Sheet Cake Help

By MJbakes Updated 23 Jul 2012 , 11:45am by MJbakes

MJbakes Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 3:26pm
post #1 of 20

I've been doing alot of reading about sheet cakes, kitchen cakes, slab cakes...whatever you call them. What's the difference? I know so one said a "sheet" is just a single layer of cake, a kitchen cake is a 2 layer sheet. And a slab? I'm so confused. I'm using the wilton serving chart to do some math and the ones on there for sheet cakes are for layered cake. So say a 9x13 is supposed to feed 45 people filled, a 9x13 not filled would serve 22?
I'm just trying to figure out how to categorize the different sizes 1/4, 1/2, full. When I put it on my menu should I list it as a filled cake or a single layer iced? Or do you tort a sheet cake? Please help my mind is about to explode

19 replies
ddaigle Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 3:50pm
post #2 of 20

I do lots of sheet cakes. My quarter sheet is an 8x12 and my half sheet is a 11x15. I used to use a 9x13 for my quarter and 12x18 for my half, but didn't get a nice 2" cake with the batter. Walmart sheets are smaller yet..and unfilled.

I split and fill all of my sheet cakes.

A kitchen cake is just a sheet cake that's kept "in the kitchen" that is lightly decorated and used for extra servings to cut costs instead of increasing the size of the main cake. Never heard of a slab.

A 9x13 that serves 45 is a double quarter sheet. A single quarter serves 20-25. Hope this makes sense.

icer101 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 5:01pm
post #3 of 20

I torte my 9x13, 11x15, 12x18, if the customers wants filling(buttercream , fruit fillings, etc. also. I will bake 2 layers of any size i mentioned , if the customer wants to pay for 2 layers. I will charge accordingly. hth Don,t know what a slab is either.

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 5:32pm
post #4 of 20

Full sheet cake is 18x22"
A 1/2 sheet is 12x18"
A quarter sheet is 9x12"

Bakeries have deviated from these sizes by an inch or two for various reasons but this is the standard.

Wedding cake tier height standard is 4" tall. A kitchen cake is not just a cake "kept in the back". A kitchen cake is a cake that matches the main cake in layers and fillings and is 4" tall. So if you have a wedding cake that is 4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling, you have a big rectangle cake that also has 4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling - in the back. Kitchens cakes are intended to supplement a main display cake, matching it except for decoration.

The birthday sheet cake standard is 2" tall. Some do 2 layers of cake with a filling, some do a "slab" of cake (i.e. a single layer of cake) with no filling and only icing.

It's really up to you what pricepoint you are trying to keep at for your market and still meet the expectations of your customers when they order a "sheet cake". If you need to keep costs low, you'll want to do slabs of cake with icing, and you may want to cut an inch or two off the standard definition of what a 1/2 sheet is (like Wal Mart and grocery stores have done). If you are targeting a more mid-market level, you may want to add a filling and do the standard size. If you are trying to go for high-end you'll refuse to make sheet cakes at all and only offer kitchen cakes in addition to tiered cakes serving over 300. See the strategy?

It also depends on packaging - it's much less expensive to buy boards and 3" boxes to hold a 1/2 sheet slab cake then it is to buy drums and 7" tall boxes for a kitchen cake (by a LOT). All that adds or subtracts from your bottom line and reflects in your retail price.

If you are looking at a chart, a 2" tall cake and a 4" tall cake will yield the same amount of 1x2" pieces, but the 2" tall cake pieces will be 4 cubic centimeters, and the 4" tall cake will be 8 cubic centimeters... 1/2 the size - because it's 1/2 the cake.

Hope that clears up your confusion!

CWR41 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 7:01pm
post #5 of 20

1/4 Sheet = 9x13
1/3 Sheet = 11x15
1/2 Sheet = 12x18
Full Sheet = 16x24 (baked in 18x26 Bun pan with bakeable cardboard tray).

A commercial Bun pan is 18" x 26" (outside measurement), and because they are tapered for nesting or making them stackable, the inside measurement is 16.5" x 24.5".

A commercial full sheet is 16" x 24". They are baked in 16" x 24" bakeable cardboard trays that fit into the Bun pans (flat surface portion) which are used during baking for support and handling purposes.

A true commercial full sheet (16" x 24") serves 96 (unit wt. 106-124 oz.).

Industry standard: http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

...but the 2" tall cake pieces will be 4 cubic centimeters, and the 4" tall cake will be 8 cubic centimeters...

More confusion. Centimeters are nearly a 1/3 the size of inches. A 1x2x4" slice is 8 cubic inches. A 2x2x2" slice is also 8 cubic inches.

