Red stand mixer behind dozens of cupcakes on the counter

DOUBLING A RECIPE: A HOW-TO GUIDE TO SCALING RECIPES

Doubling a recipe is an effective way to prepare meals in advance or make more of your favorites for holiday parties, family gatherings and other special occasions. Keep reading to find out how to double a recipe, whether you’re whipping up a warm cheesy crab dip for game night or pull apart potato rolls for a home-hosted wine tasting.

Person sauteeing green beans on electric cooktop surrounded by ingredients Person sauteeing green beans on electric cooktop surrounded by ingredients

WHAT ADJUSTMENTS ARE NECESSARY WHEN DOUBLING A RECIPE?

Doubling a recipe is a fairly straightforward process that works for most dishes. When doubling, you’ll need to consider adjusting ingredient amounts, the size of your ingredient preparation tools, the size or quantity of your pots, pans or baking dishes and modifications to cooking time.

Person whisking food on the stovetop next to several cooking dishes Person whisking food on the stovetop next to several cooking dishes

HOW TO DOUBLE A RECIPE

Begin scaling your recipe by modifying and recording ingredient quantities from the original recipe. Then, make sure you have mixing bowls, pots, pans or baking sheets prepared to handle twice the ingredients. Lastly, adjust your baking or cooking times to ensure an even and thorough bake. Follow the steps below to double a recipe.

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Vegetables and herbs on a cutting board and in a food processor

STEP 1: CALCULATE NEW MEASUREMENTS

Before you begin prepping ingredients, take the time to calculate the doubled amount of each ingredient in your recipe and write them all down in an easy-to-follow list. You may want to use a calculator or online tool to ensure accuracy. Most recipes will require doubling all of your ingredients, but when cooking, only increase herbs and spices by half before taste testing to decide if you’d like to add more.

Ingredients mixing in the glass bowl of a silver stand mixer

STEP 2: CHOOSE MIXING BOWLS

You may need to reconsider the size of your mixing bowls when doubling a recipe. Make sure all mixing bowls can handle twice the volume of a single recipe with plenty of room to spare for folding, whisking, mixing or creaming before you start working with twice the ingredients. Large capacity KitchenAid® stand mixers can often handle multiple batches at once.

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STEP 3: COMBINE INGREDIENTS

With new ingredient ratios calculated and recorded—and the proper mixing tools in place—follow the directions for preparing your original recipe. When working with batters and doughs, be sure to evenly combine ingredients like leavening agents throughout the mixture. It may be slightly more difficult to fully incorporate ingredients, but failing to do so could result in uneven bakes.

Person putting dough onto prepared baking dish

STEP 4: CHOOSE DISH SIZE

When cooking or baking, be sure to select a dish size appropriate for new ingredient amounts. For instance, choose a stock pot instead of a saucepan for the stove top, or use a 9 x 13-inch pan for a recipe originally calling for an 8-inch square pan in the oven. If you don’t have alternative sizes available, it’s best to opt for two separate batches in smaller pans so food can cook evenly.

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STEP 5: MODIFY COOK TIME

Doubled recipes don’t require double the cooking time, but most cook times need to be altered. Generally speaking, you should check for doneness at the time indicated by your original recipe, then every 5 minutes following until the recipe is evenly cooked or baked. Doubled recipes cooking in several small pans (like cake layers) will likely finish faster than a doubled recipe contained in a single large dish.

Various vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices on wooden table Various vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices on wooden table

CAN I DOUBLE ANY RECIPE?

Most recipes can be doubled, but not all recipes can be doubled following the same process. Some best practices for doubling apply depending on whether you’re cooking or baking. When baking recipes like bourbon caramel topped bacon brownies, you should double all of your ingredients. When cooking meals like vegetable lentil soup or cauliflower fried rice with crispy pork, double all of your ingredients but herbs and spices. These should be increased by half of the original amount and taste tested before adding more.

Some recipes have exceptions to these rules of thumb, like the rice in shredded carrot, arugula and wild rice salad. When creating a rice pilaf, the rice to water ratio can’t scale up by multiplying both proportionally because more water doesn’t necessarily result in more water evaporation. Instead of doubling ingredients for rice pilaf, follow specific serving suggestions on rice packaging when scaling up.

