How and why to turn (almost) any cake recipe into 6-inch mini cakes

Start Small

While dividing ingredients usually works, it can also be easier to look for recipes that already make a smaller batch, especially if the recipe you’re trying to make starts off very large.

“Baking is a science, so it is extremely important to maintain the correct ratio and formula even when cutting a recipe in half,” explains Elizabeth Nelson, test kitchen manager at Wilton, a global leader in baking and cake decorating. Nelson answered every query we had on small-batch baking—from cook times, temperatures, conversions, and cookware, to what on earth you’re supposed to do when asked to cut a single egg in half.

Admittedly, I’ve never once thought to halve a recipe for any dessert I’m making because in my book, I’d always rather have more sweets than fewer. You, however, might not have quite the sweet tooth I do. In the case that you’re looking to halve a recipe, you might find some mathematical and logistical hurdles, like how to halve an egg or figuring which size baking pan to use. You can, in fact, still make a great baked good at half the size. Here’s a mini-primer on how to accurately downsize baking recipes.

First: an obligatory PSA that you should definitely be baking with a scale, especially if you are a chronic recipe cutter-downer. Scaling recipes by half, quarter, or whatever else is just so easy, effortless, and accurate when you use weights; I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you now to please just buy a scale. (Use it. Love it. Thank me later.)

If you wonder how to adjust cake recipe for different size pans, here is a handy guide plus a free printable to adapting your recipe. Just have some math nearby while you do so!

Let’s say that you have a round pan 8 inches in diameter and 2 inches high, but you want to make a round cake in a mold of 6 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches high.

The cake pan calculator calculates the baking pan sizes if the height of the pans remains constant.

But is there a solution to adjust the sizes of baking pans for any recipe? With just some math, it is not as hard as you might think.

You will be surprised, but the basic math from your elementary school is an essential tool in the kitchen.

If you know how to divide and multiply, you will master all the baking conversions. And this guide comes right up with one of them.

Download the free baking pan conversion chart printable below.

The humble casserole is a one pan wonder — it serves as a side dish like a broccoli cheese casserole, main course such as a lasagna, or a decadent dessert. Whether they’re prepared for a make ahead meal, weeknight dinner, or to feed a crowd at a potluck, casseroles are a comforting, delicious, and versatile dish. As varied and convenient as the end result can be, there are a few drawbacks to casseroles. They’re wonderful when they’re prepared flawlessly, but ask anyone that has made an overcooked or soupy casserole and they’re likely to tell you a lot of work and time went into preparing it only to have it fail.

As detailed by MyRecipes, casserole blunders occur when you have a burnt top layer and undercooked filling or perhaps worse, rice, noodles, or vegetables turning to mush. If you’ve continuously had a problem with the filling turning out either mushy or undercooked, then try par-cooking beforehand. To par-cook something is to partially cook it, and as detailed by Martha Stewart, par-cooking pasta and vegetables is a way to ensure your casserole turns out perfect.

Choosing the right dish

Another method that you can incorporate the next time you’re making a casserole that will reduce your oven time, as well as help reduce your failure rate, comes down to what you’re cooking it in. It’s worth investing in some time before you cook and making sure your casserole is in the right-sized dish. According to Allrecipes, using the correct size can save on baking time, which will in turn help reduce over or undercooking.

As noted by Eat This, Not That!, you should only fill your dish to three-quarters of its height, so placing your casserole into a standard 9 x 13 baking dish and putting it into the oven isn’t the best plan. The next time you make a casserole, remember with some thoughtful planning ahead and adhering to these casserole tips, you can reduce the time it takes to bake your casserole and end up with a better end product, too.

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If you have ever prepared a pie crust that had to be baked in the oven before you added the filling you were “blind baking.” Recipes that call for blind baking include something like a lemon chiffon pie or a chocolate cream pie. These pies require a cooked crust but these fillings do not need to be baked.

Fruit pies also work best with a pre-baked crust because if they were cooked at the same time with a raw crust, the bottom would end up being soggy. Tart shells, which are just individual pies, utilize blind baking as well and look and taste great once a fruit or cream based filling is added.

Even seasoned bakers have experienced a pie crust that ended up shrinking or even dropping from the sides. Are there any things you can do in advance so you don’t have to wait until the crust has finished baking to see that you are going to have to start over?

1 – Use the Right Pie Pan

The best pans to use to keep your pie crust from shrinking are either ceramic or metal. Glass pans have a slippery surface making it easier for the crust to slide down.

