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The Every Pan Cake Batter

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: depending on cake pan
  • Total Time: 4 minute
  • Yield: see notes below


A large batch, versatile cake batter that can be adapted to just about any baking pan or add-in. 


  • ½ cup (93 grams) vegetable shortening, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces/226 grams) unsalted butter, well softened
  • Scant 3 cups (580 grams) sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A splash of almond or lemon extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; position the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Thoroughly grease your sheet  or bundt pan with the shortening. Of course if you’re using All-Clads Pro Release Bakeware you won’t need to. 
  3. Place the shortening in a large bowl and, using an electric hand mixer, beat the shortening until softened and spread around. Add the butter and sugar and beat together on low speed until the mixture looks fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. (The mixture will seem grainy as it comes together.) Increase the speed to medium and beat the ingredients until well combined, some graininess has softened, and the texture feels more cohesive and almost fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. After the last egg, the batter may look slightly curdled.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and almond or lemon extract, if using.
  6. In a medium bowl thoroughly whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
  7. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined and a few flour streaks remain. With the mixer motor running, add the milk and beat until just combined. The mixture may appear curdled again. Add the remaining flour and beat until combined. Using a silicone spatula, scoop batter from the bottom and sides of the bowl to the top for any hidden pockets of flour. Using the hand mixer, beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  9. For a bundt, bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the cake is golden brown, has risen, and cracked across the top. Bake for 40-48 minutes for a sheet cake/ Insert a toothpick to test the doneness of the cake; it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If not, bake the cake for 5 more minutes and test again.
  10. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a butterknife around the edges and gently invert the cake on a wire rack to cool completely. Store, wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days.


• Full recipe makes enough cake batter for one 9×13-inch sheet cake, one 12-cup bundt pan, or a two layer 9-inch round cake.

• Half recipe makes enough cake batter for one 8 or 9-inch round cake, one 8 or 9-inch square cake, 12 muffins, or 1 9×5 inch loaf pan. 

• If dividing the recipe in half before making the batter, use 3 large eggs. 

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • 1/2 batch of Every Pan Cake batter
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (150 grans) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) fresh cranberries

Stir orange zest into cake batter. Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Allow to bubble for 1 minute undisturbed. Pour caramel into the bottom of your prepared 9-inch round pan. Top with cranberries. Spread batter over the top of the cranberries leaving 3/4 inch space at the top of the pan. (You may have a spoon or two of extra batter.) Bake until golden brown across the top, bubbling around the edges, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a platter while still warm. 

Lemon Matcha Loaf

  • 1/2 batch of Every Pan Cake batter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder

Divide batter between two bowls. Stir lemon zest into one bowl. Stir matcha powder into the other bowl. Layer into prepared 9×5-inch loaf pan. Swirl one two to four stroked with a butterknife. Bake until puffed, golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center brings out moist crumbs not wet batter, 50-60 minutes.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes before transferring out of the pan and onto a wire rack. 

Zucchini Molasses Muffins

  • 1/2 batch of Every Pan Cake batter
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • walnuts (optional) 

Divide batter between two bowls. Into one portion of batter stir molasses, zucchini, and spiced. Layer a bit of both batter into prepared muffin tins (either with muffin paper or each cup greased lightly). Top each muffin with a few walnut pieces if you’d like. Bake until golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean or with moist crumbs, 16-22 minutes.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to enjoy warm. 

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

  • 1/2 batch of Every Pan Cake batter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Divide batter between two bowls. Stir cocoa powder and cinnamon into one bowl. Layer the two batters into your prepared 8 or 9-inch square pan. Swirl with a butterknife. Bake until golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in the cake come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before slicing to enjoy warm.