Cake Update (or How to Make a Giant Cake)

This tasty yellow cake with spunky vanilla frosting has now become my favorite celebration cake. I’ve made it for several birthdays and events (and convinced friends to make it, too.) I recently adapted it to serve 40-50 and wanted to share my tips in case you too find yourself in need of a big cake for a crowd.

How to adapt a recipe for a half sheet cake pan:

  • For a half sheet cake pan (12X18X2), you’l need to double a recipe that calls for a 9X13 cake.
  • Bake the cake at 350F for 40-47 minutes. If, at 25 minutes, you find the edges are beginning to brown, tent them with foil. Before I placed the cake in the oven, I prepared the foil by measuring it out over the top of the pan and cutting a rectangle in the middle. This helped me to just open the oven quickly, place it on top, and close the door.
  • Check the crumb with a toothpick in the center. It should, of course, come out clean. (The internal temperature of the cake should be 209-210F, but I found this less reliable of a test. Stick with the toothpick!)
  • To have success with the frosting, really commit to letting all of the ingredients come to room temperature. Because it was such a big batch. I used the electric mixer and whisk attachment for all steps, instead of folding in the final yogurt cheese by hand. It will become smooth, shiny, and very easy to decorate with.
  • Need more help? Do what I did and call King Arthur’s Baking Hotline. (Don’t have them in your contacts? You need to! These lovely, helpful people can be reached on a live chat, also.) While you’re at it, be sure to sign up for Baking Circle forums.
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