As a single person, I am looking for single serving dessert recipes, a mini cake or pie, a couple of cookies or brownies. I have found a number of recipes on the internet, but was hoping someone could tell me formula ratios for reducing the ingredients, as well as the baking times. Thanks.

Recommended by Food52

## 15 Comments

Baking times are almost always much quicker, but once in a while something will turn out to take nearly as long as the original size recipe! Just in general, I start checking it after half the time written in the recipe (actually I rotate my pans about 25% of the way into the recipe). You always want to take things out based on the baking cues of doneness and not the time of the recipe, anyway, so that's generally not a problem. I do hate recipes that don't tell you anything but the time, though, because it really means nothing, since everyone's ovens are a little different and even just ingredients or pans will change baking times. If you're unsure of what those cues are, contact the cookbook author (I've done that with great success) or blogger before you start cooking :) King Arthur Flour has a wonderful baking hotline that you can call daily during normal hours and I know they'd help you with any baking question, even if it is not for one of their recipes.

Again let me know if you have any specific questions 'cause I'm just sort of trying to hit all of the general things I've learned. I LOVE to make smaller servings for my husband and I :) Not all that different from single servings 'cause everyone needs a little leftovers especially if it turned out fabulous!

Baking times are almost always much quicker, but once in a while something will turn out to take nearly as long as the original size recipe! Just in general, I start checking it after half the time written in the recipe (actually I rotate my pans about 25% of the way into the recipe). You always want to take things out based on the baking cues of doneness and not the time of the recipe, anyway, so that's generally not a problem. I do hate recipes that don't tell you anything but the time, though, because it really means nothing, since everyone's ovens are a little different and even just ingredients or pans will change baking times. If you're unsure of what those cues are, contact the cookbook author (I've done that with great success) or blogger before you start cooking :) King Arthur Flour has a wonderful baking hotline that you can call daily during normal hours and I know they'd help you with any baking question, even if it is not for one of their recipes.

Again let me know if you have any specific questions 'cause I'm just sort of trying to hit all of the general things I've learned. I LOVE to make smaller servings for my husband and I :) Not all that different from single servings 'cause everyone needs a little leftovers especially if it turned out fabulous!

Further refinements:

a) if the amount or the container is very small, you can whip using only one ONE whip from a two-whip hand mixer.

b) I find even better results with a mini stainless steel bowl, rather than glass.

c) For whipping cream, chill the bowl and metal whip before using.

First thing I focused on was getting my mini baking pans, most of which I found on Amazon. For cake pans, I have two 6" round Fat Daddio pans from amazon, and I divide any 9-inch single-layer cake recipe by two. Divide any 9-inch double-layer cake by two to make a 6-inch layer cake (also perfect for small family gatherings), or divide by four and make one 6-inch single layer cake. For quiches I have a 6-inch quiche pan (Fantes) and divide recipes by 3; if it is more convenient math-wise you could get a 7-inch pan and divide recipes by 2. For cheesecakes, I have a mini springform pan (Nordic Ware 4-cup Springform Pan) and also two 4.5 inch springforms (Kaiser). I divide any recipe by three, and that will fill either my 4-cup pan or both 4.5-inch pans. I haven't been able to find something more convenient where I can just divide the recipe by two. I also use a 6-cup mini bundt pan (NordicWare) and a 7.5" mini tube pan (Bundy); both of those are really easy because you just divide any recipe by two. The only mini pan I have that seems to be discontinued is the Marinex 6-inch pie pan, and I can't find a replacement that would hold the same volume (to easily divide pie recipes by two). I also bought the Emile Henry "Individual Pie Dish, 8 ounce" and have actually divided pie recipes by four, many many times! I bought two of them, so sometimes I just divide the original recipe by two and make two mini pies. They are adorable :)

Mini loaf pans are great for baking any quick bread recipe is; just divide by two and make two mini loaves instead of a 9x5 or 8.5 x 4.5 pan.

As far as making the actual recipes, I hope that I can help you simply by saying that I've probably baked over 1,000 dessert and quick bread recipes miniaturized, and very rarely have a problem with them! So go forward in confidence!

