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 at Woodland Bakery we make about 60 pounds of cake batter at once, so figuring out which pans to use is never the problem. We just use ALL of them!

But 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 Tropical Carrot Cake

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- to the BRIM! 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.
Steel-Usually 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.

Comments

  1. Sammy says

    Hey Gretchen, I am a loyal follower of yours and love your recipes. I make your carrot cake as a fund raiser and everyone loves it, I make it in a 6″ foil baking pans (3 per recipe), as I deliver them in the aluminum pan with the plastic cover. My question is, will that recipe be enough for a 10″ bundt pan? I have had many request for a bigger cake for thanksgiving and thought of a bundt pan.

  2. says

    Hi Gretchen, love your tutorials and your personality. never made any of your cakes but would love to try your chocolate cake for my mother- in – laws 90th birthday. we have about 45 people would like to make it in a 9X13 pan, 2 thick layers with your swiss buttercream, my question is do I use the same amount of your recipe or should I use 1 1/2 times the recipe. Thank you for your prompt reply.

  3. May says

    Hi Gretchen,

    I tried to bake 2 10 inch (10x2inch) aluminum round cake pans in the oven TOGETHER and though it came out moist and tasted good, it looked thick and gross.
    Would baking them one 10 inch cake at a time make it better? Standard home oven, of course.

    Do you normally bake cakes 10 inch in the oven one at a time? I filled the cake pan to about 3/4.

    I found that baking 2 8 inch round cake made the most moist and pretty texture, I bake those two together, same batter as the 10 inchh, standard home oven.

    I want 10 in cake, its bigger and feeds more people. Not a lot of luck so far.

    Thanks

    • Gretchen Price says

      if your oven is large enough to accommodate the 2-10 ” pans then great. I always do it.
      But if your batter was “thick and gross” then that really has nothing to do with the oven and more to do with the mixing (specifically the measuring)
      Maybe when you increased the recipe this time you had an error?

  4. Cookie says

    Hi Gretchen

    I have been following you for quite some while now. I am constantly linking your site and youtbe channel to hundreds of people, yeh you guessed it, I think you are ace!
    Yet I am still confused with this cup measuring for the amount of batter which goes into different pans.For bakers who are unaccustomed to using cup measures this is so confusing. How would any one know the amount of batter in a recipe? How is the liquid measure calculated to say a certain recipe holds X amount of batter in cups? Please, I know you say the depth of the pans does not matter, but what are the depth of your pans? Does the recipe for the white cake make two deep cakes, are you using 2″ deep, 3″ deep or victoria sandwich tins which are1.5″ deep or something different? It would be so much simpler if you could just state the depth of each pan. So for example, do you mean the whole cake recipe fits into 2 x 8 inch pans which measure 3″ deep and each has to be filled half way? How tall does each round bake up from 1 whole recipe divided between the 2 pans? For most people as I read this blog, depth DOES matter so a clarification on this point would be really helpful. Sorry for so many questions, as you can see I am confused! Thanks in advance for your answer and for such great recipes.

    • Gretchen Price says

      great thank you so much!
      I guess because I NEVER use the cups measuring system for batter- I am the wring person to ask. I provided this blog post for those who DO use it, but I basically got it from a few other websites that explained it better than me (obviously) – I did edit this post to explain that I think it has made things WORSE rather than helped anyone-
      I also do not pay attention to 3″ high pans vs 2″ high pans unless I am making a cheesecake where I may want it to be 1″ higher in which case- yes 3″.
      But most recipe (at least mine anyway) make 2- 8″ layers.
      So this means to simply divide the batter in half.
      To then start converting to other pans, honestly I do not use any sort of magic formula at the bakery- I simply fill my pans half way- If I want them a “bit” thicker I fill them a bit more.

      I will start to write my recipes for 8X2″ pans, but again whether it is a 3″ high pan or a 2″ high pan the batter of the entire recipe will be the same – its not like it magically gets BIGGER just because the pan is bigger

  5. Freda says

    Looking for batter amount for a 9×5 loaf pan….use these most of the time esp. around Christmas baking…use them for gifts…

    Thank you!

  6. Christina Rowe says

    Hello Gretchen,
    I’m doing 2 Half Sheet B-day cakes for a law firm and one of the cakes is a 3 layer citrus cake. I need to know how much batter do I need to make for all 3 layers?
    I need to make 12 x18x 1 inch sizes and the flavors will be lemon, lime and orange. My 2nd cake is raspberry cream cake and I need to make two half sheet 1 inch cakes as well. Can you please give me advice on what to do, I would be grateful. Thank you and have a marvelous day.

