Unlike regular stovetop cooking, baking is more of a science. Even when following a recipe to the tee, there’s always a chance to mess it up.
Halving a recipe can be intimidating, as baking requires precise measurements. Yet, is it achievable? Can you halve a pound cake recipe?
Halving a pound cake recipe is doable. However, you need to understand how each ingredient works.
Here’s everything you need to know about halving a pound cake recipe.
There comes a time when you need to make a certain recipe, but you just don’t have enough ingredients. Maybe the recipe is too large, and you need fewer servings.
You don’t need to be a math expert to divide a pound cake recipe in half. All you need is to know how to deal with each ingredient.
First, let’s talk about pound cake and what ingredients go into making it.
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked goods, and pound cake is a classic delicious dessert to bake.
It got its name from the basic recipe, which traditionally requires adding a pound of each ingredient.
Generally, some people choose to add milk and baking powder to make variations of the original cake. Yet, the ingredients that go into a classic pound cake are:
Dry ingredients, like flour and sugar, are easy to cut in half. For example, two cups turn into a cup and a cup into half a cup.
It’s even easier when they’re measured in grams. A simple calculator and food scale can do the trick.
So, how about three-quarters of a cup? And what’s the equivalent amount in tablespoons?
Take a look at the following conversion table to help you halve dry ingredients (note that a tablespoon equals three teaspoons).
|Dry Ingredient in Cups||Equivalent in Tablespoons|
|One cup||16 tablespoons|
|¾ cup||12 tablespoons|
|⅔ cup||10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons|
|1/2 cup||8 tablespoons|
|⅓ cup||5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon|
|¼ cup||4 tablespoons|
|⅛ cup||2 tablespoons|
Liquid ingredients, like milk and water, are easy to cut in half, even for the littlest amounts. All you need to know is that a cup of any type of liquid equals eight ounces.
Yet, it can be tricky when it comes to something like eggs. Cutting four or two eggs in half isn’t a problem, but halving one egg might be.
If the recipe requires an odd number of eggs, egg yolks, or egg whites, you have a couple of options.
- Whisk all the eggs together in a bowl and halve them according to their weight.
- Use a quarter cup of egg substitute for each egg in the halved recipe.
In little amounts, ingredients such as vanilla extract, baking powder, or salt don’t make much difference.
A pinch of salt is a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla extract is a dash of vanilla extract.
Naturally, halving a pound cake’s ingredients requires baking in a pan that’s half the mentioned size in the original recipe.
Baking a pound cake in a larger-than-needed pan can result in a thinner-than-usual cake. So, you need to roughly calculate the original pan’s volume and choose another smaller one.
Smaller cakes require less baking time. Since you’re now baking the cake in a smaller pan, you need to adjust the baking time accordingly.
There’s no specific rule for reducing the baking time when halving a pound cake recipe. Thus, it’s best to do a toothpick test after half the original baking time passes.
As for the temperature, it stays the same as instructed.
If you halve the ingredients correctly, you should expect to end up with a perfect pound cake. Otherwise, you may face some complications.
Messing up the measurements can result in a cake that’s too dense or a batter that’s too runny. Similarly, insufficient baking time may cause your cake to remain raw on the inside.
If you’re craving a sweet dessert and think the recipe you have is too much for your use, there’s a way around it. You can always use half the ingredients to make fewer portions.
So, can you halve a pound cake recipe?
The answer is yes. Halving a pound cake recipe shouldn’t be hard as long as you follow the measurements correctly.
Just make sure to have all your measuring cups and a food scale within a hand’s reach.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.