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Sep 12, 2007 09:38 AM

How to resize a cake recipe?

My son's is turning 1. We are taking him to a photography session where he will eat his cake, make a mess, and get pictures taken while doing it. I want to make a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, about 6-inch or so. How can I resize a cake properly given that baking is so finicky?

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  1. I would either split a cake recipe in half or make a whole recipe baked in 6-inch pans and cupcakes to use the rest of the batter. I'd check the 6-inch cakes after 20 minutes to see if they're done, although if the main reason for the cake is for the photographs it may not matter if it's a little overbaked.

    2 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      To resize a recipe you would have to be a Whiz at mathematics !! You would need to be able to figure ratios of each ingredient to cut it down from the original recipe.
      (Math was a subject that I never could master in my school days, and still can't!)

      The simplest, quickest, easiest way would be to follow leanne's wise advice !

      1. re: leanneabe

        I agree with Leanne. I used to bake professionally and halving a cake recipe can be tricky, and trying to cut it in 3rds usually ends in disaster. Baking is different than cooking, and you cannot guarantee success by just dividing the amounts of ingredients by 1/2 or 1/3. A successful baker needs to understand and apply chemistry as much as taste, color and aesthetics.

        I like to cut the oven temp by 25F and start checking about 10 minute early. If you have a thermo, the proper internal temp should be just over 190-195. A toothpick inserted clean is always a good backup.

        1. I just stumbled upon this website....perhaps it could be of help. I am always looking for sites that will help make conversions from grams to ounces easier for recipes in my German cookbook. This web given will also give advice on resizing our regular American recipes.

          Cecilia....perhaps this web can help you:

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lisbet

            Here's another helpful website, originally mentioned in a post here on CH>


            1. re: hummingbird

              Thank You !!... so Very Much !!! That's the right web, and this will take you right to the page that we are looking for:


          2. area of a circle = pi x radius sqaured area of a rectangle = length x width
            (the above assumes the depths are the same)

            calculate the area of the original recipe and then the area of the pans you want to use. Once you have the areas, you can tell if the 6 inch is closst to a half, a third, whatever. Then reduce your ingredients by that much. OR...just find another pan with the correct area to use up the rest of the batter. Eat that while nobody's looking.

            Watch the cake closely and test by the touch method and the tester method to determine when it's done.