This article originally appeared on Fix.com.
Baking is among the most scientific of all cooking forms; the slightest variance in ingredients or amounts can have huge impacts. Learning to stay in control of the variables that affect your baking can be an exercise in frustration. Then, once you have seemingly followed a recipe to the letter, it can be devastating to realize that the dimensions of your pan or tin have let you down at the final hurdle. Luckily, with a little know-how, you'll master the art of pan conversions and never spoil another birthday cake again!
For instance, if your pan is too shallow, it will cause the heat to reach the center of the pan more quickly, and the baked goods will evaporate more. Reducing the baking time by a quarter and raising the temperature of the oven slightly will solve the problem. On the other hand, if the pan is too deep, your baked goods will evaporate less and the batter will take longer to cook. If this is a problem for you, you can overcome it by increasing the baking time by a quarter and lowering the temperature of the oven slightly.
It would be nice to have the perfect pan to hold the precise quantity of every size of baked good you want to make. But that's a world few can afford to live in, for both financial and kitchen space reasons. With our guide to substituting pan sizes, you can learn the best substitution options for a range of baking dish sizes. Next time you're not sure whether your pan is up to the job, use this guide to measure its dimensions accurately, and learn how to substitute the right pan for the task at hand.