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 7:49pm
post #6 of 20

OOPS! Duh, I meant inches, not centimeters. That would be a barbie-sized piece of cake LOL! My kid was distracting me.

And another OOpS- 24" not 22. Thanks for double checkin me!

I've never seen cardboard pans, Ive only seen and used hotel pans (sometimes with bun extender) to bake a full sheet.

MJbakes Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 9:08pm
post #7 of 20

Okay so if I were to do a 1/4 slab(no filling) vs. a 1/4 sheet (torted) vs. a 1/4 double sheet it would still serve the same amount of people whether its 2" high or 4" high?
I would just discuss with a client how big of a serving size they want right?

kakeladi Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 9:45pm
post #8 of 20

From what I have read on this and other boards a *slab cake* is the same as a sheet cake - only the term slab is used in Canada

MJbakes Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 9:47pm
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Okay so if I were to do a 1/4 slab(no filling) vs. a 1/4 sheet (torted) vs. a 1/4 double sheet it would still serve the same amount of people whether its 2" high or 4" high?
I would just discuss with a client how big of a serving size they want right?

Am I understanding this correctly?

CWR41 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 10:03pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

OOPS! Duh, I meant inches, not centimeters. That would be a barbie-sized piece of cake LOL!

It would be bigger than Barbie's head! I think you meant mm... that would fit in her hand.

CWR41 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 10:06pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Okay so if I were to do a 1/4 slab(no filling) vs. a 1/4 sheet (torted) vs. a 1/4 double sheet it would still serve the same amount of people whether its 2" high or 4" high?
I would just discuss with a client how big of a serving size they want right?

No. Single-layer cakes are typically cut 2x2x2, and double-layer cakes are cut 1x2x4. 8 cu. in. servings.

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 10:07pm
post #12 of 20

Michelle,

That's why there is a party serving chart and a wedding serving chart. If you are only making a party cake 2" tall or so) then you should use the party serving chart, which accounts for cutting larger pieces.

As for weather you fill or not for a party cake, that's up to you and again the price point you are trying to keep at.

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 10:15pm
post #13 of 20

<Clearly I am measurement challenged

CWR41 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 10:34pm
post #14 of 20

Actually, if you're using the Wilton party chart, it's based on 1.5x2" servings. So, a 2" tall layer sliced this way accounts for a smaller portion (6 cu. in.) than a wedding portion (8 cu. in.).
http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-party-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

It's best to stick with the wedding chart for all occasions.

MJbakes Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 11:22pm
post #15 of 20

Yes, I tend to stay away from the Wedding serving chart since I haven't done any wedding cakes yet. Right now I'm only doing party cakes so I base it on the 1.5"x2" serving. I'm just trying to understand it, on the Wilton serving guide it says a 2 layer 9x13 serves 45. so if I just did a single layer would it still serve 45 or would i want to increase the serving size? I think I would most likely tort the cake because all my clients love my fillings.

CWR41 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 11:33pm
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

on the Wilton serving guide it says a 2 layer 9x13 serves 45. so if I just did a single layer would it still serve 45...

No. It's only one layer, not two. It serves 50% less. The double-layer cake is based on 1x2x4" servings.

MJbakes Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 11:41pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

No. It's only one layer, not two. It serves 50% less. The double-layer cake is based on 1x2x4" servings.

Thank you for the answer. so since a double indicated 45. a single would be about 22 servings, so would you say 20 servings to be safe since the slices aren't as tall?

CWR41 Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 12:07am
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJbakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

No. It's only one layer, not two. It serves 50% less. The double-layer cake is based on 1x2x4" servings.

Thank you for the answer. so since a double indicated 45. a single would be about 22 servings, so would you say 20 servings to be safe since the slices aren't as tall?

It really depends on how it's sliced. Here's a helpful diagram for several portion choices:
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1300481/sheet-cake-cutting-and-servings-guide

FromScratchSF Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 12:37am
post #19 of 20

Yes it would still give you 45 pieces. Is your single layer cake the same size as a torted cake? If not, think about it this way - its the difference between giving 45 people 1 cupcake or giving 45 people 2 cupcakes. understand the difference?

My advice- don't deviate from the Wilton chart because almost everyone uses it. You are giving away cake for free if you do and way over complicating. If you make cake to match industry standard stick to it and charge accordingly. If your market will pay the additional 30 bucks for filling and your time to make it, then great.

MJbakes Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 11:45am
post #20 of 20

My single layers are 2" high. If I tort them i get 2 1" layers of cake and some filling. Thanks everyone for clearing this up me, and that chart is pretty cool to I added it to my faves in case a client wants a more generous serving.