Sheet Cakes

Sheet Cakes

Ahh, the lowly sheet cake.  I was very surprised to find out some time ago that many custom cake decorators refuse to make sheet cakes.  They see the sheet cake as beneath them.  Why has this form of cake gotten such a bad rep?  My theory is that the sheet cake reminds them of W*mart or grocery store cakes - they equate sheet cakes with low price and/or inferior quality or skill.  If you think that sheet cakes are boring and ugly, I hope this post changes your mind.


As a decorator, sheet cakes can be challenging.  The height of the cake is a regional preference.  Where I live, a sheet cake is 1-layer, about 2 inches tall. This limited cake height can make it difficult to do anything with the sides are than just smooth ice them.  Here are a few sheet cakes where I did do something different with the sides.
buttercream sheet cake

In this chocolate sheet cake with marshmallow flowers, the sides are decorated with a star tip (like #18) in a vertical pattern.

July 4 cake
In this Independence Day themed cake, I piped a simple pattern of string work on the sides.

Many decorators have a hard time figuring out how to fill the top of the cake with a pleasing design.  One thing I see written on cake decorating forums is "How do I fill up all that space?"  

If my client wants me to come up with a design on my own, I start by asking myself these questions:
  • what type of event is this cake for
  • are there any techniques that I have been wanting to use
  • are there any specific colors that I need to use

For example, I was asked to make a sheet cake for a baby shower.  We knew the baby was a girl, the colors were going to be pink and purple, and the party plates/decorations had baby feet on them.  Based on that information, here is the design I came up with:
baby shower cake Senatobia MS

When I offered to make the cake for my brother-in-laws birthday, the only specific request was that it be a strawberry cake.  I knew my brother-in-law likes Bud Light beer and I had been wanting to do one of those "gravity-defying" floating can cakes so here is what I came up with:
floating beer can cake

This cake also gave me a chance to try out my new cake airbrush.  

I was asked to make a sheet cake for a birthday cake for an 80th birthday party.  The two requirements was that the cake needed to be dark blue and include daisies (favorite color and flower of birthday girl).  I came up with a design that my client and the birthday girl both loved.
buttercream sheet cake

graduation cake Senatobia MS

The sheet cake works particularly well for graduations

birthday cake Senatobia MS

and children's birthdays.

The sheet cake is very versatile and is a great way to provide cake for a large but informal party.  I would definitely take issue with anyone that thinks the above cakes are boring or ugly.  

So...don't be hatin' on the sheet cake :)

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