so long and usually with disappointing results. So, thank you for this! I feel as though I just received a free class in pastry!

Max S.
November 2, 2021

Math and I don’t get along. Based on this article, to scale down to an 8” square pan from a 9” x 13” pan, I’d halve the recipe, and for a half-sheet, I should divide the recipe by 3 — right?

Kim
September 19, 2021

Hi Alice

I would like to serve a tiramisu in a 4"×4" glass baking dish. What would be the math for that please?

I would like to serve a tiramisu in a 4"×4" glass baking dish. What would be the math for that please?

Mireille D.
July 30, 2021

I am very confused - in the chart the 8x8 pan = 64 sq. inch, and the 9" round pan also = 64 sq. inch, yet in the text it says that they are different (by 25%)... Not sure what to do here...

Smaug
July 30, 2021

A 9" ROUND pan is about 64 in.sq., a 9"SQUARE pan is 81 in.sq., about 1 1/4 times the 8".

Mireille D.
July 30, 2021

I agree with you. I mis-read the article. Is there a way to remove my comment?

Amanda
July 12, 2021

It would be great to have this information available in a format for quick reference, which could be bookmarked or printed off. Would that be possible? I’d personally love to have a paper copy by my baking books :)

cmarineau
May 16, 2021

So if I wanted to bake a cake in my 10 inch round pan instead of two 8 inch round pans would I divide the are of the 10" pan by the total area of the 8" pans (79 sq.in./100 sq.in.)? that would mean I am actually reducing the recipe by ~.75. the math works but I'm doing a gluten free cake recipe for the first time and am nervous.

Don B.
May 16, 2021

you have the right idea, and you've done the area calculations right (79 sq in and 100 sq in). However, you say you're reducing the recipe by 75%, where actually you're reducing the batter needed by ~21%, not 75%. That is, you need about 79% of the batter you would need when using 2 8" pans.

cmarineau
May 16, 2021

once I started doing the math I figured out it was that the area was 79%. I appreciate the confirmation that I was doing it right. I also found out my pan is actually a 9"x2.5"round so I went and borrowed my Mom's 8" pans. I did find out, volume-wise, a 10"x 3" round pan holds the same volume as (2) 8" rounds. So I could, I believe do this recipe without conversion, just temp. and time adjustment, then cut my layers out of one pan. Thank you for the quick reply.

Smaug
May 16, 2021

To compare round pans, you don't really need to calculate area; you just need the proportion, so you simply need the ratio of the diameter squared (or the radius squared if the arithmetic works out easier). So the ratio of the area of a 10" round pan to an 8" would be 100/64.

AceyKay
January 8, 2021

Hi. All your neat conversions involve open pans. What about muffin pans? I have a recipe for a bread that goes into muffin pans. I don't have them out of storage yet. The recipe makes 12 rolls. How would we extrapolate that out into a round or square pan?

Smaug
January 9, 2021

Really hard to say with bread; there's no obvious way to compare volumes. I'd go with filling the muffin cups halfway or so. Hopefully it would rise about to the top of the cup, and then grow above in the oven. It should be a lot easier to figure the next time (or you could experiment with part of the dough). This is one of those situations where there's no real substitute for experience

karin.anderson.52
December 1, 2020

Or simply use “Keiko’s Cakes” interactive pan conversion tool. Enter your pan size and the desired size and find the factor by which to multiply your recipe amounts. You can also convert between rectangular and round pan shapes. Very easy! https://keikos-cake.com/panconversion.html

Jen A.
November 24, 2020

I need help. My recipe calls for an 8x8 but I only have 8inch! What should I do? Just increase the baking time? Of leave some batter out?

Michelle D.
November 21, 2020

I have a cake recipe that is calling for 3 8inch pans. I only have two 9 inch pans. Can I still make the receipt it the 2 9 inch pans.

Don B.
November 21, 2020

of course. 8^2 = 64 square inches per layer, and 9^2 = 81 square inches per layer (for square pans). if your desire is to have a 3-layer cake, one option is to use the 9" pans to make 2 layers, then re-use one of the pans to make a third layer. if you use the same amount of batter, the layers will be 18.5% thinner in your 9" pans (e.g., 2.5" thick in the 9" pans vs 3" thick in the 8" pans). there are, of course, other options (e.g., making a 2-layer cake or using more batter).