When you are placing the crust in the pie pan try to keep the top a little bit higher. Crimp it deeply around the edges pressing it into the pan making it less likely to slip down.

2 – Knead the Dough Sparingly

When you knead the dough it creates gluten. That is fine but if you work it too much it will make the dough very elastic, which makes it easy to work with but it also makes it more susceptible to shrink in shape. It becomes even more retractable once it is placed in the oven and it faces the heat.

3 – Use as Little Water as You Can

When you are making your own dough you may come upon the part where you are directed to add more water. This is included so that it will help the dough come together.

While it is an important step in making a good pie crust, start sparingly and stay that way until you feel the dough is ready to bake. If you make sure to use a quality brand of butter you will need less water.

One way to check to see if your crust needs additional water is to put a small amount of the dough in your hand. If it stays together when you squeeze it, it is ready to go. If not, add a tablespoon at a time.

When you bake your pie crust the water will evaporate which could cause your crust to shrink.

4 – Let It Rest

If you have baked bread before you know that the dough has to rest, sometimes several times, before baking it. The same goes for pie crusts.

It is suggested to let your dough rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes so that it doesn’t produce too much gluten. While resting the dough for half an hour is fine, one hour is even better.

5 – Hold Down the Crust with Weights

Once you have your crust placed evenly in your pie plate, place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in the bottom and up the sides covering the dough. Now you can fill it with weights so the pie crust will remain even and not puff up.

There are professional pie weights that you can purchase or you can use dried beans, raw rice, or even white sugar. Fill to the edge of the crust.

6 – Make Sure Your Pie Crust Is Ice Cold Before Baking It

Once you have your crust weighted down, let it chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Chilling the dough helps the fat to become more solid which will cut down on the chance for it to shrink.

Once it is ready for the oven remove the weights and the aluminum foil.

7 – Bake Your Pie with Two Pans

An easy way to keep your crust from shrinking is by using an additional pan. Once your crust is in your desired pie pan, take another pan that is the same size and shape, spray the back of it with non-stick spray and place it right on top of the crust.

Put the two pans in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. When ready to bake, flip the pans over and place them on a cookie sheet. Because the crust will be upside down it will have less of a chance of shrinking upwards.

8 – Start at a High Temperature

Baking your pie crust at a high temperature, 400 to 425 degrees just for around 15 minutes will help the crust establish its shape. After the 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to the one called for in your recipe and continue baking until finished.

A couple of additional tips you should remember when making your next pie crust is to take a fork and prick the crust before baking it. This will keep your pie crust from cooking unevenly and making it raise up in spots into pockets.

Another thing to do to create a picture-perfect crust is to keep your eye on the rim of your dough. The pie may bake nicely all around, but the crust could get too dark.

Take a thin piece of aluminum foil and cover the edge of your pie once it is golden brown. This will keep the crust from cooking any further and getting too dark.

The tips listed above can help you make a great pie whether you are trying out a new recipe, one that has been passed down in your family for years, or even buying a packaged pie crust from the store. Everyone will marvel at your masterpiece and be digging into delicious pie in no time.

Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.

While king-sized sheet cakes and towering multi-layer cakes are eye-catching, there’s also a lot to be said for a smaller, subtler approach. Here’s why I’ve recently fallen in love with 6″ mini cakes (and why you will, too):

Here and gone: A single 6″ round cake is the ideal size for two to four people to finish in a single sitting. No leftovers to wrap; no half-eaten sheet cake gradually getting stale on the counter.

Take your favorite yellow cake recipe and turn it into two, three, or even four different mini cakes.

Everyone’s favorite flavor: Since you’re making more than one cake from a single batch of batter, you can easily flavor/frost each one a different way. Start with a simple vanilla cake recipe, divide the batter in half (or quarters), then listen to your imagination. Flavor and frost each layer differently: Lemon cake (just add lemon zest) with a hint of Fiori di Sicilia and lemon glaze? Check. Vanilla cake scented with almond extract and topped with fudge frosting and toasted almonds? Double check!

No oven needed: There’s no need to turn on your big oven; 6″ cakes are the perfect size for baking in your air fryer.

Group your 6″ cakes on a half-sheet pan for easy handling.

How to turn a typical cake recipe into 6″ mini cakes

As noted above, it’s easy. Simply make the batter for your favorite cake recipe and instead of pouring it into the pan specified in the recipe, portion it into 6″ round pans. (Be sure the pans are at least 2″ deep.)

