Something I get asked a lot is how much cake mix to use in bowls and other oddly shaped tins. The really easy way to solve this mystery is by using water. This is also a really good trick to scale up a cake mix too!
Fill your bowl or shaped tin ¾ full with water. Then, transfer this to a cake tin. Always start with a bigger one, so an 8″ or 10″ for example. If the water comes about ¾ full of the tin, then use the amount of mixture as you would normally for that tin. If the water is sitting lower than ¾ full, try with smaller tins until you get the right amount.
Bake at the same time and temperature as the original recipe dictates.
- Use cake release. Bowls and oddly shaped tins don’t lend themselves to the use of greaseproof paper. A liberal spray or sweep of cake release will do the trick as we don’t want our cake to get stuck in there once baked! (For more about cake release, read my blog here.)
- Low and slow. For an even bake with a flat top, try turning down the oven a little and leaving it to bake a bit longer. I bake my cakes at 140°C for well over an hour and always get nice flat tops! (For more about oven temperatures, read my blog here.)
- Make sure to use a strong mixture. Usually, a Victoria Sponge recipe will simply be too light for a bowl or oddly shaped tin and may break up when you turn it out. You are better off using a Madeira recipe as it’s strong and sturdy and perfect for strange shapes! You can find my recipe here.
- If you are using a hemisphere tin or one that doesn’t stand up on it’s own too well, balance it in a smaller round tin. That way it will be more stable on the oven rack.
- Leave to cool in the tin before turning out. If you turn it out too early it may break. Wait until you can comfortable hold the tin/bowl and turn out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper to cool completely, that way you will get a nice flat top to work with.
If you want to turn your baking hobby into a career, check out my book Cakes, Bakes & Business for everything you need to know about running a successful baking business, including pricing, marketing, insurance and much more!