I am a newbie at cake decorating and I keep reading/hearing about 1/2 sheets, 1/4 sheets etc. for cakes. What does this mean? I know it is the size of (a square?) cake, but exactly what size is a 'sheet' and if for example, you are only making a 1/4 sheet cake, do you waste the other 3/4, or is it a different pan size??
As well, what is the serving amount for the different sizes??
Haha... I don't mind if you laugh, I may just be having one of my 'moments' which seem to come more often than not!
Thanks for your help!
You will get a slug of different answers on this- "sheet cakes" are a term that used to be a "standard" definition of certain sized rectangular shaped cakes- but the sizes differ, depending on who you talk to, and there is no right or wrong. Customers as for a "1/4", "1/2" or full sheet cakes all the time, without really knowing how much they serve- that is the key- number of servings needed, and that too can vary from person to person. The pans come in several sizes and shapes, depending on what you need. Wilton has their basic instructions at the bottom of this page, based on wedding or party servings, and the pan desired:
I would start from there.
I refuse to use the terms "1/2" and "1/4".
I actually had a call today from a lady wanting a sheet cake. I asked (as I always do), "How many do you need it to feed?" She said, "Oh, I guess just a 1/2 sheet." I said, "How big is that?" She said, "Well, I'm not sure."
I said to her, "That's exactly why I refuse to use those terms .... people don't know how big each one is and there is even conflicting opinions from those in the cake industry on what the answer is. So you tell me how many people you need to serve and I'll figure out what size cake you need."
My major point in this is how "cake civilians" just throw out the terms "half sheet" or "quarter sheet", but when you pin them to the wall, they have no idea what they just ordered.
I know people who call a 9x13 "a sheet cake". To me, a "sheet cake" means a full sheet cake ('coz they didnt' SAY half or quarter ... they said SHEET!), so can you imagine if they order cake for 24 and I deliver cake for 100+? Boy, THAT would teach them to throw out terms without knowing what they were ordering! I wish I had the guts to do it!
Anyway ... I wouldn't get hung up on the terms. Just find out how many people they need to serve and then figure out how much cake they need.
The link kerri729 provided will take you to all four Wilton cake preparation and servings charts.
The sheet cakes are listed under "party" cakes (and 3" wedding), and the different batter requirements for the various sizes are given, as well as recommended baking times and temperatures.
(Serving sizes are either 1x2x4 [wedding] or 1-1/2x2x4 [party] - servings also given using 3" charts.)
I really like and would recommend the WASC cake recipe as it combines the reliability of a mix cake with a more homemade taste. Plus, it makes a tad over 14 cups of batter (using DH white cake mixes) which is the perfect size for a 12x18x2 layer.
Here's the expanded flavors version:
If you ever need to determine the number of servings (either 2x2" or 2x3") in a single layer sheet cake:
(indydebi does the math.)
Wow! Thank you for all of your help!! I greatly appreciate all of the time you took to reply to my question!!