How to Convert Cake Recipes for Any Size Tin or Cake Pan

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One of the most popular questions I get asked is ‘how to convert cake recipes for different size tins’. Maybe you have a recipe that tells you to use a 6 inch tin, but all you have at home is an 8 inch tin. Maybe you want to make a slightly larger or smaller cake depending on the amount of people you need to feed, or maybe you want to scale up your cake recipe for a tiered cake, to make sure all the tiers are the same height.

In this weeks video tutorial I go through the exact method and things you need to consider for converting any cake recipe for any size tin. DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE PDF CONVERSION CHART HERE

How to Convert Your Cake Recipes

When converting cake recipes you need to work out how much difference there is between your 2 tins and work out how much to adjust your recipe by. You do this by first working out the surface area of each of the tins. The tin you want to use and the tin the recipe calls for. Now there is a little maths involved in working this out, but to make it a little easier I have done this for you and popped it into the chart below.

Conversion chart for different size cake tins

Once you have your 2 surface areas you can work out your adjustment amount ⇩

Surface Area of New Tin Size ÷ Surface Area of Original Tin Size = Adjustment Amount
Original Ingredients x Adjustment Amount = New ingredients total

You can then use your adjustment amount to convert your whole list of ingredients. In the tutorial I convert my Vanilla sponge cake recipe from a 6 inch recipe to an 8 inch recipe. I also go through how to work out exactly how many eggs to use and adjusting the time and temperature you bake your cake for.

Now if you want to know how I worked out the surface areas, to find the area of a circle you need to work out Area=πr² where pi (π) equals 3.14 and the radius (​r​) is half the diameter. For example the area of a 6 inch round tin would be 3.14 x (3×3) = 28.26.  To work out the area of a square tin you would use Area=S² with (​S) being the length of the side.

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This method of converting your cake recipes for any size tin will give you a scaled up or scaled down version of your recipe. So if we look at the original 6 inch cake from my vanilla sponge cake recipe compared to the converted 8 inch recipe. The recipe was split into 2 cake tins each, so I have 4 cakes that are exactly the same height, but scaled in width depending on the tin I used. This is great if you are creating tiered cakes and they all need to be the same height.

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Making a larger cake but not as high

For example my original 6 inch cake was divided into layers creating a 4 layer cake. If you want a larger cake but that is only half the height, just work out the new converted recipe and divide it by 2, giving you just half the recipe. If you look at the cakes above this would give you just one of the 8 inch cakes that you can then cut and divide in 2 if you wanted.

Another thing to consider is the size of your cake tin. I talk about this in the tutorial. I split my mixture between 2 cake tins, which are around 2.5 – 3 inches in height. If your tins are slightly shallower, and don’t hold as much mixture just divide the mixture between 4 shorter tins instead of 2 higher ones. This will also mean you don’t have to cut your layers down when your ready to prepare and decorate your cake.

Making your cake smaller (update Dec 2021)

Since uploading this tutorial one of the most asked questions I get is about reducing the size of your cake. So for example you have a 6 inch cake recipe you want to convert to a 4 inch cake recipe. The way you work this out is exactly the same. There is no difference to the calculations.

For example if you divide the surface area of the new tin by the original 12.56 (4inch) ÷ 28.26 (6 inch) = 0.44. When going down in size you will always get a decimal number less than one. When you then multiply the ingredients by the adjustment number it will give you a smaller amount. For example if your 6 inch cake needed 340g of flour; 340 x 0.44 =149.6. This means you would need 150g of flour for the 4 inch cake, and you can then do this with the rest of your ingredients.

I really hope this video will be useful and you will be able to use it to create any of your recipes in any size tins or cake pans. If you haven’t already you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Free cake decorating video tutorials.

Tools I Used

I have put a list below showing all the tools that I used throughout this video or if you would like to see all my favourite cake decorating tools just click here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/cakesbylynz

6 inch cake tins (similar): https://amzn.to/31ZbIBt
8 inch cake tins (similar): https://amzn.to/31YiZ4i
AEG Stand Mixer (in blue): https://amzn.to/3wEpVBP

~ Please note that the links above are affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase any item through that link, I will receive a small commission from the website but this does NOT add any additional costs to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog x ~

Plus why not save this tutorial for later and pin it to Pinterest

Converting cake recipes for any size tin pan

Thank you for reading!

