Variety Sheet Cake

Sometimes you just can’t decide what flavor of cake to make! That’s where this variety sheet cake comes into play. I use one sheet cake (9×13 inches) and one buttercream recipe to make 5 different flavors!!

A few months ago, I saw this viral video made by So Yummy  and was obsessed! I loved the concept, and decided to test it out with some of my favorite flavors.

Picking My Variety Sheet Cake Flavors

I had the hardest time narrowing down my flavors, but ended making the sections chocolate covered cherry, funfetti cookie dough, PB&J, Nutella, and rose water! The Nutella section ended up being my favorite.

To create these flavors/fillings, I used the below items from my pantry!

Most of these ingredients I already had, but you can alter your flavors for whatever you have on hand (my pantry is literally all baking supplies and sweets). 

The beauty of this idea is that you can customize it to whatever flavors you want!

sheet cake with 5 flavors

Fillings / toppings:

  • Cherries
  • Cherry preserves
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate spinkles
  • Edible cookie dough balls
  • Rainbow spinkles
  • Strawberry Jam
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Strawberries
  • Nutella
  • Chopped hazelnuts
  • Ferrero Rocher
  • Rose water

I also used a variety of tools, including:

  • 1 inch circle cutter
  • 1 cm punch cutter or chopstick
  • biodegradable or reusable straw
  • heart circle cutter
  • piping bags
  • wilton 1M tip
  • flower nail
  • Wilton 104 tip
  • Wilton 352 leaf tip
  • small offset spatula

One Cake Recipe, One Frosting Recipe

I used a small batch of my vanilla layer cake recipe to make a 9×13 inch sheet cake, and 1 batch of my American buttercream to make this cake.

All of the different frostings  on this cake are made using my American buttercream as a base.

Marking Each Section Of This Variety Sheet Cake

First, measure the sheet cake with a ruler,  and lightly score it with a knife, to  divide it into 5 equal section.

It’s important to use a ruler, so that each section is equally sized! You can also adjust this to make however many sections you want! I found that 5 was the maximum amount I could fit on this size of a cake. 

However, if you make a larger sheet cake, you can always make more! Or if you want to keep things simple, you can make fewer flavors too.

First Section: Chocolate Covered Cherry

Begin by making the chocolate cherry section.

Use a small punch cutter to cut out small holes in the top section of the cake. Fill with cherry preserves.

Place 3/4 of a cup of buttercream into a bowl, and mix with 1/4 cup of cherry preserves.

Spoon onto the top section, and smooth using a small offset spatula place 6 chocolate covered cherries on top of the frosting, and add a generous sprinkle of chocolate jimmies

Second Section: Funfetti Cookie Dough

I made a funfetti cookie dough flavor for my second second section! To do this, use a 1.5 inch circle cutter to remove 4 circles of cake. Fill with edible cookie dough balls. Place 3/4 of a cup of buttercream into a bowl, and mix with 1/2 cup of nonpareil sprinkles.

Spoon onto the top section, and smooth using a small offset spatula to create horizontal lines. Top with small bits of edible cookie dough and more rainbow sprinkles.

Third Section: PB&J

To make the PB&J section of this layer cake, use a biodegradable straw (or a chopstick) to poke holes throughout the third section of the cake.

Heat about 1/3 of cup of strawberry jam in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then spread across this section of the cake.

Allow the jam to run into the holes, to have the same effect as a poke cake!

Place 3/4 of a cup of buttercream into a bowl, and mix with 1/2 cup of peanut butter (or to taste).

Place into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip, and pipe ruffles horizontally across this section. Top with 3 fanned strawberries.

Fourth Section: Nutella

For the Nutella-inspired 4th section, use a 1 inch cutter of your choice. I used a heart shaped cutter, since I LOVE Nutella!

Cut 4 equally spaced holes across this section and fill with Nutella.

adding ferrero rocher to variety cake

Place 3/4 of a cup of buttercream into a bowl, and mix with 1/3 cup of Nutella (or to taste). Spoon onto the top section, and smooth using a small offset spatula.

Tap the tip of the offset spatula around the frosting, to create a textured pattern .

Top with halved Ferrero Rocher, and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts.

Fifth Section: Rose Water

Now for the final section!! cut out four holes using a 1 inch cutter. Mix about 3/4 of a cup of buttercream with a teaspoon of rose water, and drop of pink gel food coloring.

Place pink rosewater buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a wilton 104 tip (or whatever petal tip you have on hand).  Fill each cut out with this buttercream.

Top with plain vanilla buttercream, and smooth flat. 

Pipe 5 buttercream roses using a flower nail, and place across the bottom section using a pair of small scissors.

If desired, color 1/3 of a cup of frosting green and pipe some leaves around the roses using a Wilton 352 tip.

Slice each section into equal sized pieces, and see which flavor your party likes best!

I brought this cake into my office, and despite me loving the Nutella section, the fan favorite was the PB&J section.

Yield: 16

Small Batch Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Small Batch Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

This vanilla layer cake recipe makes the perfect six inch layer cake! It makes three, moist cake layers that are perfect for stacking.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Vanilla Cake

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (276 grams)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (150 grams) - 1 and 1/3 sticks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (4 grams)
  • 2/3 cup egg whites (or about 5 egg whites) (155 grams)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (228 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (14 grams)
  • gel food coloring (if desired)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar (907 grams) - or a 2 lb bag
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (30 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (12 grams)

Instructions

Vanilla Cake Layers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 6 inch pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or hand mixer until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  5. Add in vanilla extract and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. 
  7. If desired, add in gel food coloring. Mix the batter on a low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.
  8. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  9. Bake for 30-33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool for 10 minutes, then run a small offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  10. Place cake layers into the freezer for 30 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.
  11. Use a serrated knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  1. While the cake layers bake and cool, make the vanilla buttercream frosting.
  2. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
  3. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  5. If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully made, and beat on low until it reaches the desired color

To Assemble The Cake:

  1. Stack and frost cake layers on a greaseproof cake board, using a dab of frosting to help stick the first cake layer to the board.
  2. Spread an even layer of buttercream between each cake layer with a large offset spatula.
  3. Add a thin coat of frosting around the the cake, to fully cover the cake layers.
  4. Smooth using a bench scraper, then chill the cake in the fridge (20 minutes) or freezer (10 minutes) until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  5. Add a second, thicker layer of frosting to the cake, and smooth using a bench scraper. Then decorate as desired!

Notes

Make your cake layers in advance and freeze them: It breaks the process up and make it more approachable.

Make your frosting ahead of time too, or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to give it a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious!

If you cut into the cake and have leftovers, use any remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 621Total Fat 32gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 84mgSodium 243mgCarbohydrates 83gFiber 0gSugar 81gProtein 2g

4 thoughts on “Variety Sheet Cake

  1. This looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it! Question – about how many cupcakes would this batch frost (piping it with a med-large star stip)

Let me know what you think!