## How Do I Scale Recipes?

By ShannonLeger Updated 22 Jul 2011 , 8:37pm by Annabakescakes

ShannonLeger Posted 20 Jul 2011 , 4:23pm
post #1 of 28

Hello!

I now have a 20qt. mixer and would love to scale my tried and true recipes to make bigger batches of buttercream, cake batter, etc. Is there anyone out there who can give me some advice on how to accomplish this? Thanks so much!

Shannon

27 replies
Baker_Rose Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 3:54pm
post #2 of 28

Basically, if you have been doing recipes in a 5qt mixer then you just multiply by four to fit a 20qt mixer. If you are doing cake batter be sure you have enough pans and oven space to bake the batter at once, otherwise it will just sit and wait it's turn in the oven.

If you convert your recipes to weight first it will be much easier to increase and decrease with accuracy.

Tami

FromScratchSF Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:10pm
post #3 of 28

Excel. All my recipes I have converted into a spreadsheet (and they are all by weight), all I have to do is put in serving amounts and it calculates how much batter I need to make. It also has my cost of ingredients plugged in so I can make sure I am still on target with my expenses.

Good luck!

Jen

dchockeyguy Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 5:28pm
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Excel. All my recipes I have converted into a spreadsheet (and they are all by weight), all I have to do is put in serving amounts and it calculates how much batter I need to make. It also has my cost of ingredients plugged in so I can make sure I am still on target with my expenses.

Good luck!

Jen

This! Best use of Excel for a baker. I did the same thing.

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 5:33pm
post #5 of 28

Actually you don't just multiply by X. RLB explains in the Cake Bible. The completely correct way to do it is to use the Baker's Percentage.

When you read how to use it the first time, it won't make any sense. But it does and is the pro way to scale formulas up and down.

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:11pm
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Actually you don't just multiply by X. RLB explains in the Cake Bible. The completely correct way to do it is to use the Baker's Percentage.

When you read how to use it the first time, it won't make any sense. But it does and is the pro way to scale formulas up and down.

Whoa! I LOVE fractions, and this is a lot of work! I would rather just multiply by 4.

crushed Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:20pm
post #7 of 28

Just did a quick "google" search and saw this calculator. I don't know if it's helpful or not, but I'm going to fiddle around with it later.

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 6:43pm
post #8 of 28

If you just multiply by 4 leavening will be incorrect.

Annabakescakes Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 7:05pm
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

If you just multiply by 4 leavening will be incorrect.

Why? I don't get it. If you use 4 times the flour, milk, egg, sugar, flavors, why don't you use 4 times the baking powder?

CalhounsCakery Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 7:18pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Excel. All my recipes I have converted into a spreadsheet (and they are all by weight), all I have to do is put in serving amounts and it calculates how much batter I need to make. It also has my cost of ingredients plugged in so I can make sure I am still on target with my expenses.

Good luck!

Jen

Would you mind sharing some of your formulas for this? I'd love to make one up.

cakesmart Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 7:30pm
post #11 of 28

I have used RLB's formulas in her book, The Cake Bible. Works great.

cakestyles Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 8:22pm
post #12 of 28

Everyone should be baking with weight measurements anyway for the most accurate results.

It takes a bit of time to convert recipes over to weight, but once you do, you can make any amount of batter and have it come out perfect every time.

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 8:25pm
post #13 of 28

From RLB, "The larger the pan size, the less baking powder is used in proportion to other ingredients. This is because of surface tension. The larger the diameter of the pan, the slower the heat penetration and the less support the rising cake receives because the sides are farther from the center. Baking powder weakens the cake's structure by enlarging the air spaces, so decreasing the baking powder stengthens the structure and compensates for retarded gelatinization and the decrease in support."

PS gelatinazation means the starches have "set."

The Cake Bible. EVERYONE should own it.

carmijok Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 8:33pm
post #14 of 28

What about baking soda? If a recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and soda, do you lessen the soda amount as well for larger size cakes? And do you mean it's decided by the size of the pan?

I used one full recipe of chocolate cake batter for a 9x13 cake but it didn't rise as much as it does split between 2 pans. Is the baking soda the culprit? (I don't own the Cake Bible).

leah_s Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 8:47pm
post #15 of 28

Yes, it does depend on the size of the pan. And yes I generally decrease all leaveners as the pan size gets larger. Perhaps your public library has the Cake Bible?

itsacake Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 8:57pm
post #16 of 28

The formula RLB uses to calculate the leavening is not baker's percentages. If you double or triple a recipe the percentage of leavening will remain the same. If you want to use a recipe for an eight inch cake and make 4 eight inch cakes, you can just quadruple the recipe. The percentages stay the same.

What RLB is saying is that you have to change the percentage to make different size cakes. so it would be helpful to know what her formula is. She doesn't really give that, she just gives a chart which works for her recipes. I'm not convinced that it will work for other recipes, but THAT is what you can probably figure out using baker's percentages. ie, what percentage of leavening do you need for each pan size following her logic.

FromScratchSF Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 9:09pm
post #17 of 28

I worship RLB, but if I make a cake from TCB I don't use her Rose Power. I got very confused as to why if I mix a big batch of batter in the Hobart I use one measurement for a 3 tiered cake, but if I made just a single cake the baking powder is different. So I just use the less baking powder for all sizes cakes and they turn out great. I'm not suggesting this is the "right" way, but it's my way.

