How to adjust pan size in baking


16 Jan How to adjust pan size in baking


What’s happening to me? The minute I went to photograph this dessert I thought, “Rats! I should have made the cobbler in a cast iron frying pan. It would have looked so much more rustic.”

Great. It’s not enough that I’m criticized for being a food snob. Now I’m about to push myself into a whole new level of visual elitism.

Be warned. Not only can this thought process harm your wallet, it can lead to culinary disaster. Using the correct pan size is crucial in baking. Believe me, I’ve scraped enough batter off the bottom of my oven to know you can’t cram big cake batter into a small cake pan. My only solution was, “Don’t do it.” But with an 8-inch cake stand and loads of recipes for 9-inch cakes, I needed a proper fix.


Fortunately, I surround myself with smart people.

Using Math to Calculate Pan Size

The solution: According to Anna Olson, you need to maintain the depth of the batter to avoid spillage. To do this you need to know:

  • the surface area
  • the percentage of batter the smaller pan holds

To double check my math, I turned to my cyber-friend Laura Laing, author of Math for Grownups: Relearn the Arithmetic You Forgot from School. (Adams Media © 2011). Ironically, the math I needed wasn’t found in her kitchen section. Instead, I found the required formula in two places. The first — surface area — was illustrated in the gardening section*. Technically, area = pi multiplied by the radius of the circle squared. But I can’t figure out how to type the squared symbol, so I’m going to settle on  A= π x r x r. For easy calculating, I’m rounding pi to 3.14.

First, I need to know the surface area of both pans:

  • Surface area for 9-inch round pan = 3.14 x 4.5 x 4.5 = 63.58
  • Surface area for 8-inch round pan = 3.14 x 4 x 4 =  50.24

Now I need to now the percentage of the smaller pan. For the ratio formula, I flipped to the section on crafts. Who knew knitting could be so handy? Here’s how much surface area the 8-inch round pan offers versus the 9-inch pan.

  • 50.24 / 63.58 x 100 = 79.02%

That’s 80% in my world. In order for the recipe to work, the 8-inch pan should hold only 80% of the batter intended for the 9-inch pan. So, you pour 80% of your batter into the 8- inch pan. (Use a scale to do this.) This ensures the height of the batter is approximately the same as the original recipe intended, and your cake won’t spill over.

And just what do you do with the remaining 20%? Anna says to bake cupcakes. I’d likely just end up eating it by the spoonful.

But wait. There’s more!

This is where math ends and the alchemy begins. Anna says you have to reduce the baking time “slightly”. How much is that? It depends on too many factors to calculate accurately. Reduce the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes, check the cake, and estimate additional cooking time from there  — if needed.

So, will my 10-inch cast iron frying pan work for the cobbler? Let’s see.

  • Area of 9-inch square pan = 9 x 9 = 81
  • Area of 10-inch round pan = 3.14 x 5 x 5 = 78.5
  • Percentage of batter the 10-inch pan will hold = 78.5 / 81 x 100 = 96.9 %

Close enough for me. Think I’ll go make another batch and test the theory in the real world.

Got a tricky kitchen calculation need solving? Ask away. With my calculator and a book of handy formulas, I’m unstoppable.

* For those who are curious about the book, the kitchen section in Math for Grownups help you can calculate how many tomatoes will fit in a jar, convert common measurements, estimate how long it takes to defrost a turkey (and then cook it!) and allow you to fiddle with measuring spoon fractions.

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  • Connie
    Posted at 10:56h, 16 January Reply

    Thanks for this post! Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way about proper pan sizes, especially with that double chocolate cake recipe I found on a blog. The blogger wrote that she used one 9″ round cake pan and 12 cups of a standard muffin tin. (She was saving the 9″ round in the freezer for later.) I estimated that a 13×9″ baking dish would be sufficient. Apparently it wasn’t! Later I found out that the recipe was adapted from a recipe that called for two 10″ rounds. No wonder it caused a hot mess in my oven. Now, I fill the pans no more than 2/3 full. I rather have a little left than having to clean the spill in the oven. I also use a sheet pan/cookie sheet underneath especially (possible) sticky messes, such as cobbler or pies.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:49h, 16 January Reply

      Doing the math, two 10-inch round is 157. But a 9 x 13 square is 117, which is 74.5% of the capacity. No wonder it was a mess.

      However, I admit, your 2/3 full rule is pretty practical. I’ll keep that in mind.

      Great idea to put a cookie sheet under cobbler or pies. Mine didn’t overflow, but pies can be unpredictable.

      Thanks for sharing your story and simple solutions! I’ll put my calculator away now…

  • Laura Laing
    Posted at 12:56h, 16 January Reply

    I’m not much of a baker (except for fruit pies), which is why you couldn’t find your problem in the kitchen section! So glad you found the book useful. Just goes to show that the same math can apply in lots of different places.

    And good on you for figuring out what you needed to do!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:11h, 16 January Reply

      Laura, I couldn’t find the answer to that question in ANY baking book. And believe me, over the years I have looked and looked.

      Thanks for writing such a helpful book!

  • melissa danielle
    Posted at 12:52h, 20 November Reply

    Ohhh, how I wish I paid more attention in math class. Just found this post which is not quite what I need but still very helpful. In my case, I need to figure out how to increase the ingredients properly to go from a 9×11 pan to 11×15 pan.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:28h, 20 November Reply

      Hmmm. This is a different problem entirely. You’re looking to fill a pan designed to hold 165 surface inches of batter with a recipe designed to provide 99. Scaling a recipe up by increments is always tricky since things like eggs don’t divide well. Your best bet would be to double the recipe (188 square inches of batter) and bake it in the bigger pan for a bit longer at 25°F lower. Since I have no idea what you are baking, this might not be a good suggestion. It will take longer for the item to bake because it will be slightly thicker and it will take longer for the heat to penetrate the centre given the larger pan size. So much depends on the actual recipe.

