When you are new to baking, there are a lot of terms that you may find confusing that seasoned bakers who make the recipes tend to overlook. Most of the time, you learn these things through experience, but it can be mind-boggling for kitchen newbies who have nothing but a set of ingredients and instructions to follow!
A classic example of this would be ingredient and equipment measurements. I recently posted a "How Much Yeast is in a Packet?" article because a baking novice would have no idea of its standard measurement. So today, we will be tackling an equally baffling question- how much is a ¼ sheet cake size? This article will shed light on baking sheet measurements and how much can a specific size serve. But first, let's discuss what sheet cakes are.
What is a sheet cake?
Also called slab cakes, these are rectangular, single-layer cakes baked using sheet pans or jelly roll pans. They come in various flavors and are usually coated with frosting and topped with icing, nuts, sprinkles, and other edible decorations. It is ideal for big celebrations as one sheet of cake can serve many. When making sheet cakes, using the right sheet pan size is important to get to the right amount of slices you need to feed everyone. To calculate this as accurately as possible, let's first find out how big sheet cake pans are.
So many of my cake recipes are baked in a sheet cake pan. For example, my Fruity Pebbles Treats are baked in a ¼ sheet cake.
How big is a sheet cake pan?
Below are the standard American sizes per sheet pan size. However, note that some vendors make their sheet pan sizes slightly different from the sizes below. Some include the outer rims in sizing, while others would measure them per baking surface.
- full sheet cake size: 26 inches by 18 inches, usually an inch tall
- half sheet cake size: 18 inches by 13 inches, usually an inch tall
- quarter sheet cake size: 13 inches by 9.5 inches, usually an inch tall
Full Sheet cake pans are typically used for commercial purposes as they are too big for the standard household oven. So for home cooks like us, we either use half or quarter sheets when baking. The number of cake slices per batch will depend on how big your serving sizes are. And you will have to consider who you are feeding to know exactly how big your sheet cake should be. I find that for small house parties with up to 20 to 25 guests, ¼ sheet cake size is enough.
How many people does a ¼ sheet cake size feed?
There is no exact number because it depends on your portion sizes. If you divide the sheet cake into 2x2 squares, you will probably get 30 pieces. This should be enough for a small house party, especially if you have a heavy menu. If you have less than ten guests, you can cut your sheet cake into chunkier 3x3 squares and make everyone happy, with a few slices left to spare!
How did I come up with these numbers? It is quite simple, really! Get the total surface area of the sheet pan by multiplying the width vs. length. Then divide it into the total slice surface area, and you will get the approximate number of pieces. So with the example above, 13 x 9.5 equals 123.5, divide that into 4 (2x2), and you get approximately 30. Easy peasy!
I use the same method when I make my dessert bars.
How many people does a ½ sheet cake size feed?
So using the same equation as above., a half sheet will yield around 58 2x2 squares. Which is plenty enough for school fairs, office potlucks, weddings, and other huge gatherings. If this is not enough, you can easily make another batch to double the numbers.
Sheet cakes are heaven-sent for those who want a scrumptious dessert for big events. They might not be as elegant looking as the usual round cakes, but with the right decorations, they will truly rise to the occasion! Hopefully, this information will help you plan your sheet cake sizes accordingly next time you plan to make one.