Citrus topped baked goods on cooking rack above cookie sheet Citrus topped baked goods on cooking rack above cookie sheet

WHAT TYPE OF RECIPES ARE BEST FOR DOUBLING?

You can scale most recipes up to make double or even triple the original recipe amount. It’s relatively simple to whip up an extra batch of baked goods like vanilla butter cake, mini citrus rosemary upside-down cakes or cherry cream cheese breakfast pastries. Or, make more savory dinner dishes and appetizers like spiralized sweet potato and apple enchilada casserole, shrimp and veggie pasta salad with lemon-herb vinaigrette or bacon-wrapped scallops.

Person putting prepared baked goods in the refrigerator on a cookie sheet Person putting prepared baked goods in the refrigerator on a cookie sheet

CAN DOUBLING RECIPES HELP WITH MEAL PREP?

Whether you’re preparing ingredients for future dishes or whipping up entire meals to enjoy later, meal prep can empower you to explore more throughout the week. When you double up on ingredient preparations by chopping, slicing, dicing and shredding ahead of time, you have what you need on hand when inspiration comes calling to try a new recipe or reinvent an old one. Plus, doubling a meal recipe can save you time and energy on busy days when you don’t have time for food prep.

Person pouring milk into the white bowl of an orange stand mixer Person pouring milk into the white bowl of an orange stand mixer

HOW TO TRIPLE A RECIPE

You can triple a recipe following the same process as doubling, but it may be slightly more difficult to work with such large quantities. When baking, triple and record all new ingredient measurements before you start. When cooking, triple everything but spices, which you may consider first doubling then taste testing before adding more. Take extra care to thoroughly combine ingredients when mixing doughs, batters, sauces and soups, as a greater recipe volume will make it more difficult to work every ingredient in evenly.

Consider making a recipe from start to finish more than once, rather than all at once, if you’re not confident that ingredients can mix evenly, or you’re worried that ingredients like cold butter will lose its integrity as you take longer to perform tasks like rolling out biscuit dough. You could also use multiple KitchenAid® stand mixer bowls to help streamline the process, chilling ingredients in a stainless steel bowl in the refrigerator while heating other ingredients in a ceramic bowl in the microwave.

Person piping frosting onto cupcakes next to white stand mixer full of frosting Person piping frosting onto cupcakes next to white stand mixer full of frosting

HOW TO HALVE A RECIPE

Halving a recipe can be helpful when ingredients are in short supply or you’re looking for small portions on a quiet night in. Halve a recipe by calculating new ingredient measurements, adjusting pan or pot size and cutting down on baking times. Start by cutting measurements in half for each ingredient, and writing new measurements down next to the original recipe to avoid forgetting to halve an ingredient. When modifying an ingredient like a single egg, it’s best to prepare the ingredient (in this case, whisk the egg) and use a food scale to measure out half the amount.

With ingredients halved, prepare the recipe according to the original instructions, then use a pan, baking sheet or pot appropriate for the new portion size. Individually baked items like cookies or muffins won’t require modifications to baking time or dish size. Baked goods like apple crumb cake—or savory dishes like holiday brunch strata with ham, spinach and cheese—should be checked for doneness about 20 percent sooner than the original recipe indicates.

Person selecting settings on oven control panel Person selecting settings on oven control panel

SHOULD I ADJUST COOK OR BAKE TIMES WHEN SCALING A RECIPE?

Scaled recipes usually require an adjustment to cooking and baking times, but how you modify cooking time varies by recipe type. Doubled batches of macadamia chocolate chunk cookies, for instance, will simply require moving more batches through the oven with the same baking time as the original recipe, while a double batch of vegetarian three bean chili will call for longer cook times in a larger pot. 

To be safe, check on your recipe at the time indicated by the original instructions, then every 5 minutes after that until it’s finished. If your scaled recipe is split into several pans or pots, adjustments to cooking time are likely to be minimal, while modified recipes using a deeper pot or pan will likely take much longer.

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