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What Is Jelly Roll Pan? And It’s Substitute Options

With the wide variety of cake pans available, it can be quite tricky to find the right pans for the right job. You might even be tempted to substitute the jelly roll pan for a different option that could end up producing an overcooked and undersized cake.

Considering how loose manufacturers have become in naming baking pans, the question becomes, what is jelly roll pan and its substitute?

Read on to learn more about jelly roll pans, their dimensions, uses, and possible substitutes.

What Are the Substitutes of Jelly Roll Pan?

Generally, there are numerous substitutes for the jelly roll pan, but the perfect replacement will depend on your specific requirements. For example, a Jelly roll, also known as the Swiss roll, can only be baked on a jelly roll pan.

Most of the substitutes on this list, however, can still work perfectly as jelly roll pans, provided they have a 1-inch edge. Else your cake will produce an undesirable shape.

To prevent you from accidentally buying the wrong baking pan, the following are some of the recommended substitutes for the Jelly roll pan with 1-inch deep sides:

1. Half Sheet

The Half sheet pan is a great option for drying out ingredients in the refrigerator, toaster cooking, and arranging and freezing cookie batches before storing them in plastic freezer bags. It is also ideal for when you have few guests to feed.

With this half-size sheet pan, you can make your Jelly roll. However, you will be required to estimate the accurate amount of batter required to fill the pan and adjust your recipe to fit in the larger pan.

Doing this will ensure that the finished cake comes out with the right thickness.

Keep in mind that this approach is likely to involve some trial and error to get the recipe to adapt.

This is because any slight changes to the batter can have devastating effects on your cake’s structure.

2. Quarter Sheet

Besides the Half sheet pan, the next best option is the quarter-size baking sheet, which is almost similar in size to the quarter-size jelly roll pan (measuring 13 by 9 inches).

All you need to do to make your recipe just right is to lower the amount of ingredients required for an ordinary jelly roll by a half. This will leave just enough batter to fill your quarter jelly roll pan and easily bake your cake.

3. Cookie Sheet

Cookie sheets are almost similar to Jelly roll pans, meaning that they are perfect for baking biscuits, cookies, or anything that is baked on a flat surface. However, if you plan on making jelly rolls on your cookie sheet, make sure that it has a sort of edge.

4. Casserole Pan

When baking jerry rolls, most people often fill the cake pan with batter under the top of the edge, which often does not work as expected. When using a casserole pan or cake pan, it is advisable to fill the pan with less dough or batter than when making a full cake.

Jelly Roll Pan Vs Half Sheet

Jelly Roll Pans

Jelly pans are quite similar in size to the quarter sheet and half sheet pans, though jelly roll pans normally measure around 15.5 by 10.5 inches. Most of the cheaply made jelly pans are sold at grocery stores, but the quality ones can also be budget-friendly.

Named after the famous dessert – jerry roll or Swiss roll cake – the pans are explicitly meant for desserts that can be made with them. This is because the volume of a half or quarter sheet varies significantly from the jelly roll pan.

Just like using a quarter-sheet pan, this middle-road pan used for roasting provides you with adequate room to neatly spread your vegetables around.

Half Sheets

Approximately half the size of full sheet pans, half-sheet pans typically measure around 18 by 13 inches with edges of about an inch high. Half sheet pans are perfect for sheet-pan dinners and make-ahead desserts and breakfasts.

It is also the go-to pan for roasting your vegetables, as it has a large surface area. In fact, the space is large enough to comfortably spread your vegetables out, giving them plenty of room to turn brown and cook evenly.

Differences in Usage

Nowadays, most manufacturers brand every other rimmed baking sheet as jelly roll pans, including half sheet pans, which typically measure 13 by 18 inches.

In turn, unknowing bakers with incompatible cake pan sizes end up baking the wrong cake sizes with very thin layers as well as burning their cakes to a crisp.

Generally, most jelly roll recipes will require you to fill your jelly roll pan with batter, resulting in a cake that is 1inch in height and stable enough to accommodate lots of filling.

If you use a half sheet pan featuring a much wider surface area, your batter will be too thin to make any filling adjustments.

That is why it is advisable to use the jelly roll pan that has unique dimensions that are perfect for giving your cake the correct sponge or sheet-like structure. This plays a crucial role in maintaining your cake’s shape after filling and rolling.

Additionally, using a jelly roll pan will guarantee you end up with a jelly roll that not only tastes amazing but also appears with no signs of burning, crumbling, or cracking.

What Is a Jelly Roll Pan?

Probably, you have noticed numerous recipes recommending the use of jelly roll pans for cooking perfection. If not, a jelly-roll-pan is simply a type of flat sheet pan that features 1-inch rim along the pan’s edges.

Its unique dimensions are specifically designed to make thin sponge cakes that are firm enough to accommodate lots of fillings, jelly, crème coats and later be rolled into a cylindrical shape.

These pans are often made from a wide variety of materials, but you will find most of them made out of aluminum or aluminized steel.

