A rectangular, thin cake may not be the traditional wedding cake design, but wedding sheet cake can be just as delicious as any elaborate pastry. It is far more affordable for many couple's budgets than large tiered designs.
Wedding Sheet Cake Designs
A sheet cake can be just as lovely as any tiered cake and couples have many options to personalize a sheet cake to match their celebration. Sometimes called a kitchen cake because of the practice of cutting them in the kitchen prior to serving, they can actually be decorated and displayed like a traditional tiered cake if the couple desires. Popular design options include:
- Airbrushed or iced photographs on the surface of the sheet cake
- Fresh or edible flowers around the sides of the cake
- A small second tier in the corner of the cake to add height
- Coordinated icing colors to match the wedding
- Chocolate frosted with white or otherwise coordinating buttercream or fondant roses
- Whimsical scenes with figurines, icing, and other decorative details on the surface of the cake
- Fruit topped cake with wedding couple topper
- Satellite cakes, or small sheet cakes that are arranged around a more traditional tiered cake to add more servings at a lower cost
- Words or phrases of love, congratulations, and wedding wishes iced onto the cake
- Small sheets arranged on a tiered wedding cake stand to mimic the traditional cake profile
- Cover the cake in rosettes of various sizes in multiple hues of the same color
Flavors and Fillings
Having a sheet cake doesn't mean you can't have delicious flavors and fillings, just like a traditional cake. Modify your favorite wedding cake recipe to fit into sheet pans of similar serving size. Once baked and cooled, you can halve it to include your choice of filling. From classic chocolate with vanilla cream filling to strawberry with lemon curd filling, you aren't limited in your options just because you selected a single tier sheet rather than a large round or square cake.
How to Serve a Sheet Cake
Most sheet cakes for weddings are kept out of sight of guests and are cut and served discreetly from the kitchen after the couple has made their symbolic first cut of the wedding cake. The couple may choose to have a smaller single tier cake on display that resembles the design on top of the sheet cake slices.
Decorative Plating Options
With the savings on the cost of the cake itself, couples can also choose a number of easy ways to dress up each slice of sheet cake to make it an elegant dessert their guests will enjoy.
- Decorate each plate with a swirl or heart of chocolate or fruit sauce.
- Add a cut strawberry or a few other berries to the plate.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over the cake slice and plate.
- Add a decorative dab of icing to each plate.
- Choose garnishes that complement the cake flavor, such as a sprig of mint for a chocolate cake or a lemon wedge for a spring sponge cake.
How to Cut a Sheet Cake
Sheet cakes are usually cut into small rectangular-to-square shaped pieces. Usually, these pieces measure about 2" by 3", although you can cut them larger or smaller as desired. If you want to ensure pieces are uniformly cut, request the bakery score the cake prior to delivery.
Sheet Cake Benefits
There are several benefits to using a sheet cake in place of a larger, more elaborate wedding cake.
- Cost: Typical wedding cake prices range from $2 to $10 or more per slice of cake depending on the shape, flavors, and cake design. This can add up quickly when a couple has a guest list of hundreds to plan dessert for. Sheet cakes, on the other hand, can cost just $1 to $3 per slice and you can often purchase them from a grocery store.
- Speed: A designer bakery may require wedding cake reservations months in advance, but they can usually create lovely and delicious sheet cakes much more quickly. This is the perfect solution for couples planning a surprise wedding or who don't have months to plan their nuptials.
- Waste: Because wedding cakes are often elaborately arranged, much of the cake may be wasted as it is cut because it falls apart or is otherwise unsuitable to be served. Sheet cakes are much sturdier and less of the dessert will be wasted as it is served.
- Safety: Wedding cake disasters are not unheard of, and a sheet cake is a much safer option for a wedding with lots of children, unpredictable weather, or where the cake may be subject to stresses in transportation.
- Symmetry: Because a sheet cake is rectangular, it is much easier to cut into equal pieces to serve.
Sheet Cakes Make Sense
A wedding sheet cake can be just as beautiful and delicious as any tiered treat, and couples will savor the ease and savings that sheet cakes can provide. Whether you have a sheet cake as part of a larger dessert bar or to supplement tiered designs, it makes sense to include them in your plans.