How to Batch Up

So, you’ve got a crowd-pleasing recipe you’d love to make for friends at your next dinner party. You’ve spent hours in the kitchen perfecting your recipe, and can’t wait to share it. Only problem? Your tried-and-true formula serves eight, and you’ve got a whopping 12 coming over. You could double the recipe and plan for leftovers (or very hungry guests). Or, you could scale it up for the specific number of people you have coming over, saving on groceries and potential food waste. Here’s how to do it in three easy steps.

  1. The first step to scaling your recipe is to determine your conversion factor. To do this, divide your new yield number by the recipe’s original yield number. Remember this easily by the easy acronym “NO.” (New yield divided by the old yield). So, if you’re cooking for 12 and the original recipe is meant to serve eight, you’ll divide 12 by eight, and get a conversion factor of 1.5.
  2. Next, multiply the original ingredient quantities by this conversion factor, to determine what you’ll need for the new yield. This calculation is easier too if the ingredients are listed in grams (as opposed to cups and tablespoons). If you need to convert a recipe, remember ingredients differ in weight, so a ½ cup of sugar does not weigh the same amount as a ½ cup of flour. Here’s a helpful master list if you need to convert the recipe first.
  3. If you’re looking to scale a recipe down for a smaller number of servings, follow the same process. For example, to scale a recipe that serves eight down to six servings, you divide six by eight, for a conversion factor of 0.75. Then, multiply all the ingredients by 0.75, rounding off the ingredients so you get a whole number.

For example…
This simple pound cake recipe serves eight. To scale it up to serve 12, we multiply all the ingredients by a conversion factor of 1.5. Here's the calculation.


And that's it! Keep in mind your cooking times will change as well, so keep a close watch on your dish as it’s cooking.

Have you had success scaling a recipe up or down? Let us know what's worked best for you in the comments!

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.