      If you go this route, write down what you did and how it turned out. You think you will remember, but if you’re like me you won’t. It might take you a couple of tweaks, but based on experience, where there’s a culinary will, there is a way! Good luck.

  • melissa danielle
    Posted at 18:21h, 20 November Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to think about it! I found a site that listed the pan sizes in cups, and a chef friend helped me figure out that I only needed to increase it by one and a half times, no temperature change. I’m attempting to remake Hostess brand Suzy Q’s, including the homemade marshmallow fluff.

    Thanks again!

  • cari
    Posted at 14:35h, 11 January Reply

    Well I just noticed its 2, 10 inch round pans I only have 3,9 inch round pans. What Can I do I don’t have a car to go buy pans. This is the recipe and I spent a lot of money on the ingredients.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:52h, 13 January Reply

      I’ve looked at the recipe and think the easiest thing to do is divide the batter evenly amongst your three 9-inch round pans. Bake them at the temperature specified, but reduce the cooking time so the cakes don’t dry out. Try testing them 10 minutes early to gauge their progress. Then, to get the required six layers, just cut each round in half. Actually, this is MUCH simpler than cutting a cake into three layers.

      Good luck with this. I’d love to hear how your cake turns out!

  • anastasia oconnell
    Posted at 16:45h, 19 February Reply

    i need a 9/9 pan can i use a 8/8 pan

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:32h, 19 February Reply

      Yes, but you’ll have too much batter. It could overflow. The math works regardless of pan shape. You need 81 square inches but will have only 64. 64 is 79% of 81, which is 80% in my books. That means you have to set 20% of the batter aside in order for it not to overflow. You can always make cupcakes with this leftover batter.

      Good luck.

  • Sam
    Posted at 11:30h, 11 April Reply

    How about if the problem works the other way? I have a recipe which calls for a 7″ round pan for a cherry madeira cake, and the ONLY cake tin I have is a loose bottomed 8″ one. I have never made a cake before, so this could be a disaster!
    What would your advice be please and how should I adjust the cooking time if you think I could still give this a go? The recipe calls for it to be baked at 160C for 11/4 – 11/2 hours.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:28h, 11 April Reply

      Hmm. I assume by “loose bottomed” you mean your pan has a removable bottom? If so, this kind of pan is designed so you can bake and then easily remove pies and quiches. It works because the pastry forms a barrier. However, it won’t work for cake batter. It would just spill out all over your oven floor.

      You’re better off trying to make cupcakes. Use a standard muffin tin (the type with 12 wells) and line the tins with paper muffin cups or grease and flour the wells so the cupcakes come out easily. Fill them 2/3 full. Leave the temperature at 160°C and bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes. Check them. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes based on how cooked they are.

      It’s not a perfect solution but it’s better than losing all your batter. (If by chance your pan is as standard 8-inch pan, try baking the cake in it and reduce the time by half an hour, checking at the 50 minute point.).

      I hope this helps!

  • mark mabon
    Posted at 10:09h, 19 April Reply

    thanks so much for this. idiot proof guide for an idiot making a 5 tier wedding cake (for friends) for the first time!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:43h, 19 April Reply

      You are braver than I am! Homemade cakes are always special. Your friend is lucky to have you.

      I’m sure it will be beautiful. I know it will be made with love.

  • Lenis
    Posted at 15:18h, 07 June Reply

    I have a recipe but i dont want to make so much cake as its only for 2 people, the recipe calls for 9 by 13 square and i have 7 by 9 inch square pan. Im so confused should i just make the recipe fully and then just not fill it too high or do u think i should completely change the amounts in the recipe which im scared of doing without further guidance…help!! Heres the recipe … Thanks

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:47h, 07 June Reply

      I’ve taken a look at the recipe. The 7X9 pan is just about half the size of the 9X13, so you can halve the recipe using the smaller pan. HOWEVER, the cake calls for 5 eggs and 1/3 cup milk, which are hard to halve. That said, because the cake is drizzled and then iced, I think you can get away with a less than perfect base. I say go for it. I’d love to hear how it works out!

  • Carrie
    Posted at 17:51h, 23 June Reply

    How about a conversion from two nine-inch rounds to three six-inch rounds (1.25 inches deep)? I’m making a little smash cake for my daughter. :) Thanks!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:00h, 23 June Reply

      The three 6-inch rounds will hold about 2/3 of the batter that the two 9-inch rounds will hold. You’ll have to make cupcakes with 1/3 of the batter and divide the remaining between the three small pans. Of course, you’ll have to reduce the cooking time. This isn’t a perfect method, but it will at least be a good start. Plus you’ll have cupcakes!

      Good luck. I hope your daughter loves her cake.

      • Carrie
        Posted at 02:12h, 24 June Reply

        Thanks – it turned out great!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 03:54h, 24 June Reply

          Super! I’m so glad to hear that. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know how it worked out. I really appreciate it.

          Hope your daughter enjoyed her cake!

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 22:51h, 26 June Reply

    Thanks for this – you just saved me a lot of time figuring it out on my own and math is not my forte!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:33h, 27 June Reply

      Math isn’t my strong point either :-) Glad you found this post helpful. I don’t worry about pan size nearly as much now that I know this trick.

