@cahoots re: cutting cake layers from sheets


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@cahoots, as I mentioned in my responses, you have to consider the rise of the batter; when you bake the cake in the regular tins, does it consistently rise to the same height? I can tell you 1285g is not much batter, so I personally would adjust the amount.

Some limitations with cutting layers from a sheet cake that I forgot to mention in my response to your DM is you cannot make a naked cake. Naked cakes must be sliced and served within 4 hrs because they dry out very fast due to exposure to the air. They have to have the full crust to protect them from drying out. Limit the size and number of tiers. Since the side crust is cut away, the cake is not as durable. I do not go bigger than a 10” bottom tier and do not go more than 3 tiers. Most cakes fall within that size, so this technique gets used more often than not.


You know your cake recipe best, how it works with your ingredients. Measure your height. If it is a high riser like my cake, then maybe try 55% of the jelly roll capacity the first time. If the batter is a low riser, then consider filling to 60% of capacity. But on a first try, I wouldn’t go above 60% capacity. You will need to experiment a few times to figure out how much batter works best for the sheet pan.
D8113B6A-8602-4CA4-BCE3-09E2622C77BC.jpeg


difference between a 2/3 sheet and jelly roll (aka 1/2 sheet). I prefer to use a 2/3 sheet. a 2/3 sheet is the largest sheet that will fit in a residential oven, at least a residential oven in the US. A full size baking sheet is too large for a US residential oven.
AAB9F647-4F8F-400A-AAE0-863E6C47A096.jpeg





These are some of cake rings and cutters I use to cut layers for cakes.
99FD209B-3876-4533-8A7A-7B19EA60643F.jpeg



Some have a cutting edge, This is a 6” cutting ring
0AE4720F-4634-4F69-B3B9-CB43A29DF78A.jpeg



2/3 sheet I can cut three 8” layers; four 3” layers or two 4” layers for baby cakes. A lot of pastry chefs use the baby cakes for cake tastings. Since the cake layer is already baked and paid for, they can offer a cake tasting using these for a nominal fee and not lose money on cake tastings.
16D05C12-AACF-4AD4-A4D3-3203004A2D47.jpeg


Jelly roll, only two 8” layers can be cut. I know some bakers who don’t care about how their work, so they will piece cake together to make a layer. You can only hid the mess from the outside. Once the cake is sliced and plated, the patched up mess is face up for all to see. It’s like table scapes, like someone used bits of broken crumbs to make the cake. It’s just not the way I was taught, and not the standard that I work to.

815DEA24-FE01-4328-84FC-A582F7D8772F.jpeg
 
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@cahoots, as I mentioned in my responses, you have to consider the rise of the batter; when you bake the cake in the regular tins, does it consistently rise to the same height? I can tell you 1285g is not much batter, so I personally would adjust the amount.

Some limitations with cutting layers from a sheet cake that I forgot to mention in my response to your DM is you cannot make a naked cake. Naked cakes must be sliced and served within 4 hrs because they dry out very fast due to exposure to the air. They have to have the full crust to protect them from drying out. Limit the size and number of tiers. Since the side crust is cut away, the cake is not as durable. I do not go bigger than a 10” bottom tier and do not go more than 3 tiers. Most cakes fall within that size, so this technique gets used more often than not.


You know your cake recipe best, how it works with your ingredients. Measure your height. If it is a high riser like my cake, then maybe try 55% of the jelly roll capacity the first time. If the batter is a low riser, then consider filling to 60% of capacity. But on a first try, I wouldn’t go above 60% capacity. You will need to experiment a few times to figure out how much batter works best for the sheet pan.
View attachment 3557

difference between a 2/3 sheet and jelly roll (aka 1/2 sheet). I prefer to use a 2/3 sheet. a 2/3 sheet is the largest sheet that will fit in a residential oven, at least a residential oven in the US. A full size baking sheet is too large for a US residential oven.
View attachment 3558




These are some of cake rings and cutters I use to cut layers for cakes.
View attachment 3559


Some have a cutting edge, This is a 6” cutting ring
View attachment 3560


2/3 sheet I can cut three 8” layers; four 3” layers or two 4” layers for baby cakes. A lot of pastry chefs use the baby cakes for cake tastings. Since the cake layer is already baked and paid for, they can offer a cake tasting using these for a nominal fee and not lose money on cake tastings.
View attachment 3561

Jelly roll, only two 8” layers can be cut. I know some bakers who don’t care about how their work, so they will piece cake together to make a layer. You can only hid the mess from the outside. Once the cake is sliced and plated, the patched up mess is face up for all to see. It’s like table scapes, like someone used bits of broken crumbs to make the cake. It’s just not the way I was taught, and not the standard that I work to.

View attachment 3562
The cake recipe that I linked rises decently high despite the low amount of batter, about 3.4-3.5cm from when I've made it. However I was planning on making adjustments anyway when converting the amount of batter from cake pans to a sheet pan, no matter which recipe it is I'd use. It's good to know the 60-66% benchmark for filling the sheet pan.

Luckily I do have a couple 3" cake rings, so I guess I know what to do with scraps haha.

I never actually considered getting a 2/3 sheet pan, as I thought the half-sheet pans were all that I really needed. In fact I have 3 half-sheet pans along with a 4th that I bought for my parents, since I use them so often. I'm pretty confident that the 2/3 sheet pan still fits in my oven.

I'll take your advice on not piecing together the bottom layer. I still have 6" and 7" cake rings, so I'll just use whichever of those can cut out three whole pieces.

And when taking a recipe originally made for round cake pans, do you ever make any adjustments to baking temperature? I've been following your advice of 325F for most shortened cakes (8" or 9" pans); do you also recommend 325F for most shortened cakes in sheet pans?
 
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The cake recipe that I linked rises decently high despite the low amount of batter, about 3.4-3.5cm from when I've made it. However I was planning on making adjustments anyway when converting the amount of batter from cake pans to a sheet pan, no matter which recipe it is I'd use. It's good to know the 60-66% benchmark for filling the sheet pan.

Luckily I do have a couple 3" cake rings, so I guess I know what to do with scraps haha.

I never actually considered getting a 2/3 sheet pan, as I thought the half-sheet pans were all that I really needed. In fact I have 3 half-sheet pans along with a 4th that I bought for my parents, since I use them so often. I'm pretty confident that the 2/3 sheet pan still fits in my oven.

I'll take your advice on not piecing together the bottom layer. I still have 6" and 7" cake rings, so I'll just use whichever of those can cut out three whole pieces.

And when taking a recipe originally made for round cake pans, do you ever make any adjustments to baking temperature? I've been following your advice of 325F for most shortened cakes (8" or 9" pans); do you also recommend 325F for most shortened cakes in sheet pans?

Personally I don’t think you can have too many sheet pans. They are the work horses in the kitchen. I own 12 or 16 1/2 sheets. I lost count. And four 2/3 sheets.

For mise en place, it is the best way to keep things organized and moving.

Almost every baking project uses a sheet, whether i’m doing cookies, hand pies, full-size pies, I use a baking tray.

Since the cake is only 1 inch thick, it will bake pretty fast. It will take slightly longer than a 8” round cake. In my oven, the 2/3 sheet takes about 45 minutes; 1/2 sheet about 30 minutes.

In my oven and with my pans, 325°F works for me. you definitely need to watch the progress of the bake, everyone’s oven is different and of course but every type of metal your pan is made of will also make a difference. But 325°F is where I would start. I wouldn’t go higher.

Baby cakes are the next big trend. They will be the next big thing at weddings— you wait and see. Master the sheet cake because this will be the dessert that will be on every dessert table for every event over the next few years.
 

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