Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cake Pans and their Conversions

I have no sense of reasoning when it comes to buying cake pans. This started when I took all the wilton cake decorating courses. I paid full price and bought a lot of pans. Then I realized that I could get these for such a low price in thrift stores or sometimes garage sales that if I see a good deal, I buy it whether or not I need it. I have given it away to people whom I know or kept as spare pans when I do lot of baking during holiday season.
 Picture courtesy: Google Images

After having blogged for about a year and a half and having quite a few baking recipes, I get emails asking me what to do when they do not have the same sized pan as I used when I baked the cake as mentioned in the post. So, here are some links with the information of how to swap the cake pans. So many people have put together the list that there is no point in me typing the same old things.

Some pointers that I have learned from my baking experience:

1. You do not have to alter the baking temperature when you use a different sized or shaped pan. Most of the cakes are baked at 350 F with a few big cakes or pound cakes being baked at 325 F.

2. When you use a cake pan that is non-stick or a glass pan, always reduce the baking temperature by 25 F. You might have to bake for a little longer than what the recipe states, but check it at the lower range of the time that is specified in the recipe.

3. No matter what pan you are using, never fill the batter more than 1/2 way in the pan. Some cakes do fine when you fill it 2/3 full, but most cakes will not. Even when the batter might not overflow, it will make such a huge dome on the top that if you level it, you will waste lot of cake. Also, because of the huge hump, cake might not bake properly in the center causing not so good texture.

4. To calculate the volume of any pan, fill it with water and measure the water. You should use 1/2 of that amount as batter.

5. If the depth of the two cake pans is the same, you can compare the perimeter of them to decide if you can switch them. Example: a 9" square pan has a perimeter of 9 times 4 that is 36 ". It is the same as a 11 X 7 pan and hence you can swap a 9" square pan for a 11 X 7 pan.

Without reinventing the wheel, here are some great information about the cake pans, their conversions, baking temperature and baking times.
From all recipes - remember that most of these pans are 1 1/2" high and not 2".
From Joy of Baking - this has info both for 2" and 1 1/2" depth pans.
From ehow
From Baking 911 - Has info on cupcakes and jelly roll baking.
From about - has baking times for different cake pan sizes.
From Wilton - information on serving size, cake pan batter capacity, baking time and temperature.

Enjoy. Pin It


  1. shall check all the links at leisure.. didn't know the 'doming' effect was due to the pan size - amount of batter used incompatibility, so to say :)

  2. Very useful post Champa..esp that measuring the vol using water is new..will try that out..thank you.

  3. Thanks for sharing the links, Champa.

  4. Thanks for sharing all these interesting infos and links,a page to be treasured..

  5. Very useful post Champa..especially measuring out water volume to figure out the batter volume!! Yes, I have have also noticed that buying branded pans and stuff can be expensive and one can easily buy cheaper and even at car boot sales etc. I am working out servings now, but all in vain cause at times Indian serving is wuwite less than what Wiltons have said. Any clue on this.
    Please check my blog for the event I am hosting this first one and am bit nervous:)

  6. Bookmarked! Extremely useful!

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks everyone.
    Usually a serving of cake is either 2" X 2" X 2" or if it is a 4" tall cake, it is 2" X 4" X 1". This goes for american standard serving size. I have noticed that it is too big for an Indian serving. I think it is due to having other desserts as part of the meal. If you look at the american parties, they consider cake as the main dessert and that is the reason for big sized servings.

  8. Yes Champa, that is very true. The standard UK serving is twice an Indian serving :)
    And about the event on my blog don't worry even if you were brought up in a city, even I was brought up in Kolkata. Come up with dishes you have heard of, staple food in a particular village you know of:)

  9. Thanks Champa for this info. I also used to wonder to pan sizes, timing and temp. Lot got cleared with this info :)

  10. Cakes is the best gift for birthday celebrator. It is used as the basic ingredients on birthdays. The celebrator will be in a good vibes.

  11. Hi Champa,

    I have few queries regarding baking that I would like to ask you. However I was unable to find your email address under the Ask Me tab. Request you to kindly help on this so that I could mail you the questions.


    1. Deepa, I have updated the page with email info. Thanks for bringing that to my notice.


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