      Happy baking!

  • Marta
    Posted at 07:58h, 26 July Reply

    Hi guys, I found an app for iPhone on the Apple store that do this, it is called CakeShape and it is a converter from one cake tin to another.

    Here is the link:

    I already tried it with 2 cakes and it works pretty good.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:47h, 26 July Reply

      Wow! I just checked it out briefly and it looks very helpful. You do need to plug in your ingredients, but if it saves a cake or two, then it’s definitely worth the time and $0.99 price tag. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

      • Frank
        Posted at 07:23h, 10 August Reply

        Hello Charmian, I am the dev of CakeShape :)
        I am really glad that you found my app useful. I have planned other updates with more features, so stay tuned… 😀
        And if you have some ideas to improve it, do not hesitate to contact me.

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 00:56h, 17 August Reply

          I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it. If I have a suggestion, I’ll let you know. Good luck with the updates!

        • Denise
          Posted at 19:39h, 27 August Reply

          You need to make the app available for droids as well. TKU.

          • Charmian Christie
            Posted at 00:17h, 28 August

            I’m not sure all the platforms the Cakeshape app runs on. I’ll pass your suggestion along. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

          • Frank
            Posted at 15:33h, 29 August

            I know Denise. In the next 2 months 😉
            Thank you the advice

  • Janet
    Posted at 18:31h, 24 November Reply

    My recipe for carrot cake calls for using two nine inch round pans and baking for 50 minutes. I would like to bake the recipe in a 9X13X2 inch pan. How long would I bake it for in the 9X13X2 inch pan?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:32h, 25 November Reply

      This is a bit tricky since carrot cake tends to be heavy. Doing the math, the two rounds require about 127 square inches of surface space combined. The 9×13 provides only 117, and so will be about 10% thicker. Since I don’t know how deep the rounds are meant to be, I’m only guessing here. I’m not sure it will cook without overflowing and I’m not sure the centre will set properly since carrot cake tends to be very moist and heavy. If you have a bundt pan, that might be a safer way to bake it since it will cook from the centre out as well as the outside in.

      That said, if you want to try the 9X13, I’d bake it for at least 15 minutes longer, but think it could take more like 20. Switchin pan size isn’t an exact science, so I’d check the cake at 60 minutes and see how set it is. Good luck. I love carrot cake and would hate to see it go to waste!

      • Janet
        Posted at 19:13h, 26 November Reply

        Thank you, Christie, for your reply. The 9″ round cake pans I have used are 1 1/2 inches deep. The 9X13 is two inches deep so hopefully it won’t overflow when I give it a shot!
        I have a delicious and easy recipe for carrot cake if you would like me to email it to you.

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 10:47h, 30 November Reply

          Glad to help, Janet. I’d love to hear how your cake turns out. I’m always curious about recipes and would love to see what you’re making. You can email me via my contact form. Happy baking!

  • Jen
    Posted at 19:33h, 05 December Reply

    Hi Charmian,
    I found a recipe that calls for a 9 inch round pans that are 2 inches high. I would like to experiment using 2 mini spring form pans instead and was wondering what the calculations would be. Could you please do the math for me, below are the ingredients listed.
    8 ounces chocolate
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 ¾ cups sliced almonds
    ¼ cup Flour Mix
    ½ teaspoon salt
    5 large eggs
    ¾ cup sugar
    ½ cup fresh raspberries, plus 16 berries for garnish
    ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam

    Chocolate Ganache
    5 ounces chocolate
    ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

    Thank you,

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:23h, 06 December Reply

      Thanks for sending the ingredients, unfortunately, my calculations are based soley on pan size. I can’t help since I don’t know the size and shape of the mini-pans. There is an iPhone app, CakeShape, that takes ingredients into account as well as pan size. It might be useful if you feel the texture of the cake will be an issue. My method assumes a standard cake.

      I know it’s tempting, sometimes essential, to swap pan sizes, but it’s always a risk — especially if you’ve never made the recipe before.

  • Katie Olds
    Posted at 16:07h, 23 December Reply

    Hi, hoping to get some insight. My recipe calls for a 9 x 13 baking pan but I only have a 8 x 11.. Do I have to make any conversions or will this still be okay to use?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:24h, 23 December Reply

      By my calculations, your 8×11 pan will hold only 75% of the intended batter. If you put the entire recipe in it will likely spill over. I wouldn’t recommend doing this. Your best bet, is to put 3/4 of the batter into the 8 x 11 and then make cupcakes with the remaining batter.

      All the best with your baking!

  • Kim
    Posted at 21:32h, 27 December Reply

    Hi there!
    I have a recipe for Apple Cheesecake that I got from a restaurant. It’s a commercial size recipe and calls for a 12″ springform pan. I want to make a smaller cake, perhaps halve the recipe. What size pan would I use–6″?


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:21h, 28 December Reply

      If you halve the recipe, the best bet would be to use a 9-inch round springform pan since it holds just slightly more than 50% of a 12-inch pan. I know a 6-inch sounds like half, but because of how you calculate the area of a circle (pi X radius squared) it’s not as simple as halving the pan width. Here’s the math. It’s a bit surprising.

      a 12-inch round pan = 3.14 X 6 X 6 = 113
      a 9-inch round pan = 3.14 X 4.5 X 4.5 = 63.58 (this is about 56% of the 12-inch pan)
      a 6-inch round pan = 3.14 X 3 X 3 = 28.26 (this is about 25% of a 12-inch pan and would be far too small)

      Good luck with your Apple Cheesecake. I hope your half recipe turns out nicely! I’d love to hear if this worked for you.

