About Baking Pans and 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)


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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  1. 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

  2. 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

    1. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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


  5. 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..

  6. 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,

  7. 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.


  8. 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?


        1. 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 ?

          1. 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

  9. 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.

    1. 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)

    1. 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

  10. 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..

  11. 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!!

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

    1. 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)

  12. 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

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

    1. 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

  14. 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

  15. Gretchen, I love your site! I have a 3 layered 9 inch round cake recipe that I want to make into a 2 layer half sheet.
    The recipe calls for 4 C cake flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 C butter, 3C sugar, 1 tsp lemon extract, 2C buttermilk and 6 egg whites. This is baked at 350 degrees.
    Can you tell me the changes I would make to do 2 half sheet layers. I hope it’s not too much. I would also like to know how to calculate this myself. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Thanks! Typically if a recipe makes 2- 8″ cakes you can put all the batter into a 12″ x 18″ pan (aka half sheet pan) for 1 layer. Rule of thumb, fill cake pans half full for best rise and results

  16. Hi, I have a recipe that calls for a 12×18 x1.5 inch pan to be used for brownies ( an Ina Garten recipe), but my 12×18 pan does not have 1.5 inches on the sides,.so I want to halve it…. what should I use? an 8×8, a 9×9 or something else?
    thank you so much

  17. Hi Gretchen, I’m an enthusiastic amateur baker and I’m planning on baking a cake for my mother in law’s 60th birthday. I need a reliable way to upscale a classic victoria sponge to a 50inch square tin. Having a look through your website, it seems like you may be the woman who can help! Any ideas please?

    1. Hi Thanks typically you can upscale any recipe with no problems, but since I never really make my recipes in terms of cups measure or even weighted batters, I may not be much help. This is why I did write this post in an attempt to help those who do need to recognize things in terms of volume or weights in batters. But it seems to have created more confusion! LOL
      I come from a large scale bakery production operation where we make 100lbs of batter at once and just fill the pans we need and we are done! Not as easy in a home setting where you dont want waste or to have remake a recipe 3 and 4 times.
      First of all though, Im confused, 50 INCH?? Pan?? Ive never heard of such a pan? thats over 4FT??

  18. Dear Gretchen,
    The measurements are as follows: 42 x 42 x 9cm.
    So roughly 16x16x3 inches. This will be the last time I bother you…promise.
    Thank you!

    1. OH centimeters makes more sense.
      3X recipe for each 16″ pan (just be sure to fill pans half full since all recipes may yield a slightly differnt amount)

  19. Thank you so very much. I feel a lot more confident setting out now.
    So impressed with the website and how quickly you get back to visitors! Great job and thank you again.
    I’ll let you know if it was a success.

  20. Thank you so much! What a fantastically helpful and quick response. I feel much more confident setting out now.
    I’ve never used one of these message boards before, but would definitely recommend this site to any baker looking for tips.
    I’ll let you know if it goes well and thank you again.

    1. thankyou! I appreciate that and hope you will please spread the word about me on your social media that would awesome What a big help! 🙂

  21. Hello again Gretchen,
    I was wondering if you could give me an idea what gas mark I should bake my cake at. It’s a 16×16 inch victoria sponge and I have a non fan gas oven.
    Thank you!

    1. I would start on gas mark 4 until it rises fully, then turn it down to gas mark 3 or even 2 for the last stage of baking to avoid overbrowning and drying of the top and edges before the middle is done CLICK HERE FOR MORE

  22. I’ve recently found your site and already love you. I’m am making a tiered cake for my parents anniversary and am trying to figure out the volume for a 5″ and 3″ pan. I plan on making a 9, 7, 5, and 3″ tier. That way I know how much batter to make. I am planning three different flavors. Red velvet, almond with raspberry buttercream filling, and white sponge with lemon filling, all covered in American buttercream

    1. awesome thankyou! I dont really have a magical formula to do this, and this blog post here has proven to be a bit more confusing for some than I intended.
      But here is the best way to imagine it- most recipes give you 2-8″ cake layers. So 1½X a recipe will give you 2-10″ layers. Smaller pans like 6″ or 5″ and 3″ well… no matter what pan size you make you will never fill the batter more than half full for proper baking and rise. So you can make the standard recipe and get several 3″, or 5″ or 6″ out of that

  23. Hey!! Gretchen
    Can you guide in baking 2kg and 3kg cake which tin size should I use.
    For 1/2 kg I prefer 6″ round tin.
    Thank You.