Here are some common pan sizes and how many 6″ cakes the batter for each will make:

Perhaps surprisingly, you won’t need to adjust the baking time when baking in a 6″ pan. Since the depth of the batter in the smaller pans will be very similar to the batter in its original pan — it’s just been scooped into multiple pans instead of one — the baking time will remain within the original timeframe. Just to be safe, though, start checking for doneness about 5 minutes before the recipe says the cake will be ready.

While it’s preferable to bake all of your cake batter at once rather than bake it in batches (for the sake of its leavening), don’t let that stop you from baking cakes in succession if you’re short on pans. While there may be a slight difference in rise from the first cakes to any succeeding ones, it should be fairly negligible.

As with any pan, it’s good to line the bottom with parchment to prevent sticking and crumbling; our 5 1/2″ parchment squares actually do a good job here. No parchment on hand? Discover other effective methods for making sure your baked cake slips out of its pan easily.

What about layer cake recipes?

A layer cake recipe calling for two 8″ or 9″ round pans will make four 6” mini cakes. Stack ’em up: Make two short stacks or one towering quadruple-layer cake!

Baking a single 6″ mini cake? Use your air fryer!

Can I make a single 6″ cake?

Absolutely. You’ll just have to reduce the recipe appropriately. If your recipe can make two 6″ cakes, cut it in half. If it’s a larger recipe and would make four 6″ cakes, divide the recipe by four. Interested in reducing recipes to fit an array of other size pans besides 6″ round? See our article on reducing a recipe.

A whole large egg will always weigh 50g, give or take a couple of grams either way.

Hint: If you end up needing half an egg, simply whisk one large egg in a measuring cup and measure out half (a scant 2 tablespoons). If you have a scale, whisk the egg and measure out 25g. Freeze the other 25g for next time you need half an egg — because you know there WILL be a next time!

Our cake pan cake recipe makes a sweet little layer cake!

Do pudding cakes and upside-down cakes work, too?

Yes, they do. Simply divide the topping (for pudding cakes) or layer of fruit and syrup (for upside-down cakes) evenly among however many 6″ pans you’re using.

This small offset spatula is perfect for swirling frosting onto your mini cake.

What about frosting?

Given the height and shape of a 6″ round pan, it wouldn’t be appropriate for a tall (Bundt-style or tube) cake with multiple layers of filling; nor an angel food cake that needs tall sides to rise high. Instead, choose recipes that call for any of the pans listed above.

While most 6″ pans on the market are 2″ deep, this 6″ pan is a more generous 2 1/2″ deep, giving you a bit of extra reassurance when using a recipe that might be slightly larger than standard. Highly recommend.

Cover photo (King Arthur’s Original Cake Pan Cake) by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlyn Wayne.

To avoid a messy fate, we tested a number of methods and found the best way to line your pan for a stick-free guarantee.

It’s all about pan prep

Your goal is to prevent your cake from sticking by creating a barrier between batter and pan (e.g., parchment, nonstick spray, or shortening and flour) prior to adding cake batter.

After testing a dozen different options for this article, I’m happy to report that all but one resulted in an intact cake: no sticking, no crumbling. That said, some required a bit more tapping and jiggling to get the cake to release. Below are the methods I settled on, in order of preference, starting with my top pick for guaranteed success. Results are based on how each performed using Chef Zeb’s Hot Milk Cake in a 6″ round pan (one recipe yields four 6″ cakes).

Parchment + pan spray is the clear winner in our cake pan prep trials.

The winner

Parchment + nonstick pan spray. Silicone-coated baking paper (parchment) is the cake baker’s best friend. Line the bottom of your pan with nonstick parchment, then coat the pan’s sides with nonstick pan spray. Some people espouse coating the bottom of the pan with spray before adding the parchment, then spraying the parchment as well; if you lean toward a “belt and suspenders” approach, feel free to do this.

Baked on parchment, your cake will drop right out of the upended pan onto its cooling rack, and the parchment is easily peeled off the warm cake’s bottom. Parchment rounds are handy for round pans; if you’re baking in a square or rectangular pan, choose half-sheet parchment cut to size.

We especially recommend the parchment-pan spray combination for cakes with sticky add-ins, like meltable chips or bits of chocolate or caramel, fresh or dried fruit or anything else (mini marshmallows?) that can become sticky when warm.

Here are some of the many cakes I baked to draw the conclusions in this article. What a delicious exercise!

The runners-up

Cake goop stays soft even when stored in the fridge, making it quick and easy to use.