  • Sandra
    Posted at 14:52h, 18 April Reply

    Hi Charmain,

    I need to increase a cake size from a 9 inch 2 layer round cake to a 10 inch 2 layer round cake. I want the 10 inch layers nice and tall. Should I double the recipe? Previously using 1.5 times the batter resulted in pretty flat 10 inch layers.
    Thank you!


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:30h, 18 April Reply

      It’s always tricky since some cakes can double nicely and others don’t. Since you’ve already done 1.5 recipes and found it wanting you could probably double the original recipe to produce a high 10-inch version. I say this assuming the cake turned out nicely when you made 1.5 recipes. If, on the other hand, it was heavy and failed to rise or cook properly in the centre, an alternative might be to double the recipe and make 3 10-inch cakes. I’m not sure if that will produce the results you’re looking.

      All the best with this cake adventure. I’d love to know what you did and how it turned out.

  • fadwa
    Posted at 18:27h, 24 July Reply

    i have recipe for squars from companys coming and most of them are for 9 by 9 inch pan i want to use 9 by 13 pan what to do???

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 22:11h, 24 July Reply

      A lot depends on the recipe itself. If the square is a single layer and reasonably thick, then you could use the 9 X 13 pan and reduce the cooking time. Your batter will be spread more thinly, but most squares are moist enough to cope.

      If the square is thin and/or has multiple layers, the 9 x 13 pan is likely too big and your squares will dry out or burn. If this is the case, you could use an 8 x 8 and increase cooking time or you could try this old trick. Place a brick along one short side of the 9 x 13 pan to create a roughly 9 x 9 pan. Pad any gaps between the pan edge and brick with crumpled aluminum foil. Line the pan with aluminum foil, molding it over the brick. Spray with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the pan. The brick will act as a dam. Bake your squares until done (it might take longer since the brick can effect the temperature).

      Good luck!

  • Jacquie
    Posted at 11:07h, 13 August Reply

    Hello! I’m making a chocolate cola cake for my brother-in-law’s birthday tomorrow. All the recipes I can find call for a 10″ spring form tin. I only have an 8″ silicone. This silicone is deeper than a tin would be so I had thought if keeping the recipe the same and just cooking it for a bit longer. What would your advise be? Many hopeful thanks in advance :-)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:31h, 13 August Reply

      I wouldn’t advise it. Numbers are deceiving. While an 8-inch round cake pan sounds only slightly smaller than a 10-inch, the larger pan will hold almost 64% more batter. Unless the 8-inch pan is really, really deep, the cake is likely to spill over. Plus, being so deep, the batter might not cook all the way through very well.

      I’d put 2/3 of the batter into the 8-inch pan and make cupcakes with the remaining batter.

      I hope this helps and that your brother enjoys his birthday cake no matter what size pan it comes in.

  • Jacquie
    Posted at 14:15h, 13 August Reply

    Thank you for replying – I’ll go and try that!

  • Danielle
    Posted at 20:44h, 27 September Reply

    Hi, im baking this sponge cake and it asks for a 7.1 inch round cake pan, the problem is I only have a 11inch spring form pan and I need the cake for tomorrow, any idea what to do?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 20:45h, 28 September Reply

      I think I’m too late. The easy answer is make cupcakes.

      Not the solution? The small pan has a surface area of about 40 inches. The 11-inch pan has a surface area of almost 95. You might get away with doubling the recipe (2 1/2 recipes would be better but that can be tricky). Keep in mind you would have to adjust the baking time. Some recipes double nicely. Others don’t. It’s risky if you’re not familiar with the recipe.

      Yeah. Definitely go the cupcake route if you can.

  • Erin
    Posted at 17:46h, 30 October Reply

    I have a cheesecake question. I have a recipe for a light cheesecake, 10 inch springform. 200 degrees F, for 3 hours. I want to make mini cheesecakes in 4.5 inch springform pans. 10 inch springform is about 12 cups volume, and 4.5 inch springform is about 2 cups volume. I plan to cut the recipe in half, so only 3 mini springforms. How long should I bake them?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:24h, 30 October Reply

      That’s a tricky one. Kudos for doing the math! The alchemy of timing is never an exact science.

      Mini-cheesecakes are usually made in muffin tins, and the heat is set at about 300°F. Normally, they bake for less than half an hour. I know the pan you’re using is larger than a muffin tin, but it’s substantially smaller than a 10-inch pan. I’d up the heat to 300°F and check them at about 20 to 25 minutes. They are cooked when the edges are set but the centres jiggle if you shake the pan.

      Good luck! I’d love to know what the final timing is.

  • Dawn
    Posted at 07:12h, 25 November Reply

    I am making dressing for thanksgiving and my recipe calls for a 10 inch cast iron skillet.. Which i don’t have. Will a 9×13 glass casserole pan work??

    • Dawn
      Posted at 07:19h, 25 November Reply

      Calls for the skillet for the cornbread…that’s what I am needing the math for… Sorry :)

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 19:32h, 26 November Reply

        Cast-iron and glass have very different rates of heat transfer. I think you will have an issue not only with the pan size, but also with the material used.

        The 9 x 13 glass pan will hold about 1 1/2 times the amount the 10 inch cast-iron skillet will. If you were making a single recipe the cornbread will be quite thin.
        That said, cornbread is likely very forgiving and as long as you keep an eye on the baked goods the larger glass pan is probably okay. I would check the cornbread at about the halfway mark to gauge how much longer it will need to cook. You will need to use texture instead of timing.