ANIRUDDHA R.
November 4, 2020

Alice,

For your example: How many times should you multiply an 8-inch brownie recipe to fill a 9- x 13-inch pan or a 12- x 16-inch half sheet? To figure this out, divide the area of the larger pan by the area of the 8-inch pan.

For the 9- x 13-inch pan: 117 divided by 64 = 1.82, which is close enough to 2 that you can confidently double the recipe for the larger pan.

For the half sheet: 192 divided by 64 is exactly 3, so you can multiply the recipe times 3.

But the area of the 8 inch pan is 50, not 64. So you need to divide 117 by 50 and not 64. Same applies to the half sheet pan. Please make that correction.

Thanks and Regards,

Ani

For your example: How many times should you multiply an 8-inch brownie recipe to fill a 9- x 13-inch pan or a 12- x 16-inch half sheet? To figure this out, divide the area of the larger pan by the area of the 8-inch pan.

For the 9- x 13-inch pan: 117 divided by 64 = 1.82, which is close enough to 2 that you can confidently double the recipe for the larger pan.

For the half sheet: 192 divided by 64 is exactly 3, so you can multiply the recipe times 3.

But the area of the 8 inch pan is 50, not 64. So you need to divide 117 by 50 and not 64. Same applies to the half sheet pan. Please make that correction.

Thanks and Regards,

Ani

Pamela_in_Tokyo
December 18, 2020

I’m sorry, but I was wondering about your comment..... the area of an 8 x 8 square pan is 64 not 50 as you state. How did you get “50”?? Are you perhaps thinking of a different sized pan?? A 7 x 7 pan is 49....

Shu
October 23, 2020

Most recipes seem to be for 8", 9" or the 9x13 pans. So, I did the conversions for the pans I own.

Note the conversions are rounded off to the nearest multiple of 5.

So if I want to scale a 9x9 square pan recipe to my 8x8 square pan, I'll just use 80% of the 9x9 recipe.

Eg: 100g of flour will be 80g of flour.

Calculator entry: '100' x '0.8' = 80.

Hope this helps someone out there.

Area of square/rectangle pans:

* 7 x 7 = 49 square inches = Same as 8” round

* (75% of 8” square)

* (60% of 9” square)

* (40% of 9 x 13)

* f**k it. Just half either 9” sq or 9 x 13 recipe

* 8 x 8 = 64 square inches = Same as 9” round

* (80% of 9” square)

* (50% of 9 x 13)

* 9 x 9 = 81 square inches

* (125% of 8” square)

* (70% of 9 x 13)

* 9 x 13 = 117 square inches

* (180% of 8” square)

* f**k it. Just double a 8” sq

* (140% of 9” square)

* f**k it. Just x1.5 a 9” sq

Area of round pans:

* 4 inch = 13 square inches

* (20% of 9” round)

* (25% of 8” round)

* 6 inch = 29 square inches

* (45% of 9” round)

* (60% of 8” round)

* f**k it. Just half either 8” or 9” round

* 8 inch = 50 square inches = Same as 7” square

* (75% of 9” round)

* 9 inch = 64 square inches = Same as 8” square

* (125% of 8” round)

Note the conversions are rounded off to the nearest multiple of 5.

So if I want to scale a 9x9 square pan recipe to my 8x8 square pan, I'll just use 80% of the 9x9 recipe.

Eg: 100g of flour will be 80g of flour.

Calculator entry: '100' x '0.8' = 80.

Hope this helps someone out there.

Area of square/rectangle pans:

* 7 x 7 = 49 square inches = Same as 8” round

* (75% of 8” square)

* (60% of 9” square)

* (40% of 9 x 13)

* f**k it. Just half either 9” sq or 9 x 13 recipe

* 8 x 8 = 64 square inches = Same as 9” round

* (80% of 9” square)

* (50% of 9 x 13)

* 9 x 9 = 81 square inches

* (125% of 8” square)

* (70% of 9 x 13)

* 9 x 13 = 117 square inches

* (180% of 8” square)

* f**k it. Just double a 8” sq

* (140% of 9” square)

* f**k it. Just x1.5 a 9” sq

Area of round pans:

* 4 inch = 13 square inches

* (20% of 9” round)

