About Baking Pans and Sizes

baking-pans-sizes

If you are familiar with all the recipes I have shared, you will see that the most common pan size I make for my cake recipes is the 8″ Round.

Almost all of my recipes will divide up evenly amongst 2- 8″ pans

This is the most popular pan size for the home baker, which is why I choose to show that size.

Typically if the recipe yields 2-8″ then you will get about 24 standard sized cupcakes out of that same recipe. Or 1- Half Sheet Pan.
I don’t really follow charts, I have an “EYE” for this type of thing, not to mention in the commercial baking industry we make tons of cake batter at once, so figuring out which pans to use is never the problem. We just use ALL of them!

 

the basic rule of thumb though for figuring out how much batter for each pan; typically cake batters will rise to about half their original volume, so fill the pans half way.

Don’t get confused with 3″ tall pans and 2″ tall pans.  Just fill half way and you are good!

I find that the 3″ tall pans are best for cheesecakes and not much more. But that is just my opinion.

I feel they confuse people more than anything while allowing folks to over fill the pans with batter causing an over baked cake on the outside and a raw center.

I understand the home dilemma and how important it is to make exactly what you need to accommodate your pan sizes.
I will give you the following chart to reference when you need to figure out if Grandma’s bundt pan will be sufficent for my Butter Cake recipe!

Basically what we need to know is how much VOLUME can the pan hold, and how much batter is in the recipe? This way we can make the switch from pan to pan with ease.

To determine the pan’s dimensions always measure inside edge to inside edge of the pan so that you do not include the thickness of the pan in your measurement.
To measure the depth, place your ruler straight up from the bottom of the pan.
To determine how much batter it will hold (volume), pour pre-measured water by the cupful until the pan is filled to the brim. If your pan holds 4 cups of water, you have a 4-cup capacity baking pan.

However, do no be confused that this is the amount of batter you will pour into your pans! This is simply a measure used to determine how much ‘capacity” a pan has total- and we never fill cake batters to the brim!


So let’s say you are baking a recipe that yields 2- 8″ layers. Most likely the entire recipe will give you about 6 cups of batter. You will divide that batter between 2 -8″ round baking pans.

Because each 8″ pan will hold approximately 3cups of batter per layer, that 6 cup capacity bake pan gives you lots of room for rising with no overflow.

Check the table below for pan substitutions. The ideal pan substitution is one that keeps the same batter depth as in the original recipe; this way you do not have to make any drastic changes in baking times and temperatures. Remember in baking, those are the two most important factors!

Deeper batter in your pan means thicker cake, and more baking time, but with lower baking temperature so you bake it all the way through without burning and drying out the top and edges.

Shallow batter in your pan means thinner cake and you will need less baking time and keep a close watch on the temperature so you don’t burn your thin cake that way too!

REMEMBER: Do no be confused that this is the amount of batter you will pour into your pans! This is simply a measure used to determine how much ‘capacity” a pan has total- to the BRIM! And we never fill cake batters to the brim!

Round Cake Pans:
6 x 2″ 4 cups (948 ml)
8 x 1 1/2″ 4 cups (948 ml)
8 x 2″ 6 cups (1.4 liters)
9 x 1 1/2″ 6 cups (1.4 liters)
9 x 2″8 cups (1.9 liters)
10 x 2″11 cups (2.6 liters)

Bundt Pans:
7 1/2 x 3″ 6 cups (1.4 liters)
9 x 3″9 cups (2.1 liters)
10 x 3 1/2 inches 12 cups (2.8 liters)

Square Pans:
8x 8 x 1 1/2″ 6 cups (1.4 liters)
8 x 8 x 2″ 8 cups (1.9 liters)
9 x 9 x 1 1/2″ 8 cups (1.9 liters)
9 x 9 x 2″ 10 cups (2.4 liters)
10 x 10 x 2″ 12 cups (2.8 liters)

Rectangle Pan: (Yes, the infamous The Glass Baking Dish for Lasagna that we all bake our cakes in at home!)
13 x 9 x 2 inches 14 cups (3.3 liters)

Sheet Pan (this is what I call the Half Sheet Pan Layer)(Also known as Jelly Roll Pan)
12 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 1 12 cups (2.8 liters)

TYPES OF BAKEWARE:

Glass baking dishes, cakes will bake faster. Glass transfers heat much better than metal. It is recommended that you lower the oven temperature 25 degrees F / 14 degrees C when baking in glass

Aluminum– My preference and the preference of most professional bakers. They come in all types, price ranges, gauges and sizes. The high end ones geared towards bakeries are coated with a non-stick glaze. Buying a good sturdy pan will give you many years of service.

SteelUsually cheaper pans. May have a non-stick coating. Usually thin.

Stainless Steel– Very expensive. Thin gauge.

Silicon– Seems to be the latest craze. Most require the support of a baking tray. Food does not brown as well. Can be hard to get out.


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43 Comments

  • Hi Gretchen
    Thankyou so much for your reply regarding my question on amounts of batter to cake tin. Best explanation ever.
    Clear and easy to understand.
    Can I ask a favour my website is above and would love an honest opinion from an expert shall I keep going and build my little empire?