        I hope this helps and that your cornbread turns out as you intend.

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 20:15h, 26 November Reply

        One more thing. To compensate for the glass baking dish, you might want to lower the oven temperature by 25C.

  • Susanne
    Posted at 09:15h, 04 December Reply

    I found a great sheet cake recipe that calls for a 13 x 18 x 1 inch sheet pan but it looks like a pretty thin layer. As my cake pan is 13 x 18 x 2 inches high, I’d like to double the recipe so the layer is a bit taller.
    Can you tell me if this would work – assume I’d need to bake a bit longer? Any advice welcome, it’s for my daughter’s 7th birthday on Saturday! Thanks. Susanne

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  • Sanmati Hiregoudar
    Posted at 02:29h, 08 February Reply

    Hey thanks a ton for the insight!!! Charmian and Laura you made me a mathematician!!

    I have an issue here: (may fit snugly into the chain of comments,sorry)

    1) When a recipe asks for 2 same size cake pans for a layer/sandwich cake, am in a fix as my oven is small to fit to pans simultaneously. Is there a way out? I do not want to cut the cake into half. I am eager to bake a Victoria sponge cake. Something like this:

    PLease help!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:26h, 09 February Reply

      This IS a challenge. I had a tiny oven for years. You can bake them one at a time but this might cause issues with the batter. The first cake will be fine, but the second might suffer from sitting for a half hour. An option might be to bake them at the same time but on different racks, switching half way through the baking. Good luck with this!

      • Sanmati Hiregoudar
        Posted at 07:22h, 12 February Reply

        Thank you for all the hep!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 10:47h, 16 February Reply

          Glad to assist. I figure if I struggled with this others did too.

          Keep baking!

  • sarah
    Posted at 15:56h, 25 February Reply

    Hi charmain, i have a recipe that asks for a 25cm tube pan but i only have a 28 cm tube pan
    can i use it ? And if i reduced the time of baking will it work?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:08h, 25 February Reply

      Using a slightly larger tube pan won’t be an issue. Going to a smaller pan often means the cake spills over. The larger pan will hold the batter easily.

      You’re right in thinking you will need to reduce the baking time since the cake won’t be as deep. I’d check the cake 15 to 20 minutes before the suggested time and gauge from there.

      Good luck! Let me know how your cake turns out!

  • sarah
    Posted at 12:29h, 26 February Reply

    Thanks charmian you are the best

  • Bowie Tan
    Posted at 00:35h, 24 April Reply

    Hi, i found a jap soft cotton cheese cake recipe and calls for 9×13 but i only have a 8″ round cake pan, Please kindly advice if i have multiple by 0.42 on all ingredients as listed below and baking time should be longer on lower temp? and also using water bath method? THanks

    ++ 1 box of cream cheese (224-226g)
    ++ 50g butter (unsalted)
    ++ 240g milk

    ++ 8 egg yolks

    ++ 60g corn starch
    ++ 80g cake flour

    ++ 8 egg whites -3
    ++ 125g sugar

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:06h, 24 April Reply

      Great question! I see you’ve done the math very accurately, but it’s hard to scale down a recipe that precisely when it’s based on so many eggs. An 8-inch round is about half a 9×13, so I would simply halve the recipe. This will produce a more accurate filling.

      As for the baking, does the recipe call for a water bath or not? Most recipes without starch call for a water bath. Recipes with starch may or may not. I’d follow the recipe with respect to the water bath (or lack thereof) and also bake the cake at the temperature required. Most cheesecakes cook low and slow so cracking shouldn’t be an issue. Normally, you shouldn’t open the oven to check on a cheesecake, but I’d check on this scaled down version about 20 minutes early. You want the outside to be cooked but the centre to remain jiggly when lightly shaken. Once the cake is cooked to this stage, I’d turn off the heat and leave the cake to sit in the closed oven for another hour. It should then be refrigerated several hours or overnight.

      This should do the trick. If you try it, I’d love to know how it turns out. Hope this helps.

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 08:32h, 25 April Reply

    Hi there – you are officially the queen of cake baking adjustments!! I’m attempting to make this ( ) amazing looking cake for my husbands bday in a week.
    The problem is that i’m expecting around 20 people and need to make the cake bigger to feed everyone. The recipe makes a double layer 9 inch round cake. I was hoping to double the recipe and make it a double layer 9 x 13″ rectangle. Would this even work??? would it make more sense to buy bigger round pans and try to make it bigger that way? urrrgggg. this is bringing up all kinds of mathematical nightmares from highschool 😉

    thanks a bunch!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:08h, 25 April Reply

      I’m not sure how official my title is, but I’ll take the honorary version of Queen any day.

      Thanks for the link. It does help to see the recipe. This is a VERY dense cake and won’t convert as flawlessly as a light cake. That said, I’m drooling. It looks fabulous! I’m sure your husband and guests will love it no matter how it’s served! Technically, you can double the recipe and bake it in a 9 X 13 since that’s just slightly bigger than 2 9-inch rounds. But I’m worried that it would be just too heavy to make into a layer cake. I can’t see you getting the cake assembled in one piece. I’m not sure what size pans you own and it doesn’t make sense to buy pans for one occasion (unless you’re me and would find an excuse to use them again) so I’m presenting a few options. Any of these will work since this cake will taste amazing. Pick the one that makes the most sense to you.

