How to adapt a cake recipe for different size tins
Last week I made a two tier wedding cake for a friend and I decided that it was about time I really mastered getting the right amounts of ingredients for different sized cake tins, rather than doubling and hoping for the best. I got the basic gist of how to work it out from Ruth Clemens on her Pink whisk blog. You take your basic recipe and then measure the volume of water that the cake tin will hold. Now my Madeira cake recipe is for an 8″ cake but I find that the cake isn’t as deep as I’d like it to be. It usually only comes out about 3/4 of the depth of the tin, so I have been experimenting.
My goal was to have a cake that would rise to just above the rim of the cake tin so that I could skim off the top to make sure that it’s perfectly flat – ready for decorating. So I used my 8″ recipe in a 6″ tin and voila. Perfect result. So that was my base to work with.
How to measure the volume of a cake tin
The reason you need to measure the volume is so you know how much cake mix fits in your cake tin. Then you can measure the volume of the cake tin you want to use, in my case a 10″ and can work out how much more ingredients you’ll need.
My 10″ cake tin has a loose bottom so I used a new bin bag (with no holes in it) to line the tin then I could count in how many ml of water it needed to fill it.
The 6″ cake tin is 1200ml and the 10″ is 4000ml. To work out the formula all you need to divide the big tin by the small tin so….
I then needed to times each ingredient by 3.3. Are you with me so far? No? Just wait till we get to the egg part then!
I got a bit lost when Ruth explained the eggs conversion, so I just went for it. 3 eggs in a 6″recipe became 3×3.3= 9.9 eggs. Fair enough. 10 eggs should do it. But what do you do if your egg quantity comes out at 5.5 or 3.7? Ruth’s post has a chart to explain it but I basically decided to round up or down and if it was a .5, I rounded up. So far that has worked well for me!
I’ll be posting a Madeira cake chart for most commonly used cake tin sizes later this week. Everyone seems to be making Madeira cakes for wedding cakes and tiered birthday cakes at the mo and I keep getting asked for all sorts of ingredients for all sorts of sizes! So hang in there guys. I’m calculating it all out this week. But in the meantime here’s the ingredients for a 10″ cake.
10″ Madeira cake recipe
660g caster sugar
3 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
745g plain flour
5 tsp baking powder
150ml hot water
- Start by creaming the butters together then add the sugar till it’s pale and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla essence and mix.
- Very slowly add the eggs – a spoonful at a time. Add a spoon of the flour to prevent curdling.
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and have the hot water ready. Add the flour and water alternatively in four batches. This produces the fluffiest and most moist cake.
- Bake in the oven at 170ºC (150ºC fan) for 2 hours (120 minutes) or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean.
- Don’t open the oven door for the first 30 minutes. It will make the cake sink.
- Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the tin carefully.