Content of the material
- Converting Recipe Quantities and Scaling Recipes
- Question 4: What About Scaling Up?
- Divide, Multiply, or Adapt Any Recipe in One Click …
- SCALING DOWN:
- Question 6: How Should I Adjust the Oven Temperature?
- How to Cut a Recipe in Thirds
- How to Scale a Recipe to Have a Specific Total Amount
- White Chocolate Gianduja Recipe – 160g Total
- Specific Total Amount Recipe Calculator
- Things to Consider When Scaling a Recipe
- Measuring by Weight vs. Volume
- Cooking and Baking Times May Change
- Which Recipes Can Be Scaled
- How Scaling Down Recipes Affects Cooking Time and Oven Temperature
- Which cakes bake and freeze well?
- Layer cakes with fillings and/or frostings
- Tube or Bundt cakes
- Sweet breads and loaf cakes
- Sheet pan or snacking style cakes
- Recipe Resizer Mobile App – The Recipe Scaling Calculator
Converting Recipe Quantities and Scaling Recipes
(desired servings) divided by (original servings) = conversion factor For example, to scale a 10-serving recipe down to six portions: Divide 6 (desired servings) by 10 (original servings), which gives you a conversion factor of 0.6. Applying the Conversion Factor
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Question 4: What About Scaling Up?
Whether for the purpose of cupcakes by the dozen, extra cake layers for stacking, or a big sheet cake to feed a crowd, many recipes can be doubled, or even tripled quite safely. This is particularly true for small-batch recipes, where the yield is a single cake layer, such as a my blackberry snack cake or a classic olive oil cake, and other such low-volume affairs.
While some bakers insist there is some mysterious, sidereal calculations required to adjust the leavening agents for different batch sizes, I handle these ingredients with the cool indifference of math alone—this approach has never failed me. Perhaps on an industrial scale it would be of some concern, but so, too, would a number of other issues too numerous and obscure to address here.
The more pressing issue for home bakers is to consider the capacity of their mixer when scaling an already large recipe up. While one may technically be able to cram all the ingredients required for a double batch of something into the bowl, overfilling will both limit the batter's capacity for aeration as well as increase the difficulty of homogenization.
The result is typically a dense cake, and one that may be prone to sinking in the middle, or else streaked with discoloration along the surface, with mottled, uneven textures within (some parts fluffy, some parts gooey; some light, some dark).
I try to fill my six-quart stand mixer with no more than 85 ounces of cake batter when using the creaming method; perhaps a little more for cakes that involve folding in some bulk of the ingredients by hand.
With smaller stand mixers, that amount will be reduced according to the capacity of the bowl; to roughly budget capacity, allow about 14 ounces of batter for every quart the bowl can hold. Hand mixers (and hand mixing) can be a bit trickier to judge, as their effectiveness depends on the volume-to-surface area ratio of the batter in the bowl (ideally, the batter would not be able to engulf the beaters or whisk).
So tally up the ingredients list before doubling a recipe, and make sure the amount of batter won't be overwhelming to the functionality of the equipment involved. The safest option may be to make two individual batches of batter, rather than one double batch.
Divide, Multiply, or Adapt Any Recipe in One Click …
Or maybe you have a great recipe for pasta salad that only serves 2, rather than the 7 you need it for. You could do a lot of math yourself, or you could use our nifty calculator to scale your recipe.
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For example, my Eggless Vanilla Cake Recipe yields around 12 cups of batter, which I divide between 3 8-inch round cake pans – each holds 6 cups of batter! But since it’s recommended to fill the cake pan up to 3/4, I fill each cake pan with 4 cups of batter each.
Without scaling down or up the original recipe, I could bake it in:
- Four 6-in round cake pans – 3 cups batter each.
- Two 9-in round cake pans – 6 cups batter each.
- One 13×9-in rectangular pan – 9 cups batter (use the leftover batter to make cupcakes).