Cake goop. If you choose not to use parchment, homemade “cake goop,” known to seasoned cake bakers everywhere, is a super alternative. Made by mixing equal parts (by volume) vegetable shortening, flour, and vegetable oil, goop is simply painted onto your pans with a pastry brush (or rubbed on with a paper towel). Make up a batch* and store it in the fridge; it’ll stay spreadable and ready to use even when chilled.

*1/2 cup (92g) vegetable shortening, 1/2 cup (60g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil. Mix until smooth.

Here’s a tip: My fellow blogger, Rossi, says you can substitute cocoa powder for flour to make chocolate goop — perfect for chocolate cakes, where flour would clash visually with the cake’s rich, deep-dark color.

Nonstick pan spray, alone or dusted with flour; granulated sugar; cocoa powder, or nut flour (e.g., almond). Pan spray’s big advantage over older methods (shortening, butter) is its easy application and thorough coverage.

For an enticing, lightly crunchy crust, spray your cake pan (bottom and sides) with nonstick spray, then sprinkle it heavily with granulated sugar.

Dusting with flour is common, but you can branch out by matching the “dust” with your recipe, e.g., cocoa with chocolate cake, or almond flour for a touch of nutty flavor in yellow cake. Personally, I love to dust my spray-coated pan with granulated sugar; it adds a tiny bit of crunch and gleam to what otherwise might be a rather plain cake crust.

Vegetable shortening, alone or dusted with the options above. If you’re perfectly satisfied with this traditional method of preparing a cake pan, then stick with it (though for interest’s sake you may want to try dusting with something other than flour). Shortening’s downside: you may sometimes get a hint of oily flavor, especially if your shortening isn’t super-fresh.

Butter, alone or dusted with the options above. Butter works less well than pan spray or shortening (the milk solids in the butter add a bit of stickiness), but with some coaxing — gentle loosening, firm tapping — cakes come out with perhaps just a bit of residue left in the bottom of the pan.

Not recommended

Pan spray dusted with confectioners’ sugar. How about adding sweetness to your pan coating without the crunch of granulated sugar? It seemed like a good idea at the time, but apparently the cornstarch in the sugar mixed with the cake batter’s liquid and turned into glue! My experimental cake stuck badly and broke into pieces.

Give your nonstick pans the help they need to yield great results. Had I lined this pan with parchment and/or treated it with pan spray, the cake would have popped right out.

Nonstick pan without any prep. “My pan’s nonstick, so why do I need to coat it with anything?” Cake batter is inherently sticky, and as it bakes it bonds to your pan’s surface. Even a nonstick pan can only go so far to resist this. Don’t be stubborn: Prep even your nonstick cake pan.

A little upkeep goes a long way

If you use a nonstick cake pan — a 9” round, 8” square, Bundt, springform, whatever — and you prep it with pan spray, wash the pan in warm soapy water just as soon as you’ve removed the cake, while the pan is still warm. Pan spray bonds to nonstick pans as they cool, forming a tacky residue that builds up over time and, counterintuitively, negates the pan’s nonstick qualities. It’s a real pain to scrub off that stickiness without damaging the pan’s surface — so clean up as you go!

Bundt cakes: They’re the bane of stick-fearful cake bakers everywhere! For help, see How to prevent Bundt cakes from sticking.

Cover photo (Classic Birthday Cake) by John Sherman.

When you’re cooking for one, there are times when a full-sized recipe isn’t ideal. Reduce any recipe with these easy tips showing you how to scale down a recipe so it is just right for you.

Most recipes are written to serve four to six people. This isn’t always a bad thing if you enjoy leftovers. However, if you’re cooking for one or two, you may want to enjoy a meal and not have to eat the same thing for days.

Not every meal needs to feed a small army. At One Dish Kitchen, creating single serving recipes and cooking for one is all we do and we’re going to show you a simple method to cut a recipe in half or scale it down even more in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Here is a simple measurement reduction guide to help you cut a 4-serving recipe in half or reduce a 6-serving recipe to two servings (click on the image to download it):

Cooking Conversions

It’s easy to halve 2 cups into 1 cup, or 4 tablespoons into 2 tablespoons, but when you get into quantities that are more difficult to cut in half it can be a bit more complicated.

The key here is to change the measurement into one that can be easier to divide evenly. It’s easiest to do this by converting measurements into tablespoons and teaspoons.

