sheet cake

sheet cake (sheet keyk) noun


Traditionally, a large, rectangular, single-layer cake baked in a sheet pan. Sheet pans come in many sizes. The home baker would most likely use a quarter- or half-sheet pan, while a commercial bakery could use a half- or whole-sheet pan. (Whole-sheet pans will not fit in a home oven.)

  • Whole sheet pan = 26 x 18 x 1-inch
  • Half sheet pan = 18 x 13 x 1-inch
  • Quarter sheet pan = 13 x 9 ½ x 1-inch

Sheet cakes are meant to be a convenient way to serve a crowd. Once the cake is baked, it isn’t filled. It is simply topped with icing or frosting, making it easy to prepare and serve many guests.

The term sheet cake has come into colloquial usage to refer to rectangular cakes made in 13-inch x 9-inch pans (like a brownie pan, not to be confused with the 1-inch high quarter sheet pan) and also to refer to just about any large rectangular cake, sometimes even ones that are 2–layered and feature a filling. See our sheet-style Buttercream Roses Sheet Cake.

Bakepedia Tip

  • One thing that can be a challenge for the home baker is finding a platter large enough to hold the cake. An alternative is to use sturdy cardboards made for the task, which are available at craft stores or where cake decorating equipment is sold.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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