The Real Reason You Should Never Double A Baking Recipe

If one chocolate cake is awesome, double the cake must be fabulous. Especially when serving a crowd. Drop your spatulas people, doubling a baking recipe is not that easy.

One would think that, if you do proper math, you can double recipes for cakes, muffins, quick breads, cookies, and other baked treats and they'll turn out beautifully (while serving twice as many people). Truth is, there's chemistry involved too, and formulas for baked goods are based on specific measurements; so doubling ingredients can disturb this precision and yield a supersized amount of something you can't enjoy (via MyRecipes).

The chemistry behind baking, or the way the ingredients interact with one another, is based on exact proportions, especially when it comes to cakes, bread, custard, and soufflé (via How Stuff Works).

And then there's the size of your equipment. Imagine realizing — a tad too late — that your sumptuous banana bread batter is about to erupt from the bowl of your stand mixer. Plus, according to The Kitchn, it's harder to work with big batches of batter; there's a good chance you'll over-mix the ingredients as you attempt to incorporate them. Not only that, you'll be up to your elbows in goo.

The secret behind doubling baking powder and baking soda

Something professional bakers know — and now you will too — is this: once batters and doughs are increased, the leavening agents must be decreased (via Dixie Crystals). In regular recipes, most ingredients can be doubled, but baking soda and baking powder should be reduced by 1/8 teaspoon for every teaspoon in the recipe.

Another way to make sure you have the correct ratio is to use 1-1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of flour, or 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of flour (via The Kitchn).

How about the spices? Instead of doubling the spices, the recommendation is to use 1 1/2 times the amount called for. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, use 1 1/2 teaspoons (via Sun Sentinel).

What's the best way to ensure your baked treats turn out flawlessly every time? Since successful baking is dependent upon clear-cut chemical reactions, stick to the original recipe and make two separate batches (via MyRecipes).