Wrong Pan Size, Do I Make It Smaller Or Use A Skillet?

Decorating By ceshell Updated 9 Jul 2008 , 5:52pm by ceshell

ceshell Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:37am
post #1 of 14

OK so I have a cake for Sunday, I planned to make it a 10" square and 8" round to get the proper # of servings. I just realized today that my 10" square ML pans are actually 9". Oops.

I have two choices as I see them:
1-make the 9" square and 8" round on top. Eek, that's going to be a tight squeeze, and I am worried it will just look stupid. My first stacked cake I only allowed a 1" difference, and I thought it looked like a behemoth.
2-I do not have any 10" pans. However I have a 10" Calphalon steel/anodized skillet. It has marvelous, straight sides. Can I bake a 10" round layer in that...is there any reason this would be a bad idea?

Any thoughts? I'm not often in need of 10" cakes so running out to buy new ML pans isn't a very desirable option (the nearest cake supply store is $15 away with current gas prices!), and the cake is needed Sunday so I can't order on the internet.

Help! Thanks icon_smile.gif

13 replies
leah_s Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:45am
post #2 of 14

How many servings do you need?

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:51am
post #3 of 14

Yes.. how many servings.. a 10" square alone will serve 50. so your original cake would serve 70 do you need that many servings? The 8" round on a 9" square will look a bit odd. I'd opt for the skillet, but I have NO idea how a cake will cook in it with the heavy gauge of the pan. And I'd be a bit leary of flavor transfer. You don't want your cake tasting of garlic or anything. Could you grab a Wilton 10" round?? They are a minimal investment and work fine in a pinch.

ceshell Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:41am
post #4 of 14

Gar, I started the post but wasn't getting notifications!

Anyway thanks for responding. I was trying to be cryptic with the # servings because now you're going to have to listen to my serving-chart-disparity saga. I need 50 servings BUT...a) the recipe I use (Rebecca Rather's White on White BM cake) always, always shrinks on me, so the cake always comes out 1" smaller than the pan, and b) at the social gatherings I go to, they definitely don't cut the cake to follow the charts, so the charts don't really yield enough cake.

Based on the chart here, my 9" pan [which yields an 8" square cake] =32 and my 8" round [yields a 7"] =18 which takes me to 50. But yes, blech, monster-ugly-cake.

Previous bakes of this cake in my 9" sq have yielded about 30 slices (an 8" is supposed to give 32). Topped with a 6" round as I've done before, I have just enough for about 40 slices.

I couldn't find the Wilton 10" round at my local store. Maybe I'll hoof it to Michael's after all. I hate to have to buy a Wilton pan (or wilton anything lol); if I'm going to buy a pan I'd rather get the ML...

CakeRN Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:51am
post #5 of 14


Have you tried baking at a lower temp to decrease the shrinkage. Do yout think they are overbaking too?


FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 4:55am
post #6 of 14

Don't worry about the serving disparity.. icon_wink.gif Especially if it isn't a paid cake.. and even if it is.. well it's up to you after all right??

Can you maybe change your design and bring two 9" squares? Or is this a paid cake with a set design? This way you don't have to get a new pan right this second? Just a thought.

Might be time to search for a new white cake recipe too.

shisharka Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 5:01am
post #7 of 14

Do you happen to have an 11âx15â⦠or even a 9x13â with some creative âcutting-and-pastingâ?... Maybe you could use one of them instead? Plus you get some leftovers to enjoy!

I use my skillet to broil frittatas in the oven all the time, but it is in only for a few minutes, I donât think Iâd dare bake a cake it inâ¦

ceshell Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 5:11am
post #8 of 14

Argh, but I love that white cake! I hate that it shrinks but it is sooooo good. I usually won't touch cake if it isn't chocolate, but this one is worth every calorie.

The good news is it's not a paid cake, and I volunteered it so the design is largely up to me (within reason i.e. I know what they would like). However, I definitely don't want to bring 2 9" squares; it's a christening cake and my decorating plans will work best with a tiered cake. I'm reluctant to try to work out two complementary cake designs instead.

I'm impossible, huh?!

ps CakeRN thanks for the temp/time tip. I've made it enough times that I don't THINK I'm overbaking, but it surely is a possibility. The layers bake thin, so the difference between done and overdone can be a matter of minutes. Whatever I do, I'll keep a close eye on it.

Cake_Princess Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 7:48am
post #9 of 14

[quote="ceshell"]Gar, I started ) always, always shrinks on me, so the cake always comes out 1" smaller than the pan, and b) at the social gatherings I go to, they definitely don't cut the
Previous bakes of this cake in my 9" sq have yielded about 30 slices (an 8" is supposed to give 32). Topped with a 6" round as I've done before, I have just enough for about 40 slices.

Cakes will usually have some shrinkage. You will not get a cake thats exactly the same size as the pan.

In addition, if you set a cake in a drafty area when its fresh outOf the oven there is more shrinkage.

I hope this helps a bit.

Tona Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 10:13am
post #10 of 14

I would go to Micheals and get the Wilton pans. It will make this project go so much faster and I am sure you will need this pan again. Good luck

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 1:35pm
post #11 of 14

I'm going to have to give this cake a try now.. LOL. I think I found the recipe on-line. As soon as my cramps go away I am going to bake it. A girl with AF needs some cake right? icon_lol.gif

Do you think that maybe if you whipped up the whites and folded them in at the end it might help? I think I'll give that a try and let you know what happens.

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 2:46pm
post #12 of 14

It's in the oven.. I 1/2'd the recipe and used 2 egg whites that I beat to soft peaks and folded in at the end. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Update.. so far so good. I baked 1/2 the recipe in an 8" pan for about 35 minutes. So far it's holding at 7.5 inches across. We'll see when it fully cools.

I can't wait to taste it though.. icon_biggrin.gif

Okay I was impatient and cut into it. It's good.. but it seems a bit wet eventhough the toothpick came out clean. I think the shrinkage could be do to underbaking at least in my case.

ThreeDGirlie Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 3:46pm
post #13 of 14

I have a smiilar skillet, and I'm curious to know how it turns out if you try it.

The one I have is Emeril's line by Calphalon, and it is pretty thick - far thicker than my cake pans. I would be worried about the cake overcooking on the edges and getting crunchy - and that it could be a leveling nightmare. I could be wrong (and it would be cool if I wass, because then I could try a 10" round without buying a new pan too), but those would be my concerns.

ceshell Posted 9 Jul 2008 , 5:52pm
post #14 of 14

*Sigh* OK now I have too much skillet fear LOL. Another member PM'd me with some successful skillet-baking experience but now I'm worried about the flavor transfer! I use my skillet a LOT for onion, shallot and garlic-based dishes. Plus my pan is as heavy as heck, I'm worried about trying to turn the cake out while wrangling the gigantic pan and its huge handle...I see a totally different disaster in the making...

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