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Mar 18, 2010 06:55 AM

Baking pan conversion confusion

My cake recipe makes 9 cups of batter and is written to be baked in 2 10 x 3 round pans. I need to scale it down to fit a 9 x 13 pan. I looked at a number of websites that give pan size conversions and discovered that the volume of a 9 x 13 pan is simultaneously 12 c., 14 c., and 15 c. What a miracle of physics!

I was thinking I would just cut the recipe and half and wing it but I was hoping that someone might have firsthand experience. I'm not concerned about adjusting the baking time or having too much batter, just too little. I'm not anywhere near a 9 x 13 pan now or else I'd measure with water. If I need to I'll try that later tonight.


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  1. If a 9x13 needs 12-15 cups and your recipe only makes 9 cups, I think you need to scae up. make 50% more and you will have 13.5 cups. I would think you would be in the ball park.

    1. LOL, I'm guessing the volume difference in the 9x13 pan is in the height. But, the 9 cups of batter seems like very little for 2 10" round pans, especially ones that call for 3" height? Is the cake short like brownies? I would follow this conversion because it gives the conversion considering height:

      I agree w/ BurgerBoy, though, about increasing it by 50% if it makes 9 cups.

      1. If 9 cups of batter require two 10x3 inch pans (those are some pretty deep pans) the requirement for baking the recipe is a total of 471 cubic inches. If your 9x13 pan is two inches deep you'll have 234 cubic inches which is essentially half of the volume of the two 10 inch pans so half the recipe should work just fine.

        1. Check out this site:

          It's an extensive list of equivalent pan sizes and the capacity of each group.

          7 Replies
          1. re: rainey

            I think I was right, you need more batter not less when you are going from your 9 cup recipe to a 15 cup 9x13 pan. Most cake pans are a standard 2 inches as are 9x13 pans also 2 inches as a standard.If you go 1 1/2 times or 1 3/4 your recipe you should be good.

            1. re: rainey

              The problem with that one is there are no heights. Cake pans range in height and that'll make a big difference in how much batter. The OP's cake calls for 10" round x3" tall and 9 cups of batter isn't enough for a 10" round with 1" sides, let alone 3" sides.

              1. re: chowser

                Sorry did not see the 3, i thought it was the industry standard 2 inch.

                1. re: Burger Boy

                  I agree w/ your first response. The 9 cups of batter isn't enough for a 9x13 pan. I'm wondering how it was meant for 2 10"x3" pans because that would take even more batter. My cheaper pans are only 1" tall and I have an assortment of 2" pans so I always have to pay attention to size.

                  1. re: chowser

                    While I tried to make sense of the numbers rockycat posted (9 cups applied to a pair of 10x3 inch round pans) I'm still having trouble making sense of why 9 cups (approximately 126 cubic inches of mass) would require that much cake pan to bake. Half of the 9 cups, 63 cubic inches, will barely cover the bottom of a ten inch pan so even if the batter rises to double its original mass it'll only raise to about 2/3 the pan's capacity. But the 9x13 pan should easily handle half the recipe (the objective) regardless of other variables, as long as it's 2 inches deep.

                    1. re: todao

                      It is confusing. I thought the same thing that the batter isn't nearly enough for two 10" pans. But, it would work for one pan.

                      Do you mean that twice the recipe would work for a 9x13, not half? Half wouldn't be enough to cover the base but twice would work, though be on the tall side.

                      1. re: chowser

                        1 1/2 times the 9 cups is 13.5 cups should be good for the 9x13. Whatever, just do it!

            2. 9 cups (water) fills a 9" x 13" x 2" cake pan to a depth of 1 1/8 inches.