Is it possible to double a cake recipe? I've read on other sites that you can and can't but I'm not sure which is accurate, and if it's possible, how to do it.
The recipe I'm using calls for 2 ts of baking soda and 1 ts of baking powder.
Of course you can double a cake recipe. I multiply my base recipes by whatever ratio I need to make the correct size cake.
I do too and agree with winniemog. I have read on several sites over the years that you cannot do it with every recipe or for every multiple of a recipe but I have yet to have a problem with any cookie, bar or cake recipe either.
Ditto - np problem so far with any of my recipes - cakes, cookies, buttercreams. Do it all the time. Voice of experience - make sure your mixer is big enough first!
yortma made a really good point about mixer size and it reminds me of something else. When making an angel food cake, I get my best results when I use the 6 quart mixer as opposed to the 4.5 quart because my egg whites have more room to expand and there is more room to gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. I also make another white cake recipe where you beat the egg whites separately and gently fold them in and again it needs more space because in both cases the egg whites are what leavens the cake. So for some recipes you need space to make the recipe under the best conditions.
But ingredient-wise, as long as like yortma said - your mixer is large enough, from our experience we haven't had any issues.
There is a more reliable way to multiply recipes but it does require good math skills. It's called baker's percentage (Google it) You do not just multiply your ingredients you work with the percentages of each ingredient by weight. In this way you always have the same formula no matter the quantity. Doubling is usually okay, but if you're doing more than that you can run into problems.
Pastrybaglady, that is true but scales do not always stay calibrated and one brand of scale versus another or even one scale of the same brand versus another can be off a bit. We just demonstrated this in another thread where different people got different weight results when converting displacement measurements to weights.
When my youngest daughter was taking her baker's courses they often had to re-calibrate the scales. So if we base our measurements on percentages we might have to recalculate ingredients often instead of being able to do it once and rely on the fact that what we recorded is accurate.
And after all that my point is that nothing is 100% accurate all of the time. But yes, formulas based on percentages based on the science of baking, should be more accurate.
Haha, so true, another mystery of the universe. I don't quite understand that either. I remember asking my daughter how the scales were calibrated - based on what scale etc. It is the same thing when an inspector checks the scales in a butcher shop or a supermarket. It isn't like there is one true scale to compare to.
Apparently to calibrate scales you use an item for which there is a known weight. So , say a pound of butter. If the scale doesn't register one pound, you adjust it until it does. The problem is, scales don't stay calibrated - especially scales that are used frequently. And what if the scale that measured the pound of butter needed calibrating? Parts wear out and scales become inaccurate.
So if you go with formula based ingredients you would need to calculate your percentages every time in case your scale was in need of re-calibration.
And if you measure by displacement and want to share a recipe and ensure that the recipient gets the same results, you would have to ensure they used the same brand of measuring instruments. Not to mention the same ingredients, mixer, oven...
It gets a bit crazy, doesn't it?
So really the only accurate scales would be the old timey ones where you put the weights on one side and the ingredient on the other until the scale is balanced. It is too easy to mislead the people of the digital age!
Yes, we need to go back to my times - those of the dinosaur age, haha.
Actually the only accurate scale I have come across is the one at my doctor's office that shows my weight as ten pounds lighter than the other two scales show. If he ever gets it re-calibrated - I will be in the market for a smarter doctor.
i used to use the old timey scales of justice type scales -- i loved using them -- loved it --
and to address the op's question -- there is a segment of cakedom that uses some kind of formula that divides and conquers as well as multiplies and subtracts the double acting baking powder in 6 inch pans versus 12 inch pans and etc -- i might be exaggerating it a bit ;) but i never knew it existed and i had already multiplied a zillion different recipes to fit the yield i needed that ultimately went into 10, 20, 40 and 60 quart mixer bowls and never had a problem --
that crowd also wrote a thesis on how sifting does not fully incorporate ingredients together which again i never knew that this needed proving -- just sift cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar together and you're a believer kwim
i take their findings with a grain of salt... shakers