- Two 9×5-in loaf pans – 6 cups batter each.
Scaling down a recipe usually means simply cutting a recipe in half. But the science of baking makes this risky.
According to my experience, you are always better off simply baking a full recipe in several smaller baking pans rather than attempting to cut in half all the ingredients. Then, if you still have extra batter, use it to make mini baked goods.
If scaling down in half, try and find a pan that’s about half the size in volume as the original recipe calls for, so there are no major changes in the deep of the batter.
PRO TIP: You can measure the volume of a pan by seeing how much water it will take to fill it up.
Question 6: How Should I Adjust the Oven Temperature?
This one's simple—don't touch that dial. Whatever temperature is listed in the recipe is the best temperature for baking that cake. Period.
How to Cut a Recipe in Thirds
Reducing a recipe by one-third can come in handy when halving still yields too much food:
- One third of ¼ cup is equivalent to 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- One third of ⅓ cup is equivalent to 1 tbsp + 2 ¼ tsp
- One third of ½ cup is equivalent to 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
- One third of ⅔ cup is equivalent to 3 tbsp + 1 ½ tsp
- One third of ¾ cup is equivalent to ¼ cup
- One third of 1 cup is equivalent to ⅓ cup
- One third of 1 tbsp is equivalent to 1 tsp
- One third of 1 tsp is equivalent to a heaping ¼ tsp
- One third of ½ tsp is equivalent to a scant ¼ tsp
- One third of ¼ tsp is equivalent to a scant ⅛ tsp
- One third of ⅛ tsp is equivalent to a dash
How to Scale a Recipe to Have a Specific Total Amount
To scale a recipe to have a specific total amount you need to multiply each ingredient by a multiplier calculated by dividing the desired total amount by the original total amount.
To calculate the amount for each ingredient:
original ingredient amount × desired total amount ÷ original total amount
Roger has a white chocolate gianduja recipe that totals 160g. He recently bought a new silicone mould that has 20 cavities that fit 10g of gianduja per cavity. He needs exactly 200g of gianduja to fill the mould. He decides to make 220g of gianduja to make a little extra.
White Chocolate Gianduja Recipe – 160g Total
- 110g white chocolate
- 50g hazelnut paste
Roger divides 220 by 160 (dividing the desired total amount by the original total amount)
Specific Total Amount Recipe Calculator
This calculator helps you scale a recipe to a specific total amount.
Things to Consider When Scaling a Recipe
We need to highlight a few things you should consider when scaling a recipe.
Measuring by Weight vs. Volume
First, when measurements are in volumes, scaling the yield up magnifies the inaccuracy of measuring by volume. Consider converting to weight first. See our sugar and flour conversion calculators to convert from volume to weight.
When appropriate, dry ingredients should be measured by weight rather than volume to improve the accuracy of the recipe. Dry ingredients vary slightly in density and can be compacted differently when measuring.
Most experts agree that dry ingredients should be measured by weight rather than volume. We suggest converting the ingredient to a weight measurement before using the calculator above.
Cooking and Baking Times May Change
An additional consideration to be aware of when increasing or decreasing the size of a recipe is that mixing and cooking/baking times can vary as the amount of the ingredients changes. For instance, doubling the size of a cake might require it to cook longer, at a different temperature, or both.
Which Recipes Can Be Scaled
More often, though, you're not making exponentially bigger recipes, you're simply looking to double, or quadruple, or maybe halve, a recipe. And the recipes that best lend themselves to this kind of manipulation are soups, sauces, and stews. With that said, multiplying seasonings can also prove tricky. If you're making a quadruple batch of spaghetti sauce, you might not need four times the salt; start with twice the salt and taste as you go.
With foods like these, the dimensions of the pan becomes an important factor, since doubling changes the volume of the food, and thus potentially its thickness.
