Sheet cakes are large, flat cakes often made for parties, weddings, potlucks and other big events. Sheet cakes can be baked in many sizes. Full sheet cakes generally measure 26 by 18 by 1 inch; they serve 60 to 100 people. Baking full sheet cakes is more difficult than baking smaller sheet cakes, but there are some tips to remember that will make mastering full sheet cakes possible.
Use an Oven Thermometer
Correct oven temperatures are important for baking cakes. If your oven has a built-in thermometer, check it frequently during baking to ensure the temperature is correct and consistent. Calibrate it frequently, as actual oven temperatures can vary dramatically from the displayed temperature. If your oven doesn’t have a thermometer, purchase one from a grocery store or home goods store.
Grease and Line the Pan
Getting cakes out of pans is a challenge, especially for large cakes. Sometimes sheet cakes are served in the pans in which they are baked. If you intend to transfer your sheet cake to a different tray, however, take care to grease the pan thoroughly with cooking oil spray, covering the sides and corners as well. Lining the pan with parchment paper is another, often more effective way to ensure the cake will release.
Use a Heating Core
Heating cores are small, round metal cylinders that rest in the center of large cakes to help the cake bake evenly. Grease the heating core and put in on the sheet cake pan before adding batter. Pour the cake batter around the core, adding a small amount inside the core as well. After baking, remove the heating core and put the cake “plug” in the hole. Cake heating cores are available online and at cake decorating stores.
Let Cake Cool Before Frosting
Always allow enough time so that the cake can cool completely on a rack before you frost it. You can also refrigerate the cake to speed the process, or completely cool then freeze the cake if it will not be eaten for several days.
References and ResourcesBaking911: Sheet Cake
Baking Bites: What Is a Cake Heating Core?
Martha White: Old Fashioned Sheet Cakes