Small batch baking tips and ways to reduce recipes to serve fewer people! Tips and tricks for making dessert for two, or small versions of your favorite desserts in small pans for portion controlled desserts!
Behind the scenes, I get a lot of emails. A lot.
You usually write me to ask me about my bakeware. I am so happy that you are on the hunt to find miniature bakeware so that you can make my small batch desserts. I am so glad we are on this ride together! Sharing small dessert recipes is my passion, and your validation means the world to me. Thank you thank you.
If you're new to Dessert for Two, I suggest you start with these three pans. You probably already have two of them in your kitchen!
The 6" round Cake Pan:
Let's talk first about the 6" mini cake pan. The majority of the questions I get refer to this little pan! This pan measures 6 inches across and 2 inches high. In the past year, they started making a 6" cake pan that has 3" tall sides. Do not buy that size. The extra inch of height will make your cake sink. It has to do with the amount of heat in the oven radiating off the sides of the pan. I have trouble-shooted a ton of recipes this past year with readers only to find out they have the 6x3" pan instead of the 6x2" pan.
The 6x2" pan is the standard cake size for the top layer of a wedding cake. Isn't that sweet?! In the case of Dessert for Two, it's the only layer we need.
I have tons of recipes for your favorite cakes, scaled down to size here: small cake recipes. We don't need to be tempted with all those leftovers, do we?
If I had to pick a favorite mini cake, I'd chose this glazed oatmeal cake. Soft and tender with a crunchy frosting!
The Quarter Sheet Pan:
Next up is the quarter-sheet pan. It measures 9 x 13" and has a 1" lip around the edge. The standard baking sheet pans that you have in your house for roasting vegetables and baking large batches of cookies is a half sheet pan that measures 17 x 12". Two quarter sheet pan fit inside your standard baking sheet, roughly. (If you're wondering about the full sheet pan, do not--it's usually only for commercial use and most likely won't fit in your home oven).
I use this small baking sheet to make a small batch of cookies (I have almost 100 recipes for cookies that make less than 1 dozen!) and also a Texas Chocolate 'Quarter' Sheet Cake (pictured above). A standard recipe for Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake makes enough for at least 12 servings. Awesome for a party, not so awesome on a Tuesday night alone on the couch with Netflix.
The 9x5" bread loaf pan:
Last, but definitely not least, the standard bread loaf pan is a workhorse in my kitchen. I use it for everything, because when you cut it down the middle, it makes two generous portions. And when I say I use it for everything, I really mean it: lasagna, bakery-style brownies, one pint of ice cream, and even rice crispy treats! There is no end to the ways you can use this pan to make smaller portions of your favorite foods. Plus, I know you already have a bread loaf pan in your kitchen!
I hope this guide to small baking pans helps you whip up even more small desserts in your kitchen! Do you have any tips and tricks for small batch baking that I need to know about? I'd love to hear from you!