My favorite way to make a layer cake

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Do you get a little bit bored of making the same kind of layer cake by baking two eight inch cakes and layering them?  I started making layer cakes a different way and I like it so much I wanted to share it with you.

I bake the cake in a 15x10x1 sheet pan and cut it into thirds and then stack them. It makes a nice rectangular cake with three layers that are very pretty when you make your slices to serve.  You can use this technique with any regular cake recipe.  The only thing to keep in mind is that if you like a lot of frosting, you should make one and a half times the amount of frosting in a frosting recipe. Then you will have plenty.  I actually made just the regular amounts of frosting for the cakes you see in the photos.

I am including the recipe for one of my favorite cakes – an awesome Red Velvet Cake from Bakerella.  The cream cheese frosting on this cake is out of this world. And the chocolate cake you see in the post is amazing – a super moist cake with a creamy frosting.  The frosting is really special because if you don’t care for a regular buttercream frosting which can be a little sugary, you will love this frosting, which is made with whipping cream.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

for a printable version, click here

from Bakerella

serves 12

you will need a sheet of parchment paper and a 15x10x1 rimmed baking sheet

It seems like a lot of food coloring and it makes a bright red cake.  If you don’t want to use so much food coloring, you can use half as much and the cake will still taste the same but just be a lot less bright red.

If you like a lot of frosting, make one and a half times the amount called for here and you should have plenty.


for the cake:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus a little additional to dust the pan with
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

for the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 9 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


Make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the rimmed baking sheet.  Brush a little of the melted butter on the bottom of the sheet to help the parchment paper stick and place the paper on the bottom of the baking sheet. Brush the rest of the melted butter on the top of the parchment and dust with a little bit of flour.  Shake the pan to distribute the flour and then turn upside down and tap out the excess.

always use a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of your pan –
your cake will come out perfectly from the pan


Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.  Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended.  Set aside.

Place all the dry ingredients in a different mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir together really well with another wire whisk or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer. Carefully add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.

Pour into the baking sheet and then drop the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center is just clean.  Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then remove cake by placing a wire rack on top and then flipping the whole thing over.

Cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:

Sift sugar and set aside.  Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy.  Add vanilla. Add the sugar in batches, scraping down the sides in between each addition.

Assemble the cake:   Place the cake on a cutting board and cut into equal thirds (4-1/2 inches). Place one third on your serving platter and frost the top.  Place the second third on top of that and frost the top and then the final cake layer. Frost the top of that layer with a thin layer of frosting and then frost the sides with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate cake for about a half hour.  This will harden the frosting and then make it easier to frost the rest of the cake without getting red crumbs in the white frosting.  Frost the entire cake with the rest of the frosting.

Mom’s Chocolate Cake recipe

All photos by The Italian Dish

About The Italian Dish 29 Articles
My name is Elaine and I live in neighboring Okemos. My mother, Angela, was from Italy and I guess I just have that Italian gene in me — I love to feed people. I began this blog to teach people how to cook. It pains me that so many people do not cook for themselves and instead order carryout five nights a week. Cooking from scratch is much easier than most people think. It's healthier and cheaper. Cook along with me — I'll show you how. I love photography and, in a previous life, was a painter. My food photography enables me to really show you how to create things, step by step. I love the beauty of food and the creativity of the kitchen. Developing my own recipes is just another way to fill a canvas. I hope you enjoy what I love so much — cooking for people and the joy of the table.