    • Gretchen Price says

      typically if the recipe yields 2- 8″ cake layers you will pour all of that batter into a half sheet pan (12X18)

  7. Brenda says

    Hi Gretchen, I love your website. The recipes, tips & tricks everything. Thank you for sharing you knowledge. I want to make your white cake in a half sheet pan. I have never made a half sheet cake so… questions,
    1. At what temperature should I bake?
    2. By the time the middle gets done, would the sides & corners be over done?
    3. Approx. how long before I can open the oven door ?
    Thanks…

  8. Karen says

    Hi I have spent hours trawling through chocolate cake recipes as I am doing a 3 tier wedding cake! The chocolate tier I am going to use 2 x 12 inch pans. I am totally confused as to what amounts I would use for your moist chocolate cake! I think I must be stupid but I just don’t get it. Can you give me some help please? By the way made your Swiss Buttercream and it was amazing! Thanx

  9. Genevieve says

    If I am using one 9×13 glass pan instead of two round metal ones, I see I adjust the temperature, would that mean I can keep the same cooking time?

  10. Carol says

    Hi would this be a good batter for your petit fours, I have a 13 x 18 pan will this pan work for the thin layers? I would have to make it times two correct? How many 1×1 petit fours will I have?
    Thanks
    Carol

  11. Queenie says

    Hi dear,
    What size of pan should I use for 1kg weight sponge cake?
    What size of square pan should I use for 5kg weight sponge cake?

  12. Norelle says

    Hi Gretchen, based on your explanation above, I’m safe to make 2 mixtures of your carrot cake recipe to use on a 13x9x2 rectangle pan?

  13. Elvira says

    Can I devide the batter into a 10″ and a 6″? And will it be approximately the same thickness as two 8″?

    Thanks for the great blog!

    / Elvira from Denmark

  14. Leslie Spitzner says

    ok so I have a recipe for two-9 in pans but need to bake a sheet cake in a 12 x 18 inch pan would a recipe called for two 9 inches be enough to fill the pan and cake rise enough to make it sufficient or would I need to adjust the recipe?

    • Anita says

      I have this same question, as I need to bake a 12×18 sheet cake from a recipe for two 9 inch cakes. I’m stressing a little because the volume of the 12×18 pan is the same as THREE 9 inch pans. I’m wondering, Leslie, did you bake the cake? How did it turn out?

      ~ Anita

  15. Jackie says

    Hello Gretchen –
    Love your tips, recipes! I too use Fat Daddios. I have all 3″ pans and I noticed that sometimes my center will sink a bit. I use strips around the pan and I am just starting to use the baking cores.
    Could my issue be the amount of cake batter? Or cooking temp.

    I have a recipe that makes 5 cups of batter and is for 2-9×1.5″ pans. Which is 2.5 cups per pan. Cooking temp is 350f for 25 min. I then would use 1 full recipe (5cups of batter) for a 1- 9×3″ pan. Is that correct? Would I still cook at 350f until the cake tester comes out clean?

    But if I were to use a 1- 8×3″ pan I wouldn’t use the full 5cup recipe. How much batter would I use for the 8×3″?

    Thanks.

    • Gretchen Price says

      NO you are filling too much
      Just divide the batter in half amongst your 2 pans, don’t overthink it

  16. Sharadha says

    A chocolate cake recipe i was trying mentions using 9″ X 12″ pan and a cooking time of 1 hour at 300. Instead if I used a 8″ round pan for the same quantity, how much should the baking temperature and time would be approximately?

  17. Rebecca says

    I am baking a Bete Noire (Bon Appetit, Sept 2006). The recipe calls for a 10-inch springform pan. I only have an 11-inch springform. Do I need to adjust the cooking time? Recipe says to “bake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes”.
    Thank you

  18. sandra carly says

    I am going to make a sheet cake in a 12×18″ sheet pan, how much batter should i use to make this cake?

    • Gretchen Price says

      Most recipes are designed to give you 2- 8″ round cakes, in which case you would put that same amount of batter in a half sheet pan

  19. JC Gregg says

    Just a random question since I was reading all about pan sizes. I use pretty much every size. My issue comes in transporting the cakes. I don’t know what box I should use as a standard. I am thinking a 10″ box 5″ high should about cover the Reese’s Peanut Butter cake, would you agree? I am not certain of the height right now. I am creating more of the Rectangle cakes, and specialty cakes like the Tower of Death Cake. ( thanks for the heads up on the acetate! It makes me feel like a real baker!