    Thanks again
    Michelle aka Millie

  • Hai i would appreciate you for the wonderful thing you are doing.
    I need a help from you as one of my friend need a 3kg cake, what would be the size of pan in inches or cm.
    I need both square tin and round tin measurements.
    Thanking you

    • HI Thankyou! I do not weigh my cakes, I am not familiar with this type of cake trading. Here in the US we make cakes based on cake pan and serving size, not weights. Im sorry

  • Hi,
    I am just starting my cake baking “career” LOL
    What is the best size of a baking pan to start with? The choices are:
    11 by 7 8 cups volume
    8 by 8 by 2 and a quarter 8 cups volume
    9 by 9 11 cups volume
    They are all from Pampered Chef
    Thank you

  • Hi
    I would like to bake your white cake but in 10′ x 2round pans

    Should I change the recipe or just use your 8′ recipe and yelled shorter cake then 2′

    Thank you so much for all the recipes they are delicious and all ways come out excellent

    Talia

  • It would be a Good Thing if you would add common loaf pans to the chart, e.g. 4×8, 4½×8½, 5×9, 5×10. I’m thinking of deeper cakes such as pound cake, apple cake etc..

  • Hi Gretchen,

    I love all your recipes and your blog is great. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    I want to make a cake using two 6*2″ cake pan. Since all your recipes are for 8″ pan, should I make 1/2 or 2/3 of your recipe?

    Thanks again,
    Vidya

  • Hi Gretchen,

    I found out that Fat Daddio’s is your favourite brand. Doesn’t seem to be available in my region. Can you suggest from which website I can buy online and get them shipped to the Middle East? I don’t know which one would be a reliable website.

    What are the other brands you would recommend? I’ve used Wilton and I’m not too impressed with it.

    Thanks!

  • Hi Gretchen,

    I tried contacting fat daddio’s directly, not able to reach them. Other than Amazon, can you recommend trustworthy websites that ship this brand internationally?

    Thanks!

        • Thanks for your reply Gretchen. I bought a few fat daddio’s round pans but got the 3 inch instead of 2 inch tall ones. It was by mistake .Please advise if this affects the baking. If I just fill halfway regardless of the pan height, would I be fine ?

          • great, it does not affect the baking , but now the extra inch creates confusion, since if you fill it half way (half of 3″ = 1½” which is more than half of 2″ = 1″- do you follow?) and this is where the 3″ pan creates confusion. Most often though a recipe yields 2-8″ which makes it easy, so you will just divide the batter equally. But for recipes where you are making larger batch sizes and you have to “guesstimate” how much batter to use- half would be fine IF you want thicker layers. So you have to just get used to them thats all

  • Thinking of getting new round cake pans, the 10″ size & want to get the most for my money & not have to have two sets of pans (one 2″ high and one 3″ high). So, my questions are:
    1) would it be better to get the 10 x 3 pans?
    2) can I bake recipes that would normally go in the 2″ high pan in the 3″ high pan?
    Also, plan to buy the Parrish Magic Line pans. Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • I do not prefer 3″ tall pans. I find them useless (unless I’m making my giant Cheesecake recipe) most recipes are calculated to make 2- 8″ layers and after baking you will get close to a 2″ cake layer out of each and not much more, so the extra inch pan? For what? Unless you plan to rework all the recipes to make taller cakes, that is fine ~~ then you will want the taller pans, but keep in mind more batter in the pan is longer bake time, risk of overbrowning before the centers are done and also collapsing middles if the structure of the cake cannot support that added height. In my opinion 3″ tall pans are nuisances! LOL Just confuses people! (in my experience anyway)

    • I dont really know what that is? If it is a pie, then you should use a pie tin – but usually the person who wrote the recipe will tell you what to use

  • Hi! I’m making for the first time a mommy to be cake im using a stainless steel bowl size 5.5 for the belly and 1.5 bowl for the breasts I couldn’t find glass,or ceramic bowls around that size I’m feeding 35-40 no sheet cake under it I’m also using a simple white cake recipe instead of box mix I’m trying
    to figure out how much batter I would need any suggestions or tips I would appreciate..

  • Hi Gretchen!!
    My first time to do them in the jelly roll pan.. 12 cups of batter right?? How long to bake? Can I do three layers? How many will this feed?? I need enough for 110 ppl. I’m also add two tiered round cake to the side of the sheet cake I will use dowels.. This is a 40th Anniversary cake..Thank You!!

    • Im not sure what “them” is….but any recipe that makes 2-8″ cake layers will also make 1- 12″x18″x1½” pan

    • yes people say “jelly roll pan” but typically that is a 12″x18″ pan
      I still don’t know what recipe we are talking about but it doesn’t really matter and why I said that any recipe that makes 2-8″ cakes (and almost all recipes make that) you will get 1- “jelly roll layer”
      Bake Until it is Done (check it at 18 minutes)

  • Your white cake or chocolate cake I never used a pan like that I’ve always bake in the 12×18 2″ thats what I call a sheet cake..
    How many people will the cake feed if I do the three layers?? How long do you bake the cake in the jelly pan?? Thank You for your time, Karen

  • Gretchen, is there a formula or website to change two layer 8 or 9 inch pans to three layers? I like a taller cake.

    • Not that I know of, I do not have a formula for this, unfortunately (although ive been saying for ages I have to figure out a clear way to explain this in a blog post) a recipe for 2- 8″ layers will give you 3- nice 7″ layers
      But a recipe for 2- 8″ layers will have to be 1½X recipe for 3- nice 9″ layers

  • Hi Gretchen,

    I am going to make a 3 tiered wedding cake for my sister . I just would like to ask, how many recipes will I make for the 6×3, 10x 3, and 14x 3.. And also for the buttercream icing. Thank you so much!And how long will I bake it. Thank you again

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