Sizing Up

Changing pan sizes can be a bit confusing. What do I multiply by? How many servings will there be? What temperature should I bake at? To help eliminate some of the confusion I decided to create  a chart to take a little of the guess work out of changing from one cake pan size to another.

Since I bake my cakes in 2-inch high pans this chart is based on a half-filled 2-inch pan. If you decide to move into a 3-inch tall pan you will need to adjust by multiplying by 1.5. But remember, not all cakes will translate well from 2-inch to 3-inch high pans as investigated in the post Size Matters.

Cake Sizing Chart-Round Cake Pans 2 Inches High

Pan   Size (Inches/Centimeters) Pan   Volume (Cups/Liters) Cups/mL   of Batter to Half Fill 8-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier 9-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier Servings   in a Two or Three-Layer Cake Baking   Temperature (Fahrenheit/ Celsius) Approximate   Baking Time in Minutes Approximate   Buttercream Per Layer to Fill and Frost (Cups/Liters)
6”/15.24   cm 4   c/.96 L 2   c/.48 L .6 .4 8 350   F/177 C 25-30 1.5   c/.36 L
8”/20.32   cm 7   c/1.68 L 3.5   c/.84 L —- .8 12 350   F/177 C 30-35 2   c/.48 L
9”/22.86   cm 9   c/2.16 L 4.5   c/1.08 L 1.3 16 350   F/177 C 30-35 2.25   c/.54 L
10”/25.40   cm 11   c/2.64 L 5.5   c/1.32 L 1.6 1.2 24 350   F/177 C 35-40 2.5   c/.60 L
12”/30.48   cm 16   c/3.84 L 8   c/1.92 L 2.3 1.8 30 325   F/163 C 45-50 3   c/.72 L
14”/35.56   cm 22   c/5.28 L 11   c/2.64 L 3.1 2.4 40 325   F/163 C 50-55 3.75   c/.90 L

 

Using this chart let’s determine what to multiply your recipe by to have enough batter for the pan size that you want.  The multiplier columns tells you what you will need to multiply your recipe by to end up with the volume needed  to fill the pan size listed at the left. If you are starting with a recipe that lists an 8-inch pan size use the 8-inch Original Pan Size Multiplier column.  Similarly, if you are starting with a recipe that lists an 9-inch pan size use the 9-inch Original Pan Size Multiplier column.

Let’s say that you have a recipe that is written to fill two 8-inch pans and you would like to make two 10-inch round layers. You would multiply your recipe 1.6 times as listed in the chart. I left them in odd decimals so that you could make the call whether you want to be very exact, round up or round down when multiplying.  Going back to the example of upsizing to a 10-inch cake pan, you could multiply your recipe by 1.6 or you could round down to 1.5 if you would like slightly less batter volume or round up to 1.75 if you would like a bit more batter volume.  Sometimes the ingredients will determine which is the best way to go.

If you would like to change the number of layers listed in the recipe you will need to consider this factor as well. If you would like to go from a three layer 9-inch cake to a 4 layer 12-inch cake you would multiply 4/3 (1.33) to adjust the number of layers, by 1.8 to change the pan volume, for a total adjustment of 2.40 or about 2 1/2  times the ingredients listed in the original recipe.

Cake Sizing Chart-Square Cake Pans 2 Inches High

Pan   Size (Inches/Centimeters) Pan   Volume (Cups/Liters) Cups/mL   of Batter to Half Fill 8-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier 9-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier Servings   in a Two or Three-Layer Cake Baking   Temperature (Fahrenheit/ Celsius) Approximate   Baking Time in Minutes Approximate Buttercream Per Layer to Fill and Frost   (Cups/Liters)
6”/15.24   cm 4   c/.96 L 2   c/.48 L .6 .4 9 350   F/177 C 25-30 1.75 c/.42 L
8”/20.32   cm 8   c/1.92 L 4   c/.96 L 1.1 .9 16 350   F/177 C 30-35 2.25 c/.54 L
9”/22.86   cm 10   c/2.4 L 5   c/1.2 L 1.4 1.1 22 350   F/177 C 30-35 2.5 c/.60 L
10”/25.40   cm 12   c/2.88 L 6   c/1.44 L 1.7 1.3 26 350   F/177 C 35-40 3 c/.72 L
12”/30.48   cm 20   c/4.80 L 10   c/2.40 L 2.9 2.2 40 325   F/163 C 45-50 3.75 c/.90 L
14”/35.56   cm 27c/6.48   L 13.5   c/3.24 L 3.9 3 50 325   F/163 C 45-50 4.75 c/1.14 L

 

