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Dec 18, 2008 05:32 AM

Need cake-baking advice, please

I intend to bake a cake in two 10-inch pans using a recipe designed for two 9-inch pans. Can someone help me with the arithmetic to increase the proportions of the amounts?

Then again, I might change my mind and bake it in a square 12x12x4 pan, and use a horizontal cake saw to create the layers.

Maybe there's a resource out there somewhere that I can use as a guide for batter amounts and baking times for different pan dimensions.

One last question! If I plan to just double the recipe and make twice the amount of batter and use only what's needed for the pan(s), will I get good results? My mixer is a 15-year-old KitchenAid -- the largest bowl made during that time.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Be warned though - in baking doubling a recipe isn't always a good idea. Sometimes, it just doesn't work. The only difference you will have with the 9 and 10 inch pans is that the layer will be a little thinner. I wouldn't try to fiddle with the proportions to get more batter.

    1. Seems like whenever I reply to a post it's to send someone to Rose Levy Berenbaum, but here I go again. The Cake Bible has a section on pan size (including odd shapes), batter amounts, and which ingredients get changed disproportionally to the overall change in batter amounts. As maisonbistro points out, you can't just do a straight doubling or halving and expect good results.You can apply The Cake Bible principles to your recipe. Personally, I wouldn't just use the same amount of batter in a bigger pan, as a 10" pan has almost 25% more area than a 9" one, which is a pretty big difference.

      1. Hi there!

        When substituting between pans of different sizes, the area of the pan is the key measure to keep in mind. The area of a circular pan equals pi (approx 3.14) times the radius squared. The area of a rectangular pan is the width times the depth.

        So, for your situatlion, the recipe was designed for two 9-inch circular pans. this gives a total area of 4.5*4.5*3.14 = 63.6 square inches. But, you want to use a circular pan that is 10 inches in diameter. The 10 inch pan has a area of 5*5*3.14 = 78.5 square inches. This means that you'll need about 23% more batter to make the cake in the 10 inch round pans.

        And, if you do increase the batter by 23%, you should have the same depth of batter in the 10" pans as you wouild have in the 9" pans and so the baking time should be basically unchanged. Or, if you decide to use the same amount of batter and just switch to the larger pan, be aware that the larger pan will produce a cake that is about 23% thinner than the 9" pan would produce and the baking time should be reduced by about that much.

        Or, if you want to round the 23% down to 20% to make your batter prep a little easier, you'll probably want to decrease your baking time slightly.

        BTW, a 8-inch square pan and a 9-inch round pan have approx. the same area, so you can substitute between these two sizes without any adjustment at all.

        I hope this helps!

        Good luck!


        1 Reply
        1. re: MEH

          Thank you so much, each of you. All good advice. I have the Cake Bible, by the way, but I haven't looked at it in a couple years.

          I'll check out her advice.

          1. There's also a great chart in Joy of Cooking that shows how many cups of batter fit in each pan size.