Our Best Recipes for Sheet Cakes, an Easy, Crowd-Pleasing Dessert
When you need to feed something sweet to a crowd, sheet cakes are the way to go. They're appealing to all and you'll find everyone has a preference for which piece they want—those with a serious sweet tooth go for the over-the-top corner pieces which offer double the frosting, while simpler folks may favor a middle piece with less buttercream.
First, choose your base flavor. Anything and everything from classic vanilla or chocolate cake to funfetti and even cheesecake or semifreddo is fair game. Next, pick your frosting—a light whipped topping, naturally-colored buttercream, and decadent chocolate ganache are just some of the luscious options that you could, no doubt, eat by the spoonful. Dust on powdered sugar or sprinkle in fresh berries for a simpler touch sans icing. And it's really not a party without sprinkles—choose colorful jimmies, nonpareils, edible pearls, metallic stars, or a festive combination. Better yet, make your own homemade sprinkles!
Our test kitchen team has developed more than a dozen creative sheet cake recipes that are sure to make you smile. You can combine two childhood-favorites into one with this Banana-Split Ice Cream Cake that has all the elements of the ultimate sundae. Fresh summer fruit will be put to use in a large-format, no-bake cheesecake (we call that a win-win!), and summer berries are essential in this Strawberry Biscuit Sheet Cake too (bet you never had a sheet cake like that before!). For backyard barbecues to kids' birthday parties, these sheet cakes will end on party on a (sugar) high note.
No-Bake Ricotta-Blueberry Cheesecake
Texas Sheet Cake
Why is this the most popular sheet cake ever? Well, what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate? This easy-to-make, easy-to-love chocolate sheet cake has a touch of cinnamon in the batter and is drizzled with a rich, smooth chocolate glaze. A sprinkle of pecans seals the deal.
Strawberry Biscuit Sheet Cake
In this sprawling strawberry shortcake, a tender biscuit cushions a cloud of lightly sweetened cream and a tumble of juiced-up berries. If you fancy something radical, swap the strawberries for sliced peaches, plums, or nectarines—all make equally delicious toppings for this large-format dessert.
Striped Ice Cream Sheet Cake
Vanilla Sheet Cake with Malted-Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Sheet Cake with Vanilla-Buttercream
Cornmeal-Berry Sheet Cake
Banana-Split Ice Cream Cake
Caramel, whipped cream, bananas, and nuts, yes, but there's no ice cream in this treat. Instead, this hero features vanilla semifreddo, an Italian frozen custard made from cream, sugar, egg yolks, and gelatin. It's easy to slide and slow to melt and is layered on top of a foundation of store-bought chocolate wafers for a cool take on the large format dessert.
Chocolate-Coconut Sheet Cake
Each is fantastic on its own, but when chocolate and coconut get together, something extra special happens. This super rich, gooey chocolate sheet cake has a coconut-and-coffee topping and is served with whipped cream and a generous sprinkling of coconut flakes.
Lemon-Glazed Sheet Cake
Fine-crumbed and delicate, this dessert offers a double dose of tangy brightness, thanks to a zest-filled batter and a citrus-glaze so silky, you'll need a high-sided pan to contain it. A Cy-Twombly-esque tangle of candied lemon-rind ribbons is an optional—and delightfully over-the top—extra.
Cherry Sheet Cake
Vanilla Sheet Cake with Chocolate Ganache Buttercream
Egg yolks—five of them!—are the MVPs in this ultra-moist version of the quintessential birthday treat. The frosting is state-of-the-art, too. Rather than the usual cocoa powder-confectioners' sugar combo, it's chocolate ganache that gets whipped—along with plenty of butter—into glossy swoops. Quick, grab the candles.