Cake Sizing Chart-Rectangular Cake Pans 2 Inches High

Pan   Size (Inches/Centimeters) Pan   Volume (Cups/Liters) Cups/mL   of Batter to Half Fill 8-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier 9-inch   Original Recipe Multi-plier Servings   in a Two or Three-Layer Cake Baking   Temperature (Fahrenheit/ Celsius) Approximate   Baking Time in Minutes Approximate   Buttercream Per Layer to Fill and Frost (Cups/Liters)
9   x 13”/23 x 33 cm 14   c/3.36 L 7   c/1.68 L 2 1.6 30 350   F/177 C 35-40 6   c/1.44 L
11   x 15”/ 28 x 38 cm 22   c/5.28 L 11   c/2.64 L 3.1 2.4 45 325   F/163 C 35-40 8   c/1.92 L
12   x 18”/30 x 46 cm 28   c/6.72 L 14   c/3.36 L 4 3.1 55 325   F/163 C 45-50 10   c/2.4 L

 

Standard cupcakes tins use ¼ cup (60 milliliters) of batter while mini cupcake pans 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters). Divide the total recipe batter volume by the respective cupcake volume and you will find out how many cupcakes are made by given batter.

Hopefully this makes sense without being too confusing!

A note on the servings listed, most cake charts list more servings per cake than I have here. I like to dole out rather generous servings and I feel that I would rather estimate more than less cake. If you like to cut tiny slices of cake or your cake is very rich then you will probably get more slices per cake than is listed here.

I hope this is helpful to you and sorry there are not a lot of pretty pictures!

Happy baking!

49 thoughts on “Sizing Up”

  1. Aaaaaaaah you are a LIFESAVER!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I’ve been wanting to create this for myself but absolutely no time… THANK YOU AGAIN!!! :))))))) Minh xx

    (Sorry! I’m not usually a fan of so many caps and exclamation marks, but I somehow had to express my excitement and gratitude! Cakey love to you! :*)

  2. Do your cakes all come out 2 inches high when baked? I have baked your white cake – very delicious twice this week but my layers are more like 1and 1/2 inches high at most. Is this ok ? The texture is fine and light and tastes nice and vanilla -y

    1. Yes, they come out about 1 to 1 1/2 inches when cooled. There is invariably some shrinking as the air within cools and contracts. 🙂

  3. I’ve been looking everywhere for something like this! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

    Do you also have the conversions for regular and mini cupcakes?

  4. thank you! I was alerted to this chart just in time to bake some 10- and 6-inch layers for granddaughter’s 3rd birthday party on Sunday. Valuable information!

  5. Ok so I’ll put myself out there and sound like a total dummy….so let’s see if I’m getting this right….basically if I want to go from an 8″ to a 10″ I am going to multiply each of my ingredients by 1.6? So if I originally needed 2 cups of flour I’ll now need 3.2 cups for a 10″. Did I get it?!?

    1. Yes! That’s right! I know it is kind of confusing and convoluted but once you get hang of the chart it will be a piece of cake. 🙂

  6. I want to make your marble cake but don’t have a kitchen scale! All the other ingredients are translated into US measurements – cups, Tbsp.s, etc, but the sugar is listed in ounces. How many cups would 13 ounces be?

    1. Every now and then I miss one! There are 7 ounces per cup of sugar so it is just shy of 2 cups, about 1 7/8 cups or scant 2 tbs. I will try to get in and change that!

  7. I’d love to make your Italian Cream Cake in a 6×2″ round. Any thoughts on DEcreasing the recipe other than baking as called for and cutting it down?

        1. I see that I need 2c per 6×2 round, but do I need to do anything to the leavening or other ingredients to keep the structure sound? I’m trying to learn all I can from you and normally would just decrease the batter amount per pan… but now I’m worried more about structure than ever before. I’m probably making it harder than it is.

          1. Just divide all of the ingredients by half and you should be fine. If you want a less fluffy cake you can just skip the egg beating step. Does that clarify? Let me know if you have another question. 🙂

  8. Hi! It took me quite a while to work out some of those info you have up there myself, and they are all over the place in little stickies. You have made it so organized and soooooo easy to refer to! Thank you!

  9. Summer,
    Thank you for this chart! I am learning and still have lots of questions… Lol. I want to make a smasher cake for my daughters first birthday, using a 6×2 or 6×3? How would I scale a recipe for this? Could I use your vanilla cupcake recipe and use some of the batter and make the smash cake (I don’t want to mess up the quality of the recipe). Also, can I do a crumb coat with the silky creme frosting to get a smooth crumb free look? Please advise and thank you so much! I appreciate your blog it is truly a blessing!!!!! Thanks again for your time:-)

    1. Hi Tyler, Thank you! You can definitely use some of the batter from the Essential Vanilla Cupcakes and to make a small cake. You will need a little more than half of the batter for the cake and will be left with about 10 standard cupcakes. You could also use about 3/4 of a standard recipe to make a 6″ cake. The Simple Silky Buttercream would make a great crumb coat. It acts quite similar to a Swiss Meringue Buttercream since it is similar in butter content. Let me know if you have more questions! 🙂

