How to Calculate Cake Recipes for Odd Shaped Cake Tins




Have you ever wondered how to calculate cake recipes for odd shaped cake tins?

This is a topic I have been wanting to share for quite a while now. It comes to mind every time I bake a cake that is not in the usual square or round shape, so last weekend, when I wanted to bake a dome shaped lemon pound cake, I decided to snap a few pictures on how I go about estimating how much cake batter I needed for the cake. So here I am writing about how I normally calculate cake recipes for non round and square cake tins.


My lemon pound cake recipe baked in a dome shaped bowl







This is the exact same technique I used when I baked a Bob the Builder cake in a cake pan that was shaped like Bob the Builder.


This is what I use to come up with the estimation:

  • 6 inch round cake tin (since I was using a calculated recipe for a 6 inch round cake tin for the estimation)
  • Water
  • A large measuring cup
  • The odd shaped cake pan to be used for a particular cake project.


In order for this technique to work, you must know how much batter will your cake recipe yield for a standard round tin. For example, if your recipe is for a 6 inch round cake, you will need to know much will the cake batter fill the 6 inch cake tin, i.e., whether it will fill half of the tin or all the way to 2/3 of the tin. Only if you know this will this estimation technique work.  

For instance, if your recipe normally fills two thirds of a single 6 inch round tin, you will need to fill your 6 inch round tin with water until it is two thirds full. Then, pour the water into a measuring cup. Note the measurement. In my example, my 6 inch cake pan fills 800 ml water. So, this is how much batter my recipe will yield. If my odd shaped cake tin requires more than 800 ml batter, I will have to scale up my recipe accordingly.


To determine how much batter my dome shaped tin requires, I fill the dome shaped cake tin with water all the way until it is about ¾ inches to the rim (this is how much I want the cake batter to fill my cake tin). I then pour the water into a large measuring cup. In my example here, the dome shaped bowl requires almost 1000 ml batter (this is more than the 800 ml for a 6 inch round tin, so I will have to scale up my recipe in order to have enough batter to fill my dome shaped bowl.)

To determine how much scaling is required, you can use this formula:

  • Batter for odd shaped cake tin (in ml) / Batter for standard round or square tin (in ml)  = number of times the recipes needs to be scaled up or down


I have illustrated this in graphics below. 


How to calculate cake recipes - Step by Step:

Fill your standard round cake tin with water, right up to the level where your recipe would fill.

My calculated butter pound cake recipe (assuming this is the recipe I am going to use for the dome shaped bowl) for a 6 inch round cake tin would normally fill up to two thirds of the cake tin, so I fill a 6 inch round cake tin with water until its two thirds full.


Next, I pour the water in a large measuring cup and note the measurement. 

The measurement is 800 ml.


Next I repeat the same process with my odd shaped cake tin, in this example, the dome shaped bowl. I fill it up with water up to the level where I want my cake batter to fill up. 

Then, I pour the water into a large measuring cup and note its measurement. In this example, the dome shaped bowl requires 1000 ml batter.


Using my formula above, here is the calculation:

  • Batter for odd shaped cake tin (in ml) / Batter for standard round or square tin (in ml) = number of times the recipes needs to be scaled up or down
  • 1000 ml / 800 ml = 1.25 times


This means I will need to scale my recipe by 1.25 times from the original recipe which was meant for a 6 inch tin. To do this, each ingredient in the calculated recipe for a 6 inch round cake tin must be multiplied by 1.25 times. This way I will have the required amount of cake batter for the dome shaped bowl. 


And that's it. This is how I calculate cake recipes for odd shaped cake tins and  pans. 

I hope this is able to help you in calculating your cake recipes! 

Happy Baking :)








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