  24. Already bought a 10×3 fat daddios pan and after reading this, I am somewhat regretting my decision. I was wondering since a 2″ pan holds 11 cups to the brim and normally you would fill the pan half way, could I just use half of that (5 1/2 cups) in my 3″ pan to yield the same size cake that would have been made with the 2″ pan? Sorry I felt like that was long winded lol 🙂
    Also, what temperature would you suggest using a 10″ fat daddios pan without a heating core? Thank you in advance

    1. Depending on the cake recipe you are using, and how much it normally rises (some more than others as you probably know) but yes to half full no matter what size pan, the thing about a 2″” pan is that you will never have any raw middles and overdone outer edges due to so much batter being in the pan. Ive never really had a need for a cake layer that was more than 2″ in thickness. I literally have 1 pan that is a 3″ depth and that is for my 1 cheesecake recipe that is really tall
      So I guess what Im saying is – if you cake rises like mine do, you will fill half way and still get a 2″ thick cake CLICK HERE to see exactly what I mean
      And last, I never use a heating core, I just keep my eye on oven temperatures and turn it down if it is not yet baked but needs more time So meaning: start with recommended temp the recipe asks for, then turn the temp down after it has risen

  25. Hi

    I would like to ask how to make a 18 inches diameter round cake if I do not have the round pan? Can I do that with the sheet pan?

  26. Gretchen, I have to make a 14 x 20 sheet cake (size accommodates my design) the pan is one inch deep. How much batter do I need to prepare? Will I have to make three of these layers to have a decent piece of cake? or would two layers suffice? This is for a birthday party not a wedding.

    1. Most recipes yield 2-8″ cake layers which is perfect amount of batter for a 12″ x 18″ x1″ cake pan, so I would say to go 1½x the recipe for your size pan

  27. Hi Gretchen,

    I am just learning to bake and have a recipe that requires a 8″round pan but have only a 8x11x0.5 inch pan. Can i use the same amount of batter in the pan to bake. I want to try and make a layered cake so will it work.

    1. Hi! Welcome and congrats on your new passion! Be sure to fill batter only slightly more than half full (no matter what pan size you are using) for best results all the time

  28. Thanks for sharing this informative article Gretchen. I just came across your site, I have enjoyed reading your articles.
    By the way, there was a recipe you shared with us that I’m interested in, the Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies. I want to try to bake those cookies, they look so tasty xD But I was wondering which type of bakeware would be the best to use for them?

  29. I am moving out of my parents this year and need to start getting some of my own kitchenware. Some pans like this would be a good place to start. I like that you recommend a variety of sizes for different occasion.

  30. I like to bake and cook.i would like to know to reduce large cake recipes down to recipes for 2 in baking..recipes, and what size baking pans to use, and how to reduce a recipe down to baking for 2…thank u

  31. Hi, I would like to bake a 2 layers 8 x 1 cake but I don’t have that, only have a 8 x 3, can I use mine and just bake a tall cake n cut it a cross horizontally? My cake is paleo so doesn’t rise much. The recipe calls for 25-28mins n 350F, if I would change to 45mins n 300F, will it work? Pls help, thanks

    1. don’t be confused by the 3″ height. I do not like 3″ pans for that reason, it’s gets people all jammed up thinking they NEED to have batter to fill the pan. You don’t. You can bake in a pan that is 5″ tall if you want, and if the batter is not going to rise, it is not going to rise. BUT since you are saying you only have ONE 8″ pan then that becomes the real problem because you don’t want to overfill a cake pan either. (Underfilling is never a problem, overfilling IS)
      You also don’t want to play around with oven temperature, since the 350F is what is going to cause your ingredients to get hot enough fast enough to rise it in the first place.
      So, no do not change temp. Bake time will become a factor depending on pan sizes and how much batter is in each one that is why I do not like relying on EXACT times CLICK HERE FOR MORE

      So I guess to answer your question, Yes you can bake all the batter in your 8″ x 3″ pan, since you specified that it really doesn’t rise much anyway. Keep the temp at 350, but check it after 20 minutes, since you are putting all the batter into that one pan, you can THEN turn the oven down to 300F and bake the rest of the way

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