  • 1 cup = 16 tablespoons (tbsp) = 48 teaspoons (tsp)
  • Half of 1 cup = 8 tablespoons = 24 teaspoons
  • ¾ cup = 12 tablespoons
  • Half of ¾ cup = 6 tablespoons
  • ½ cup = 8 tablespoons
  • Half of ½ cup = 4 tablespoons
  • ⅓ cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
  • Half of ⅓ cup = 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
  • ¼ cup = 4 tablespoons
  • Half of ¼ cup = 2 tablespoons
  • ⅛ cup = 2 tablespoons
  • Half of ⅛ cup = 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
  • ½ tablespoon = 1 ½ teaspoons
  • 8 fluid ounces (fl oz) = 1 cup
  • 1 pint (pt) = 2 cups
  • 1 quart (qt) = 2 pints
  • 4 cups = 1 quart
  • 1 gallon (gal) = 4 quarts
  • 16 ounces (oz) = 1 pound (lb)
  • 1 ounce = 28 grams
  • 1 pound = 454 grams

Pro Tip: To cut down recipes easily, just remember how many tablespoons are in a cup, and how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon.

Helpful Measuring Tools

The Right Equipment

The success of a recipe depends heavily on using the proper pots, pans, and baking dishes. It is worth investing in a couple of small baking dishes and pans because when you cut a recipe in half or more and try to bake it or cook it in a dish that is too large, it can overcook, it can undercook, or it can dry out.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Pan: An 8-inch and/or a 10-inch skillet
  • Baking dish: 5×5 inch baking dish with a base area of 25 square inches or a 4×6-inch baking dish with a base area of 24 square inches. For recipes calling for a dish this size, a 6×6 inch baking dish can be used but will likely cook faster so you’ll need to keep a close eye on it.
  • Ramekin: 10-ounce ramekin which measures 4 inches in diameter and is approximately 1 ¾ inches tall.

Pro Tip: The three dishes we use most often with One Dish Kitchen recipes are either a 5×5 inch baking dish or a 4×6 inch baking dish, a 10-ounce ramekin, and a 5×7 inch baking dish. To see the dishes we use, please visit our Store page.

How To Halve An Egg

It can be difficult to reduce a recipe when the original recipe calls for using 1 egg. Most of our recipes call for either using the entire egg, the egg yolk, or the egg white.

Eggs are essential in traditional baking and each element of the egg plays a different role and has a different function. The egg white is made up mostly of water and proteins and can be whipped to create a fairly stable foam that helps to lighten baked goods. When folded into ingredients, egg whites work as a leavening agent which results in lighter baked goods. We use an egg white only in many of our recipes including our Mini Texas Sheet Cake and Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes.

The egg yolk contains all of the fat as well as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Baked goods made with yolks only are richer and more tender than those made with whole eggs. We use only the egg yolk in our scones recipes and many of our cookie recipes.

We’ve found through our years of reducing recipes that using the entire egg in many of our single serving and small batch baked goods will alter the texture and taste of the item you are baking significantly.

Tips For Scaling Recipes

Reducing a recipe gets easier with practice. Keep these tips in mind as you work through the recipe:

  • Make your conversions before you start cooking. Take some time and do the math to convert the numbers before you begin. Write the measurements down so you don’t forget them.
  • Taste the dish as you go. You are in charge of your recipe. Taste the dish as it cooks and season accordingly. I recommend using roughly half of the seasoning called for in the original recipe and adjusting to taste as you go.
  • Use smaller pans and baking dishes. This was mentioned above but it’s so important. The success of your meal depends on using the correct size dish.

How To Adjust Crock Pot Servings

If you want to reduce the number of servings in a slow cooker recipe:

  • Use a smaller slow cooker. If the original recipe calls for using a 6-quart slow cooker and you cut the recipe in half, use a 3-quart or smaller slow cooker. We recommend using a 1.5-quart or a 2-quart slow cooker for our single serving slow cooker recipes.
  • If you don’t have a smaller slow cooker, you can easily adapt your large slow cooker into a small slow cooker by placing an oven-safe bowl inside of the bowl of your slow cooker. Be sure to read through our article on cooking small meals in a large slow cooker before doing this.

How Scaling Down A Recipe Affects Cooking Time

When you scale down the ingredients in a recipe, you do not need to reduce the oven temperature but you may need to reduce the cooking time since smaller volumes tend to cook faster.

For cookies, the baking time should remain the same. Cakes will generally take less time, so subtract 10-15 minutes off the time and check the dish during the cooking process. If it isn’t done, check it about every 5 minutes until it has finished cooking. When a cake has browned on the top, double check with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Although we have hundreds of single serving and small batch recipes on our website. Here are a few of our most popular ones to inspire you!

