We’ve all been there: As soon as you go to grease your baking pan, you realize it isn’t the size the recipe calls for. Or perhaps you’d rather serve your guests a loaf instead of muffins. Or you have a fabulous decorating idea for a square cake, but the recipe calls for round pans. No problem! Knowing your pans’ measurements and volume allows you to transform most baked goods into whatever shape you want. Simply follow this conversion chart to find the equivalent pan size.
Measure width, length and depth on the inside of a pan — not the outside. To find the exact volume, fill a measuring cup with water and keep pouring into the pan until the water reaches the top.
In general, the larger the pan, the flatter the cake or loaf will be and the faster it will cook. Smaller, more compact pans create taller baked goods and need longer in the oven. Muffins, on the other hand, cook faster than cakes and loaves. Adjust cooking time accordingly, and check for doneness frequently.
Glass pans allow cakes to bake faster than they do in metal pans, so when choosing glass over metal, reduce the oven temperature by 25˚F (14˚C) and check for doneness about 10 minutes earlier than the recipe calls for.
Fill pans with batter until they’re one-half to two-thirds full; any more and the batter may overflow. If the pan is near full, place a baking sheet under it in the oven to catch potential drips.