I've owned a dozen different brands of sheet cake pans. In every size and brand you can imagine. And after seven years in the cake decorating business, I've come to know which ones I love and consider the best sheet cake pans.
With all the pans I've bought, they've varied from super cheap pans from the dollar store to really expensive, heavy duty pans.
I own at least one of every popular brand of pans on the market - and I have an opinion on them. I won't go into all of that today, but I'm hoping my trial and error with pans will help you buy the best ones the first time around.
The ones I love are not the most expensive (by a long shot), but they're the best quality I've found and they're a great value.
Now I know when people talk sheet cake pans, they may not all be talking about the same thing so I'm going to cover a couple of different kinds. Let's get started...
The Best Sheet Cake Pans
For an actual sheet cake that's typically decorated and sold in grocery stores and by cake shops alike, you're talking about a 9x13x2 inch pan (or larger). The pans are usually 2 inches deep (also sold in 3 inch depth). I don't use the terms half sheet, quarter sheet, full sheet, etc. because I've found that these sizes aren't always uniform in the baking community.
I'm sure there's a correct size for a "quarter sheet cake" but there's some conflicting information out there, so I just say 9x13 or 10x15 or whatever. Then I give my clients the number of servings for whichever size I'm talking about and go from there.
Traditional Sheet Cake Pans
Anyway, for traditional "sheet cakes", I love Parrish Magic Line Pans. Actually, this is my favorite brand for all traditional cake pans (round, square and sheet pans)! They're quality pans that bake evenly and beautifully. Magic Line pans also hold up for the long haul and do not warp even after thousands of runs through my oven.
Best of all, Magic Line pans also have super sharp corners for sheet and square cakes and I love that feature! With our recent move, I've had to split cake work between the new house and the old one. I didn't have all of my sheet pans in one place to take pics for this post, so I only have the one size pictured.
But I actually have these three sizes:
A couple of times I've needed an odd size in between those and I'll just slide two together... and have a 13x18 or 20x15. That's what I did for this huge bank order a few years ago...
I baked 4 (yes, four) 12x18 sheet cakes, then I stacked them 2 layers deep and pushed them together for a huge 24x18 cake that was over 4" tall. That cake was a beast.
Nordic Ware Commercial Sheet Pans
Okay... aside from traditional cake pans, these Nordic pans are also called sheet pans. These are not usually used for tiered or layer cakes - but rather for things like jelly roll cakes or petit fours. The most popular thing I've used them for on the blog is petit fours - and that is a super popular recipe for me. Here is part of my collection:
I also use these pans to bake cookies, bars, bread, biscuits, roasting veggies, broiling bacon, and a million other things. They are seriously good for so many things!! I have 20+ of them and I still can't ever have enough!
Oooh, you can also get lids for them which is thebomb.com. I love to store unfrosted cupcakes on them with a lid to keep them fresh until I'm ready to decorate.
The Nordic Ware sheet pans are diffrent from the Magic Line pans in that they don't have straight up and down sides or sharp corners and they're only about 1 inch deep vs. 2-3 inches. Nordic Ware Sheet pans also come in quarter sheet, half sheet, and full sheet sizes, but I'm going to give you the dimensions in inches.
Because I'm a rebel like that 😉
Below are the four sizes of Nordic Ware Sheet Pans I have:
- 13x18 pans (this is the size I have the most of - they're SO awesome!) or with lids here
- 10x13 pans (also called quarter sheet pans) or 10x13 pans with lids
- 21x15 pans - this is a huge pan and I have 3 of them, but I don't use them as often as the others
- 10x6 mini sheet pans
Although I don't use them for anything related to cake decorating, I had to share the fourth size and tell you a little story behind them.
Months and months ago Richy took me out to eat on a date. We tried a new restuarant and they served our appetizer (loaded fries) on these itty-bitty sheet pans.
Who knew there were sheet pans that tiny and why had I never seen them? I'm a sucker for all things tiny and was completely obsessed with these pans. I might have even asked the server if I could slip one in my purse 😉 For the record, she laughed and said no, so I fought my urge to steal one... haha.
But my super thoughtful husband caught on to how much I loved the pans so he came home and ordered me some for my upcoming birthday. Ya'll... this man knows me oh-so-well. Those little pans were maybe one of my favorite gifts ever.
Anyway, if you like itty-bitty things, you must get you some of those pans. I can't tell you what to use them for, but they're just so stinkin' cute.
Since I bought them, we've mostly used them to heat things in the oven. For instance, I hate microwaving leftover pizza. I much prefer to warm it in the oven and get the crust all crispy again. So that sheet is the perfect size for a big slice of pizza.
Anywho... I got off track there. Sorry.
Alphabet Cake Pan
The only other sheet cake pan I want to mention is this Alphabet Pan. It's really not a "sheet pan" in the traditional sense, but it's worth a mention. I love this pan!
The Alphabet Pan an incredibly versatile pan that you can use for letters and numbers. But additionally, you can use it to make odd-sized rectangles, like for this tractor cake. I have a full tutorial with pics here.
And that's that - the best sheet cake pans in all forms (that I use). I'd recommend having at least a couple of these sizes and varieties on hand for your orders. Unless of course you choose to not do sheet cakes... then ignore this whole post. Haha!
Did I forget anything? I'd love to hear it if you have thoughts on other varieties of sheet cake pans. And if you have different "favorites", leave me a comment and tell me which ones you prefer!