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My Favorite Way to Make a Layer Cake (and a Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting)

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


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (28)

I love, love this idea! What a great way to keep things simple, and I think the log-ish look of the cake is fun and different.

Great idea and thank you for sharing!

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

I really like that idea.Thank you.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMonique

Reminds me of my favorite cake from Partridge Farm! Good idea and a much easier way to serve it. Watch out though as those teeny tiny pieces that you serve yourself end up to be the whole cake!

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I totally agree! What a great way to make a cake... why didn't I think of that? LOL Now I must run and make a cake... :)

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCindysoo

Just a note to say thank you for such a wonderful blog! I love your recipes and ideas like this one to make a three-layer cake are terrific. Keep the goodness coming, Elaine. You're the best!

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArlene

I love this idea, it makes slicing very easy and the cakes look wonderful! I can remember my mother cutting a round cake by cutting a circle in the center and then slicing around it. This enabled her to get the nice slices just like on your cake, but I always thought that the center was the best part and wondered what she did with it! Doing a cake in a rectangle shape will eliminate "the missing circle" :}}

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstampergrandma

This is genius!!!

great idea wonderful blog i look forward to all your great receipes

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarmela

I am very interested in making red velvet for a baby shower, but I'd like to make cupcakes. Any idea about cooking time or if this recipe would work for cupcakes?

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Gunn

This is a great idea! Makes it so much easier to cut a cake. Stampergrandma, I can remember my mom cutting a cake with a circle in the center. After cutting slices around the circle, then she would just slice the circle.

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlheighway

Are you kidding me!!!!!! This reminds me of my college days when you could buy a Sarah Lee cake for a buck. I don’t know why i didn’t think of this myself. Oh well I guess that is why i just love your blog. You are the best. I will make this one tomorrow. Oh by the way pie dough in 60 was perfect. I’m actually beginning to think i can really cook and all because of you. Thank you.

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentervictoria

Well your blog has successfully made me crave chocolate cake at 8:30 in the morning! This is going to be a longgggg day! Love the idea and I will be trying the idea and the recipe very soon!!

Especially the one with chocolate looks so delicious! I have to try it! My thanks go to you because you describe this recipe very well so even I can make this delicious desert :).


Is 9 cups of confectioners sugar acurate?? Seemed like that was alot???
I always wondered how the restaurants made these just showed me the trick!!

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlori

Just made this tonight and it was awesome! I really love how much easier it is to serve to guests than the traditional round cake. I only used 7 cups of confectioners sugar in the frosting (ran out) and I still had more than a cup of leftover frosting at the end.

August 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

What a fantastic way to make a cake and how delicious and moreish it looks!!

August 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlia

What an amazing cake. It looks fantastic. Were going to make this one night at the restaurant for a special dessert. Bravo!

This presentation is very unique and I love the whole concept!

August 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElyse

great idea!

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Hello. Sent you an e-mail. Haven't heard anything....just wondering if you received it. Thanks.

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoann J.

From The Italian Dish:

Joann: I did receive it! I've just been so darn busy - I'm going to answer it when I can put some time into it!

September 15, 2012 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Yum! Yum! Yum! I want to learn that also. Nice dessert.

September 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSRKSHAZU

You are incredible....

Made the chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday.Oh...My...Gosh! Best cake ever! Very moist and the frosting is the best ever. I don't think I will ever make any other chocolate cake and frosting. Instead of 3 layers, I just cut the 15x10 in half, as I wanted more space for decorating. I'm so glad I found it. Can't wait to try the red velvet!

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

Thank you for this post! This just made life a whole lot easier!!

PS: I love your blog. Keep up the good work :)

March 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

Hi, this looks amazing, love the sheet pan idea! Planning on trying out the red velvet for my husband's birthday dinner. I was wondering what brand of food coloring you used?

May 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRosalyn

You make wonderful cakes. From the photos they are very delicious. When I do them they leave perfect also.

August 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Barroso

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