      If you own 9-inch rounds, I would make one batch of cake like the recipe says and use that as your “Happy Birthday” cake. Then you can make a second batch as a single layer 9×13, leave it in the pan and serve squares to those who didn’t get a layer piece. I think it could take up to 60 minutes to cook this larger version, so check it with a cake tester after an extra 10 minutes to see how it’s coming along.

      If you own only a 9 X 13, you can bake the batter in the pan (cooking it longer) and see how it turns out. If it comes out of the pan neatly, you can make the second layer and assemble the cake. As I said, I’m worried it will not be cooperative. You will likely need a second set of hands for the assembly and a bit of patience. If one cake breaks coming out of the pan, put that as the bottom layer. Alternatively, you can place two 9X 13 cakes side by side and just have a very big single layer cake iced to look like one. Keep in mind, whether the cake is stacked or presented side-by-side, this option will be VERY heavy. Make sure you put it on a very sturdy surface. I suggest a thick piece of plywood covered in foil. Cardboard would collapse. Ask me how I know. Just to be clear, this is my least favourite option as it will be cumbersome.

      Alternatively, you can make one 9 x 13 cake, cover it in the buttercream and serve it as the birthday cake. To make sure everyone has cake, make the second batch as cupcakes and serve them topped with buttercream swirls.

      I hope this helps and that I retain my title as Queen. I think this is the closest I will ever get to royalty. Let me know what you decide to do and how it turns out. And happy birthday to your husband!

      • Stephanie
        Posted at 19:51h, 25 April Reply

        ummm…you are amazing!!! what a thorough and well thought out response! You make a very good point about the denseness of the cake being an issue for the 9×13 layer version. The last thing i need to worry about is sticky date cake dripping and cracking all over the place. After thinking through your ideas i think i’m going to go with the original cake (9 inch rounds) and make a second batch into cupcakes. they would also be delicious and look marvellous around the cake. What do you think the cooking time difference would be? I’m thinking lower the temp a bit and check them after 20-25mins?

        thanks again! I wish you were my next door neighbour! how amazing would it be to have a personal baking guru right next door. I just happened to stumble across your blog while looking up cake pan conversions. I will definitely be adding you to my food blog rounds!

        • Charmian Christie
          Posted at 19:39h, 26 April Reply

          I’m more than happy to help. I think putting the cupcakes around the cake will look fantastic. I rarely lower the temperature when converting a cake to cupcakes, and hesitate to fiddle with the heat. The recipe allows for a 6-inch cake by halving the ingredients. This smaller cake calls for a reduced baking time, but the same temperature. With this as a guide, I’d leave the temperature as is and check the cupcakes early– say at 18 or 20 minutes. They might well take 25, but testing them early will give you a more accurate indication.

          Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you discovered my site and found my suggestions useful. I hope your husband likes the cake(s) and appreciates all the effort you’re putting into making sure they turn out perfectly. He’s a lucky man!

          I live in Canada and we have just had two horrendous winters back to back. Given the frigid weather, even with daily baking, you would not want to be my next door neighbour (at least not between November and May). Fortunately, thanks to the Internet we can all be neighbours! Yes, it makes borrowing a cup of sugar a challenge, but the exchange of information rarely gets delayed due to snow. :-)

          Let me know how the cupcakes turn out. And I hope the whole party is a smashing success!

  • Gina
    Posted at 22:00h, 29 June Reply the website and recipes! Hoping for some wee help with a
    cake conversion. The cake I plan on baking for my daughter’s bridal shower
    calls for 3 “8” pans. I only have 3 ” 9″ pans? I was thinking of making 2 layers
    with 9″ with a few cupcakes with extra batter? Love your help?


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:58h, 01 July Reply

      Hi Gina,

      A bridal shower! How exciting! Your daughter is very lucky to have a mom who makes homemade cake!

      You can do a couple of things. Your suggestion of two 9-inch cakes and cupcakes is great. Especially if there are young children attending. OR, if you want a three-layer cake (assuming that is the initial intent of the recipe), make three 9-inch cakes. The batter will be spread more thinly and the cakes will cook in less time (try reducing by at least 10 minutes) but you will get your three layers. The cake will be more stable than the 8-inch version as an added bonus.

      Hope this helps and that your daughter’s shower is a great success.

  • Ana
    Posted at 10:09h, 19 August Reply

    Hello, I want to bake a cake in a 14.5x11in sheet pan to carve it into a certain shape but the recipe ask for three 9in round baking pan. Do I just use the recipe without changing it?

    Also if I wanna use he sheet pan for a recipe what ask for two 9in round baking pan do I double the recipe?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:20h, 19 August Reply

      Ana, my mom used to carve cakes from sheet pans. I loved it! From the looks of it, this project is doable. I’ve done the math, if you’ll bear with me…

      a) The sheet pan has a surface area of about 160 square inches.

      b) The German chocolate cake calls for 3 9-inch rounds. This equals about 190 square inches. This means your have more batter by about 30 square inches, which is about 15% more than the pan should hold. You should never fill a pan more than 2/3 full. Since I don’t know how deep your pan is, I’d make the recipe as is but scoop 4 cupcakes (to prevent it from spilling over) then pour the rest of the batter into the sheet pan. The cupcakes will bake in about 20 minutes, the cake will take longer than the original recipe calls for. Use a cake tester to make sure it’s done.

      c) The yellow cake, which calls for 2 9-inch rounds is easier. In makes enough batter for about 130 square inches. You’re now 30 square inches under. Make the recipe as is and pour all the batter into the sheet pan. The cake will be thinner than if you used the round pans, but will cook nicely. It will take less time to cook, so check the cake with a tester at the 25 minute mark and gauge the baking from there.