    • Gretchen Price says

      The size of the box is based on the size of the board.
      You will want the box diameter to be the same as the board that cake sits on, this way during transport the cake does not shift inside the box if you take a turn.
      Or if someone doesn’t hold the box completely level.

      So for example, I put the reeses cake on a 10″ diameter board, and so the cake box was also 10″ (X 6″ high, but I think 5″ height is sufficient)

    • Gretchen Price says

      It depends on the oven, if you have too much bottom heat then yes, but for those who do NOT have enough bottom heat, then NO

  20. julie says

    hi im making a pepa pig head cake and wanted to use a rectangular tin so i can cut the head out in one the pan is 14 x10 x 2 inches and i not sure of the récipe, i know from the chart above i need 14 cups of batter but am unsure how to work out the quantities of butter etc. i work in grams and kg not cups please help thanks

  21. Abbie says

    Hi,
    I would like to know at what temperature I would bake say a 6″ round or even a 3″ round cake and for how long? I have pans ranging in size 3″ to 10″. Some are spring form others are standard cake pans. Some, ( my favorite) are dark while others are silver and some are glass.
    It would be great to find a chart that would give instructions on the different sizes and types of cake pans, and to use the correct temperature and timing for those sizes. Could you perhaps do this or steer me in a direction (web sight) that will give me this information?
    My family would appreciate this. Maybe for once I could bake a cake without flaws.

    • Gretchen Price says

      the temperature stays the same (about 350 degrees) the time they bake though will be different read Until Its Done
      Follow the instructions on the recipe for temperatures and approximate timing

  22. Katie says

    I’m just frustrated , because most of the YouTube videos I watch, everyone says use 8 inch pan…I would love to buys an 8in springfoam but it’s hard to fine..

  23. Katie says

    Hi Gretchen,
    U mentioned the most popular pan size is 8inch, but I feel like every time I go to the store, I always see 9 inch pans, I even have hard time looking for 8 inch springfoam..it’s always 9 inch or the 6 inch that have in springfoam, I cannot find an 8in anywhere, except on amazon… Why is that?

  24. Lauren says

    Hi Gretchen,

    I’d like to make your chocolate dipped strawberries cake in a 9 x 13 pan with 2–3 layers (haven’t decided yet). For the chocolate cake, would I be able to use 1 recipe (6 cups) per layer in the 9 x 13 pan? I’d still like to have fairly thick layers and the recipe would be a cup shy of half full in that size pan. Not sure if a cup of batter makes all that much difference in thickness.

    Thanks in advance! Love your recipes!

  25. sandra says

    I would like to know how to determine the amount of people a cake fit…
    2 layers of a 2″ x 8″ pan how many people fit?

    I mean if I need to Bake a cake for 30, 50. 60 people which pans would you use?

  26. Maria says

    Hi just want to say that I love your recipes and ideas and of course, your tips and help. Thank you,
    Maria from Australia

  27. Tina says

    Gretchen I was wondering would the temperature change for different size pans? I was trying to bake a 6-inch round cake and it didn’t cook completely. The sides pulled away from the pan, tooth pick came out clean, and the top was nicely browned but I just knew the cake wasn’t completely done and it wasn’t. If I had left it for the longer the top would have burned. The recipe is a good one, I have used it before and the temp setting is 350. I wanted to know should I start with 325 for my 6-inch pan?

    • Gretchen Price says

      I usually bake all my sizes at the same temperature, and the smaller ones are just done first, however I cannot speak for your oven, as it may be slightly different.
      It is not a BAD idea to bake at a lower temp, I think you should try it next time

      (often times though when I see my cake needs a bit more time, but the tops are getting too browned, I lightly and loosely cover the cake with a piece of tin foil, this will avoid overbrowning)

  28. Suchita says

    Hi,

    I have a bread baking pan which is 8″/4″ and most of the recipes talk abouta 9″/5″ pan. How do I modify my recipe as per the size of the pan?

    Really need to know the answer. Thanks in advance.

  29. Mike says

    Can your Cinnamon Buns be baked on cookie sheets? I have several that are 11X17 and 1 inch deep. I’m new to baking and just trying to figure out pans…..dahhh.

    • Gretchen Price says

      yes they can be. I do it at the bakery that way. nestle them same distance apart as you would in a cake pan
      (These buns are going to be PERFECT! LOL with all the questions, you better ACE this exam!)
      Please share with us on facebook when you do!

