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White Sheet Cake

Try this recipe when making Ghoulish Petits Fours.

  • Yield: Makes one 12-by-17-inch cake
White Sheet Cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2003


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheet and wire rack
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for baking sheet
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 7 large egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-by-17-by-1-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping off any excess. Set sheet aside.

  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until very smooth. With mixer on medium speed, add sugar in a slow, steady stream; beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  3. Reduce speed to low. Add reserved flour mixture in three batches, alternating with reserved milk mixture, and starting and ending with flour. Mix until just combined; do not overmix. Set aside.

  4. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but do not let dry peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into batter to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.

  5. Scrape batter into prepared sheet; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake in oven until cake is springy to the touch and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool 15 minutes. Loosen sides of cake with a small metal spatula or paring knife; invert onto a buttered wire rack. Peel off parchment. To prevent splitting, reinvert cake so top is facing up. Let cake cool completely.

Reviews (3)

  • jdhemeco 28 Jan, 2014

    I live in a very small apartment with an even smaller stove. I cannot fit a half sheet pan in my oven. Can I use a jelly roll pan instead? The one I have measures 15 x 10 x 1 rather than 12 x 17 x 1 of a half sheet pan. I'm afraid if I use all of the batter it might bake over. Maybe I wont use it all? I'm attempting to make Petits Fours.

  • jmjuneau 26 Jan, 2011

    Great recipe, although for some reason there was a deflated area in the middle of my cake, still slightly gooey even when the rest of the cake was perfectly done; have no idea why. I just cut a rectangle out of the cake that included that deflated piece, so then I had two pieces of cake, I just pushed them together and iced it and nobody ever knew. I made this for my daughters kindergarten teachers birthday. Make sure you sift the flour before measuring it.

  • spulford 7 Jun, 2010

    great recipe, as usual. Made this for my daughters 8th birthday and it was a hit. Filled it with strawberry jam and iced it with Martha's Swiss meringue buttercream. Yum!

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