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I’ve gotten pretty comfortable assembling and frosting 6” layer cakes because that’s all I make for my husband and me at this point. A friend (and former pastry chef who taught me a great many things) noticed I’d “loved” a cake on IG and asked me to make it for her. It was a glorious vanilla cake with vanilla American buttercream. No more stalling, but I’m still intimidated on handling a 9” two-layer cake. I’d like to halve the recipe and bake it as a 6” cake. Unfortunately, Bake from Scratch magazine, unlike KAF, does not have a call-in help line, so I can’t call or write in and ask, and I’ve recently noticed that my oven has a cool spot, so baking the cake as 1 9” and 2 6” layers scares me. Am I safe in halving the recipe or should I bake it as a 9” and dig out the cake cutter/mold I bought last year And cut the cakes down to size? I’m just not ready to tackle such a big cake. Thanks in advance.
 
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I’ve gotten pretty comfortable assembling and frosting 6” layer cakes because that’s all I make for my husband and me at this point. A friend (and former pastry chef who taught me a great many things) noticed I’d “loved” a cake on IG and asked me to make it for her. It was a glorious vanilla cake with vanilla American buttercream. No more stalling, but I’m still intimidated on handling a 9” two-layer cake. I’d like to halve the recipe and bake it as a 6” cake. Unfortunately, Bake from Scratch magazine, unlike KAF, does not have a call-in help line, so I can’t call or write in and ask, and I’ve recently noticed that my oven has a cool spot, so baking the cake as 1 9” and 2 6” layers scares me. Am I safe in halving the recipe or should I bake it as a 9” and dig out the cake cutter/mold I bought last year And cut the cakes down to size? I’m just not ready to tackle such a big cake. Thanks in advance.
you need to scale the recipe to keep the ratio of ingredients to flour correct. if its in metric weight, then you can scale it up/down




ROUND I will use 8” & 10” pans for this example



STEP 1: FIND AREA OF THE PANS

r² • π = AREA

(radius squared x pi = area)

Radius is 1/2 of the diameter. pi = 3.14

  • Find the radius: 8 ÷ 2= 4
  • Square the radius: 4 x 4 = 16
  • Multiply radius by pi: 16 x 3.14 = 50.24
  • Area of 8” round pan: 50.24

  • Find the radius: 10 ÷ 2= 5
  • Square the radius: 5 x 5 = 25
  • Multiply radius by pi: 25 x 3.14 = 78.5
  • Area of 10” round pan: 78.5


STEP 2: DIVIDE THE AREA OF THE LARGER PAN INTO THE AREA OF THE SMALER PAN


78.5 ÷ 50.25 = 1.56


The quotient 1.56 is used as the multiplier



STEP 3: MULTIPLY EACH INGREDIENT BY THE MULTIPLIER



To scale up to a 10” pan, multiple each ingredient by 1.56.


=======================================



NOTE: to scale DOWN from 10” to 8”

Divide the AREA of the smaller pan into the area of the larger pan


50.35 ÷ 78.5 = 0.64


0.64 is the multiplier


50.35 ÷ 78.5 = 0.64


0.64 is the multiplier to scale from a 10” pan to 8” pan.
 
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you need to scale the recipe to keep the ratio of ingredients to flour correct. if its in metric weight, then you can scale it up/down




ROUND I will use 8” & 10” pans for this example



STEP 1: FIND AREA OF THE PANS

r² • π = AREA

(radius squared x pi = area)

Radius is 1/2 of the diameter. pi = 3.14

  • Find the radius: 8 ÷ 2= 4
  • Square the radius: 4 x 4 = 16
  • Multiply radius by pi: 16 x 3.14 = 50.24
  • Area of 8” round pan: 50.24

  • Find the radius: 10 ÷ 2= 5
  • Square the radius: 5 x 5 = 25
  • Multiply radius by pi: 25 x 3.14 = 78.5
  • Area of 10” round pan: 78.5


STEP 2: DIVIDE THE AREA OF THE LARGER PAN INTO THE AREA OF THE SMALER PAN


78.5 ÷ 50.25 = 1.56


The quotient 1.56 is used as the multiplier



STEP 3: MULTIPLY EACH INGREDIENT BY THE MULTIPLIER



To scale up to a 10” pan, multiple each ingredient by 1.56.


=======================================



NOTE: to scale DOWN from 10” to 8”

Divide the AREA of the smaller pan into the area of the larger pan


50.35 ÷ 78.5 = 0.64


0.64 is the multiplier


50.35 ÷ 78.5 = 0.64


0.64 is the multiplier to scale from a 10” pan to 8” pan.
Thank you! So, I did the math (I’ve seen the formula but math) and a 6” pan is 44% of a 9” pan. Which pretty much confirms what I did with my husband’s birthday cake. I halved the recipe, in grams (I weigh my ingredients). I’m saving the calculations I did, and your explanation. Again, thank you!
 
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just some tips on baking cake:

  • cream butter and sugar at the correct temperature of 65°F NOT room temperature as most recipes state; this ensure the butter does not overheat during beating and finished cake batter does not exceed 68°F
  • cream the leavening and salt in with the butter and sugar to ensure it is thoroughly distributed
  • sift the flour to get out all the lumps
  • use uncoated metal, light metal cake tins; dark metal, coated and anodized aluminum conduct heat too intensely, causing the cake to dome instead of rising and baking evenly; forming a dry brown crust.
  • use cloth baking strips to insulate cake from excessive heat and allow cake to rise and bake evenly; prevent a dry brown crust
  • cream butter and sugar at the correct temperature of 65°F NOT room temperature as most recipes state; this ensure the butter does not overheat during beating and finished cake batter does not exceed 68°F
  • bake cake at 325°F, not 350°F to avoid a dry brown crust and domed cake




only difference between these two cakes is the they of pan they were baked in; they are the same batter, baked in the same oven at the same time
20C16F74-ED5B-45E5-AEB8-2D34DE59DD03.jpeg


cake baked in uncoated metal, cloth baking strip, at 325°F. completely level and no dry brown crust
CABB0346-1000-43A0-A92E-EDCB4D04F03B.jpeg


how a cake is baked determines the quality of the crumb and how it looks plated; there is not dry brown crust to mar the look of the plated cake
47EA2E09-8A34-479D-A7E6-EA161F3816E6.jpeg
 

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