Problem with scaling up peach cobbler recipe

Joined Aug 15, 2010
Hi everyone. I'm just signing in for the first time here. I'm have a catering business in Nashville, Tn.

I have a recipe for peach cobbler that I want to use and I've only used it in the past at home, yielding about 6-8 servings. I want to scale it up to fill a 4" deep full pan and if I just use the same ingredients and multiply it up, it turns out doughy, meaning that it seems to not cook fully, but the top is golden brown, and if I run much longer than that it burns and still turns out doughy.

The original recipe is this:

1 cup self-rise flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 stick salted butter

1 cup chopped peaches (approx)

1 tsp. cinnamon

Basically you melt the butter in a pan, combine all ingredients and pour into butter in the pan, sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. This turns out great every time.

If I scale it up to:

4 cups self-rise flour

4 cups sugar

4 cups milk

4 sticks salted butter

1/2 #10 can chopped peaches

4 tsp. cinnamon

This is where the problem arises. What could I do to make the dough cook and not be slightly raw? Baking powder? More heat? Any ideas?

Joined Jan 3, 2005
My first thought would be to try baking it at a lower temperature.  This is often what recipes call for when you take something like a cupcake batter and bake it in a larger cake pan and it allows the inside to bake before the outside dries out.

Another thing to consider is if the topping is thicker in the new pan size than the one you used at home?  Perhaps you may need to use slightly less and spread it out more.  

One more option I have seen in other cobbler recipes, is to heat the filling in the pan before adding the cobbler topping.  This allows the bottom of the topping to warm quicker, where putting it in the oven as one, exposes the top to heat long before it reaches the center.
Joined Apr 2, 2007
The problem you are having is the moisture from the fruit is preventing the topping from cooking. I would cook the peaches seperately in a pot on the stove top and bake the topping in the oven on its own. This will eliminate your problem completly and you will have much better control over how the topping comes out. You can assemble the dish afterwards depending on which kind of presentation you prefer.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
4 inches high is a very dense amount for a heavy mix of flour and liquid to bake thru. You will have to cut your heat and extend the time for baking. Baking unlike cooking is a balanced  combination of chemical formulas  that is not simply doubled to make 2 times the amount . Alterations have to be made.
Joined Aug 15, 2010
Thanks Bazza.

The top isn't the problem, its the bottom part of the whole thing thats doughy. Actually, the top is the only area thats perfect. I guess the fruit could be the culprit for it. Thanks.
Joined Aug 15, 2010
Hey Ed,

the whole mixture in the 4" full pan is only about 2"-2 1/2" deep before cooking, and rises close to 4" at peak, and then settles as it cools back to about 2" height.

It is the bottom part, maybe the bottom 1/2 to 3/4 of the pan thats doughy.

When I cook the original recipe, it comes out great, and whats the real problem is that its pretty much the same height scaled up when poured into the larger pan. So I didn't think that it was too much in the pan really.

But to get the whole thing cooked through, should I reduce heat to 300 maybe or cut the mixture amount back? Or could it be the fruit moisture?

I thought maybe helping the flour out a little more with adding baking powder might help.
Joined Apr 2, 2007
You are welcome

Looking at your method it seems that you are putting all of the ingredients in the pan together. To me, a cobbler has the fruit (or meat) at the bottom and the cooked dough on the top, similar to a crumble. If you have the flour mixture in with the fruit you will have touble trying to cook it evenly resulting in the problems you describe. I always cook the two parts seperate, it eliminates the soggy crust problem and makes service and presentation much easier.
Joined Aug 15, 2010
Guess it wont work then. But I still don't know why the smaller batch works and the scaled up on doesn't, nor how to make it work whether its a cobbler or whatever.

Think I'm going to contact my mother and ask her. Might be hard though. Shes been dead for a few years now, but she is probably with all those relatives that cooked this recipe for centuries in Ireland.

