Sometimes you just need cupcakes. They can be so convenient for gatherings since they’re already a single serving, plus they’re quick to whip up if you’re having a personal craving (been there!). If you’ve ever wondered if any of my layer cake recipes can be made as cupcakes, the answer is YES! Every single one of them, easily. So if you come across a layer cake recipe on my blog that you love, here’s everything you need to know about baking the cupcake version:
How to Convert My Layer Cake Recipes to Cupcakes
The best part about baking my layer cake recipes as cupcakes is that there’s no need to tweak the recipe at all. You’ll make the batter as-is, spoon the batter into a lined cupcake pan, and bake for a shorter amount of time – that’s it! Here are some simple rules for cupcake success with my recipes:
- Prepare your cupcake pan by placing a cupcake liner into each cavity
- Fill the cupcake liners between ½ and ⅔ full
- Bake at 350ºF/177ºC for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
How Many Cupcakes Will a Layer Cake Recipe Yield?
The answer to this question depends on what the layer cake recipe yields in its original form. Take a look at the baking instructions for the layer cake. If it’s written for three 6-inch layers or two 8-inch layers, the recipe will yield 24-30 cupcakes. If the recipe is written for four 6-inch layers or three 8-inch layers, the recipe will yield 34-40 cupcakes.
Here are a few examples of recipes that will yield 24-30 cupcakes:
- Perfect Vanilla Cake
- One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
- Churro Cake
- Oreo Cookies & Cream Cake
- Strawberry Layer Cake
Here are a few examples of recipes that will yield 34-40 cupcakes:
- Rainbow Funfetti Cake
- Milk & Cereal Cake
- Favorite Matcha Cake
- Salted Caramel Apple Cake
- Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Cake
How to Scale the Recipe to Yield LESS Cupcakes
Maybe you only need a dozen or so cupcakes. Great news for you! All you have to do is scale the recipe down, which can be done with simple math or by using an online recipe scale calculator like this one.
If the recipe originally yields three 6-inch layers or two 8-inch layers, scaling the recipe by half will yield 12-15 cupcakes. This means you’ll need to divide each ingredient in the recipe by two to get the correct amount per ingredient on the list. If you’re using an online recipe scale calculator, you’ll simply copy/paste the ingredients list into the ingredients field, then select one half (½) as your conversion factor.
If the recipe originally yields four 6-inch layers or two 8-inch layers, you can scale the recipe by half using the instructions in the above paragraph to yield 17-20 cupcakes. You could alternatively scale the recipe by one third (⅓) to yield 11-13 cupcakes, but the math will be a little trickier, as you’ll have to divide each ingredient by 3.
A Note About Eggs When Scaling a Recipe: Sometimes you’ll end up with an odd amount of eggs when scaling a recipe. The general rule of thumb is to crack the odd egg into a bowl and whisk it up before dividing it into the amount you need. For example, if you need ⅓ of an egg and the beaten egg totals 3 Tbsp (45ml), use 1 Tbsp (15ml). If you need 2 ½ eggs, use two whole eggs + ½ of a beaten egg.
How to Scale the Recipe to Yield MORE Cupcakes
First, determine how many cupcakes you need total. Then divide that total number by the average amount of cupcakes a layer cake recipe yields as-is. For example, if the total cupcakes needed equals 100 and you’re working with a recipe that yields 24-30 cupcakes (or on average, 27 cupcakes), you’ll need about 4x the recipe (100/27 = 3.7) to yield 100 cupcakes.
After determining the amount you need to scale the recipe, multiply each ingredient by that amount. In the above example, you would multiply each ingredient by 4 to get 4x the recipe.
What About Fillings and Frostings?
You can absolutely still make the same fillings and frostings for the cupcakes as you would for the layer cake! This way, you’ll essentially have cute little single-serve versions. This S’mores Cupcakes recipe explains how to fill cupcakes, but if the layer cake recipe uses the same buttercream for filling and frosting, I’d recommend skipping the filling of the cupcakes and simply piping the buttercream on top. That will give you the perfect ratio of frosting to cupcake.
I hope all of this info helps with your next batch of cupcakes! Let me know in the comments below and feel free to tag @sugarandsparrowco on Instagram to show me. I love to see what you create!