      I hope this help and that you have success with your cakes.

  • Beretta
    Posted at 08:36h, 13 November Reply

    I bought a9x13 spring form pan to make a cheesecake but it didn’t come with a recipe. I need one please help.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:27h, 14 November Reply

      You can use any cheesecake recipe designed for a 10-inch round pan. The baking time should be reduced but cheesecake bakes long and slow so as long as you bake until the the sides are set and the centre jiggles slightly you should be fine. Alternatively, you can double any cheesecake recipe designed for an 8-inch round and bake slightly longer. Good luck with your cheesecake!

  • Luccia
    Posted at 08:39h, 28 November Reply

    How many 5×3″ pans for the Joy of cooking pound cake recipe? I don’t want to learn math all over again. Please just answer this question. I was NEVER good @ math. I will look for the answer on the website, ASAP! Thank you!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 08:48h, 28 November Reply

      I assume you’re talking about the recipe that makes two 9X5 inch loaves? If so, then it would make six (6) 5×3 inch pans. Reduce the baking time.

      Good luck.

  • Luccia
    Posted at 08:42h, 28 November Reply

    The comment I just sent.

    • Luccia
      Posted at 21:35h, 01 December Reply

      Thank you for the ans. It’s so nice to receive a straight ans. to a question. 6-5×4 pans. Thanks again. Ciao! Luccia

      • Charmian Christie
        Posted at 14:20h, 03 December Reply

        Glad to help. Enjoy your pound cake!

  • Andrea Ross
    Posted at 20:56h, 22 April Reply

    I have a two-layer red velvet cake recipe for 9″x1.5.” pans. Customer wants two-layer 10″x3″ round cake. How do I adjust the recipe?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:07h, 22 April Reply

      It sounds like your customer wants a cake twice as thick as you normally make and slightly bigger in circumference. If I’m understanding you correctly, the easiest thing to do would be to double the recipe and divide it evenly between the two 10-inch pans. You will have to bake the cakes longer and at a slightly lower temperature to ensure they bake all the way through. I’d definitely test drive this first. Maybe make a single recipe and put it all in the 10-inch cake pan, bake it at 25°F lower than you normally would, and see how it takes. I’m always hesitant to make a cake deeper for fear it will be too heavy. If the double-thick cake doesn’t work, you might want to make four 10-inch layers. Would your customer be open to that?

      I hope this help. I’d love to know how it turns out for you!

  • Abel Belay
    Posted at 08:34h, 27 May Reply

    Hi there! I have come upon a small problem. I have an order for 25meter cake. I have to make the cakes in a GN1/1 form. Which is 32*53cm. I am not sure to what extent i should double recipes for one form and how much icing and filling it requires. I think i might have gone over my capacity this time. I need some guidance.

  • Abel Belay
    Posted at 08:45h, 27 May Reply

    Hi there! I have come upon a small problem. I have an order for 25meter cake. I have to make the cakes in a GN1/1 form. Which is 32*53cm. I am not sure to what extent i should double recipes for one form and how much icing and filling it requires. I think i might have gone over my capacity this time. I need some guidance. Please!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:59h, 27 May Reply

      This sounds like quite the dilemma! Sorry, but I’m not sure I understand your problem. A 25 meter cake is longer than my kitchen. Do you mean you have an order for a cake that is 2.5 meters or .25 meters? I specialize in baking for the home kitchen, but if you give me more details, I might be able to give you some ballpark estimates. If you haven’t already, have you reached out to any professional cake bakers in your area? They might have the answer for you more quickly.

      Good luck with your cake! I feel your stress vicariously and hope it turns out well.

  • Diva
    Posted at 08:00h, 28 September Reply


    I’m making a three tiered cake for my brother’s engagement party and the recipe is for 8 inch pans. My pans are 10inch…how much more batter will I need to go from an 8inch to a 10inch?



    • Diva
      Posted at 08:07h, 28 September Reply

      Oh sorry, the recipe is for three 6 inch or two 8 inch, and I want to make three 10inch. What shall I multiply my batter by? I’m thinking double should be about right?

  • Diva
    Posted at 08:07h, 28 September Reply

    Oh sorry, the recipe is for three 6 inch or two 8 inch, and I want to make three 10inch. What shall I multiply my batter by? I’m thinking double should be about right?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:09h, 28 September Reply

      Hi Diva,

      I would actually TRIPLE the recipe. I think double might be a bit thin. That said, don’t just triple the ingredients. Some cakes double well. Few triple well. I would make a single recipe and see how it fills the 10-inch pan. Don’t fill more than 2/3 full. You might get away with only a second batch. You might need to make a third. A lot depends on the recipe itself. Sorry I can’t be more specific but there are too many unknown factors, and it’s better to err on the side of caution when it comes to family weddings.

      Regardless, I’m sure your brother and his fiancee will be thrilled with a homemade cake. All the best with your baking.

