The dimensions of a half sheet pan are typically 18 inches by 13 inches. A half sheet cake is a popular option for parties and events.
Knowing your cakes’ dimensions allows you to plan the number of servings you can expect to get out to the cake and the space you will need to store the cake before it’s time to be served.
What Is A Half Sheet Cake?
Unlike conventional round cakes, bakers use baking sheets to make a sheet cake. A baking sheet is characterized as a rectangular baking pan with an outer rim along all four sides, giving it some depth to rise.
Baking sheets come in three standard sizes: quarter-sized sheets, half-sized sheets, and full-sized sheets. Full-sized sheets are generally only used in commercial or industrial-sized ovens, as they are too large for the standard kitchen oven.
If you’re looking to bake your half sheet cake, the half sheet pan is also commonly referred to as a “baking sheet” as it is generally the largest-sized sheet that will fit into a kitchen oven. So if you have a baking sheet handy, you don’t have to go out and buy a special pan for your cake.
Sheet cakes are an excellent choice for larger gatherings or events, as they give more servings than the typical round cake allowing you to feed more people. Choosing a half or quarter-sized sheet cake versus a full-sized sheet is beneficial if you want to provide options for your guests (i.e. chocolate and vanilla cake, etc.) without excessive leftovers.
The size of the cake yogurt choice to bake or order ultimately depends on the crowd you are feeding, but having different flavor options is always a safe choice.
Half Sheet Cake Dimension
Now that we know what a half sheet cake is let’s talk sizing. There is some variability on cake dimensions based on minor differences in pan sizes and whether they trim the edges for a more uniform shape.
So what is the size of a half sheet cake? The dimensions of a half sheet pan are typically 18 inches x 13 inches. This gives you a general idea of the size you should expect to see when you order a half sheet cake.
For reference, a quarter sheet cake is typically 9 inches by 13 inches, and a full-sized sheet cake generally is 26 inches by 18 inches. To put this into perspective, when you’re ordering a sheet cake, the “standard size” for sheet cakes is the quarter-sized sheet cake, so a half sheet cake is larger than the average cake.
How Many Servings Are In a Half Sheet Cake?
Regardless of size, the number of servings you can get out of your cake ultimately depends on the size of the portions you are cutting. According to this bakery training guide, standard portion sizes used for sheet cakes are two-inch or three-inch squares. Based on these criteria, let’s do some math.
Using two-inch square portions on a half sheet cake will give you approximately nine pieces by six parts for a total of 54 servings. With three-inch square cuts, you will get about six portions by four portions for a total of 24 servings.
Both options have their benefits: smaller pieces will feed more people while ordering fewer cakes, while a more significant amount will feed fewer people but give each person more cake. These are among the many factors you will need to consider when planning for your event.
These portion sizes are, of course, assuming that each serving will be cut into perfectly square, uniform portions. Having uniform portions eliminates the need to ask each guest how big of a slice they want of the cake and ultimately ensures that everyone gets the same amount of cake.
Other Factors To Consider
The size of your cake isn’t as clear-cut as you might assume. Here are some other factors to consider that will impact your cake’s size and the number of people it will serve.
The sizes we listed for sheet cakes are approximations based on the baking sheets’ measurements, which can vary a small amount. Sometimes commercial baking sheets will be slightly bigger than baking sheets made for home ovens. While sizing differences are usually within a one-inch margin, this can still have an impact on your cake’s final size.
Edge trimming is something that bakers do to ensure that their cakes have a uniform shape. The cake batter is liquid, so it won’t always be perfectly rectangular.
The cake’s form is determined by how the batter sits in the pan and how it rises while it’s baking. Cake getting stuck to the pan can also impact the final shape. Edge trimming is necessary to make the cake look more visually appealing and makes it easier for bakers to ice.
Bakers will often need to trim the edges of their sheet cakes before icing them to ensure that they are perfectly rectangular or get rid of any burnt or uneven edges. Cutting the edges can impact the final size of your cake, depending on how much of the edges need to be trimmed.
The size of your portions will ultimately depend on personal preference and the number of people you are feeding versus the number of cakes you have. While knowing the dimensions of your cake can help you determine how many portions you can expect to have, you should be using the number of people you need to feed to choose the size of cake you need.
Half Sheet Cakes: In Conclusion
Half sheet cakes are an excellent option for events where you will have a larger crowd to feed. The size and shape of a sheet cake allow for greater surface area, which will give you more portions and allow you to provide for more people.