If you’re stumped on conversions, you can always look them up on the internet. Here we have the conversions for a few common measurements cut in half:

  • 1/4 cup: 2 tablespoons
  • 3/4 cup: 6 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup: 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon: 1 1/2 teaspoons

Scaling Down a Dessert’s Baking Time

According to Nelson, the bake time will likely need adjusting if you’re cutting down the recipe. “There are some exceptions, however—like cookies and cupcakes that are the same single-portioned size that would not need an adjustment to the baking time. You can just bake these as normal,” she adds. But if you’re baking a smaller loaf of bread or cake, you will need to decrease the bake time.

“Start with no more than half of the recommended time on the recipe,” says Nelson. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and add a few minutes at a time until it’s cooked through. Instead of relying on baking time, Nelson says it may be necessary to rely more on your instincts and other clues to determine when the baked goods are done. “Watch for changes in color, sheen, feel, and so on.” Cakes and quick breads will bounce back when lightly touched and are finished baking when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Most cookies are finished when they just begin to turn golden-brown on the edges.

Times, Temperature, and Pan Sizes

Cutting all your ingredients in half necessarily means there will be less dough or batter to work with. If you’re making individual items like cookies and muffins, there’s no need to worry, but for cakes, you will definitely need to choose a smaller baking pan. Half a cake recipe baked in the original pan size will be less cake and more pancake. I always refer to this exceptionally detailed guide from The Joy of Baking when substituting one pan for another.

Needless to say, baking temperatures will remain the same. I repeat, do not halve the temperature. Baking times, however, might decrease by a little. Start by shaving off about 20 percent of the bake time and start checking for doneness from there. Again, this is less important for treats like cookies or muffins that are baked in individual portions; it doesn’t matter that there are only 3 cookies on your rimmed baking sheet rather than 6 or 8. Do use the 20 percent rule for cakes, quickbreads, brownies, and the like.

How to convert pans of different heights

The answer to these questions is simple. First, you should know the pan’s volume in the basic recipe (called V1) and the volume of the pan you have on your hands (called V2).

Then divide V2 by V1 to know the conversion coefficient. This number means how many times you should multiply the recipe ingredients to fill your pan.

Note: This principle applies to round and rectangular pans. The numbers below are rounded up to the nearest inch.

Also, try this cake pan converter to calculate the same height pan sizes.


Let’s start with the easiest, most straightforward liquid and dry (think water, milk, flour, sugar) measurements as a refresher. Think back to elementary school math class, but if that feels like too long ago, here’s a handy chart.

Half the Amount

Expert tips

While converting your favorite recipe to make in a larger pan, make sure to fill the mold up to ⅔ full; otherwise, your batter might overflow when cooking.

What should you do with the extra batter? Make cupcakes or a mini cake and give them away. Your neighbors will be happy!

To avoid an underbaked or overbaked cake, remember that changing pans in your recipe will affect the baking time.

It can be longer or shorter depending on what kind of mold you use; check for doneness using either a toothpick or cake tester.

Baking pan conversion chart

This is a helpful list of baking pan sizes. You can use these substitutes in place of one another, depending on your availability.

Also, check out my favorite baking tools, including cake and tart pans.

Round pans

And here is a free download of the PDF-baking pan conversion chart. Print it out and enhance your collection of baking conversions.

Do You Need to Adjust the Oven Temperature?

You might think you need to decrease the oven temperature if cutting back a recipe, but it’s not necessary, Nelson says. Stick with the oven temperature listed on the recipe you’re using—just make sure to keep a close eye on your treats so they don’t burn.

How to swap one shape for another

To change a cake recipe from one shape to another, apply the same principle.

Let’s say that a basic recipe calls for 6 tartlets 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch high.

V = Number of tartlets x π x R x R x H, where

V – volume,  π = 3.14, R – radius of the mold, and H – the height of the mold.

So the volume of 6 tartlets will be

V1 = 6 x 3.14 x R x R x H = 6 x 3.14 x 2 x 2 x 1 = 75 in³.

Use the formula to calculate a mold’s volume in cubic centimeters (cm³).

Example #1

Now let’s say you want to apply the basic recipe for 6 tartlets to a tart pan 9 inches in diameter and 1 inch high.

So the volume of such a tart pan is

V2 = 3.14 x R X R x H = 3.14 x 4.5 x 4.5 x 1 = 63 in³

Further calculation is

V2 ÷ V1 = 63 ÷ 75 = 0.84.

