### 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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### 247 Comments

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)

foxy
September 22, 2020

Hello, I am new to baking and the only pans I have are 6*3. So I was just wondering if I could use the a 6*3 as a 6*2 pan?

Don B.
September 22, 2020

I assume you mean To convert a recipe for a pan that is 6” long by 3” wide (6x3) to one that is 6” long by 2” wide (6x2). If that's what you mean, then, yes it's possible to do that. There are two ways I can think of. One way is to just make the same amount of batter as for the 6x3. Then, either use 2/3 of the batter; the resulting cake will be the same depth and should cook about the same. Or you could use all of the batter, but the cake will be 50% deeper and take longer to cook. The other way would be just to make 2/3 of the recipe and use all of the resulting batter; then the cake will be the same depth and cook the same as the original recipe. Hope this helps.

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.

Thank you for saving my Easter bunz!

Thank you for saving my Easter bunz!

mudd
February 10, 2020

Easy way to consider this issue-surface area only. But need to also consider capacity/volume. Eg recipe calls for 8x8x2 in high. You have 8x8x1 in high. Surface are of both is exactly the same-64 in-but capacity/volume is very different. Volume of 8x8x1 is 64 sq in, 8x8x2 is 128 sq in!

Smaug
February 10, 2020

Not really very relevant. If you're making soup or jello you can size your container by volume (to some extent) but in a baking recipe changing the depth significantly will have a huge effect both on the baking characteristics and the finished quality of the dish- it's generally to be avoided when adapting recipes.

mudd
February 10, 2020

That’s just what I’m trying to point out. Volume of pan can make a huge difference in baking!

Smaug
February 10, 2020

Then I'm not sure of the point of your post. If you're adapting a recipe, the depth of your pan should be similar to that of the original recipe, there's no real point in factoring in volume. It can be deeper, to some extent, but a too deep pan can slow down heat absorption from the top which may or may not be acceptable, and can also make it difficult to remove some things without damage; best to stay away from it. If you want to halve a recipe for a 1" deep pan you need a 1" deep pan, or close to it, with about half the surface area.

mudd
February 11, 2020

I’m trying to respond to some of the previous commenters/questioners below is all.

Katherine F.
January 26, 2020

I'm very new to baking, so this may be a no-brainer question, but i did the math and the difference between a 9 and 9.5 in tart pan is 1.1. Do i really need to increase the ingredients by .1%? I know you have to be pretty darn exact with baking..

Smaug
January 26, 2020

Actually, the difference is 11.4%- you can usually get away with ignoring it, but your filling may come out a bit thin. The need for exactitude in baking is greatly overstated- there are some things, such as fat to flour or liquid to flour ratios- where small changes can make a big difference (not necessarily a bad thing), but a lot of it is pretty wide open to variation.

Don B.
January 26, 2020

The ratio of the area of the two pans is the square of (9.5/9), or 1.114. This means the difference is .114 (1.114-1) or 11.4%, so you need to increase your ingredients by about 11%, not 0.1%.

Linda
December 26, 2019

Would you post a chart like you showed for baking pans, for cheesecake pans?

Recipe calls for one size and maybe you don’t have the same size or you want to create your own cheesecake but not sure how much of each ingredient you’d need.

Recipe calls for one size and maybe you don’t have the same size or you want to create your own cheesecake but not sure how much of each ingredient you’d need.

Bala R.
December 19, 2019

Such an interesting post!!! Loved the Math u have explained.. U have made it easier now..I have one small doubt.. For a round pan, the radius is alone taken into account for the calculation.. What if the pan's height varies?!! Assuming my pan is taller, the amount of batter gets in will be more than a shorter pan right?!! So how do you incorporate the pan's height?!!!

Waiting for your response. Thanks in Advance 😊

Waiting for your response. Thanks in Advance 😊

Smaug
December 19, 2019

When adapting a recipe, particularly cakes and pies, the baking characteristics are largely dictated by the depth as that determines the time needed for heat to penetrate to the center as well as the weight (particularly for cakes) that the structure should support. Therefore, every effort should be made to maintain the depth of the original recipe. Thus, for 1/2 the recipe you need 1/2 the surface area. Of course this seldom works out exactly with the pans you have but if it's not close the recipe will need considerable adaptation and may fail. Cooking a shallow cake in a deep pan will interfere somewhat with heat circulation to the top and is to be avoided if possible, but it's seldom disastrous and is often the only real alternative.

Rosalind P.
January 2, 2020

yeah -- it's very frustrating. I have more pans that any sane home baker should have, especially for a New York-sized kitchen, yet I'm always running across recipes for a size I don't have. The most frustrating is for the different depths: 2 inch or even three inch.

Smaug
February 10, 2020

Well, there's a certain amount of simple arithmetic involved in multiplying or dividing recipes, and if you're developing recipes you will be working with some basic ratios, such as fat to flour or liquid to powdered ingredients. Things with a lot of chemistry behind them, such as ice cream, will have more such ratios, but if you've mastered long division youshould have no problem with the arithmetic. Of course it's all "word problems"- you have to understand the processes to know what calculations to make.

Diana S.
September 26, 2019

I have found that, if you are starting your cake with a boxed mix, a full-sized sheet cake pan of approximately 18x26 will easily handle four boxed mixes.....just don’t add a lot of extras. I do this for poke cakes, Texas sheet cakes, blueberry coffee cake. Works great!

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