Whether you like baking or not, you may want to serve cake to a lot of people. To do that, you should consider the size of a half sheet cake and if it’s the best option for your occasion.
Half Sheet Cake Dimensions
You can find half sheet cakes in a variety of sizes. One common size is 12 inches by 18 inches, and that’s a popular choice for weddings and parties. That comes out to 216 square inches of cake.
However, you may find some half sheet cakes that measure 15 inches by 11 inches. Another option is 15.5 inches by 10.5 inches. These options come out to 165 and 162.75 inches, respectively.
The exact size will depend on the bakery or grocery store. Assuming all other factors are equal, such as the depth, the 12 by 18-inch option will give you the most cake. You can find some cakes that are thicker or thinner than others.
Size 1/4 vs. 1/2 Sheet Cake
A house half sheet cake will usually be 9 inches by 13 inches since many home bakers have a pan in that size. However, you may also find some people call this size of cake a quarter (1/4) sheet cake.
No matter what you call it, this cake size will give you 117 square inches of cake. Compared to a 12 by 18-inch cake pan, that’s pretty close to half, so it would equal roughly a quarter of a full cake.
However, compared to other half sheet cake sizes, it’s closer to about 3/4. The larger half sheet cakes still don’t offer as much as a full sheet cake size. But they do offer significantly more than a standard quarter sheet cake.
Full vs. Half Sheet Cake
The standard full sheet cake measures 18 by 26 inches, which is just over twice the size of a standard half sheet cake. You can get 468 square inches of cake from a full sheet cake.
That means you’ll get 2.167 times as much cake compared to a 12 by 18-inch half sheet. The ratio is similar to other half sheet cake sizes, and none will be perfect.
If you compare a full sheet to a house half sheet (or quarter sheet) cake, you’ll get exactly four times as much cake.
How Many People Does a Half Sheet Cake Feed?
A half sheet cake can serve a lot of people. The exact number depends on how thick the cake is, how big you want the pieces to be, and the specific size of the half sheet cake.
If you bake a 12 by 18-inch half sheet cake, you can get anywhere from 54 to 108 servings. A smaller, 11 by 15-inch half sheet cake will net you about 70 to 80 servings.
Compare that to a 9 by 13-inch cake, which can produce about 36 to 54 servings of cake.
You also may want to consider if you’ll pair the cake with anything. Some people like to have cake with ice cream, which means you can get away with serving smaller pieces.
Why Bake a Half Sheet Cake?
Whether you have a party, wedding, or another big event, you may want to serve cake. That way, you and your guests can enjoy a sweet treat throughout the evening.
Before you spring for a round cake, you should consider why a half sheet cake is better.
Feed More People
Compared to round cakes and some square cakes, half sheet cakes offer more servings. That makes a half sheet an excellent choice for large parties or events.
You can make sure that there will be enough cake for everyone. And you won’t have to make the slices so small to ensure everyone gets one.
If you won’t have a ton of food, you can still make sure people feel full. That can help everyone feel better, especially if the event happens around dinner time.
Cut Equal Pieces
When you cut a half sheet cake, you may also find it easier to cut equal slices. You can use a ruler to measure the halfway point to divide the cake. Then, you can repeat the process with each half until you get enough pieces.
No one will have to worry about getting too big or too small of a piece. That can be particularly helpful when you’re serving children.
Kids can easily notice when something seems unfair. Even some adults could make a fuss if they see their piece is smaller. The last thing you want is for the cake to turn into a bunch of drama.
However, if someone does want a smaller piece, you can easily cut the piece in half. Then, people can split the regular pieces, or you can save the extras for leftovers.
Easier to Serve
If you have a large event, you may want to spring for a full sheet cake. But unless you’ll have dozens or hundreds of guests, a half sheet should suffice.
The smaller size of the half sheet cake makes it easier to deal with. You won’t need as many people to help transport it or set it up for serving.
During your party, you can easily cut and serve the pieces from a sheet cake. Then, you can save time and allow your guests to get back to their seats to enjoy the dessert.
More Design Options
Another benefit of using a half sheet cake is that you have more decoration options. With a circular cake, you limit the space you can use to add different colors of icing.
However, a sheet cake has more room on the top. You can use the extra space to write more words or add other visual elements, such as flowers.
Then, you can add more designs with icing around the size of the cake. This all allows you to design the cake so that it’s unique and enjoyable to eat.
More or Less Icing
With round cakes, everyone will get the same amount of icing. Sure, that may be a good thing for some groups but not every situation.
If you serve a half sheet cake, you can make sure there are plenty of edge pieces. That way, the people who like a lot of icing can get it.
However, you’ll also have plenty of pieces available with just a bit of icing on top. This is a nice choice for groups with picky eaters. Just make sure you know how many people will want an edge piece to decide how to cut into the cake.
How to Store Your Half Sheet Cake?
Before and after your event, you may need a place to store the half sheet cake and any leftovers. Depending on the size of the cake, you should be able to cover it and store it in your standard refrigerator at home.
If that doesn’t work, contact the venue of your event. They may have a larger refrigerator you can use to store the cake. Another option is to store your cake in the freezer, especially if you get the cake well ahead of time.
You can store your cake in the refrigerator for up to three days with icing on it. Without icing, the cake can last up to a week. It can last up to a month in the freezer.
How to Transport Your Half Sheet Cake?
If you need to transport your cake home or to an event space, you’ll want to come up with a plan. The nice thing about a half sheet cake is that it’s small enough to fit in most vehicles. But you’ll still want to get a cake box to protect it.
Then, you won’t have to worry about the cake getting smashed if it moves around in transit. You can get a cake box from a local bakery or order one online. If you tend to bake big cakes often, consider getting a reusable cake box.
You can carry the cake in the box to make sure it stays in good shape. Once you get it to the destination, take it out and serve it.
How to Choose Your Half Sheet Cake Pan?
If you’re going to bake a half sheet cake, you need to choose the right pan. First, you need to decide how many servings you’ll want. Then, you can make sure the pan will offer enough servings.
However, don’t forget about how thick you want the cake to be. If you want a thick, single-layer cake, you’ll need a deeper cake pan.
You’ll also want to decide how many layers you want to make. You can make a two-layer cake with a thick pan. After baking, you can slice the cake in half horizontally. Alternatively, you can make two thinner cakes.
Of course, if you’re using a recipe, you’ll want to follow the directions. The recipe should tell you the size of the pan you’ll need. Baking is often very scientific, so try not to stray from the instructions if you can avoid it.