Joined Apr 2, 2007
As Ed B has already said, when you increase the batch size it alters the parameters. If you must cook it altogether have you thought about doing several smaller batches?
Joined Feb 13, 2008

It appears your problem is confusion caused by failure to understand why a covered fruit pastry cannot be scaled up by simple multiplication. 

You're overemphasizing the role of depth while not accounting for the differences imposed by mass.

Greater mass takes longer time.  Longer times have consequences.   One of them is the amount of contact the crust has with the filling; another is the amount of steam that hits the underneath portion of the crust; yet another is the demand on temperature control so as not to overcook the pastry while completely cooking the filling.


Quit arguing with, wringing your hands over, and otherwise psychoanalyzing a formula which clearly does not work for your size pan.  Instead, use one which does.
Last edited:
Joined Aug 15, 2010
Experimenting is the only way.  Many times what works in the small scale in the lab does NOT translate well on the industrial scale.  
Joined Sep 18, 2008
Here's a recipe from "Food for Fifty" that might give you some clues:

* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Fruit Cobbler

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 64    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Dessert

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
[hr][/hr] [hr][/hr] [hr][/hr]
  10            pounds  frozen fruit
  2             quarts  juice drained from fruit -- plus water to make total amount needed
  1              pound  granulated sugar -- (1 to 2) see table 5.3, p. 230
  6             ounces  cornstarch
                        seasonings -- see table 5.3, p. 230
  2               cups  cold water
  3             pounds  Pastry
  3             pounds  Biscuit Topping for Fruit Cobbler

Drain fruit. Reserve juice.

Heat juice and water to boiling point.

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and seasonings, if any.

Add cold water to dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Add to hot juice while stirring briskly with a wire whip. Cook until thickened.

Add cooked, drained fruit to thickened juice. Mix carefully to prevent breaking or mashing fruit. Cool. Pour into two 12x20x2-inch baking pans, 9 lb 6 oz per pan.

Roll pastry or topping to fit pans.

Place on top of fruit. Seal edges to sides of pan. Perforate top.

Bake at 425°F for 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Cut 4x8.

  "Other Dessert Recipes"
  "[emoji]169[/emoji] 2004 by Prentice-Hall, Inc."
  "2 pans 12x20x2 inches"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 204 Calories; 4g Fat (17.2% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 87mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Fruit; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Use cherries, berries, peaches, apricots, apples, plums, or other fruits.

The amount of sugar will vary with the tartness of the fruit.

For canned fruit, see p. 228.


Fruit Slices. Use 2 lb 12 oz pastry. Line an 18x26x2-inch baking pan with 1 lb 8 oz of the pastry. Add fruit filling prepared as for cobbler. Moisten edges of dough and cover with crust made of remaining pastry. Trim and seal edges and perforate top. Bake at 400°F for 1-1 1/4 hours.

Peach Cobbler with Hard Sauce. Use 10 lb frozen sliced peaches, thawed, and mixed with 1 lb sugar, 1 tsp nutmeg, 4 oz flour, and 6 oz margarine, melted. Top with pastry crust and bake. Serve warm with Hard Sauce (p. 586) or ice cream.

Nutr. Assoc. : 4157 1128 0 0 0 0 2130706543 0 0
Joined Jun 30, 2019
I have done the almost same recipe as the original recipe with a change or two.

1 cup self-rise flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 stick salted butter
2 cup Delmonte sliced peaches, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon (sprinkle on top), optional

Basically you melt the butter in baking pan. Combine together flour, sugar, milk, vanilla and pour into the hot melted butter in the pan. Mixture will puff. Layer the peaches into the puffed dough. (Not on top of each other). Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until brown. This turns out great every time.

Successfully tripled the recipe for a full size 2 inch deep catering pan for a church dinner. NONE leftover. Have to do again soon for Legion dinner. After reading about your experience don't know if I want to go for a 4x ingredient inclusion, I know the 3x works.

I, think it might have something to do with surface to hot air in oven ratio? The evaporation factor?

Also, I do a vanilla, powder sugar whipped cream topping everyone loves. Serve it on the side.
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top Bottom