Last Updated on March 18, 2023
Making sheet cake with a box cake mix is easy and will save you a lot of time. But, do you know how many cake mixes to use for a sheet cake?
In today’s jam-packed article, we will explore everything you need to know about box cake mixes. We will give you an in-depth answer on how many boxes to use for different-sized sheet cakes. And, we will even look at how to make them better! So, ready to dive right in?
What Are Cake Mixes?
Cake mix is a term that goes by many other names. They include box mix, box cake mix, cake premix, and boxed cake premix. All of these terms are used to essentially describe a mix of weighed-out dry cake ingredients. This mixture only needs to be hydrated to become a batter and be baked.
The purpose of these cake mixes is to cut down on preparation time when baking. They allow you to skip the ingredient prep and measuring phase, and cut right to the chase! You only have to add (usually) eggs, oil, water, or milk. That’s it! The rest of the ingredients are already present.
Cake mixes are made up of sugar, flour, baking powder, powdered colorants, and flavorings. They also do contain additives like preserving agents and anti-caking agents. But, all of these ingredients are completely dehydrated.
Can You Make Sheet Cake With Cake Mix?
Sheet cakes are a very unique type of cake that isn’t usually used for beautiful cakes. Sheet cakes are most often used at kids’ birthday parties or when you don’t want to spend hours making some type of elaborate cake. They are also much easier to portion than the regular round cake.
A sheet cake is a flat slab of cake that is baked in a large rectangular shape. The exact size of a sheet cake does vary quite a lot. For this reason, many people are never sure how many cake mixes to use for a sheet cake.
A standard-sized sheet cake is roughly 18 inches by 26 inches. And, the average height of these cakes is around 1 to 2 inches. If you see higher sheet cakes, they are usually made with multiple layers of cake and are called slab cakes.
Another sheet cake pan size that is pretty standard in commercial bakeries and kitchens measures 18 by 24 inches.
Now, because sheet cakes are pretty big, many people often want to make half-sheet cakes or even quarter-sheet cakes. The size of a half sheet cake is around 13 by 18 inches, but some are 11 by 15 inches.
Then, a quarter sheet cake will be roughly 8 by 13 inches or 9 by 13 inches.
Now, you may be wondering why exactly there are so many estimates linked to the word “standard”. Well, the term is entirely relative to where you are located. In some countries, a “standard” sized sheet cake is 18 by 26 inches, while in others it measures 18 by 24 inches.
How Many Cake Mixes to Use For a Sheet Cake?
So, an average box of cake mix weighs around 15-16 ounces. Once you add your eggs, water (or milk), and oil, the weight of the batter will be around 2 pounds.
A full sheet of cake requires about 8 pounds of cake batter. So, ultimately you will need 4 boxes of cake mix (each weighing 15 to 16 ounces) for one full-sized sheet cake.
To be safe, we would recommend buying 5 boxes. This will help you alter the thickness of your sheet cake layer. Not to mention that many cake mixes don’t rise as much. So, by adding a little bit more batter, you will ensure your sheet cake isn’t half an inch thick.
So, our final answer to how many cake mixes to use for a sheet cake is 4 to 5 boxes.
Half and Quarter Sheets
For half-sized sheet cakes, we recommend using between 2 and 3 boxes of cake mix. Again, this is to ensure you have enough cake batter to make a thick layer of cake. And, if you have a bigger pan, you are guaranteed to have enough batter.
For quarter sheet cakes, you only need 1 to 2 boxes of cake mix.
|Sheet Cake Size
|Cake Mixes Needed (15 to 16-ounce each)
|Full Sheet Cake
|18 x 26-inches
|18 x 24-inches
|Half Sheet Cake
|13 x 18-inches
|11 x 15-inches
|Quarter Sheet Cake
|8 x 13-inches
|9 x 13-inches
How Much Buttercream Do I Need for a Sheet Cake?
The final answer will largely depend on the type of buttercream you have made and even how fluffy it is. You can have a single recipe that only makes 2 cups of frosting, but when using a proper mixing technique can also make 5 cups.
On average, for a half sheet of cake, you will need 3 cups of buttercream frosting to cover the entire cake. Then you would need another 2 cups to create decorative piping details if they are needed.
So, for a full sheet cake, you would naturally need a lot more frosting. We would say a safe bet is around 4 to 5 cups of frosting to cover the surface area of the cake. And, for any decorative piped details, you can add at least another 3 cups of frosting.
How to Make a Sheet Cake From Cake Mixes Better
Now that we have answered how many cake mixes to use for a sheet cake, we will look at some easy ways you can make the premixes better.
- Replace the water in the box recipe instructions with milk or cream.
- Add an additional egg for sheet cakes. It makes the crumb tighter which will make the cake easier to transport.
- Substitute the oil in the recipe with melted butter instead for a better flavor and color.
- Add more flavoring extract to enhance the flavor profile of the cake. Use high-quality extracts for a more authentic flavor. Try to avoid using essences.
How Do You Get a Half Sheet Cake Out of the Pan?
If you’ve ever made a sheet cake before, you’ll know that one of the most difficult parts isn’t preparing or baking…it’s removing the cake from the pan without it breaking! If this is something you’re struggling with, there are a range of tips and tricks you can try to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Here are some of my top tips:
- The first thing to do is to ensure your cake is fully baked throughout.
- If your cake isn’t baked throughout, it’ll be almost impossible to remove it without breaking.
- You should also ensure it’s been left long enough to completely cool.
- The cake will become more structurally sound once it cools, which is exactly what you need.
- Once cool, you’ll need to run a knife (or another thin sharp object) around the edges of your cake; this will help to loosen the cake.
