Computing Baker’s Percentage
For Baking Recipes

When we want to compare two or more baking recipes, we can use baker’s percentage to guide us in doing so.

Here is how it works…

As a main ingredient in most recipes, flour is always designated as 100%. Each of other ingredients is expressed as a percentage of the total amount of flour.

The following two hypothetical baking recipes will illustrate this point.

Recipe 1

Ingredients Quantity Baker’s Percentage
All purpose flour 3 cups 75%
Cake flour 1 cup 25%
Granulated sugar 1 cup 25%
Butter ½ cup 12.50%
Eggs, 2 large 4 oz or ½ cup 12.50%
Total 150%

Recipe 2

Ingredients Quantity Baker’s Percentage
All purpose flour 2 cups 50%
Cake flour 2 cups 50%
Brown sugar ½ cup 12.50%
Honey ¼ cup 6.25%
Butter ¼ cup 6.25%
Egg, 1 large 2 oz or ¼ cup 6.25%
Oil 2 Tbsp or 1oz 3.12%
Total 134.37%

Please note:

  1. When there is more than 1 type of flour, their total percentage must add up to 100%.

  2. When baking recipes do not call for flour, the predominant ingredient is designated as 100%.

    For example, in the cookie recipe for gluten free biscotti, the predominant ingredient is unblanched whole almonds.

The following basic conversion units are helpful.

Volumetric measurement

1 cup = 8 oz
1 whole egg = about 2 oz
1 egg white = about 1.25 oz
1 egg yolk = about 0.75 oz
1 Tbsp = 2 oz

With the exception of eggs, butter, oil, milk, and water, weight measurement is not the same as volumetric measurement. In other words, 1 cup of flour may have a volume of 8 oz, but does not necessarily weight 8 oz.

Baker’s percentage makes adjusting any baking recipes, either up or down, an easy task. Take hypothetical recipe 1, for example.

Suppose I want to use 3 cups of flours in total instead of 4. I can easily figure out the measurement for other ingredients as follows.

Recipe 1

Ingredients Baker’s Percentage Quantity
All purpose flour 75% 2+1/4 cups
Cake flour 25% 3/4 cup
Granulated sugar 25% 3/4 cup
Butter 12.50% 0.375 cup or 3oz
Eggs 12.50% 3oz or
approximately 1 whole egg and either a yolk or white
Total 150%