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How Big Is A Half Sheet Cake?

Are you new to baking? If you are, you’ll know there’s plenty of terminology to get to grips with.

If the cake-baking jargon isn’t enough to keep you on your toes, you’ll also have to learn the ins and outs of becoming a good baker, including, you know, not messing up your cakes.

How Big Is A Half Sheet Cake?

As a budding baker, you’ll have a lot on your plate.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to go to grips with some notable baking terminology, we’re here to decipher at least one concept for you – half-sheet cakes.

Stay tuned to learn more.

What Is A Half Sheet Cake?

Well, thankfully, this one’s pretty simple.

A half-sheet cake is simply a large, rectangular cake that’s either a single or double layer, and it’s usually served at large gatherings.

Although they’re not cake per se, in terms of shape, flapjacks are a prime example of half-sheet baked goods.

Think long, rectangular, and large! Traditionally, half-sheet cakes are usually in flavors like chocolate, marble, white, or yellow.

They’re also often decorated with decadent buttercream, and if you see one in a bakery, you’ll have plenty of flavors to choose from.

The size of a half-sheet cake is determined by the half-sheet pan it’s baked in.

However, most half-sheet cakes measure 18 x 13 inches, and the sides are around one inch high.

How Many People Does A Half Sheet Cake Serve?

Now, although we used flapjacks as an example of shape, an actual half-sheet cake will serve many more people than your standard flapjack recipe.

In fact, the average half-sheet cake will serve a massive 58 people! That’s why they’re used for large gatherings.

They produce a pretty impressive amount of cake – way too much for one person unless you’re feeling augustus gloop level bold.

Although they can serve up to 58 people, some half-sheet cakes can be smaller.

This depends on the exact size of your half-sheet pan and how you slice your cake.

Other half-sheet cakes can be between 15 x 11 inches and 15 ½ x 10 ½ inches.

If you’re baking a half-sheet cake at home, you’ll probably bake a smaller one – after all, home ovens are much smaller than industrial ovens!

Why Bake Half Sheet Cakes?

Traditional round cakes can be great for smaller gatherings, but if you’re expecting lots of guests, you’ll need something a lot bigger.

Half-sheet cakes guarantee you a large number of servings, so if you’re expecting plenty of guests (or you’re unsure how many are coming), you can bake a large amount of cake in one place and never doubt if you have enough.

Half-sheet cakes also make it easier to cut your cake into equal slices.

These cakes are large and rectangular, which almost guarantees clean cuts and a much neater serving experience.

What Are Full Sheet And Quarter Sheet Cakes?

What Are Full Sheet And Quarter Sheet Cakes?

As well as half-sheet cakes, you can also bake full-sheet and quarter-sheet cakes.

If you’re making it from home, you’ll probably follow a quarter-sheet recipe rather than a half or full-sheet recipe.

This is half, and full-sheet recipes are too big to fit most regular ovens.

If you have anywhere between 50-100 guests at a gathering, you’ll probably want to serve up a full-sheet cake.

These are usually used for weddings, large gatherings, and corporate events, and they can be anywhere between 17 and 24 inches.

Your average full-sheet cake can serve up to 100 people (depending on how it’s cut).

On the other hand, your standard quarter sheet cake is significantly smaller.

However, these are still great for serving guests at gatherings of up to 25 people, as most quarter-sheet cakes will measure 13 x 9 inches.

Sheet Cake Size Guide

As we’ve mentioned, the size of your sheet cake can vary significantly depending on the manufacturer, and the size of the sheet pan you’re using.

However, to give you an idea of what’s on the market, we’ve compiled a brief list of some of the most common types of pan.

Full Sheet Sizes And Servings

There are three main sizes of full sheet pans. These are: 18 x 26 x 2, 18 x 24 x 2, and 16 x 24 x 3.

  • 18 x 26 x 2 = 78 – 117 servings
  • 18 x 24 x 2 = 72 – 108 servings
  • 16 x 24 x 3 = 64 – 96 servings

Half Sheet Sizes And Servings

The three main half sheet pan sizes are: 18 x 13 x 1, 12 x 18 x 2, 12 x 16 x 3.

  • 18 x 13 x 1 = 39 – 58 servings
  • 12 x 18 x 2 = 36 – 54 servings
  • 12 x 16 x 3 = 32 – 48 servings

Quarter Sheet Sizes And Servings

The three primary quarter sheet pan sizes are: 13 x 9.5 x 1, 13 x 9 x 2, 13 x 8 x 3.

  • 13 x 9.5 x 1 = 20 – 30 servings
  • 13 x 9 x 2 = 19 – 29 servings
  • 13 x 8 x 3 = 16 – 24 servings

Choosing The Right Sheet Cake Pan

Not sure which sheet cake pan to choose? Here are a few tips to help you make your decision.

Choose Based On Layers

If you’re baking a single-layer cake, opt for a deeper pan.

However, multiple-layer cakes can either be baked in a shallow pan or be made by baking two smaller cakes.

You could even use one deep pan and then slice it into separate layers once it starts cooling.

Consider Your Guests

Once you know what sort of cake you’re baking, consider your number of guests.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more people you’re baking for, the larger your sheet pan will need to be.

The Bottom Line

Half-sheet cakes bake a LOT of cake, and the chances are, you won’t be able to bake one at home.

You’ll probably have to buy a half-sheet cake from a bakery unless you have a pretty big oven!

However, if you’re planning a bake for an event with plenty of guests, a half or full-sheet cake may be exactly what you need.

Anna Ingham
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