  • Niki
    Posted at 14:18h, 28 September Reply

    I’m making a 3 tier cake (10″, 8″ and 6″) they’re all 3″ deep. How do I convert the recipe to fit the 6″ if I’m just making a taster cake. When I make the 3 I’ll have batter leftover no biggie but I just want to reduce the recipe to make one 6″x3″ round cake pan. The original recipe is for 2-9″ round cakes. My friend wants to try it before I go ahead with the full on 3 tier cake but I don’t want to make the whole cake and waste batter so I just want to make a sample 6″

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 19:15h, 28 September Reply

      I’ve never been asked to scale back a cake, but I certainly see why you don’t want to make a full batch for a taster. I have no idea what ingredients are involved or the technique required, but you’re usually safe if you halve the recipe. I wouldn’t go much below half . So… if possible, halve the recipe, make one taster cake and make cupcakes with any leftover batter. These can be sent home with your friends for family members to sample (or you can eat them yourself as a reward!)

      I hope this helps!

  • Mini.S
    Posted at 02:44h, 09 October Reply


    It may be a silly question but I would love to hear your answer. I am baking lasagna in 19.5 by 11.5 inch aluminium foil pan. It is of course very heavy after all the layering. Can I double the pan & bake it so I can carry it without bending? How much temperature & time I should use?. Any help will be highly appreciated. thank you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 14:07h, 16 October Reply

      Great question! I would put a rimmed baking sheet under the aluminum foil pan for stability. I’m not sure even a second aluminum pan would be strong enough. A rimmed baking sheet will keep the lasagna pan’s bottom stable and its sides will prevent the lasagna from shifting when you put it in or take it out of the oven.

      I’m not sure what temperature your recipes suggests, but between 350°F and 375°F would be safe. Timing? Bigger and thicker takes longer, so I’d guess a good hour to 90 minutes. And allow for at least 15 minutes for the lasagna to cool enough to “set” so you can serve it. Not knowing the original recipe means I’m only guessing. Bake until the lasagna bubbles, browned on top and hot all the way through.

      Hope this helps.

  • Cat
    Posted at 03:58h, 31 October Reply

    I’m planning on making smaller Christmas cakes but I’m looking to see how long it would take for them too cook, I usually bake in 9″ cake tin 4″ deep round tin and this cooks for 3 hrs. I’m planning on making my cake in 5″ cake tin 2″ deep round tin so I’m looking to see how long it would cook for.
    Hope to hear back from you

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:24h, 18 November Reply

      Timing is tricky, especially with a dense cake like Christmas cake. I’d test the cake after 90 minutes to get an idea of how well it’s cooking. You’ll have to gauge it from there, but I can’t imagine it taking more than 2 hours. Good luck with the cake! Have a wonderful holiday.

  • Kate
    Posted at 10:06h, 25 January Reply

    Hi Charmain, loving this site. It’s very insightful. I was just wondering if you have come across ‘Baking It’ at all?

    Full disclosure first – I am the Customer Success Champion from Baking It. If you need any help with our software get in touch via the website. We look forward to seeing you over at Baking It.

    Over at ‘Baking It’ one of our features is being able to store, convert and scale all of your recipes. The software works in all units of measurement and is adaptable to US, UK, AUS & CA.

    This is just one of it’s features; the aim of the software is a place where people who run any kind of baking business can manage and organise their business in one place. Leaving the baker time to do what they love – Bake!!

    If you get chance we love to hear from professional bakers and their thoughts on our software. Pop over and check us out.

  • Chenade Linton-Vaughan
    Posted at 13:16h, 23 May Reply


    I wonder if you could help me with your fantastic mathematics qualities. :-)

    I have a 9inch chocolate cake recipe I have used this to make an 8inch layer cake.. with nice deep layers.. but now I would like to increase the mixture to bake in a 10inch pan. Both are round.

    What do you recommend I multiply my batter by? Or would you recommend I make 3 single batters to fill each tin?

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Many thanks in advance

  • Elaine
    Posted at 15:19h, 10 October Reply

    Can I halve a sheet cake recipe and use a 9 by 13 pan

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:43h, 10 October Reply

      A standard sheet cake is 16” X 24” (384 square inches of surface space). A half sheet its 192 square inches, while a 9X13 pan yields only 117 square inches, which is closer to 1/3 a full sheet cake rather than a half. If you halve the sheetcake recipe, it will be too much for the 9×13 pan. However, even thinking of dividing a recipe by 1/3 hurts my brain. Instead, I’d make a half recipe of cake, fill the 9×13 no more than 2/3 full and use the remaining batter to make cupcakes.

      Good luck with you cake.

  • Daryl Close
    Posted at 17:58h, 27 December Reply

    Many of our favorite recipes are by Maida Heatter. Some call for a 9 x 3.5 tube pan, which we have. However, other favorites like her Kentucky Pound Cake call for a 10 x 4 tube pan, so the recipe overflows our 9 x 3. I have scoured the Internet for a true straight-sided 10 x 4 tube pan (= 25 x 10 cm) with no luck. We don’t want to use a slope-sided angel food pan for both baking and presentation reasons.

    Do you know of a source for a 10 x 4 tube pan (preferably springform to accommodate cheesecakes as well as pound cakes and bundt style cakes.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 18:20h, 01 January Reply

      I don’t know of a source that could supply what you’re asking for. After iffy results with other brands, I now use only Nordicware for my bundt /tube cakes. I don’t think they have springform versions. I’m in Canada, so our access to bakeware might differ. That said, you might not need to buy another pan. If your 9X3 tube pan is the right shape, maybe you can use it for the Kentucky Pound Cake and make cupcakes with the extra batter? Based on the Maida Heatter recipe, you will know how full to fill the pan. Bake the leftover batter as mini-loafs, cupcakes or baby bundts.

      Good luck with this. I know pan sizes are a source of frustration for many, many people. Hope your baking turns out well.

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