Here is a conversion coefficient. Therefore, multiply the quantities of the basic tartlet recipe by 0.84 to obtain the amounts for a tart 9-inch in diameter.

Example #2

What if you want to make the tartlet recipe mentioned above in a rectangle 14 x 4.5 x 1-inch pan?

So the volume of a rectangle tart pan will be:

V2 = L x W x H = 14 x 4.5 x 1 = 63 in³

So, the conversion coefficient is

Therefore, you have to multiply the quantity of the tartlet recipe ingredients by 0.84 to make a tart in a rectangular pan.

Try a Mini Foil Pie Pan

“Some holiday treats, like pies, can be tricky to scale down,” Nelson says. “Many grocery stores sell mini aluminum foil pie pans that can be used to make multiple smaller pies.”

Slightly More Complicated

That was easy enough, but sometimes you encounter slightly harder fractions (like ¾ cup) that don’t have a corresponding measuring cup in your set. In these cases, it’s helpful to think in terms of their equivalent tablespoons and teaspoons, which makes it easier to scale.

Amount in Cups

Equivalent in Spoons

5 tbsps + 1 tsp

2 tbsps + 2 ½ tsps

1 ½ tsps

The Size of Your Sweets

The size of your baked goods and the pan that you use depend on what you’re making. “As mentioned, cupcakes and cookies don’t require a change in size since you are only adjusting the quantity rather than the size,” Nelson explains. “However, cakes, brownies, pies, and quick breads will need a smaller pan.”

If you’re cutting the recipe in half, try and find a pan that’s about half the size in volume as the one called for in the original recipe. “A little tip is that you can measure the volume of a pan by seeing how much water it will take to fill it up,” suggests Nelson. (Genius!)

According to Nelson, it’s OK if you have excess batter or dough beyond what fits in the pan. Rather than forcing it all in, why not make some mini baked goods? Cake and brownie batters can easily be baked in a muffin pan. Nelson says: “You can save those as a treat for yourself—it’s considered quality control, right?”

The Eventual, Anxiety-Ridden Egg Dilemma

Cutting down a recipe with an odd number of eggs is a challenge. “If you’re going to scale down a recipe, I recommend sticking with ones that have an even quantity of eggs,” says Nelson. Fair. However, if you need to scale down to half an egg, Nelson says there are a few options. You can take a whole egg, crack it into a bowl, whisk it, and then divide the whisked egg in half and use that in your recipe. To be more precise, try and measure it. For reference, a large whole egg is about 1/4 cup, so half of the egg would equal just about 2 tablespoons. “Liquid eggs are also super convenient and nice to have on hand for this very purpose. Liquid egg substitute is very easy to pour and measure out. Use 2 tablespoons for half of an egg,” she adds.

Enlist Your Freezer

Some treats, like unbaked cookie dough or baked cookies and brownies, freeze well. Rather than making a smaller batch of chocolate chip cookies now, Nelson recommends making your regular recipe, scooping out all of the dough, and freezing half for later. You can have fresh baked cookies on demand (just add a couple of minutes onto the bake time when baking from frozen).

Possibly Problematic

Some ingredients are like the youngest siblings in a family—they may need a little more attention. Take eggs, for instance: Because the whites and yolks perform different functions in a recipe (whites add aeration and fluffiness, yolks add fat and richness), you can’t skip out on one of them if you’re halving a recipe that calls for a whole egg. Your best bet is to lightly whisk the whole egg in a small bowl until incorporated and then measure out half the amount. Generally, half a large egg is 2 tablespoons (or if you have a scale, a vastly more accurate 25g). If you need to halve a larger but odd number of eggs (such as 3,5,9, etc.), whisk the eggs in a measuring cup and measure out half that way—and save the leftover eggs for a next-day omelet.

Calculate the volume of a round pan

To calculate the volume of a round pan, you need to know its radius. Radius is the distance from the center of the pan to the outside.

First, measure the diameter of your mold from the inside wall to the inside wall (not from the outer edges).

Then divide the diameter of the pan by 2. Here is the radius.

So, for a classic 8-inch or 20-cm round pan, the radius equals 4 inches or 10 cm.

V =  π x R x R x H, where

V – volume,  π = 3.14, R – radius of the pan, and H – the height of the pan.

Let’s say the basic recipe calls for a pan 8 inches in diameter (therefore, 4 inches in radius) and 2 inches in height.

So, the calculation looks like this:

V1 = 3.14 x R x R x H = 3.14 x 4 x 4 x 2 = 100 in3.

