You want cupcakes ASAP … but not the whole box. We’ve got you covered! Try our tips for baking in small batches. With a few adjustments it’s easy to whip up just the right amount of brownies, cookies or cake for yourself or your friends.
Read through the recipe to see if the ingredients can be easily divided. If so, it may just require a little math.
You get into trickier territory if you can’t easily divide certain ingredients, such as an egg, in half. To divide an egg, just crack open one egg and whisk. You want to keep the same ratio of egg whites as yoke here, so once the egg is beaten, you can measure out half of that mixture and proceed as normal. (The other unused half can be saved for other recipes requiring an egg wash.)
Alternatively, you can proceed to trial and error. Adding a full egg when a recipe normally requires half will add extra moisture and cause some batters to bake into a different texture. With a little experimentation you can adjust the other ingredients to find a way to rebalance the recipe.
Next, look at the pan sizes. If a recipe can be halved and calls for a 13 x 9-inch pan, it typically bakes well in a 9-inch square pan. If you’re not sure whether a pan will work, however, take the pan that is meant to be used for the full recipe and fill it with water to give you an idea of the volume it holds. Then, transfer that liquid into the pan or pans you want to use. This should give you a reasonable estimate of how much batter will fit. With some minor adjustments, you can usually determine whether you’ll need half or a quarter of the amount in the smaller pan.
Using the same baking temperature as the original recipe, but for less time will usually result in positive results. The trick is to know how much less time. To be on the safe side, always start checking it at about the halfway mark for the recommended baking time and judge doneness using the same qualifiers as the original volume recipe (for example, until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean or edges are golden brown, etc.).