One of the most popular questions I get asked is ‘how to convert cake recipes for different size tins’. Maybe you have a recipe that tells you to use a 6 inch tin, but all you have at home is an 8 inch tin. Maybe you want to make a slightly larger or smaller cake depending on the amount of people you need to feed, or maybe you want to scale up your cake recipe for a tiered cake, to make sure all the tiers are the same height.
In this weeks video tutorial I go through the exact method and things you need to consider for converting any cake recipe for any size tin. DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE PDF CONVERSION CHART HERE
How to Convert Your Cake Recipes
When converting cake recipes you need to work out how much difference there is between your 2 tins and work out how much to adjust your recipe by. You do this by first working out the surface area of each of the tins. The tin you want to use and the tin the recipe calls for. Now there is a little maths involved in working this out, but to make it a little easier I have done this for you and popped it into the chart below.
Once you have your 2 surface areas you can work out your adjustment amount ⇩
Surface Area of New Tin Size ÷ Surface Area of Original Tin Size = Adjustment Amount
Original Ingredients x Adjustment Amount = New ingredients total
You can then use your adjustment amount to convert your whole list of ingredients. In the tutorial I convert my Vanilla sponge cake recipe from a 6 inch recipe to an 8 inch recipe. I also go through how to work out exactly how many eggs to use and adjusting the time and temperature you bake your cake for.
Now if you want to know how I worked out the surface areas, to find the area of a circle you need to work out Area=πr² where pi (π) equals 3.14 and the radius (r) is half the diameter. For example the area of a 6 inch round tin would be 3.14 x (3×3) = 28.26. To work out the area of a square tin you would use Area=S² with (S) being the length of the side.
This method of converting your cake recipes for any size tin will give you a scaled up or scaled down version of your recipe. So if we look at the original 6 inch cake from my vanilla sponge cake recipe compared to the converted 8 inch recipe. The recipe was split into 2 cake tins each, so I have 4 cakes that are exactly the same height, but scaled in width depending on the tin I used. This is great if you are creating tiered cakes and they all need to be the same height.
Making a larger cake but not as high
For example my original 6 inch cake was divided into layers creating a 4 layer cake. If you want a larger cake but that is only half the height, just work out the new converted recipe and divide it by 2, giving you just half the recipe. If you look at the cakes above this would give you just one of the 8 inch cakes that you can then cut and divide in 2 if you wanted.
Another thing to consider is the size of your cake tin. I talk about this in the tutorial. I split my mixture between 2 cake tins, which are around 2.5 – 3 inches in height. If your tins are slightly shallower, and don’t hold as much mixture just divide the mixture between 4 shorter tins instead of 2 higher ones. This will also mean you don’t have to cut your layers down when your ready to prepare and decorate your cake.
Making your cake smaller (update Dec 2021)
Since uploading this tutorial one of the most asked questions I get is about reducing the size of your cake. So for example you have a 6 inch cake recipe you want to convert to a 4 inch cake recipe. The way you work this out is exactly the same. There is no difference to the calculations.
For example if you divide the surface area of the new tin by the original 12.56 (4inch) ÷ 28.26 (6 inch) = 0.44. When going down in size you will always get a decimal number less than one. When you then multiply the ingredients by the adjustment number it will give you a smaller amount. For example if your 6 inch cake needed 340g of flour; 340 x 0.44 =149.6. This means you would need 150g of flour for the 4 inch cake, and you can then do this with the rest of your ingredients.
I really hope this video will be useful and you will be able to use it to create any of your recipes in any size tins or cake pans. If you haven’t already you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Free cake decorating video tutorials.
Tools I Used
I have put a list below showing all the tools that I used throughout this video or if you would like to see all my favourite cake decorating tools just click here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/cakesbylynz
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