Sunday 22 April 2012

Basics - recipes, cake tins and conversions

I have created this page of notes to collect some of the basic information that I spend too much time looking up on my blog or the web.  I hope it might help others too.  It is work-in-progress that I will update from time to time.  I have broken it up into three sections - Basic Recipes, Cake Tin Sizes, and Conversions.

Basic Recipes

Many of the recipes are ones that can be bought but are much nicer if I have the time to make them from scratch.  This list comprises both recipes I go to often or ones I want to return to if searching for such a recipe.  An asterisk (*) indicates recipes from my blog. There are four sections: Dinner, Dessert, Baking, and Veg*n substitutes .

To cook brown rice cook 1 cup brown rice to 1.5 cups cold water, cover, bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes.  To cook white basmati rice add rice to saucepan (1/3 cup uncooked = 1 cup cooked rice), add enough water to cover 2 knuckles of your pointer finger, cover, bring to boil and simmer 12 minutes.

I don't make lots of dessert so there's not much in this section but I always need to look up packet custard - 2 tbsp custard powder, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 cup milk.  Maybe down the track I might add pastry.


Veg*n Substitutes

Preserves (jams and chutneys)

While jam/chutney is simmering, sterilise your jars and lids.  I bake mine for 30 minutes in the oven at 150 C and boil the lids on the stovetop for 10 minutes, then driy them on a rack.  I find it easy to put all the jars in a roasting dish so I am not having to handle them individually.

Cake tin sizes

When I was growing up, a cake tin was always round and 20cm in diameter.  Now recipes seem to call for ones in all shapes and sizes.  I spent a lot of time measuring and calculating tine to make sure recipes fit into my tins.  So here is a list of calculations to help me.  An asterisk (*) indicates that I have this sized cake tin.

To calculate area of a circle: Area = radius squared times pi (approx 3.1415)

28cm (11 inch) round cake tin area equals 616cm
24cm round cake tin area equals 452cm
23cm (9 inch) round cake tin area equals 415cm
22cm round cake tin area equals 380cm*
20cm (8 inch) round cake tin area equals 314cm*
20cm ring tin area equals 247* 
15cm (6 inch) round cake tin equals 177cm*
14cm round cake tin area equals 153cm
10cm round cake tin (or use foil collars) area equals 78.5cm

23cm (9 inch) square cake tin area equals 529cm
22cm square cake tin area equals 484cm*
20cm (8 inch) square cake tin area equals 400cm*
19cm square cake tin area equals 361cm
18cm (7 inch) square cake tin area equals 324cm
15cm (6 inch)  square cake tin area equals 225cm*

loaf tin 13 x 22 cm area equals 286 cm*
medium loaf tin 20.5 x 10.3cm area equals 211cm*
slice tin: 18 x 28cm area equals 504cm*
swiss roll tin: 31 x 24cm area equals 744cm*


If I am not measuring cake tins, I am converting measurements from recipes that use different measuring implements than I am use to.  So here are a few links and conversions I find useful:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree requires about 300-350g uncooked pumpkin
  • 1 cup mashed banana is about 2 large or 3 small bananas
  • 1 egg equals 1 tbsp chia seeds (or 1 tbsp flaxmeal or ground linseed) plus 3 tbsp water
  • 1 egg equals approx 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 x 7g packet of yeast equals 15g fresh yeast equals 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast 
  • substitute honey for sugar - less honey than sugar because sweeter and reduce liquid as well - see this article for more info 
  • kernels of 2 corn cobs is approx 1 cup of corn kernels 
  • to make self raising flour add 2 tsp baking powder to 1 cup plain flour 
  • Susan of Wild Yeast gives advice on converting commercial yeast recipes to sourdough 
  • 1 tbsp of sugar equals about 6 to 9 drops of stevia 
  • 1/2 cup choc chips equals about 75 to 90g. 
  • Converting 100% hydration sourdough starter to cups - 1 cup water = 250g, 1 cup flour = 150g.  1 cup bubbly ripe starter = 250g = approx 2/3 cup water to 1/3 flour (I know this is not exact and errs on too much flour but it just helps me to make an approximate conversion using my cup measures.)

Good resources:
  • Exclusively Food - an Australian site giving a list of weight to cups measurements.
  • Ingredient Equivalents - comprehensive list converting weight to cups or pieces at - the only problem (for us Aussies) is that it used imperial rather than metric.
  • Veg-World a British site giving a list of cups to weight measurements for specific ingredients.
  • Real Food 4 Real People - conversions tables of cups to weights, and metric to imperial, and oven temperatures.
  • Online conversions - to convert weights from ounces to grams, pounds to kilograms etc or vice versa.


  1. I so admire how organised you are and forward thinking. I've been wanting to do something similar, but never got round to it. Don't need to now, got your genuinely fab blog to refer to. Thanks again Johanna.

    1. Thanks Shaheen - I've just noticed that you have some measurements on your sidebar - seems you are organised and have some info at hand but I know what you mean about always wanting to organise more

  2. Great round up of information I'm always looking for - thank you!

    1. Thanks Caroline - glad you will find it helpful

  3. what a brilliant reference tool! thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Lisa - always love a reference tool!

  4. Crikey Johanna, you are mega organised. This is a real labour of love and a really useful post and now I'll know where to come to for this sort of information. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Choclette - I've had this post in draft far too long so am glad to finally have it up - don't feel as organised as you think I ! but glad it is useful

  5. Johanna, this is so useful! Thank you so very much. As you gathered from my latest post, I am much less organised and sometimes don't even get recipes onto my blog, never mind basics like these. I think I'll take your standards as inspiration! This is very useful, thank you :)

    1. Thanks Kari - no matter how much I post I still find myself scratching around for basics and recipes and wishing I had blogged something I can't remember - but a blog is a wonderful place for a bit of organisation!

  6. This is a great list Johanna - I never know how much a cup of pumpkin is and end up with too much.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I started to write it down as I had so many times when I was trying to work it out - and it has helped me cook around the right amount of pumpkin


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