There are times when the idea of making a cake is quickly deflated because you remembered you don’t have a cake pan. While using a cake pan for baking your cake is the easiest way to go about it, it isn’t the only way.

This article aims to show you some easy ways to make a cake without a cake pan. After reading this, you will no longer need to fret about needing the right pan to make your dessert.

Easy Ways to Make a Cake without a Cake Pan

Some of the methods might need some getting used to, but we assure you, they are still useful for baking.

1. Making Separate Layers

One alternative to making a cake is to make the layers separate and then stack them together.

You can use one sheet pan for baking a layer, removing the layer, and then baking another layer, or use multiple sheet pans if you have them to make it easier. One limiting factor will depend on your oven and oven space. Make sure the sheet pans do have raised sides, so the batter doesn’t spill.

Making Separate Layers

With sheet pans being rectangular or square-shaped, a question might arise on what to do in case you wanted to make a circular cake. The best way to go about is to convert a rectangular or square-shaped cake into a circular one.

This can be done by cutting off parts of the cake to make a circular shaped one. Although this leaves cake scraps making cakes using sheet pans doesn’t allow for much control of the shape.

To make cake layers using this method, follow the below steps.

  1. Prepare your sheet pan. Line it with parchment paper. If you are using multiple sheet pans, line all of them with parchment paper.
  2. Proceed to grease the pan or pans with some vegetable oil.
  3. After preparing the batter, you can pour them onto the pans. This is the difficult part of this method results in thinner cake layers. Ensure the batter you pour onto the pan doesn’t exceed the height of your pans’ raised edges.
  4. Place the pan into the oven and let it bake.
  5. Once the cake layer is baked, take it out. Let it cool and then take it off the pan if you’re using a single sheet pan. If using multiple, take it out and let it cool while you place the other pan with batter on it into the oven.
  6. After preparing a sufficient number of cake layers, you should leave them all to cool. Once they are all at the same temperature, you can begin to stack them together. Now, if you want, you can spray or line the layers with some cream to add more flavor.
  7. If you want to make a circular cake, you need the means to trace a circle out on top of the cake. You can use a bowl and some leftover cream to mark a circle and then cut out the cake from it. Wipe away any leftover cream.
  8. You can proceed to decorate your cake as you see fit.

Tips When Making a Cake with a Sheet Pan

While there are some issues with making cakes using this method, they can be overcome to a degree if you plan carefully. If you are worried about wasting cake when making a circular cake, you can use a smaller sheet pan, so you don’t have to remove too much cake.

Cake with a Sheet Pan

Another thing to note is that the cake layers made using a sheet pan are much thinner. So your cooking time is less. Make sure to always fill up the batter halfway to the raised edges of your sheet pan, or else a lot of batters will be spilled.

2. Aluminum Foil Cake Pans

If you weren’t satisfied with the previous method, you could opt to make disposable cake pans with aluminum foil. While this involves more busywork, you can control your cake’s shape and height and don’t have to worry about having to bake multiple cake layers or wasting cake.

Aluminum Foil Cake Pans

There’s also less clean up involved with this method since you can dispose of the makeshift pan. This is a good advantage for this method and makes it quite favorable for some people.

To make your own aluminum foil cake pans, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Plan out the cake. You should decide the shape of the cake you want and the size of the cake. This will help in making the custom pan.
  2. Get some aluminum foil and take the required amount. Take a long foil piece and connect the ends in the shape that you want. This will form the sides of your cake pan.
  3. Take another piece of foil for the base. Make it into the shape you need and place it on a sheet pan. Ensure to crumple up the sides, so they rise a bit.
  4. Place the first piece of foil onto the base. Make sure the first foil connects to the raised edges of the second foil. Use masking tape to connect the two pieces of foil. The masking tape also helps prevent the spilling of the batter.

With these steps, you’ll have your makeshift baking pan ready. To bake a cake in it, follow the below steps:

  1. Place the foil pan on a sheet pan. Spray it with baking spray. This will make it easier to get the cake out.
  2. Pour the batter into the makeshift pan. Then put the batter with both pans inside the oven to bake.
  3. After baking is done, take it out. If you’re having trouble with getting the cake out of the aluminum foil, you can cut the foil if you want.
Aluminum Foil Cake Pans

With this, you’ll have your cake ready and can dispose of the foil. Make a new one using the method above if needed.

Tips When Making Aluminum Foil Pan

It helps to get the proper measurement of your cake when making the pan. Planning it out will save you a lot of hassle later.

3. Pull Apart Cake

Pull Apart Cake

While it may sound fancy, a pull apart cake is nothing cupcakes lined together to form a cake. This is a good method for making a cake without a cake pan, but you need to make several cupcakes. To make a pull-apart cake simply:

  1. At first, you’ll need to use the batter for baking cupcakes. How many you use will depend on the size of the cake.
  2. After baking them, place them together to form your required shape. You can get very creative, but you can start with a basic circle.
  3. Scoop some frosting on to the collection of cupcakes. Use a spatula and spread the frosting over the cupcakes to connect them.
  4. