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When baking you may not always have the right pan that a recipe calls for. But swapping out one pan for another isn’t that simple. Different baking pans hold different amounts of batter, which can affect how long it takes to bake. Learn how to determine different baking pan sizes and make substitutions with this post!
When it comes to baking, you can’t just swap one pan for another in a recipe and hope for the best. Don’t you just wish that were true? Unfortunately it’s not the same as cooking and using a different sized skillet.
When swapping out one pan for another the dimensions of the cake pan changes, which means the time it takes for the batter to bake will change as well. But converting the pan sizes and figuring out the math can be a bit tricky.
- Bundt pan sticking? Learn the right way to grease your bundt pan so your cakes don’t stick!
- Become a better baker and measure by weight instead of volume. Use this weight conversion chart in your baking for better results!
- A correct oven baking temperature will ensure your baked goods evenly. Learn how to convert your oven baking temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
- Unsure why you should measure in weight vs. volume when baking? Give this post a read!
- Come across an old recipe? Get help deciphering the old cooking terms so you can bake up that cake like Grandma used to!
Common Baking Pan Sizes
Here are the volumes of common baking pan sizes:
Round pan sizes:
- 6 x 2 inches – 4 cups volume
- 8 x 1 1/2 inches – 4 cups volume
- 8 x 2 inches – 6 cups volume
- 9 x 1 1/2 inches – 6 cups volume
- 9 x 2 inches – 8 cups volume
- 10 x 2 inches – 11 cups volume
Springform pan sizes:
- 9 x 2 1/2 inches – 10 cups volume
- 10 x 2 1/2 inches – 12 cups volume
Square pans and rectangular pan sizes:
- 8 x 8 x 2 inches – 8 cups volume
- 9 x 9 x 2 inches – 10 cups volume
- 11 x 7 inches – 12 cups volume
- 9 x 13 inches – 14 cups volume
- 8 x 4 inches – 4 cups volume
- 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches – 6 cups volume
- 9 x 5 inches – 8 cups volume
Bundt pans and tube pans:
- 10 x 3 1/2 inches bundt pan: 12 cups volume
- 9 x 3 inches tube pan – 12 cups volume
- 10 x 3 1/2 inches tube pan – 16 cups volume
Sheet pans (or jelly roll pans):
- 10 x 15 inches: 10 cups volume
- 12 x 17 inches: 12 cups volume
How to determine the pan’s dimensions
You can also determine the size of the pan yourself. To measure the size of pan you want to measure from the inside edge to inside edge. You do not want to include the rim of the pan because different pans will have different thicknesses.
And then measure the depth of the pan by placing the ruler upright into the bottom of the pan, making sure to not slant the ruler.
For example if I was measuring a standard cake pan I would measure across giving me 9 inches, with a depth of 2 inches = 9×2 inch cake pan.
How to determine volume of a baking pan
If you’re unsure of how much batter the pan will hold, you can determine this yourself. Each pan will hold different amounts of batter so it can make it tricky to swap one for the other.
To determine how much batter your pan holds, or the volume of the pan, fill up your pans 1 cup of water at a time until filled to the top to determine the total volume it can hold.
Keep in mind, however, when baking you wouldn’t fill a pan all the way to the top with batter. You would fill a pan about 2/3 full to leave room for the batter to rise.
Substituting cake pan size
Once you’ve figured out the volume of your pans, you can determine if another pan will work for substitution that holds the same amount of batter.
However it’s important to note that just because two pans hold the same amount of batter, different pan depths will mean the bake time will change.
An ideal pan substitution would be using one that has the same depth. Just be sure to keep an eye on the baking time as it can still vary. And remember to only fill cake pans halfway (up to 2/3 full) according to the recipe.
Pan conversion formula
If you’re unsure of whether or not you can swap one pan for another, that’s where a little math comes in. I was always pretty awesome at math in high school, but since that’s been awhile I needed a little help from Joy of Baking and Alice Medrich from Food 52.
- Determine the area of the pans. You can also just determine the volume of the pans like mentioned above or do some simple math.
For square/rectangular pans: Multiply the two sides together. For example a 9×13 pan would be 117 square inches. (9 multiplied by 13).
For round pans: (this is a bit trickier): You need to multiply pi (3.14) x (the radius or half the diameter) x itself (or squared). For example a 8×2 inch round cake pan would be: 3.14 x 4 x 4. This means the area would be about 50 inches.
- Divide volume of the pan size you want to use by the volume of the pan the recipe calls for.
So let’s say you want to use a 9×13 baking pan for your brownies, but the recipe calls for an 8×2 square pan. So using our math above: 117 divided by 50 = 2.34. This means you would need to roughly double the brownie recipe to bake in the larger pan.
Pan substitutions – the easy way!
If your eyes just glazed over at all that math, then don’t worry I got you. I created this baking pan sizes cheat sheet that includes basic baking pans and how much batter they hold so you can swap one pan for another.
Just remember when swapping one pan for another that holds the same amount of batter, the baking times can still vary due to the changes in depth dimensions.
Just remember when changing pans, to still fill up the pans halfway to 2/3 full. Use any leftover batter and use in a muffin pan!