So the rule of thumb here is to try to keep the thickness of the food as close to that of the original recipe as possible. If a casserole was two inches thick (and this is pretty common) and you want to double it, you would ideally use a pan that produces a larger casserole that is also around two inches thick. If this is the case, then your cooking time and temperature are not going to be affected much, if at all.
But sometimes this isn’t possible. Let’s say you’re making a double-sized frittata, and instead of two inches thick, it’s now closer to three. This means it’s going to take longer to heat the mixture all the way through. But this longer cooking time means the top might start to burn.
To remedy this, you can reduce the temperature a little, say 25 degrees, and let it cook a bit longer. To prevent excessive browning on top, you might need to cover it with foil for the last part of the cooking time.
If you're scaling down to a smaller size, the principle is the same: use a pan size that produces as close to the original thickness as possible. Scaling down can decrease the cooking time by 25 to 50 percent, depending on size.
How Scaling Down Recipes Affects Cooking Time and Oven Temperature
When you scale a recipe’s ingredients, you do not scale the oven temperature but you may need to scale the cooking time, since smaller volumes cook faster. Set a timer to check the dish at the halfway point, and then check it about every 5 minutes until it’s finished cooking.
Which cakes bake and freeze well?
For starters, figure out if your cake recipe freezes well. It should say so right in the instructions and will likely give you some guidance on how to freeze for best success. Freezing baked goods and their components for future desserts is the easiest way to benefit from scaling down a recipe. If you have space in your freezer, this can give you a terrific stash of future treats and desserts that are fast and easy. Properly wrapped cakes can be frozen for up to 4–6 months.
RELATED: How To Freeze Baked Goods
If your recipe does not freeze well, making smaller versions makes it easier to share the bounty of your kitchen, and whole smaller bakes stay fresh longer than large ones that have portions removed. For example, shifting your glazed tube cake to glazed muffins makes it both easily shareable and storable.
Layer cakes with fillings and/or frostings
Generally, cakes with whipped cream or custard fillings or frostings do not freeze as well as those with a buttercream style filling or frosting. And you will always find that you'll have an easier time freezing something unfrosted and unfilled. Whether you are making a two-layer cake that you want to convert from one 9–10 inch cake to two 6-inch cakes, or turning the recipe into frosted cupcakes, it's best to freeze cake and fillings or frostings separately for assembly later.
Tube or Bundt cakes
You can find miniature versions of these cakes in the form of tins that might hold 4–8 smaller versions, or you can bake in muffin tins. If your tube cake recipe is one that rises tall, like an angel food or chiffon style cake, consider baking in popover pans which can help get that rise. Angel food and chiffon cakes freeze well.
Sweet breads and loaf cakes
These convert really well to muffins of any size or mini loaf tins, and usually freeze beautifully.
Sheet pan or snacking style cakes
These convert well to cupcakes or muffins and freeze well.
large, medium, and small springform pans Credit: Meredith
You can turn a full cheesecake recipe into smaller cheesecakes. A recipe for a single 9–10 inch springform will make two 6–7 inch cheesecakes or four 4-inch cheesecakes. Or you can bake them in muffin tins as mini cheesecakes. Cheesecakes freeze well.
Baking in a water bath. If your cake or cheesecake recipe calls for being baked in a water bath, be sure that the vessel you scale down into is watertight. It can be tempting to put mini cheesecakes in little tartlets pans with removeable bottoms, but those bottoms are not watertight in a water bath. Consider baking in small ramekins; you can easily wrap and freeze the extras as convenient single-servings.
Recipe Resizer Mobile App – The Recipe Scaling Calculator
Scaling recipes can be tedious and error prone, so we made an app to take care of all of the complex math so that you can scale recipes instantly. Recipe Resizer helps you save time and avoid fumbling over formulas with a simple interface to resize a recipe and scale the ingredients up or down to suit your needs. Recipe Resizer helps you to be precise, avoid mistakes and save time so that you can spend less time doing maths and more time cooking, baking and creating.