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Converting 8" cake recipes to fit 4.5" cake pans?

I have several favorite cake recipes that come in 8" cake sizes and would love to make them in 4.5" pans for transport convenience and portion control. ("Just one slice" is very different on a 8 or 10" cake compared to a 4.5"!)
Does anyone have experience in such a conversion, both for batter quantity and baking time/temperature?
Thanks so much!

asked by PW almost 4 years ago
4 answers 4984 views
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Monita is a Recipe Tester for Food52

added almost 4 years ago

An 8" round cake pan that is 2" high hold 6 cups of batter. A 5x2" cake pan hold 2+ 2/3 cups batter. So your 4.5 probably hold about 2 cups. So with a recipe that calls for an 8" cake pan you'd be able to make 3 of your 4.5 cake pans. On the baking time - check your cakes at the half point time of a regular size cake.

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added almost 4 years ago

Using my almost but not quite forgotten junior high school math skills, it seems that a 4.5 inch pan has a surface area that is about 35% of that of an 8 inch pan, so Monita's estimate that you'd use about 1/3 of the batter for each small cake is pretty close.

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added almost 4 years ago

Both of the above answers assume the same thickness for your batter between the two pans -- I have some smaller cake pans with higher sides that I like to use as an alternative. Unfortunately, I tend to "play it by ear" when I do so -- probably something like half the 8" batter into the smaller pan, expecting it to be thicker. As it is thicker, I lower the heat (i.e., from 350 to 325) and then monitor (both sight and toothpick) for done. Wish I could be more scientific/math-ic (and smslaw, even if jr high math skills were just a few years ago, I'm AWED that you pulled them out! Is this a pie X r-squared kind of thing? [bad pun; sorry!]).

If you aren't changing the depth of the batter between the pans, I'd use the same temp but expect them to cook quicker.

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added 5 months ago

Converting any baking recipe can be a bit of a chore and a time consuming one at that; especially when all you want to do is get baking.

At Baking It, one of it’s features is that you can convert and scale any recipe. This can be done in imperial, metric, UK, USA, AUS & CA cups.

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In short as well as being able to scale your recipes you can explore all the following tools:

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Recipes: Here you will manage, convert and cost up all your most used recipes. In put them into here and this will be a great time saving tool.

The Bakery: This is a place to cost and manage all of your bakes. We have sections for cupcakes, cookies, macaroons, cake pops, decorations and other products.

3D Cakes & sketches: The perfect place to create a 3D model of your cake and sketch. Both printable so you can work out your designs on these. Here you will also find a slicing guide for your cake, recipes used, supplies and decorations used and a summary that costs up your cake.

Business: This is the place to manage your contacts, orders, tasks and expenses. This section keeps your business perfectly organised.

Insights: This is where you will get an overview of your business. You can view monthly expenses and incomes here. You can view money out, money in, hours worked and any outstanding orders.

Full disclosure - I am the Customer Success Champion from Baking It. If you need any help with our software get in touch via the website. We look forward to seeing you over at Baking It

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