The size of a baking pan does really matter. Is your cake not getting done? Or is it too thin and burning? Then you are most likely using the wrong size baking pan. When baking, you need to use the size of the baking pan the recipe calls for to get the best results. Recipes are carefully calculated as to yield (produce, and changing the pan size also alters the baking temperature and time). The size of a baking pan does matter to get the best results. You don’t want to waste your time and effort, not to mention the money you spent on the ingredients, just to throw away your results!
If the baking pan is too big, your finished product will be too thin and bake too quickly. Look at it like your clothes. Say your clothes are too big you kinda get lost in them, right?. If the recipe calls for a 9×9 size pan and all you have is a 9×12 baking pan, then you will need to adjust your recipe. Otherwise, you will not be satisfied with the finished product and it is not going to bake correctly. Adjusting recipes can be tricky unless you know exactly what you are doing. If the cake or brownies or whatever it is you are making is from a box mix, the back of the box will give you alternatives to other sizes of baking pans to use.
If you don’t have the size of pan recommended then don’t buy the mix or make that recipe. Don’t waste your time and money because it is just not going to turn out the way you want it to. Or you can buy the correct pan to go with the recipe. In the long run, you will be ahead and just think, the next time you make that recipe, you are going to have the correct size.
If the baking pan is too small then the product is going to take longer to bake. It will most likely burn on the edges and top before the inside gets done. I remember one time I made a cake in a smaller pan than the mix recommended. I had to bake it way longer than it was supposed to and the edges burnt before the inside could get done. Again we can compare to our clothes fitting too tight. There is no room to expand!
You can always split the recipe in two and use two pans, but that is only going to give you more dishes to wash. And if you are like me, I really don’t want any more cleanup than is necessary. And who is to say that this method will work anyway? It’s better to do the right thing the first time.
Just The Right Size
The best course is to have the correct size baking pan on hand. Follow the directions correctly, and more than likely, you are going to get good results. Of course, there is always room for mistakes, such as getting distracted and losing track of time. I have to say this has happened to me more times than I want to admit. That’s where a timer is an excellent idea. There have been many times I got so involved in a book I was reading or a website that I totally lost track of the time.
What a rude awakening when you smell something burning, and the house begins to fill with smoke. I have even had my smoke alarm go off. Oh my! Yeah, it’s not much fun when you have to go around opening all the windows and let me tell you, the smell and smoke linger.
The time indicated for baking in the recipe is an estimate. It all depends on your oven and the size of the pan you are using. I always try to start checking on the item baking about 10 minutes before the time it is supposed to be done.
Having the correct size pan when baking is one of the key elements to success. When you are using a baking mix, the back of the box will provide instructions for baking times for different sizes of pans as well as the type of pans.
I will admit that when I am shopping for baking ingredients such as brownie mixes (my grandkids love brownies), I do buy foil pans to make clean-up easier, especially if I am going to bake several pans. I have ten grandkids, and if they all come to my house, I try to have brownies on hand and let me tell you, the brownies do not last long.
When following a recipe, the recipe will specify what size pan to use. It is always best to follow the recipe or instructions exactly to get the best results. As the saying goes, “Waste not want not”
Having many sizes of baking pans on hand will, in the long run, make your life easier, especially if you do a lot of baking. I know it has made my life easier. Nothing more frustrating than coming across a recipe you really want to try and then finding out you don’t have the correct size baking pan. Who has time to run out and buy the pan you need? Not me, that’s for sure.
There are many options out there, whether you are looking for metal baking pans or glass baking pans.
Do you have the right size baking pan for your recipes? Please leave me a comment below with your thoughts.
And As Always
Keep On Baking
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I’m Taianne, the owner and operator behind We Are Baking. Baking my first cake at age 11 hooked me on creating sweet treats. Though my interest faded during childhood, it was rekindled when I married my apple pie-loving husband. I love trying new recipes, tweaking classics, and helping others learn the science and art of baking. I started We Are Baking to share tips, tricks, and favorite recipes I’ve discovered over the years. When not in the kitchen, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. My goal is to inspire others to embrace their creativity through baking. Feel free to contact me with any questions!