Jen

QTCakes1 Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 1:53am
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsacake

What RLB is saying is that you have to change the percentage to make different size cakes. so it would be helpful to know what her formula is. She doesn't really give that, she just gives a chart which works for her recipes. I'm not convinced that it will work for other recipes

I think this is an excellent point. I followed her rules for her recipes and they work fine. But I started using other recipes I liked better. I went ahead and doubled them, baking powder included, just to see, and they worked fine, regardless of the pan size. They all had a good rise and everything. So, I'm not sure if LRC's rules would apply to every recipe.

costumeczar Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 2:54am
post #19 of 28

If you're going to bake twenty 8" cakes or one 8" cake, you wouldn't adjust the leaveners if you go by RLB's theory. She just says that larger pans require less leaveners. You'd just multiply your base recipe by 20 for 20 layers instead of one if you were doing multiples of smalelr sizes.

Having said that, I double and triple base recipes on a regular basis for larger pans without adjusting the leaveners, and it doesn't make a difference that I can see.

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 4:05am
post #20 of 28

Oh, I get it! It doesn't matter! Thank you ladies (and any gentlemen?) for clearing that up for me! I was all over here.

Sugarflowers Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 4:28am
post #21 of 28

Great information! Thank you.

M

KoryAK Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 6:14am
post #22 of 28

I can see where RLB is coming from.... but I don't have time to care lol I just straight double, triple, whatever my recipes and bake away. I make a full batch in my 20 qt mixer that will be divided up into cupcakes, 6" rounds, 18" rounds and everything in between - I can't be bothered to make separate batches for different sizes of pans (and just think of trying to keep the employees on track with all that! yeesh!). I just mix and go and have never had a problem. Maybe I just have an amazing recipe

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 6:20am
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I can see where RLB is coming from.... but I don't have time to care lol I just straight double, triple, whatever my recipes and bake away. I make a full batch in my 20 qt mixer that will be divided up into cupcakes, 6" rounds, 18" rounds and everything in between - I can't be bothered to make separate batches for different sizes of pans (and just think of trying to keep the employees on track with all that! yeesh!). I just mix and go and have never had a problem. Maybe I just have an amazing recipe

Exactly!

platinumlady Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 6:44am
post #24 of 28

Leah_s so do I need to buy her book to get the formula?

FromScratchSF Can you share the Excel formula you use? I've started using excel with my pricing, however I can't figure out which formula to use for this...I'm drawing a blank on this one.

Forgot ... I can give you my email address if it's easier or if you feel comfortable doing that

JanH Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 7:36am
post #25 of 28

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/118102-scaling-cake-recipes-any-magic/

HTH

cakestyles Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 11:39am
post #26 of 28

I've never adjusted the leavener when multiplying recipes either and I've never had an issue with the larger layers not rising.

I think some of these people tend to overthink things. (Not you "people" the bakers that have been quoted)

Baker_Rose Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 6:27pm
post #27 of 28

I worked for a caterer where we made an amazing amount of product. The owner didn't like to hire "professionals" and she "took a chance" when she hired me. I prefer weight for bulk baking, especially when different people are making the recipe, but she still to this day just has everyone 2x to 15x the original recipe. Wow does she get pi\$\$ed when people mess up. Come on, taking a home baker and putting them into a commercial setting, handing them a recipe and then saying make a 10x of that recipe. It isn't as easy as you may think. We here are more experienced bakers, she hires people who "like to bake at home" and tries to make them a commercial baker and then when mistakes are made she would get into your face, yelling about how dumb you are.

I am really good at upping recipes, and I have never changed the leavening in a recipe, ever. I tried my best to work with those recipes, most came from Betty Crocker books and off the internet, and some didn't work at all.

I have read my copy of The Cake Bible until it fell apart. Yes, it sits on my shelf with a band around it in three pieces. I still use some of Rose's recipes, but I have never had to change the leavening, ever. I have made the White Velvet Butter cake in a 12x18 and a 14" square and round with out problems. When I was with the caterer we made recipes increased by 4 to 15 on a daily basis, and only the bread recipes had to have the flour tinkered a bit. Those bakers are still there using a 1 cup measuring cup to measure peanut butter and shortening!!! I thought it was crazy and taught people to use a scale for ingredients like that, but it never caught on. Some recipes called for 18 cups of packed brown sugar and yes, they would stand there and pack a one cup measure at a time and count. I pulled up the scale and did the measure in 1/4 of the time, but I was the weird one.

Anyway. Many home bakers I have worked with can't wrap their head around the baker's percentage, so no, I didn't mention it, for an average person, making buttercream and larger amounts of cake batter I think x4 is fine.

IMO

Tami

Annabakescakes Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 8:37pm
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker_Rose

............. Those bakers are still there using a 1 cup measuring cup to measure peanut butter and shortening!!! I thought it was crazy and taught people to use a scale for ingredients like that, but it never caught on. Some recipes called for 18 cups of packed brown sugar and yes, they would stand there and pack a one cup measure at a time and count. I pulled up the scale and did the measure in 1/4 of the time, but I was the weird one..........

Tami

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I got over that as a teenager! I can just imagine!