* (25% of 8” round)

* 6 inch = 29 square inches

* (45% of 9” round)

* (60% of 8” round)

* f**k it. Just half either 8” or 9” round

* 8 inch = 50 square inches = Same as 7” square

* (75% of 9” round)

* 9 inch = 64 square inches = Same as 8” square

* (125% of 8” round)

Jmnewman2
June 21, 2020

I am trying to Convert a brownie recipe that is for an 8x8 pan up to a 13x18 pan and it works out to be 3.65 times bigger so would I just times the original recipe by 4 or would I have to go 3.65 times bigger? I can easily multiply all the ingredients by 3.65 except the eggs since im pretty sure it will be next to impossible to use 7.3 eggs and 3.65 yolks🤣. Thanks!!

Don B.
June 21, 2020

the easy way would be to multiply the entire recipe by 4 and then just use 90% of it (giving a factor of 3.6). but my guess is that you could use the entire 4X of the batter, which would make just make the batter a little (about 9%) deeper and the brownies that much thicker. then just bake it a little longer. (start checking at your usual time.)

Anna G.
May 12, 2020

Thank you for this helpful guideline! I pretty much understand how to adjust a recipe now (I think) but what about for let’s say, a recipe I’m following uses a 3 layer 6” round cake pan, and I’ll be using a 2 layer 8” round cake pan. (Both have the same 2” depth)

So first, Following your chart, i’ll divide 50 by 29 = 1.7 as the multiplier. (270g flour x 1.7 = 459g)

But that would amount to a 3 layered 8” pan... what about the 1 extra cake layer that i don’t want, how exactly do i subtract that?

Sorry for All my basic math skills have basically flown out the window...

So first, Following your chart, i’ll divide 50 by 29 = 1.7 as the multiplier. (270g flour x 1.7 = 459g)

But that would amount to a 3 layered 8” pan... what about the 1 extra cake layer that i don’t want, how exactly do i subtract that?

Sorry for All my basic math skills have basically flown out the window...

Anna G.
May 12, 2020

I’m not sure if anyone would follow but if my previous calculation was correct, i now have 459g of flour for a 3 layer 8” round cake pan.

If i want to make just 2 layers instead of 3, I’ll divide 459g by 3 = 153g approx. for 1 pan. 153 x 2 = 306g of flour for 2 layers/pans

Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

If i want to make just 2 layers instead of 3, I’ll divide 459g by 3 = 153g approx. for 1 pan. 153 x 2 = 306g of flour for 2 layers/pans

Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

Pamela_in_Tokyo
December 18, 2020

First calculate how much batter for all three 6 inch pans, then see if that will fit into your two 8 inch pans.

I did this calculation. Does this make sense??

6 in round = 29 square inches x 3 = 87 square inches

8 in round = 50 square inches x 2 = 100 square inches

The batter for the three 6 round inch pans = 87 square inches

The batter for the two 8 square pans = 100 square inches

100 minus 87 = 13 square inches

So the batter for a three layer cake to be baked in 6 inch round pans can be baked in two 8 inch round pans but the layers would be a little thinner.

I did this calculation. Does this make sense??

6 in round = 29 square inches x 3 = 87 square inches

8 in round = 50 square inches x 2 = 100 square inches

The batter for the three 6 round inch pans = 87 square inches

The batter for the two 8 square pans = 100 square inches

100 minus 87 = 13 square inches

So the batter for a three layer cake to be baked in 6 inch round pans can be baked in two 8 inch round pans but the layers would be a little thinner.

ebraxy
May 2, 2020

Thank you for writing this out, but it seems like you left off in the middle. I'm sorry I don't remember my basic math. I want to scale down from 8" round to 6" round. Using what you have shown I end up with a difference of 1.79. Where do I go from there to take 480g of flour to a 6" round. Thanks

Don B.
May 2, 2020

yes, the difference in volume (assuming equal depth of batter) is the ratio of 1.78 (8^s / 6^2). so simply divide the 480g of flour used for the 8" round by 1.78. you get approximately 271g of flour for the 6" round. now, dividing eggs by 1.78 is a little trickier :)

mompants
April 11, 2020

This is brilliant, thank you so much for this! I never would have guessed that a 9” round is so much smaller (in capacity) than a 9x9” square.

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