The Slice Is Right: How Many People Does a Sheet Cake Feed?

Make sure every guest gets plenty of cake with our handy guide to sheet cake sizes and how many servings you can get out of each.

Updated January 15, 2024
Sheet Cake

When we go to an event, whether it's a party or a wedding, we definitely have a hankering for cake. And we suspect most guests feel the same way — they want cake! So it would be a shame if you didn't have enough cake to feed anyone who wants it (and let's face it, that's probably everyone).

That's why it's so important that you know how many servings are in different sheet cake sizes. From the small quarter-sized sheet cake to a mondo, full-sized sheet cake, here's how many people you can expect to feed so you'll never disappoint your guests. 

How Many People Does a Sheet Cake Feed?

Of course, the number of servings you'll get from a single-layer sheet cake depends on how big you cut your pieces. We like to err on the side of generosity (with a few smaller pieces or half-pieces mixed in for lighter appetites) so our guests walk away happy. Sheet pans generally come in three standard sizes. Our handy chart below shows the dimensions of each type of cake, and how many servings you can get from different single-layer sheet pan cake sizes.

Sheet Pan Size Dimensions Number of Servings
Quarter Sheet Cake  9 x 12 inches 12 to 20 
Half Sheet Cake  11 x 15 inches 18 to 40 
Full Sheet Cake 18 x 24 inches 48 to 96 
Need to Know

Size matters. While you don't need to measure each cut with a ruler, the max number of servings in the above chart uses 2" x 2" slices to get the maximum number of servings and 3" x 3" slices for the minimum. 

Sheet pans usually come with three different dimensions. A quick guideline for servings follows:

  • A 9x12-inch quarter sheet pan will serve between 12 and 20 people. This size is perfect for birthday parties or to celebrate small company events. They're also great for kids' parties because there's enough room for fun decorations without having too much sugar-laden cake left over to tempt them later.
  • An 11x15-inch half-sheet pan will serve between 18 and 40 people, perfect for medium-sized gatherings like anniversary or office parties. 
  • At 18x24 inches, a full sheet cake serves between 48 and 96 people. This is the cake for bigger events, such as company celebrations and charity galas. Sometimes, you'll find this size at weddings, as well, in order to supplement the number of cake servings while still being able to display a smaller-tiered wedding cake. 

How to Not Run Out of Cake

When we calculate food for a party (including cake), we always err on the side of too much food versus not enough. So we always cushion our RSVP count a little (by 10-20%) in order to account for people who go back for seconds or any extra folks who show up. We'd rather have a few (or a lot) leftovers than have people go cakeless. 

Related: How to Calculate Food for a Party

How Much Cake Will People Really Eat?

Cake is pretty delicious, so some people eat a lot (guilty!). Some might not eat any. And others will have eyes that are bigger than their stomachs and take a bunch but eat a little. That's all to say that every event is unique.

Still, you can make some assumptions, such as if you're feeding a football team of teenagers, chances they'll eat a lot of cake, but if you're feeding a group of toddlers, they probably won't eat as much. For more formal events or occasions with people who don't eat as much, cut single-layer sheet cake slices 2" x 2" (so your cake will probably feed the higher number). For casual events like potlucks or family gatherings, plan on cutting your slices 3" x 3" (so your cake will feed the lower number instead of the higher). 

Quick Tip

If you have lots of leftovers, send some home with guests and/or freeze cake in individual servings so you have something sweet in your freezer anytime you're craving cake. Cut the cake into pieces and freeze it for about an hour to harden the frosting, then put the individual slices in zipper bags. It'll keep for up to six months. 

Consider the Cake and Meal

Sheet cakes are not all created equal. Think about a single-layer iced cake versus a double or triple-layer creation thick with icing or whipped cream. Guests will definitely need a smaller portion of the layer cake to feel satisfied if you serve it with ice cream. Likewise, consider the size of the meal accompanying the cake. Sheet cakes sometimes are the finale of long food-loaded meals, and guests are too full to attempt a decent piece. But if the cake is the only food you're serving, people will often take bigger portions.

Related: Handy Cake Serving Chart for Every Cake Size

Make Sure Everyone Gets Cake

Don't send your guests away disappointed because you don't have enough cake. With our handy chart and helpful suggestions, you'll have happy guests at every event. 

The Slice Is Right: How Many People Does a Sheet Cake Feed?