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11 Baking Ratios Every Pro Should Memorize

You’ve heard it said before that baking is a science — and it’s true. Ratios are the backbone of our favorite recipes for cookies, cakes and more. And understand the base structures of these items is what separates the pro bakers from the fakers.

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Why Ratios Matter

Any novice baker can follow a written recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but only a professional baker instinctively knows about how much flour, sugar, eggs or milk they need for fluffy pancakes, chewy cookies or tender crepes. It’s what separates the pro bakers from the fakers. Understanding the base structures of a few pastries, cakes and the like means you can let your creative juices flow when you want to make a batch of cookies on the fly. You can make variations in flavors and add or substitute ingredients, but each ratio represents the basic components needed to create the most elemental version of that food. Here are the 11 ratios that professional chefs in Food Network Kitchen return to again and again.

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Pound Cake = 1 part flour: 1 part egg: 1 part fat: 1 part sugar

Baker Move: Pull your butter and eggs out of the fridge a couple of hours before you're ready to bake. Room-temperature butter is better for creaming, and you'll want the eggs at the same temperature to prevent them from seizing. 

here's a recipe that puts this ratio in action

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Pancakes = 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part eggs: 1/2-part fat

Baker Move: Slowly incorporate the liquid into the dry ingredients while whisking constantly for effortless, lump-free pancake batter.

here's a recipe that puts this ratio in action

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Meringue = 2 parts sugar: 1 part egg whites or 1 part sugar: 1 part egg yolks

Baker Move: Avoid cracks in your perfectly piped meringues by keeping your oven door closed while they dry out. Yep, that means no peeking. 

here's a recipe that puts this ratio in action

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