- Once loosened, flip the cake over onto something like a serving plate or wire cooling rack. It should come straight out with little help.
However, if your cake is stuck, you can try one of the following methods:
- Giving it time inverted and gently tapping the bottom of the pan to ease it out should help.
- Another method is the use of extreme temperatures. For example, place a kitchen towel (that’s been wet with hot water) on the bottom of the cake pan. Doing this may warm the cake slightly and help to loosen it.
- On the other end of the scale, you can fill a bowl with water and ice and place this on the bottom of the upside-down pan. Doing this may help your cake to harden structurally and then release with ease.
- However, the best way to avoid a sheet cake getting stuck is by using parchment paper and greasing and flouring your cake pan before baking.
How Many Frostings Do I Need For a Sheet Cake?
The amount of frosting you’ll need for a sheet cake all depends on the size of the pan you’re using and how thick you want your frosting to be. The most common size of a sheet cake pan is 9″ x 13″. For a cake this size, you’ll need anywhere from 2-4 cups of frosting. If you want a thin layer of frosting, 2 cups should be enough. And for a thick layer, 3 cups should be enough. However, I like to make an extra cup for any decorations I may have.
How Do You Line a Sheet Cake Pan With Parchment Paper?
It’s now super easy to line a sheet pan with parchment paper. All you need is to lay out a sheet of parchment paper and place your cake pan on top of it. Now you’ll need to cut a small slit in each corner (this should be between three to four inches). Now place the paper into the pan and press the paper into each corner. Doing this should mean the parchment paper will fit snugly into your cake pan – no matter what size it is!
How Many Cake Mixes for a Half Sheet Cake?
The truth is, it all depends on the size of your cake pan, as well as its depth of it. For example, you can buy cake pans that are either 1 inch, 2 inches, 3 inches, or 4 inches in depth.
The average-sized half-sheet cake pan is around 13×18″. The deeper the pan, the more cake mixes you’ll need to use. Depending on the depth, you’ll need anywhere from 2-4 boxed cake mixes.
How Many Boxes of Cake Mix for 1/4 Sheet?
When it comes to a 1/4 sheet cake pan, it goes without saying that you’ll need a lot less cake mix than for a 1/2 sheet cake, or a full sheet cake. Typically you’ll need around 1-2 box cake mixes to make a 1/4 sheet cake. I usually find that one box of cake mix simply isn’t enough, so you may need around 1/3 of a second box of cake mix. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need more than two boxes of cake mix.
How Do You Make a Sheet Cake Rise Evenly?
One of the most frustrating aspects of baking cake is that it comes out uneven, and then you have to try and flatten the cake yourself. However, there are many ways to prevent this from happening before the cake is baked. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top tips to make a sheet cake rise evenly.
- Don’t Use an Oven That’s Too Hot. Temperature is key when it comes to evenly risen cakes. Even the slightest change in temperature to what a recipe calls for can cause disastrous results for your cakes. Always follow the temperature guide and the baking time. You can use a thermometer when baking to check your oven is at the correct temperature.
- Use Cake Strips. Cake strips are an incredible invention and make level cakes incredibly easy to make. You can either buy cake strips from cake decorating stores or online stores such as Amazon and Walmart. You can even make your own if you’d prefer, as they can be quite expensive. The cake strips wrap around the cake and help your cake set evenly. They simply need to be dipped in water, wrung out, and wrapped around your cake pan. It’s worth noting that this may alter the baking time.
- Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients Separately. Most recipes will tell you to do this, but this is key in ensuring your cakes rise evenly. Add the dry ingredients to one bowl, and the wet to another bowl. Mix both individually, and then add the bowl of mixed dry ingredients to the wet. This is a foolproof method.
- Use a Water Bath. This is an easy way to stop your cake from heating up too quickly (which would then lead to uneven layers). Simply add around an inch of water to an oven-proof pan, that’s slightly larger than your cake pan. Place your cake pan into the pan of water and bake as directed.
How Many Boxes of Cake Mix Do I Need for a Half Sheet Cake?
Depending on the depth and size, you’ll typically need around 2-4 boxes of cake mix for a simple half-sheet cake.
How Much Batter Goes Into a Full Sheet Cake?
When filling a full-sheet cake pan, you mustn’t overfill it. For this reason, you should only fill the pan with around 2/3 full of batter. The deeper the cake pan, the less you should fill it. For example, if you’re using a 3-inch cake pan, you should only fill the pan around 1/2 full.
We hope that you found this article on how many cake mixes to use for a sheet cake useful. You can use our handy chart to see exactly how many boxes you need for any size sheet cake!
Share this informative article with your fellow bakers so that they can also reap the benefits of such an in-depth guide.
How much batter goes into a full sheet cake?
A full standard size sheet cake measures roughly 18 by 26-inches. This creates an area that will contain about 8 cups of batter. This relates to 4 or 5 boxes of cake mix if each box weighs 15 to 16 ounces.
How many boxes of cake mix do I need for a half sheet cake?
For a half sheet cake, you will need 2 to 3 boxes of cake mix. Each box should weigh about 15 to 16 ounces to create enough batter (when mixed with the wet ingredients called for) to fill the pan and make a thick layer of cake.
How much buttercream do I need for a sheet cake?
For a full-size sheet cake, you will need a lot of frosting. To cover the surface area alone you will need about 5 cups of buttercream frosting. Then, for additional decorative details, you will likely need at least 2 more cups of frosting.
How do you make a sheet cake rise evenly?
Decrease the baking temperature by roughly 10 degrees and slightly decrease the baking time. This change may seem minor, but it will create a more level sheet cake that you don't have to slice. Furthermore, it will help prevent cracks in the surface.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.