Making My First 12X18 Cake, Tips/pointers Needed....

Decorating By lfkeller Updated 6 Mar 2014 , 3:51pm by jrc0616

lfkeller Posted 29 May 2007 , 6:19pm
post #1 of 21

How many cake boxes do you suggest be used in this size pan?

Should I use the upside down flower nail method?

I haven't a cooling rack big enough for this, what do you use?

I am going to stack the Wilton graduate hat pan (a one layer cake mix fits into) on top of the 12x18 cake pan, should I put dowel rods under it?

As you can see this is my first attempt at this size cake as well as stacking cakes. It is for my daughters graduation! YIPPIE!!

By the way, I will be serving this cake Saturday. It is too early to bake tonight, Tuesday? I thought I could bake it tonight, ice it tomorrow while I am baking the top layer. Then ice the top layer on Thursday and decorate entire cake so on Friday I can focus my attention on my daughter aas well as preparing for the party on Saturday.

20 replies
hoped Posted 29 May 2007 , 6:50pm
post #2 of 21

I just made my first 12X 18 cake. It took two cake mixes using the cake extender recipe, and I had some batter left over.

I read on CC that you may use more than one flower nail for a large size pan, but since I only had one, I used it in the center and the cake came out fine.

I would use dowels to be safe.

brooke208 Posted 29 May 2007 , 6:52pm
post #3 of 21

I believe it is 14 cups. I think I used 3 cake mixes.(I've only made one this big once) I forgot to use the flower nail and it turned out just fine. I had a little trouble getting my cake out of the pan. It is a little difficult working with something so big. When it is done baking, level off the top while still in the pan, so your not having to keep flipping it over to get out the back over to level. If you are going to torte and fill, use a cake board and slide it inbetween the layers to get the top layer off then just slide it back on.

As for the dowel rods, I'm not sure I have not stacked cakes yet. The way I figure, you're better safe than sorry.

lfkeller Posted 29 May 2007 , 7:12pm
post #4 of 21

I did a trial cake bake in this pan lastnight. I used 2 cake boxes. The edges were one inch thick, but the middle was thicker!

lilthorner Posted 29 May 2007 , 7:20pm
post #5 of 21

I used 3 batters (scratch) for a 12x18.

i also spread the batter up to the curners and bang the pan to level the batter before i put it in the oven

cattycornercakes Posted 29 May 2007 , 7:26pm
post #6 of 21

I use 3 boxes and I've never used flower nails in it to bake and its come out fine. I have a rack large enough to cool it on so I'm not sure what you would use...maybe you could just flip it out of the pan onto the counter covered with wax paper? If I made the cake with another small cake on top of it, I wouldn't use dowels. In my pictures, I made a 1st communion cake a few weeks ago. The bottom is 12 X 18 and there was a cross cake on top. I didn't use dowels for that one.

SusieQ1083 Posted 29 May 2007 , 7:29pm
post #7 of 21

The flower nail works great! I've used it several times. Not only do my cakes cook more evenly, but it seems like I am also having to cut off less when I'm leveling the cakes!

lfkeller Posted 29 May 2007 , 7:33pm
post #8 of 21


You didn't have any problems with the cross sinking? I am assuming that cross pan held a one layer cake mix.

I was told that if I didn't use dowels under the cap cake, it would sink.

ruralepicure Posted 29 May 2007 , 8:36pm
post #9 of 21

The WASC recipe works nicely in the 12x18 pan. I've never used the flower nail because I always forget to!! It bakes fine everytime. I wouldn't use dowels either, you shouldn't have any problems with sinking.

Are you going to be freezing the cakes at all? If it were me (only my suggestion) I would bake the cakes today, throw them in the freezer and get them out Thursday or Friday morning before decorating. Is the 12x18 going to be iced only? The decorating shouldn't take too terribly long and it should go smoothly for you.

I never cool my cakes on racks. I let them sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then I turn them out onto the board it will be decorated/served on.

Good luck and congrats to your daughter!

indydebi Posted 29 May 2007 , 10:08pm
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by lfkeller


You didn't have any problems with the cross sinking? I am assuming that cross pan held a one layer cake mix.

I was told that if I didn't use dowels under the cap cake, it would sink.

