What is a Half Sheet Cake? Detailed Answer

A flat, thin, rectangular-shaped cake is called a sheet cake. Depending on the size, it comes in three different sizes. They are whole sheet cakes, half sheet cakes, and quarter sheet cakes.

So, what is a half sheet cake, you may ask? Well, this is half of a whole sheet cake. It measures 18 by 13 inches and has a depth of only one inch. Unlike other cakes, it doesn’t take too long to bake. Depending on your oven temperature, it can take 12–15 minutes to bake a half-sheet cake in a preheated oven.

Half Sheet Cake in a Nut Shell

A large, flat, rectangular-shaped cake is called a slab or sheet cake. Here, a half sheet cake means half of a sheet cake. Size is the salient feature of this type of cake. 

To consider a cake as a sheet cake, the shape needs to be a rectangle, and the size of a sheet cake is 18 x 24 inches or 18 x 26 inches. A half sheet cake must also be rectangular, measuring 18 x 13 inches. 

This cake has the most straightforward recipe and is one of the most cost-effective cakes that can cover a massive gathering. 

Because of its enormous rectangular size, cutting equal servings is much easier. 

Half Sheet Cake Pan Size

A half-sheet-size pan has a unique measurement. It is usually 13″ x 18″. Interestingly, if you have a full sheet cake baking pan, you can also use that instead of a half sheet cake baking pan. After baking, just cut it in half, and you will get two perfectly baked half-sheet cakes.

What Is the Maximum Number of People You Can Serve with a Half Sheet Cake?

A baker’s half-sheet cake can serve up to 40-50 people. Although, it will depend on the size of the portion. For a simple gathering, a single-layer half-sheet cake is sufficient. 

But if you have a large crowd and need more than 50 portions, then a double or triple-layered half sheet cake can be a good option. The more layers you add, the larger the portion you will get.

Make Your Own Half Sheet Cake

If you want to level up your baking game and start with a simple yet delicate one, a half sheet cake is the one for you.

You can follow any online half-sheet cake recipe appropriate for your pan size. Or you can follow any cake mix recipe box.

If you have followed any boxed recipe, you would need at least three boxes of cake mix for a single-layer cake. And for a double-layered half-sheet cake, you will need six boxes of cake mix.

It is better to cook layers of cake at the same time. It will ensure that they both get an even bake.

Here is a simple vanilla half-sheet cake recipe given to you.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make a vanilla half-sheet cake, you will need the following ingredients: 

For making your cream, you will need:

  • Unsalted butter-1 cup 
  • Shortening-1/2 cup
  • Powdered sugar-690gm
  • Salt-1/8 teaspoon
  • Vanilla extract-2 teaspoon
  • Corn syrup-1tablespoon
  • Water or milk- 4 to 6 tablespoons
  • Any gel icing color

And to make the cake, you will need 

  • 2 1/4 cups (293g) all-purpose flour
  • Milk-1 cup 
  • Eggs-4 (large)
  • Baking powder-2 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
  •  Unsalted butter-3/4 cup, room temperature
  • Vegetable oil-1/4 cup 
  • Sugar-1 1/2 cups 
  • Vanilla extract-1tbsp

Steps You Need to Follow

Got your ingredients? Cool. It’s time for you to jump into making a half-sheet cake. Follow these steps, and you’ll have tasty half sheet cake within a snap.

Preheating and Greasing

Preheat your oven to 350°F for 20-30 minutes, and grease your 1813-inch baking pan well. And then apply parchment paper properly to cover up the whole area. 

Make the Batter

To make the batter, take all the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix butter, sugar, and oil with an electric mixer and beat until you get a fluffy consistency. Now it’s time to add eggs. Don’t sump all the eggs at once, and let them incorporate well. Rather, do the process slowly. 

It’s time to mix the wet ingredients with half the dry mix. Slowly pour in the milk and vanilla extract and again mix it well. Take the remaining dry ingredients and mix them with the mixture. 

Let the Batter Sit 

Allow the batter to rest for a few minutes before pouring it onto the baking sheet. Now, bake it for 12–15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready. 

Preparing the Frosting

Let the cake cool for a while, and then prepare the frosting. Take butter and shortening together, and beat until they become smooth. Now add sugar and salt and mix it until you get your preferred consistency. 

Finishing Things Up

Don’t forget to add vanilla extract, corn syrup, and milk or water. After adding all the ingredients step by step, take your time to get your desired consistency. Add any gel icing color to our cream and spread it on the top of your cake

Decorating Your Half Sheet Cake

Half-sheet cakes are most famous for their space to decorate on top. You can personalize it any way you want. Buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache are the most popular ways to embellish half-sheet cakes.

It is easy to achieve a smooth-frosted look on a half-sheet cake. For a single-layer cake, you will need about six and a half cups of frosting. And eight to ten cups of frosting will be required for a double-layer cake. 

If you have extra frosting, you can put borders on your cake. It will give your cake a nice vintage look.

You can use piping or cake stencils to decorate your cake. The best part about using cake stencils is that it gives an elegant design, and we can keep them for later.

What Is the Best Way to Store Half Sheet Cake?

If you want to store your half-sheet cake as a whole, it would be better to use a cake box. As half-sheet cakes are pretty big, the box will be very convenient for moving the cake. It will make the transportation of the cake easier. 

And, if your half-sheet cake is not frosted yet, you can cover it in plastic and refrigerate it. When freezing a frosted half-sheet cake, it will be best to pre-chill the frosting in the refrigerator. 

It should take half an hour or so. Then wrap it with a plastic cover. This way, it will keep the shape of your frosting safe.

While storing leftover cake, it is best to use a tight container by air. The risk of storing any cake is that it will eventually dry out. A half sheet cake with frosting can be stored for three to four days at room temperature. 


Baking a half-sheet cake is as much fun as eating it. Besides, you will have endless flavors and toppings that can go well with the cake. Decorate them or serve them plain.  It’s a half-sheet cake that can never go wrong. And don’t forget to introduce a half sheet cake to those who don’t know “what is a half sheet cake” yet.

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