The same formula calculates a pan’s volume in cubic centimeters (cm³).

Let’s say you want to make a recipe for a smaller pan, 6 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches in height.

The volume for such a pan will be:

V2 = 3.14 x R x R x H = 3.14 x 3 x 3 x 2.5 = 70 in3

So, to calculate the conversion coefficient:

V2 ÷ V1 = 70 ÷ 100 = 0.7.

How to recalculate the amount of ingredients necessary to make a 6-inch cake 2.5 inches high instead of an 8-inch cake 2 inches high? Just multiply all the quantities of the basic recipe by 0.7.

Now you want to adapt the basic recipe for a larger pan you have on your hands.

Let’s say you have a pan 9 inches in diameter (4.5 inches in radius) and 3 inches in height.

The volume will be:

V2 = 3.14 x R x R x H = 3.14 x 4.5 x 4.5 x 3 = 190 in³

So, V2 ÷ V1 = 190 ÷ 100 = 1.9.

So, you should multiply all the recipe quantities by the coefficient of 1.9 to make a cake in a mold 9 inches in diameter and 3 inches in height.

Using similar math, you can adjust a recipe in metric measurements such as centimeters.

How to adjust a recipe for silicone molds

Don’t panic if you have a fancy silicone mold, for example, a heart-shaped or another with a strange shape.

It is still possible to apply mathematical calculations. Most of the top silicone mold manufacturers, such as Silikomart or Pavoni, provide the cake dimensions and the volume of their molds.

So if you have a basic recipe you want to make, first, calculate the volume of the recipe’s mold (V1).

Then read the manufacturer’s manual and find the mold size or volume you want to use (V2).

Finally, divide V2 by V1 and get the conversion coefficient.

Let’s imagine that you want to make a Royal chocolate cake in a silicone baking mold Eros by Pavoni.

The volume of the 8-inch cake ring 2-inch high, called in the recipe, is

V1 = 3.14 x 4 x 4 x 2 = 100 in³.

The dimensions of the silicone mold Eros are 7.05 x 7.01 x 1.89 inches. So, let’s consider that its radius is approximately equal to 3.5 inches. The volume is

V2 = 3.14 x 3.5 x 3.5 x 1.89 = 72 in³.

Now, you should apply the formula V2 ÷ V1 to obtain the conversion coefficient:

V2 ÷ V1 = 72 ÷ 100 = 0.72.

All this means that if you want to make that chocolate mousse cake in a beautiful Pavoni mold, you must multiply the amount of the cake recipe ingredients by 0.72.

Then, make a red mirror glaze or use a velvet spray on your mousse cake to create an elegant Valentine’s dessert.

Cut your losses

There are times when it just isn’t worth breaking out the calculator and reliving math class. Most yeast dough recipes designed for home cooks come in batches sized just right for a stand mixer. Cutting one further in half would mean there is so little dough that your stand mixer would have almost nothing to grab onto. You could certainly knead the dough by hand, but frankly, yeasted goods freeze so well it’s much more sensible to bake a full batch and simply freeze half to save for a rainy day. Cookies, biscuits, and scones are all prime contenders for freezing, either before baking, which is my preference, or after.

The best tip I have for you is to do all the math and write down or type out your halved recipe separately. There’s not a lot worse than making a recipe only to realize you added half the butter but all of the flour. Wait, actually the very best tip I can offer is to use a scale for all your baking needs. (Oh, you thought I wasn’t going to revisit this topic? Ha!) You can consistently scale any recipe up or down, anytime with far less mess and hassle than using cups.

Calculate the volume of a rectangular mold

V = L x W x H, where

V – volume, L – the length of the mold, W – the width of the mold, and H – its height.

Let’s say that the basic recipe calls a rectangular mold 13-inch long, 9-inch wide, and 2-inch high.

V1 = L x W x H = 13 x 9 x 2 = 234 in³.

Let’s say you want to make a recipe for a smaller pan, 9 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 2.5 inches high.

V2 = L x W x H = 9 x 7 x 2.5 = 157 in3

So, to calculate the recipe conversion factor:

V2 ÷ V1 = 157 ÷ 234 = 0.7.

How to recalculate the amount of ingredients necessary to make a pan 9 x 7 x 2.5 inches instead of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan? Just multiply all the quantities of the basic recipe by 0.7.


Cake pans are an essential part of any baker’s kitchen. This article will help you adapt recipes for different sizes of cakes.

So now there is no limit on what kind or how much batter can be used in your favorite baking recipe.

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