Cake Pan Serving Sizes: How To Convert Them

Cake recipes from cake courses here at The Bailiwick Academy always come with cake pan serving sizes. But have you ever encountered this in your baking journey?

 cake pan serving sizes


If you have, and you’re still not sure how to convert cake pan serving sizes, don’t worry. In this article, we will help you make the best choices for your baking adventures so that you’ll have a delicious cake that will turn out just the way you want it. That’s especially if you don’t have the necessary pans that will get you the result in the recipe—and it’s not like you have a lot of pans lying around in your kitchen, right?

Keep reading for a different kind of cake baking lesson–one that involves a lot of math!

Understanding Cake Pan Sizes

Cake pans can come in various sizes, which we can classify into two categories:

Standard Cake Pan Sizes

Standard dimensions are ones that are commonly used in recipes. The most common sizes are:

  • Round cake pans with 8-inch, 9-inch, and 10-inch diameters
  • Square cake pans with sizes like 8×8 inches or 9×9 inches
  • Rectangular cake pans in sizes such as 9×13 inches or 11×15 inches.

Non-Standard Cake Pan Sizes

Non-standard cake pans are, well, non-standard, so it’s hard to get exact measurements for them. However, they can add more versatility to your baking. These can include mini cake pans, differently-shaped pans (i.e., heart-shaped), or larger pans for baking large batches or specialty cakes like bundt cakes.

If you want a more comprehensive list of different pans, plus how much batter they can hold, here’s a chart from Joy of Baking:

Do take note that when a recipe calls for you to fill out a pan with batter, you should only pour until the pan is ⅔ full and ½ full for shallower pans. Do not completely fill it up.

Common Cake Pan Sizes and Their Uses

Here are the most common cake pan sizes and what they’re used for.

Round Cake Pans

Round cake pans are the most commonly used pans for baking cakes. The 8-inch pan is perfect for small gatherings or layered cakes, while 9- and 10-inch ones are ideal for larger gatherings.

Square Cake Pans

Square cake pans are often used for bar cakes, brownies, or smaller cake portions. The 8×8-inch size is excellent for small cakes, while the 9×9-inch size is suitable for slightly larger servings.

Rectangular Cake Pans

Rectangular cake pans are versatile and commonly used for sheet cakes, brownies, or layered cakes. The 9×13-inch size is popular for sheet cakes, while the 11×15-inch size is suitable for larger gatherings.

Bundt Cake Pans

Bundt cake pans come in various sizes, typically measured in cup capacity. The 10-cup size is a standard choice and will work well for most bundt cake recipes.

Sheet Cake Pans

Sheet cake pans are large, shallow pans ideal for baking cakes meant to be cut into squares or rectangles. The half-sheet size, measuring 13×18 inches, is commonly used for baking sheet cakes.

How do you convert cake pan measurements?

So we get to the meat of the article: how do you compute the substitutions? After all, you have to be careful to get a delicious cake result! In short, converting pan sizes requires careful consideration to ensure that your cake bakes evenly and has the desired texture. 

Same Shape of Pan But Different Sizes

Chef Joey Prats made it easy for us with his guides! Check out his guide for square pans:

cake pan serving sizes

And circular pans:

cake pan serving sizes

You can apply the same to rectangular pans.

Different Shapes And Sizes Of Pans

One of the best ways to do this is to use simple mathematical calculations or online conversion tools to help you determine the equivalent size for your specific recipe.

The first step is to find out how much your pan can hold. You can refer to the table above to make things easy for you. But if you want to manually compute, here are the formulas:

  • Rectangular and square pans – multiply the measurements of the sides. So if your pan is 11×15, your pan is 165 square inches.
  • Circular pans – get the area by multiplying the radius squared by pi or 3.14. To get the radius, divide the diameter—which is the length of a straight line passing through the center of the circle and touching two points on the circumference—by 2. For example, a 6-inch round pan has a radius of 3. So the formula will be (3×3)x3.14. The area will be 28.26.   

Once you know the capacity or size of your pan, you can now make substitutions with another pan. For example, if the recipe calls for the 165 square inch pan, you’ll need around five to six circular pans to fit the same batter amount.

The Simplest Method

If you want to avoid having to do math, here’s the best thing you can do: make extra cake batter! Of course, this only applies if you have extra ingredients, you’re planning to make more of the same cakes in the next few days, and you have space in your freezer for the unused batter. Hey, at the end of the day, it’s better to have extras than not enough at all.

Other Things To Consider When Converting Cake Pan Sizes

Here are some things to keep in mind regarding cake pans.

You’ll Have To Consider Baking Times

Changing your cake pan can affect how long you should bake your cakes. If you have more batter, you may need to bake your cake longer. And if you have a smaller pan, your baking will be shorter. 

Of course, the best way is still to keep an eye on your cake and do the toothpick test

Think About Your Choice Of Pans

Aside from the yield and equivalent of the pans that you have, you’ll also have to think about the following before finally deciding on what you’ll use:

  • Number of servings you want
  • Type of cake and occasion you are baking for
  • The recipe
  • The thickness of the cake layers you desire

Remember, each pan you use will have a different effect and result when it comes to cakes!

Cake Pan Serving Sizes FAQs

Can I use a different pan size if the recipe specifies a specific size?

Yes, you can adjust the recipe by using conversion methods to fit your available pan size.

How can I convert a recipe to a different cake pan size?

You can use mathematical calculations or online conversion tools to help you determine the necessary adjustments. To make things faster, just make extra batter.

Will changing the pan size affect the baking time?

Yes, changing the pan size may require adjustments to the baking time. Keep an eye on your cake and use the toothpick test to determine doneness.

What factors should I consider when choosing a cake pan size?

Consider the number of servings, type of cake, recipe instructions, and the occasion or presentation style.

Can I substitute different-shaped pans for a specific recipe?

Yes, you can often substitute different-shaped pans, but be mindful of adjusting the baking time and recipe proportions accordingly.

Where can I find high-quality cake pans?
You can find a wide selection of high-quality cake pans at kitchen supply stores, online retailers, or specialty baking stores. An example is—they have plenty to choose from. You can also browse TBA Shop.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right cake pan size is crucial for baking delicious and visually appealing cakes. Understanding the standard sizes, how to convert cake pan serving sizes, and considering various other factors will help you achieve the desired results. Whether you’re baking a small layered cake or a large sheet cake, the right pan size ensures even baking and perfect portions. 

Happy baking!


Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!

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