Scaling down recipes; aka cakes for 2-4 people.


mtx

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Has anyone successfully scaled down recipes that always seem to ask for 9"-9.5"-10" pans? I am interested in scaling down the recipes to a 6" pan or less so that I can make a variety of cakes and so there aren't too many leftovers. It appears easy to scale down ingredients (simple mathematical division), however what I'm afraid of is approximation of baking times. I don't want to be opening up the oven every 15 minutes to check if the cake is set. Constant change of temps can affect quality. The cakes/desserts I am referring to range from anything like Red Velvet, Carrot, Black Forest, Flourless Tortes, Cheesecake, etc.

Anyone have experience / recommendations?
 
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Has anyone successfully scaled down recipes that always seem to ask for 9"-9.5"-10" pans? I am interested in scaling down the recipes to a 6" pan or less so that I can make a variety of cakes and so there aren't too many leftovers. It appears easy to scale down ingredients (simple mathematical division), however what I'm afraid of is approximation of baking times. I don't want to be opening up the oven every 15 minutes to check if the cake is set. Constant change of temps can affect quality. The cakes/desserts I am referring to range from anything like Red Velvet, Carrot, Black Forest, Flourless Tortes, Cheesecake, etc.

Anyone have experience / recommendations?
There’s no such thing as a 9.5 inch pan

yes there’s a formula for scaling down the recipe. However you need to bake in metric weight to properly scale recipe. You cannot scale a recipe if the recipe is in volume (i.e., cups).


1. Find the area of both pans.

The formula to find the area is:

r² • π = AREA
(radius squared times pi equals the area)

The radius is half of the diameter of the pan

so if you have a 9” pan, half of that is 4.5” so square that.

4.5 x 4.5 = 20.25

pi equals 3.14.

20.25 x 3.14 = 63.58

The area of the 9” cake pan is 63.58

To find the area of your 6” cake pan, follow the same steps

The radius is half of the diameter of the pan. Square the radius

3 × 3 = 9
Multiply 9 by pi

9 x 3.14 = 28.26

The area of the 6” cake pan is 28.26


To scale DOWN

Divide the area of the SMALLER pan into the area of the LARGER pan

28.26/63.58 = 0.444

0.444 is your multiplier

so if you are using a recipe in metric weight you multiply each ingredient with the multiplier

for example my Coconut cake recipe
  • 250g cake flour
  • 75g finely grated desiccated coconut - NOT coconut flour!
  • 360g sugar

250 cake flour x 0.444 = 111
So use 111g cake flour

75g desiccated coconut x 0.444 = 3.33
So use 3.33 g desiccated coconut

360g sugar x 0.444 = 159.84
So use 160 g sugar


============
The process is part of Baker’s percentages that used in commercial baking. bakeries need to adjust production to meet demand. The ratio of ingredients based on the weight of flour ensures that the quality is consistent. Volume measurement is inaccurate and inconsistent so it is never used in commercial baking. Plus it’s impossible to adjust/scale recipes.

I discuss baker’s percentages in this thread.

https://www.baking-forums.com/threads/bakers-formular-baker-s-percentage.5690/#post-40096
 
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Has anyone successfully scaled down recipes that always seem to ask for 9"-9.5"-10" pans? I am interested in scaling down the recipes to a 6" pan or less so that I can make a variety of cakes and so there aren't too many leftovers. It appears easy to scale down ingredients (simple mathematical division), however what I'm afraid of is approximation of baking times. I don't want to be opening up the oven every 15 minutes to check if the cake is set. Constant change of temps can affect quality. The cakes/desserts I am referring to range from anything like Red Velvet, Carrot, Black Forest, Flourless Tortes, Cheesecake, etc.

Anyone have experience / recommendations?
Yeh its simple.
If the recipe says bake for 30 minutes just start checking it at 20 mins.
It wont collapse unless you hold the door open for 3 minutes.
Just reach in and touch it.
 

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