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May 9, 2007 02:55 PM

Baking a Cake - One Pan or Two?

I have a recipe that says to pour my prepared batter into two 9" round cake pans...if I have a really deep 9" cake pan can I just pour it all in that and then cut it into two layers after. Will it still bake alright?

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  1. I wouldn't try it unless the alternative was 'no cake' -- but if I had to try it I would reduce the temperature of the oven slightly, and increase the cooking time, and be vigilant about testing the cake -- the main concern I would have would be the center of the cake being left under done. If it was a particularly delicate batter, I'd also be worried about it falling.

    If there was time, I'd probably bake it in two layers in the single pan, baking the second layer after the first was done.

    1. It would have to be pretty deep to accommodate all the batter. You don't want to fill the pan more than 2/3 to 3/4 full or it will overflow when baking. I'm don't think a cake that thick will bake properly, but I'm not sure. You'd do better to use a tube or bundt pan. These are designed so that there is not raw inside. The tube conflagration ensures the extra thick cake will cook through.

      I would rather bake 2 rounds, one at a time, in the high pan. Most batters can sit while the first one bakes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coconutz

        My thoughts exactly! Good luck.

        (Note, too, that most batters call for enough leavening to lift the proper amount of batter in the proper pan. If you put the whole batch in one pan, it will quite possibly not rise properly and you'll end up with two thin and leaden layers when you cut the big boy in half to frost it.)

      2. If you turn the temperature down and watch it carefully, it would work. It takes longer, too. It does end up a lttle drier than making two individual ones. And, cutting the one cake into two level ones is a challenge unless you can a level cake slicer (like a handle w/ a piece of wire between the two). Dental floss should work but I've never had luck with it.

        1. Not really. The depth of the cake will change the texture and density even if you are careful about baking times. This is also true if you use a three inch deep pan when it calls for a two inch deep pan. It never bakes quite right, even if you bake it longer.

          Baking tins aren't expensive-- buy the right size and see if you like the recipe before tinkering with the presentation.

          1. I know most people have weighed in with a "no" but when you make wedding cakes, the recipe often calls for baking it in a deeper pan and splitting. They make a tool just for splitting cakes.


            It could be the recipe that makes it work or not but I love this cake, too and it calls for splitting the layers. Maybe denser cakes work better than lighter ones.


            5 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              I split layers all the time, but only after I have followed the recipe as directed. So if the recipe calls for two 9 inch pans, thats what I do, and then cut them in half to make 4 layers from that. Or sometimes 3 and eat one on the spot. shhhh.

              1. re: danna

                Hmmm, that's why I like that triple celebration chocolate cake--you make 4, use three and have an extra layer left...;-) Sacrifice I have to make to make sure the cake is okay.

              2. re: chowser

                There is a difference between using the various weights of batter for various size pans (wedding cake production) and and doubling the volume of batter for a specific size pan. For instance, it is a fairly easy thing to switch between two 9 inch pans and a 13x9 pan.

                You can adjust the baking time slightly but you are doing something very similiar, with just a broader surface area. It is very different to take the same pan and double the volume because the depth of the batter is different, the leavening needs are different, etc. It is not simply a matter of splitting the layers.

                1. re: JudiAU

                  I thought the OP wasn't using a regular 9" pan but using a deeper one so that would hold more batter than a 1" deep one. Wilton has recommendations for the maximum cups of batter per pan and it's much more for a 3" pan than a 1" so you can have more batter in a deeper pan. You take the same batter and use more when the pan is deeper. For the 2" deep pan for 10", they recommend up to 6 cups of batter but for the 3" deep and 10", you can use up to 8 cups.


                  1. re: chowser

                    I've been thinking about this and how it's worked for me in the past. But, I realized I've always used recipes that are made to be made larger cakes, like wedding cake recipes or ones that called for splitting. I don't remember if I've ever tried it with a regular cake recipe and doubled up. Non Cognomina's post below made me realize that the type of cake could make all the difference. I've used the Wilton site for batter amounts and noticed it was for box mixes, so I'm assuming that would work, too.