Your recipe must be in metric weight measurement to properly scale. The reason is, to scale properly, you must use baker’s percentages. If you do not scale using baker’s percentages, the ratios of ingredients will skew the more you increase the mix; the more skewed the ratios of ingredients, the greater the differences in the chemical reaction between the ingredients during baking, cooling, and aging. It will dramatically change your entire product.
This is a copy and paste of my brief explanation of what I tell people when I am asked about baker’s percentages and scaling recipes:
Baker’s percentages is a is number expressed as a fraction of 100. In baker’s percentages, the flour is always 100%. All other ingredients are weighed against the flour. An ingredient may be more than the 100% flour. For example, sugar is normally equal or slightly more than flour in a chocolate chip cookie and in most cakes. It is common for flour to be 100% and sugar to be 110%.
The formulas are referred to as baker’s percentages. By maintaining the exact percentages of ingredients to the flour, no matter how large or small the batch, the baker is able to maintain consistency in batches of batter/dough. This allows the baker to adjust production throughout the week to meet changes in daily demand without compromising the quality of the products. In a business baker’s percentages is critical for everything from product quality, work flow management, customer demand, to budget planning. For a home baker, it helps in much the same way. Scaling up for the holidays, and scaling down for when you just want a small batch for home.
To calculate the baker’s percentages, divide the weight of each ingredient into the weight of flour. In this example, egg whites weighs 113 grams, milk is 242 mL.
113 ÷ 300 = 0.3766
242 ÷ 300 = 0.806
The baker’s percentages for egg whites is 37.66% (same as 0.3766)
The baker’s percentages for milk is 80% (same as 0.806)
AFTER CALCULATING EACH INGREDIENTS’ BAKER’S PERCENTAGES, CALCULATE THE SUM OF THE BAKER’S PERCENTAGES.
THEN CALCULATE THE SUM OF THE WEIGHT OF THE INGREDIENTS
Ingredients | Baker’s percentages | Grams |
egg whites | 37.66% | 113 |
milk | 80% | 242 |
vanilla | 3.33% | 10 |
cake flour | 100% | 300 |
sugar | 100% | 300 |
baking powder | 6.33% | 18 |
fine salt | 1.66% | 5 |
unsalted butter | 56.66% | 170 |
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TOTALS | 385.64% | 1158 |
How to use baker’s percentages
NOTE: THE SUM OF THE BAKER’S PERCENTAGES AND THE SUM OF THE WEIGHT OF THE INGREDIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO SCALE A RECIPE.
Suppose the example recipe of 1158 mL batter yields two 8” cakes. That is 579 mL per cake. You want twelve 8” cakes. So a minimum of 6948 mL of batter is required.
STEP 1: Calculate total weight of batter required.
579 mL per cake. First round up amount of batter to at least 580 mL to offset small decreases in batter conversion.
580 mL x 12 = 6960
6960 mL batter is required for twelve cakes
STEP 2: Divide the total weight of batter required into the total a baker’s percentages
6960 ÷ 385.64 = 18.04
Round down to 18.
18 is the multiplier you will use to calculate the amount of each ingredient
STEP 3: Multiply each ingredient’s baker’s percent with the multiplier to calculate the ingredients required
Ingredients | Baker’s percentages | Grams/mL rounded out |
egg whites | 37.66 x 18.04 = 679.38 round down | 679 |
milk | 80 x 18.04 = 1443.2 round down | 1442 |
vanilla | 3.33 x 18.04 = 60.07 round down | 60 |
cake flour | 100 x 18.04 = 1804 | 1804 |
sugar | 100 x 18.04 = 1804 | 1804 |
baking powder | 6.33 x 18 = 114.19 round down | 114 |
fine salt | 1.66 x 18 = 29.88 round up | 30 |
unsalted butter | 56.66 x 18 = 1019.88 round up | 1020 |
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TOTALS | Baker’s percentages are still the same at 385.64% | Total batter weight 6953 |
Note that the baker’s percentages remain the same and you have the minimum 578 mL per cake required.
6953 ÷ 12 = 579.41
This is why professional bakers use baker’s percentages.