      • Mike says

        Oh the PRESSURE!!! I can’t stand it….How will I be able to sleep now? lol
        Thanks Gretchen….I’ll let you know!!!

  30. Mir says

    I was wondering when baking 10″ round cake or larger to ensure that the cake bakes evenly what do you suggest ? Do you suggest baking strips , flower nail put upside down in the batter , heat core… ?

    • Gretchen Price says

      well, I have never really had trouble with even baking on larger cakes.
      I suspect that if you oven has hot spots or bakes unevenly, then it will do so on all sizes not just larger cakes.

      But I O understand what you mean, and I think your concern about overbrowning may be more of an issue?
      In which case I recommend to put a piece of foil over top of the cake during the last 20 minutes of baking to ensure it does not get too browned

      • viki2 says

        Check the level of the oven. Yes, with an official ‘level’ or put exactly the same amount of water or colored liquid in two exact glasses, bowl, measuring glasses would be the best. Sit each on opposite sides of the top of the oven, or between baking cakes on the bottom of the oven as far away as possible from each other.* I just bought a level as I use it for everything, just about. Good luck baking.

        Pans warped? Right placement of wire racks?

  31. Dion says

    Hello Gretchen. First things first, I cannot express how thankful I am for you to have set up this blog. And how grateful I am to God, that I found it. Your level of explanation in you blog posts are “Alton Brown”esque in the degree of explanation. I’m a food science nerd and appreciate that level of detail. And you have helped me immensely with a few projects recently, through watching your videos. I found you on YouTube then linked through to the blog. I thougt the videos were helpful, but the blog blew me away!!!!

    Now, on to my question. I searched through the previous questions on the “Baking Pan Size” post, but could not find the answer I was looking for. When making “sheet cakes”, be it 1/4, 1/2, or full sheet, do you bake them in the appropriate sized “baking sheet” tray or do you use 2″ cake pans in those sizes? I am only asking so that I can adjust my batch quantities to meet my needs.

    I am making a Full Sheet retirement cake, 50/50 Chocolate and White.

  32. Tina kapur says

    Hi! Please let me know for baking a 2kg cake how big cake tins do I need, rectangular or round.. Any.. Please please

  33. Farah says

    Hey…I have a 29x24x5 cm teddy bear shape silicon cake mould , can you please guide me how much batter does it require? And if you can kindly direct me to a recipe which suits best for this shape of cake…I will be grateful for your response.

  34. wanda says

    I would like to know if this amount of batter for your vanilla sponge cake will fill 2 8×3″ pans and if so will the baking time be different…thank you so much… love your how to videos … wanda

  35. Stephanie says

    Hello Gretchen.
    First of all I’m a beginner so I REALLY need your help. Tomorrow I will make your vanilla sponge cake (but I will make it chocolate) and I only have ONE 10″ inch cake pan and I’m really confused how to make this recipe yield this one pan, because you made it and devided the recipe between 2 8″ pans so I think your recipe is too much for one 10″ cake pan. Please I need your help in this. I use grams not cups.
    PLEASE TRY TO REPLY ASAP!
    Thank you dear for your help.. And thank you for these amazing recipes. :)

  36. Debbie says

    Can you please tell me how many cups of cake batter you would use for a 5″ cake pan as well as how long to cook them.

    Thank you

  37. Mandy says

    G’day Gretchen, I need your help. I am looking for your rainbow cake recipe but I need to use a 26cm (10.5″) pan. cooking times etc?? I just need your help xo thankyou

  38. says

    Thanks for the pan size info. I made the Golden Vanilla Butter cake for my Good Friday Easter brunch and it was awesome except the outside was brown and crusty. I knew it had to do with my pan sizes. I doubled the recipe and baked two 8″ and two 6″. It also took way longer than 35 – 45 minutes to cook. I am not giving up on this recipe. I am baking another Cake for my Easter Sunday dinner. Oh yes! Nothing ever goes to waste! I trimmed all the buttercream and crust off and using it in a Trifle …. I bet it will be delish. BTW …. Your Red Velvet cake recipe ROCKS!

  39. Audrey says

    Hi,
    I found a recipe that calls for a 8 x 12 inch pan. My pans are 9 x 13. do I need to buy a new pan or can I bake it in the larger pan, or make 2 rounds? Thanks! Audrey

  40. Maria says

    Hello Gretchen,
    I’m a novice at baking but love to experiment.
    I want to make a round 2 kg cake about 4″ (10 cm deep). What size pan should I use? Is 12″ too big? or should I use 10″?
    I can work out the batter quantity but can’t figure out the size of the pan!!
    Thanks

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