Furthermore, these pans are named after the famous dessert jelly role, which cannot be made perfect without the pan. The following are some of the most common methods of effectively using a jelly roll pan:

  • Baking cookies
  • Roasting vegetables
  • Baking rolled cakes such as yule logs, jelly rolls, pumpkin rolls, just to mention a few.

Jelly-Roll Pan Dimensions

The jelly roll pan typically measures around 15.5 by 10.5 inches. The most common jelly roll pan size used in most cakes and recipes is about 10 by 15 inches, but they’re other larger pan sizes as well. Below are some of the most popular non-commercial jelly roll pan dimensions:

  • A regular-sized sheet pan measures: 10 ½ inches wide by 15 ½ inches long by 1-inch deep–has a maximum volume of 10 cups.
  • A large-sized sheet pan measures: 12 ½ inches wide by 17 ½ inches long by 1-inch deep—has a maximum volume of 12 cups.

What Is a Jelly Roll Cake?

A jelly roll cake is a thin sponge cake that is often rolled up with a filling of jam or jelly. Once sliced, a circular pattern is exposed with whipped cream or fruit preserves on top of each piece of the cake. For an improved taste, the jelly roll cake is usually flavored with almond or vanilla extract. Strawberry or raspberry jam is often used for filling.

Remember, there are multiple variations for the swiss roll cake, usually following pretty much the same recipe.

How to Make Jelly Roll Cake

A classic Jelly Roll cake is a superb dish that is normally rolled around an impressive silky frosting, easily earning an honorable spot on any menu. Nonetheless, it is quite an easy task to make a jelly roll cake even by a learning baker, provided you have all the correct tools.


  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 2/3 jam or jelly
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose baking flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • ¼ tbsp salt
  • ½ cup of water


  1. You will need a jelly roll pan, which is the perfect tool, but you can also get the job done with a 1-inch edge pan like the ones listed above.
  2. Heat your oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your pan with waxed paper and apply grease.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, toss in the eggs and beat them with a mixer quickly for around 5 minutes or until they appear thick or lemon colored.
  4. Add in granulated sugar and later beat in vanilla and water at a slow speed. Now add salt, flour, and baking powder to the mixture while gradually beating it until the batter becomes smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into your pan and spread it to all corners.
  6. Bake your cake for around 12-15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes have elapsed, immediately remove the cake from the pan’s corners and flip it upside down onto a clean towel.
  7. Carefully remove the towel and foil while beginning from the narrow end.
  8. Place the cake in a refrigerator for about half an hour.
  9. Unroll the cake and carefully remove the towel.
  10. Using a fork, spread the jelly over the cake and roll up the cake, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Tip: It is still possible to use an ice cream filling as an alternative for jam. In such a scenario, make sure to add 1 pint of softened ice cream over the cooled cake and simply roll up the cake and enclose it in a plastic wrap. Freeze for around 3 hours or until sturdy.

What Is a Disposable Jelly Roll Pan?

A disposable jelly roll pan is a specialized baking sheet that you can throw away after use. It is usually made of recyclable material that is both environment-friendly and easy to dispose of. If you prefer not to clean or care for your pan after each use, you can opt for this convenient option.

How to Clean and Care for a Jelly Roll Pan

Whether you are carefully crafting a cranberry-apple slab pie or whipping up a sheet pan supper for your family, sheet or jelly roll pans are usually an important tool in the baking process. Therefore, they are more likely to be exposed to excessive wear and tear. Before getting rid of your grisly favorite pan, the following are some essential cleaning agents you could use to clean and care for your jelly roll pan:


  • A coarse sponge or rag
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda

Step 1: Add Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

The first step in cleaning your jelly roll pan or sheet is to sprinkle some baking soda on it and then with hydrogen peroxide followed by a sprinkling of another baking soda on top. Since these cleaning agents need time to function, we recommend that you should leave it for at least 2 hours for maximum results.

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the chemicals might be too harsh for certain coating or materials, so make sure to do a test run before cleaning your entire cooking tool. This is especially true if they are made out of specialized material or have any type of coating.

Step 2: Wipe

Use a sponge or rag to smoothly wipe away your pan clean. If there are stubborn stains, you are advised to avoid hard scrubbing. Instead, do a second application using a soft scrubber.

Step 3: Care for Your Pan

Now that your baking pans and sheet are spotlessly clean, you certainly want to keep them that way for as long as possible. The best way to achieve this is to place aluminum foil or parchment paper on your pans before adding any additional food.

Last Few Words:

Now that we have answered the question ‘what is jelly roll pan and its substitute,’ remember that when a recipe requests you to use a jelly roll pan, you should. This means using a thin, 10 by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet.

Be wary of manufactures that refer to almost all rimmed baking sheets as jelly roll pans, even the half sheet pans, which typically measure 13 by 18 inches.

This is crucial to ensuring that your cakes are the right size, have thin cake layers and are certainly not overbaked.


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