How To Bake A Tall 9X13 Cake

Baking By kakko Updated 15 Feb 2016 , 3:44pm by kakko

kakko Posted 23 May 2015 , 12:46pm
post #1 of 16

Hello, 
I'm new to baking tall cakes. My son has requested a race track cake for his 5th birthday. I want to make a 9x13 cake that is several inches tall. I've Google searched and read several posts on here and everyone says something different. So what is the best way to make a tall 9x13? Here are all of the things people have suggested:

* Make 2- 9x13 pans with 1 box of cake mix each
* Make 2- 9x13 pans with 1 1/2 boxes of cake mix each
* Make 1 9x13 pan with 1 box of cake mix and the extender recipe
* Make 2 9x13 pans with 1 box of cake mix and the extender recipe each
* Make 1 9x13 pan with 2 boxes of cake mix and then level the top

I don't have an specific height needed, just something with some decent height to make a black and white checkered pattern around the outside. I have 2 boxes of cake mix so if I don't have to pack 2 kids up and go to the store for a 3rd box, that would be really great. Thanks for your input and sorry if this is asked all of the time. I really tried to find the answer on my own but everyone says something different. 

This is close to what I plan to make for reference: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/228417012323548110/

15 replies
julia1812 Posted 23 May 2015 , 1:32pm
post #2 of 16

I don't use box mixes and can't tell you what hight they would have. But since you are not looking for a specific hight anyway I would go with the amount of servings you need. So if one box mix serves (no clue!) let's  say 20 person and you want the cake to serve 30,then use 1.5 box mixes. If it's not super high you could only do 2 lines of black and white along the side. Am sure that's no problem. 


julia1812 Posted 23 May 2015 , 1:32pm
post #3 of 16

I don't use box mixes and can't tell you what hight they would have. But since you are not looking for a specific hight anyway I would go with the amount of servings you need. So if one box mix serves (no clue!) let's  say 20 person and you want the cake to serve 30,then use 1.5 box mixes. If it's not super high you could only do 2 lines of black and white along the side. Am sure that's no problem. 


-K8memphis Posted 23 May 2015 , 2:06pm
post #4 of 16

a one layer 9x13 needs approximately 7 to 7.5 cups of batter -- one mix makes maybe 5 cups on a sunny day with a tail wind give or take --

if you don't want to go to the store one way to do this is:

bake one mix in the pan twice and make a two layer cake -- or

use an extended recipe to get you a taller cake by adding a cup of self rising flour, a cup of sugar, an extra egg, a cup of sour cream, shot of flavoring, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons of oil and one cake mix --

then if that's not tall enough for you bake another one --

cute cake you're gonna do -- he's gonna love it -- best to you

kakko Posted 23 May 2015 , 2:54pm
post #5 of 16

The serving size is small, less than 20 people. Just the close family getting together for a picnic and my son's birthday. 

I don't have self rising flour but I know how to make some. Do you think it would be better to make a 2 layer cake or use the extender recipe? Does the extender recipe change the flavor? Or do 1 1/2 boxes and then freeze the other half of the cake mix? Also shot of flavoring? I'm making chocolate cake so would that be like a shot of chocolate syrup? 

Thanks so much for the help! I'm not much of a fancy cake baker but I made my son a big 3 layer orange furry monster cake for his 3rd birthday and since then he has requested something fancy every year. It's so much work but I can tell how much it means to him so I do my best each year. 


-K8memphis Posted 23 May 2015 , 3:20pm
post #6 of 16

i think i would recommend that you make both cake mixes -- measure out 7.5 cups of batter to bake in the 9x13 --and make cupcakes out of the rest -- then you just make the checkered flag to the right proportion to the sides of the cake -- just so long as you have the little black/white alternating blocks you're good -- just use whatever depth you have and make it proportionately -- eyeball it -- use your creativity --

by shot of flavoring i meant vanilla or almond or whatever flavor/extract you were going for, lemon, like that -- but if you just make the cake mix as is you don't have to worry about that --

SquirrellyCakes Posted 23 May 2015 , 3:23pm
post #7 of 16

I have made a few of these cakes and I found that it just looks better with the two layers.  One mix will make a flat, thin layer. I would go with two layers, using 1 1/2 boxes each layer.  Or use the recipe K8 gave you, but I would still do the two layers.  Just my preference for appearance - for me the serving amount wouldn't be the issue.

kakko Posted 25 May 2015 , 12:41am
post #8 of 16

Thanks everyone for the help! I ended up waiting until my husband got home at 6pm with a 3rd box of cake mix. I made the cakes last night, cooled in the fridge overnight and then rushed to get it decorated this morning. I made a few stupid mistakes trying to get it done and 2 kids ready and out the door by 11 am but I think it turned out pretty well considering!


kakko Posted 25 May 2015 , 12:45am
post #9 of 16

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538180224197672332/


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/538180224197672338/


The pics I tried to post didn't work so I added my cake to pinterest :) 

julia1812 Posted 25 May 2015 , 6:59am
post #10 of 16

Great job! I'm sure your son loved it.

-K8memphis Posted 25 May 2015 , 1:23pm
post #11 of 16

awesome! making memories -- nice job

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 May 2015 , 5:25pm
post #12 of 16

You did an excellent job on it. Looks fantastic!

kakko Posted 25 May 2015 , 11:03pm
post #13 of 16

Thank you! He did love it. He was so excited when he saw it. He had to eat the start and finish line haha. He is already planning out next years cake. 

Apti Posted 26 May 2015 , 12:07am
post #14 of 16

Well done!    About a year after I began cake decorating as a hobby, my 9 year old nephew tried to challenge me with a "tough" cake.  HA!  I laughed at his "tough" cake request.    He wanted a monster-truck mud rally (and thought it would stump me, lol).

The finished 12" x 4" cake is very similar in concept to the one you did for your birthday guy.   I let him arrange all the trucks and cars on the cake and in the parking lots.  He had a blast determining which toys were going to be crushed under the monster trucks.    He and his party guests got to keep the cars as birthday prizes.

https://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/pictures/99



WickedBlu Posted 15 Feb 2016 , 2:30am
post #15 of 16

Did you end up using all 3 boxes and cooking a single layer cake or did you make multiple layers and stack them?  I hate stacking cakes!  If you made a single layer, how long did you have to bake??  Your cake turned out awesome! 

kakko Posted 15 Feb 2016 , 3:44pm
post #16 of 16

I used all 3 boxes and made 2 cakes and layered them. I believe if you tried to make a single layer that tall, the outside would be done and the middle would still be gooey and collapse. Layering was not hard. After they were done cooking and cooling on the counter, I put them in the fridge for a bit. Then I used a really long knife to cut the tops off. They weren't perfectly level/straight so I just used a little extra frosting to fill in lower spots. Thank you :) I have to start planning a Minecraft cake for his 6th birthday this May haha. 

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