If you have a one layer sheet cake and a one layer 'accent' cake, then it's the same as a 2-layer cake....which we don't dowel.

If you have more than 2 "layers" of cake (not "tiers"..... "layers") then I would dowel.
I use 3 cake mixes, no extenders, no flower nail, grease only (no flour), baking strips, 325 degrees. I also do a preliminary trim-job while it's still in the pan. Usually the entire cake will rise higher than the pan, so I only have to trim once. I also have a number of large cooling racks. If you have a pan this size, it's a good idea to invest in at least 2 cooling racks big enough. I recently bought a 14x22 pan and had to buy even bigger racks for that!

ShortcakesSweets Posted 30 May 2007 , 12:14am
post #11 of 21

Definitely use 3 boxes of cake mix.

KeltoKel Posted 30 May 2007 , 12:31am
post #12 of 21

I just did a sheet cake for the first time this past weekend and put another cake (a race car) on top of it. I did use the dowel rods - better safe than sorry!

I also used a flower nail and the bake strips and the cake came out very nice. I didn't have to level the cake - just put some icing under the corners once the cake was on the board to make it a bit more on the even on the bottom all the way around.

I would think you would have to use more than 2 boxes. I used 2 boxes for a 11X15 pan.

Don't know about how far in advance you can bake it and let it sit iced. I would wait another day to bake or freeze it and then ice it.

Best of luck!

imtrying Posted 30 May 2007 , 2:32pm
post #13 of 21

I'd just like to piggy back on this topic really quickly. It's come at a perfect time as I have my first sheet cake due next week. My big question (since you have all answered all the other questions I had) is what do you use for a board for a 12x18? I was thinking of double/triple card board but will that be sturdy enough?

Leahmaria7981 Posted 30 May 2007 , 2:53pm
post #14 of 21

I know some people on here use cardboard, but i have never had any luck, no matter how many layers I add, it still always wants to crease. I use the foamboard and usually double up on it. It's a lot sturdier than cardboard.

Also, I have a similar question to the original post. when baking an 11x15 or 12x18, ect... do you normally use baking strips? I have never made a cake larger than a 9x13 before and will be making my first 11x15 inch next week, therefore, i have never had to use baking strips or a heating core/flower nail. Is that needed or an 11x15?

indydebi Posted 30 May 2007 , 5:36pm
post #15 of 21

I tape 3 cardboards together and cover them in the decorative foil and it works ok. I have some wooden boards and masonite boards that I will use for certain clients when I know I can get them back with no problems.

I use baking strips on all pans. I never use heating cores or flower nails. Grease-only, no flour, in the pans. 325 degrees. Cakes usually rise higher than the pan, so I trim while it's in the pan, using the pan edge as a guide.

lfkeller Posted 30 May 2007 , 5:44pm
post #16 of 21


I am going to bake tonight (using 3 mixes as you all suggested), and ice tomorrow.

I am still not sure if I am going to use the dowels for the smaller 'accent' cake on top. I was thinking if I don't use the dowels, I won't have to put the accent cake on its own board, right? Just lay it right on top of the 12x18 cake?

ruralepicure Posted 30 May 2007 , 5:49pm
post #17 of 21

I would just put the smaller cake right on top of the larger, no board.

GeminiRJ Posted 30 May 2007 , 5:56pm
post #18 of 21

I bake all my cakes at 315 degrees, which really cuts down on the cakes forming a dome in the center. I also turn my sheet cakes out of the pans as soon as they come out of the oven, using a rack at least as big as the cake. If you press down gently on the rack, it will help flatten the cake and require little to no trimming. I bake cakes for a Saturday event on Wednesday night. Once iced, they are air-tight and will stay moist.

Leahmaria7981 Posted 30 May 2007 , 6:21pm
post #19 of 21

I have read on here before how to make your own baking strips instead of buying them, but I have never used the baking strips before, so I don't remember. Can anyone tell me how to make my own that work just as well?

SweetSinsationz Posted 29 Nov 2013 , 4:06am
post #20 of 21

i bought a $4-$5 thick silver cake board from bulk barn for my 12x18 (2 9x13'a side by side) that im baking tomorrow. do I need something else ??

jrc0616 Posted 6 Mar 2014 , 3:51pm
post #21 of 21

@ said you bake all your cakes at long would I bake this size cake?

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