Best Sheet Cake Recipes – The New York Times

Best Sheet Cake Recipes – The New York Times

A lofty layered cake is a lovely thing when the occasion calls for one, but sheet cakes, while maybe not quite as impressive, have a lot going for them. Not only are they easier to bake — no annoying trimming or crumb coatings required — but they also feed a crowd and travel well, so you might just find yourself making cake more often. And who doesn’t need more cake in their life? Here are 11 of our favorite sheet cake recipes, including Texas sheet cake, tres leches cake and St. Louis gooey butter cake.

Genevieve Ko’s riff on the fudgy classic calls for sprinkling the top of the cake with chopped pecans instead of stirring them into the frosting. If you like a bit of salt with your sweets, scatter the top with flaky sea salt before serving.

Impossibly lush yet somehow light, Samantha Seneviratne’s cake is soaked with a combination of three milks: whole, condensed and evaporated. The whipped cream on top tempers the sweetness.


Recipe: Tres Leches Cake

The happiest cake in all the land, Kiera Wright-Ruiz’s adaptation of Alana Kysar’s cake is moist and tender from pink guava concentrate. If you can’t find pink guava concentrate, you can use white, and add a few drops of red or pink food coloring.

Recipe: Hawaiian Guava Cake

Lemon cakes are always a hit. This one from Yossy Arefi is tender and tangy from a quarter-cup of lemon juice in the batter, as well as lemon zest and juice in the buttercream frosting.

Mochiko, or sweet rice flour, gives this big-batch dessert a chewy marshmallowy texture and lends it a natural sweetness. You can serve this crackly surfaced cake without frosting, or top it with a tangy passion fruit glaze. (Ombré optional.)


Recipe: Butter Mochi

This buttery yellow cake with chocolate-sour cream frosting from Erin Jeanne McDowell is the sheet cake dreams are made of. If you’re hosting a birthday party, double the recipe for a half-sheet pan, and go wild with the sprinkles.


Recipe: Yellow Sheet Cake With Chocolate Frosting

Let’s all thank Yossy Arefi, the queen of snacking cakes, for this delicate and tender applesauce cake topped with fluffy, spiced cream cheese frosting. For a little texture, add a cup of chopped fresh apple or a half-cup of chopped pecans or walnuts to the batter.

Recipe: Apple Sheet Cake With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


Namoura is a Lebanese cake made from semolina flour and soaked in syrup while it’s still warm, so it’s sticky sweet in the best way possible. Amanda Saab, a social worker and home cook who lives near Detroit, from whom this was adapted, likes to add a little lavender extract to the syrup, but you could also use rose or vanilla.

Recipe: Namoura (Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake)

Eric Kim’s pound cake is rich with cream cheese and butter, then finished with a layer of raspberry preserves, lightly salted whipped cream and a generous sprinkling of crushed freeze-dried raspberries.

Recipe: Cream Cheese Pound Cake

OK, so no, it’s not exactly a cake, but these cheesecake bars from Samantha Seneviratne have all of the (crowd-pleasing, easily transported) benefits of a sheet cake. They’re also no-bake, which means less futzing in the kitchen.


Recipe: No-Bake Cheesecake Bars

The possibly true story goes like this: In the 1930s, a St. Louis baker mixed up the proportion of butter in one of his coffee cakes. Instead of tossing it, he sold it by the square, and it was a hit. This yeast-risen, five-star version is adapted from Molly Killeen, a St. Louis native and the owner of Made by Molly.

Recipe: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

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