A few more things that I hope will be helpful.... some good mini measuring spoons are really helpful. I have the Progressive GT-3520 International 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set which actually goes down to 1/32 tsp, and I use that one rather often. I really like the Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set and Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set, Odd Sizes, and use both of them all the time; they go as small as 1/16 tsp.

I also found it helpful to make myself a cheat sheet about 5 years ago when I started this, which I have taped inside my kitchen cupboard. Once I make a recipe, I write down the measurements to divide it by 2 or 4, right into the cookbook, for next time: This will look a little wonky because it's an excel file, but you get the general idea:

My Cups & Spoons Original Measurement / 2 / 3 / 4

2 cups 480 ml 6 cups 2c & 1c 2c 1 1/2c

1 3/4 cup 420 ml 5 cups 2c & 1/2c 1c & 2/3c 1c & 1/4c

1 1/2 cup 360 ml 4 cups 2c 1c & 1/3c 1c

1 cup 240 ml 3 cups 1 1/2c 1c 3/4c

3/4 cup 180 ml 2 cups 1c 2/3c 1/2c

2/3 cup 160 ml 1 cup (or 4 eggs) 1/2c 1/3c 1/4c

1/2 cup 120 ml 3/4 cup (or 3 eggs) 1/4c & 1/8c 1/4c 1/8c & 1T

1/3 cup 80 ml 2/3 cup 1/3c 1/8c & 1T & 1/2T & 1/8t & 1/32t 1/8c & 2t

1/4 cup 60 ml 1/2 cup (or 2 eggs) 1/4c 1/8 c & 2 t 1/8c

1/8 c 30 ml 1/3 cup 1/8c & 2t 1T & 1/2T & 1/2t & 1/4t & 1/16t 1T & 1t

1T 15 ml 1/4 cup (or 1 egg) 1/8c 1T & 1t 1T

1/2 T 7.5 ml 2 T (= 1/8 c) 1T 2t 1/2T

2 t 10 ml 1 T 1/2T 1t 1/2t & 1/4t

1 t 5 ml 1/2 T 1/2t & 1/4t 1/2t 1/4t & 1/8t

1/2 t 2.5 ml 2 t 1t 1/2t & 1/8t & 1/32t 1/2t

1/4 t 1.25 ml 1 t 1/2t 1/4t & 1/16t 1/4t

1/8 t ("dash") 0.625 ml 1/2 t 1/4t 1/8t & 1/32t 1/8t

1/16 t ("pinch") 0.3125 ml 1/4 t 1/8t 1/16t & 1/32t 1/16t

1/32 t ("smidgen") 0.15625 ml

That's all I can think of for now, but let me know if you have any other questions!

An EZ Bake Oven.

It's right out of the box a solution to the problem.

and here's a site dedicated to recipes:

http://eborecipes.com/

Maybe you could ebay the little pans etc and do it in your oven/toaster oven.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/cuisinart-mini-prep-plus-processor/103163?skuId=43907663&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_kitchenelectrics_&adpos=1o2&creative=43742642989&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CJGS64vv28YCFZWRHwod6DME6w

I use mine all the time. I for bread and pizza I go with: 1 cup flour, salt, sugar, yeast (about 1/2 tsp each). And drizzle in water until it balls up.

For pie crust 1 cup flour and 1 stick of butter cut up...salt and sugar. Then drizzle in cold water until it forms 'cornmeal'..and finish up by hand.

Many recipes will also have "make to this point and freeze" directions, which are helpful. Once you find a few of these, you can apply the same directions to similar recipes.

Another good approach is the recent fad in "cake in a mug" or "cake in a jar" recipes, popular among families of army personnel, college students and those who have only a microwave oven.. You can use packaged mixes as a base, adding good ingredients and garnishes to taste, or mix from scratch. Bake in either a microwave or a conventional oven.

One thing that has helped me a fair bit is Michael Ruhlman's book on cooking ratios, I think it's called "Ratio" but it's been a while. It gives basic ratios for lots of different kinds of basic recipes and then you can scale them up or down as you see fit. This has helped me come up with lots of small batch recipes for things like pancakes and cookies of my own design and understanding the underlying ratios has helped me adapt lots of other people's recipes as well. So you might want to check that out.

Good luck!

Baking times would completely depend on your baking vessel and its depth/volume. When in doubt, just use a 350F baking temp and check on it often.