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24 Responses

  1. This is very helpful honestly. You’re an angel sent from God. But I also need to know how to get a 6inch recipe from an 8 inches recipe.. meaning I am trying to reduce the recipe..how do I do that please?

    1. Hi, I am so pleased it’s helpful. In regards to reducing the recipe, you do it in exactly the same way. So the surface area of the new tin (6 inches) divided by the surface area of the original tin (8inch). Them multiply this number with all your ingredients and you will get a smaller amount. This will be the recipe you need for the 6 inch tin.

    1. Hi Olive, If you are getting large domes on the top of your cakes I would reduce the temperature slightly, this will help the cake been more level on the top.

  2. Hello, Linsey!

    Excellent demonstration about converting recipes for different size pans. To contribute to our cake baking community, would you mind if I offered a clear, clean way to use it for any pan? Using only the surface area to convert is awesome yet, if you go one more step and multiply the surface area x the depth of the pan, you have volume. Dividing volume ratios between any two pans will work because the surface area is constant, regarding of the pan’s wall height.

    1. This is great, thank you so much Keith. It is definitely useful if you want to use different height cake tins to work out the volume too.

  3. HI tRIED YOU CONVERSION OF 6INCH TO 8 INCH CAKE TIN SOMETHING WENT WRONG FOLLOWED YOUR RECIPIE FOR 8 INCH TIN BUT FOR UNKNOWN REASON THE SPONGE CAKE WENT OVER THE TOP OF THE HEIGHT OF THE 3 INCHES PLEASE ADVIVE

    1. Hi David, oh no, I’m so sorry to hear it all spilt out. Did you put all the mixture into one cake tin? My 8 inch recipe is converted from my 6 inch vanilla sponge cake recipe and I separate the mixture between 2 cake tins. When split into layers this usually gives me a cake with a 4 inch height, so it would need to be baked in 2 tins or in 2 batches if you only have one tin.

  4. I found your youtube channel recently and now I’m binge-watching all the videos there. Thank you so much for all the tutorials.

  5. Hello Lynz,
    I’m looking at the chart that you included in the description box but unfortunately the top right hand corner is covered by a Pinterest symbol and I can’t see what it says. Can you tell me please?
    Gen.

  6. I’m making a large family size Christmas cake but I am making 2 small ones out of the mixture so do they still have the same time in the oven as one large one .

  7. Hi Linsey

    Thank you all very helpful. My problem is a rich fruit cake(n0 Nuts) from 9″ to 12″ tin.will this method work for all the individual ingredients?

    Thank you

    Pauline

    1. Hi Pauline, Yes this will definitely work to calculate all the individual ingredients for the larger size cake.

  8. i have asked several times how much ingredients are needed for a oval cake pan size 10-3/4x 7/7 8x2in/27.3x20x5,1cm

    1. Hi Edna, In order to calculate how much ingredients would be needed for oval pans you would need to work out the surface area of the different sized pans. The calculations for working out the surface area of an oval is similar, but a little different to a circle. I’m not sure I understand the size of the pans you have from the measurements you have mentioned, I’m so sorry.

  9. This is so helpful, thank you for making this article. Hoping you can clarify. For the salt, liquid (milk, buttermilk, yoghurt etc) & the rising agents – do we apply the same formula? For example, do we weigh out the teaspoon of baking powder so that we can calculate this. I was not sure, as in the example you gave converting your vanilla cake, it seemed to skip those ingredients, but I’m assuming we have to apply the conversion to all ingredients. Is that correct? I’m sorry if this is a duplication, but the question I wrote last night seems to have disappeared. Thank you

    1. Hi Robyn, I’m so pleased you’ve found the post useful. Yes, you would need to apply the formula to everything in the recipe, so you have the correct amount for the size. So the salt, liquid, raising agents etc. For the vanilla cake I actually used self raising flour, so there is no need to add any raising agents as they are already in the flour.

      You could weigh out the ingredients to get the weight, or as I mention in the video with things like the eggs, I usually just round it up.

      I hope this helps

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Hi, I’m Lynsey and welcome to Cakes by Lynz. I LOVE everything cake! Here you will find all my latest cake decorating video tutorials from my YouTube channel, reviews and general cake ramblings!

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