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Old 06-02-2007, 10:50 AM   #1
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Two questions - Pan Size and Oil or Butter or Shortening

First, let me say that I am not a baker. I am getting ready to make a Red Velvet Cake from scratch. I would like to use a 13x9 glass pan since I don't have 3 8" pans. Would this work? Also, could the cake be left in the pan to cool and then just frost right in the dish?

My other question is about whether to use oil, butter or shortening. The recipe I am planning to use is from Food Network (Southern Red Velvet Cake) and calls for 1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil. This sounded like a lot, but in reading reviews of some other recipes calling for one or two sticks of butter, a number of comments indicate that the cake is dry.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 06-02-2007, 11:18 AM   #2
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The area of the 9X13 pan is about 117 sq.in. The area of an 8" pan is about 50 sq.in. So making 2/3 of the recipe would come closer to filling your rectangular pan better--and the amount of oil would be more in line for a regular cake.
Use the shortening that the recipe calls for. Oil based cakes usually have more sugar in them--the balance is important to the success of the cake.

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Old 06-02-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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Hi, LindaPro. Welcome to DC. You'll more than likely get plenty of answers to your questions. Let me offer my advice while I'm here.

I would follow the recipe as it instructs and use the amount of oil it calls for. As for your pan, the volume of an 8-inch pan is is about 100 cubic inches, if the pan is about 2-inches deep. Three of them would equate to 300 cubic inches. The volume of a 9- by 13-inch pan is 234 cubic inches, again assuming the pan is 2 inches deep.

If you fill your rectangular pan about two thirds full, and put the rest of the batter in another smaller pan, you should be okay. And, yes, you can frost it right in the pan.

Good luck with your cake. Red Velvet Cake is delicious. Enjoy!
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:33 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. I also have an 11x14 Wilton cake pan. Would that size be better for the recipe?

Thanks again,
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Old 06-02-2007, 01:13 PM   #5
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If your 11x14 pan is 2" deep - you would not need to make any "scaling it down to fit the pan" adjustments to the recipe - it will hold slightly (6.5 cubic inches) more than 3 round 8x2 inch pans. This would be your ideal pan.

As for the recipe - I assume this is the recipe you are loking at - follow it exactly! Baking is based on ratios of ingredients (formulas) that unless you know how to convert them - you're asking for trouble when you start trying to change them. What you have is an "oil" cake recipe - it's not the same as a "shortened" cake (made with shortening or butter). And, even switching between shortening and butter in a shortened cake recipe requires an understanding of the differences between the two and how to adjust for them (for example: 1c shortening is about 20% air, 1c butter is about 12-18% water).

Yes - you can cool the cake in the pan and then frost it ... that's how the lunch ladies at school always did it!
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 06-02-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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Thank you. The cake is in the oven and I'll let you know shortly how it turns out!
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Old 06-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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Cooked in 30 minutes in the larger pan and looks and smells great. I'll try to check back after we eat it tomorrow and let you know how it tastes. This is my first experience with a cake using oil and that didn't come out of a box!

Thanks for all the help.

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