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Scaling up cake recipe

jaykat Aug 26, 2013 08:21 PM

I am thinking of making Ottolenghi's Apple Olive Oil cake for Rosh Hashanah next week. The recipe makes one 8 inch (20cm) cake that is split in half and frosted between layers and on top. I want to make this recipe in a 9x13 inch pan, but I think that original recipe would make too thin a cake. Would I double the recipe or make 1.5 times?
Anyone have experience of adapting/scaling such quantities?

  1. Emme Aug 27, 2013 10:18 PM

    Assuming the 8" cake is approximately 2" in height, then the volume is (pi) * r^2 * height = (pi) * (16) * 2 which is approximately 100.48 cubic inches
    The 9x13" pan has an area of 117, so for a height of 2", then volume would be 234 cubic inches.

    Doubling the initial recipe would give you a height of slightly less than 2". I'm a little more anal, and personally would do slightly more than double, but I would TOTALLY recommend that someone else (including you) just double it. Also, lower the oven temp by 25 degrees if you want to be sure the outside doesn't cook too much more quickly than the inside.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Emme
      hotoynoodle Aug 28, 2013 06:14 AM

      i'm sorry, but why must people use "anal" when describing their methods with food?


      please see the chart above. doubling the recipe will still make the cake too thin.

      1. re: hotoynoodle
        Emme Aug 28, 2013 08:10 PM


    2. hotoynoodle Aug 27, 2013 08:23 AM


      an 8" round holds 6 cups of batter. a 9x13 holds 14 cups. even doubling the recipe, the cake will be too thin and you may still wind up with overcooked sides and undercooked center.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle
        Ttrockwood Aug 27, 2013 12:59 PM

        Ask me why i already know this..... ;)

        1. re: Ttrockwood
          hotoynoodle Aug 27, 2013 04:47 PM

          i done did some dumbassery in this arena myself. lol.

      2. k
        kseiverd Aug 27, 2013 06:52 AM

        I just did a little MATH!?! Assuming pans are the same depth (say 2"), the larger one is a little over 1.8 times volume of smaller one. NOT much into baking, but would probably just double recipe, but have a small (loaf) pan ready cuz I don't think all the batter will fit... without ricking a mess in oven.

        OOPS! I did my calculations on an 8" square pan... not pir2!!?

        1. MidwesternerTT Aug 27, 2013 06:18 AM

          If you plan to still split in half and frost layers, consider making two 8 inch cakes for easier handling. If the rectangular shape is important make in 8x8 pans and place side-by-side for final frosting.

          1. j
            jpc8015 Aug 27, 2013 03:42 AM

            An 8" round cake pan is about 50.25 square inches (pi*r squared). A 9" by 13" pan is 117 square inches. The rectangle pan is well more that twice the surface area so I would go ahead and double the recipe.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jpc8015
              Sooeygun Aug 27, 2013 05:39 AM

              I agree. I would double the recipe. I have doubled and 1.5'd many cake recipes for different sizes and shapes of pans and never had any trouble with rising, over/undercooking. If it looks like it will cook to fast on the edges and to slow in the middle, I double pan (set the pan with the cake in another empty pan...do this for cookies and scones too if they are getting too brown on the bottom).

              1. re: jpc8015
                cookie monster Aug 27, 2013 06:35 AM

                Agreed as well. There are many cake recipes that say they make enough for two 8" round pans, or one 9" by 13", or 24 cupcakes, etc. So don't think doubling this one for a 9" by 13" pan will cause any problems. It's not like trying to scale it 4 or 5 times. Baking time may be a little longer, and Sooeygun's double-panning suggestion is a good one if the edges are browning too quickly.

                1. re: jpc8015
                  jbsiegel Aug 27, 2013 05:25 PM

                  Yep - double it. I have a chocolate cake that I sometimes make in 8" (or 9") layers or else in a 9x13. The thickness is about the same so should work fine.

                  1. re: jbsiegel
                    hotoynoodle Aug 27, 2013 05:28 PM

                    for items like brownies/blondies/crumbles, that do not require lots of rise, i double without fear. not all cakes are that forgiving. it really depends on the recipe.

                2. l
                  Londonlinda Aug 27, 2013 02:37 AM

                  I had to do exactly this last week in making a celebration cake. I found this website useful, although the quantities are for a fruit cake, it gives the basic formula too.


                  1. t
                    Ttrockwood Aug 26, 2013 08:46 PM

                    Baking gets weird when you start scaling recipes up and down, for such an occassion (vs experiment on weekend alone) i recommend you follow the recipe exactly using the pan size asked for and make the original recipe twice
                    Cakes that go from round to rectangle can end up raw in the middle overcooked on the edges, or its too heavy and sinks, etcetc. Aka holiday meal crisis.

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