How Do I Convert a Cake Recipe to Make Cupcakes Instead?

published Feb 7, 2011
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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Q: I saw the post on Strawberry Scalded Milk Cake, and wondered what about the rules for taking a cake recipe and using it to make cupcakes.

Do you just adjust the oven temperature and cook time, or do you have to change other parts of the recipe too? Can you do it with all cakes?

Sent by Jessica

Editor: Jessica, most cake recipes can indeed be sized down to cupcakes. It’s quite straightforward, in fact.

• Do not change oven temperature.
• Plan on getting between 24 and 36 cupcakes from an average cake recipe (one that would usually make two 9-inch rounds or one 9×13-inch cake).
• Bake the cupcakes between 20 and 30 minutes (sometimes the depth of cupcakes means they actually take longer than a thin cake layer). This can vary depending on oven temperature and the specific recipe, so keep an eye on them!

More tips and pan size equivalents can be found here:

Cakes and Cupcakes at Baking 911
Pan Sizes at Joy of Baking

Now, one last word: All of these tips are assuming that you’re making a straightforward butter-eggs-sugar sort of cake. If you are attempting something else (like an angel food cake or a cheesecake) then that’s a different story. But basic cakes can be converted to cupcakes quite easily.

Readers, any tips or suggestions for Jessica?

(Image: Leela Cyd Ross)