  10. Thank you for your quick response…ok great I will follow your instructions, thanks! I’m looking forward to baking:-) Uh oh you said let you know if I have more questions…lol. You know I do! Ok Sunmer, I do not have a stand up mixer with the various attachments (not yet):-):-):-). I have the hand held mixer with basic attachment… Can I still do all I want in regards to making my own frosting and getting the batter mixed right with the standard attachment? Also, in another response to a question I asked you were telling me about dowels…. Should I invest and get a value pack or do I just need one or two (for helping me to even out my cookie dough thickness)? I have been asking questions all over your blog— I just love this blog! Thanks so much for your help:-):-). #gratefultobelearning

    1. So happy I can help! I think you should be fine with a hand held mixer until you are ready to invest. I have made plenty of batches of Italian Meringue Buttercream with a hand mixer. In fact I made my sister’s whole wedding cake with a hand mixer! It takes a little more patience and attention but it works fine. If it gets tough with cookie dough just start working with your hands and you will be in good shape. You just want to moisten the dough with those any way. You will be fine with just a couple of dowels. As long as you set them for that purpose and keep them clean you can use them again and again. Good luck. 🙂

  11. I just wondered would it matter if I used my 3″ high tins but only put the batter you suggest for your 2″ tins? I’ve had a look at the other post you recommended reading but I’m still a bit confused. I need to start on this cake tonight for a wedding cake and don’t want to stuff it up. Hope you still check for messages here 🙂

  12. Hello, I was reading somewhere on your blog; the amount of baking powder should be reduced by 1/3 when using a bigger pan. Is this correct? Thank you for your help.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s taken me a long time to know the ratio of batter to use for other sized pans that I don’t usually use. This simplifies it for me. THANK YOU!

  14. Hi Summer!!! Thanks for this formula! Im not usually this bad with math but for some reason, I seem to be missing this.. Would you explain this with a bit more detail..

    “If you would like to change the number of layers listed in the recipe you will need to consider this factor as well. If you would like to go from a three layer 9-inch cake to a 4 layer 12-inch cake you would multiply 4/3 (1.33) to adjust the number of layers, by 1.8 to change the pan volume, for a total adjustment of 2.40 or about 2 1/2 times the ingredients listed in the original recipe.”

    1. I understand the 4/3 which is… I want 4 layers instead of the 3 layers that the recipe yields. I am lost where the 1.8 is derived from as well as the 2.4..

    I am surely going to be using this a lot as I prefer my cakes quite tall. Thank you in advance!!

    1. Sorry for the confusion on this. Math is difficult to explain in writing! The 2.4 is just 1.3333 times 1.8. Which will give you the same answer as multiplying your orginal batter volume by 1.333 and then by 1.8.

      If this still doesn’t make sense please let me know and I will try to explain another way. I know I would be confused by this too If I hadn’t done the math on paper myself!

        1. Maybe I can help! Ididn’t catch it at first but additionally from switching from 3 to 4 layers, she switches from a 9 inch pan to a 12 inch pan!

          “If you would like to go from a three layer 9-inch cake to a 4 layer 12-inch cake”

          Factor 1.8 to change the pan volume.

        2. Yes, the 1.333 is from the 4/3 number of pans change and the 1.8 from the pan size upscale from 9 to 12 inches. Thanks Minh for help explaining!

          I wish I could draw it out in pictures! That would be much easier to understand. 🙂

          1. Hi Summer! Thank you for the response and Minh too! I do have to admit that when I was looking at the recipe for the pan sizes I accidentally was looking at the square when I meant to use the round ones. I was getting frustrated why I could not put it together… I did get it eventually. When I made the recipe for the Mocha almond fudge cake, which was a success the first attempt, it yielded 1 inch soft crumb cakes. When I used the same recipe and used the sizing formula, I sized up to 10 inch round pans. It yielded 1.5 inch and denser cake which I liked. And it did give me extra batter enough for two 6 round pans that yielded 1 inch dense cakes. Though I did round it to .2 more to make a whole number, it did give me more to work with. All in all it was a good formula. Thank you!

  15. Hi Summer!! I love your blog and every recipe you share! A have a question… I’m baking a 13″ marble cake, so I was thinking of multiplying the recipe by 2.5. Do I have to lower the amount of baking powder or should I also multiply by 2.5?
    Some of my cakes sink in the middle and I asume BP has somethinh to do with it

    1. Hi Rocìo, I would reduce the bakng powder by 25% and lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees F. Best of luck to you!

  16. Hello Summer, at how many times the recipe should I reduce the baking powder? Also, if a recipe calls for 7.8 eggs, should I round up and make it an even 8 eggs. Im just worried about what could possibly happen to the cake.

    1. Hi Nicole! I found the volume of each pan (Area x Height), then found the ratio of an 8-inch pan’s volume to the subsequent other sizes. That ratio is the mutiplier you need to increase (or reduce) your recipe to the next size. I hope that makes sense! Math is sometimes difficult to explain in words. 😉

  17. Hello!
    Thanks so much for this awesome conversion chart! Regarding the cooking temperatures, should I reduce temps for fan forced oven? Thanks

    1. Hi Emily! My pleasure. I would still recommend reducing temperatures. I have a fan forced oven and I feel that lowering temps changes the chemistry of the way a cake bakes. There are advantages to low and slow, especially in large cakes.

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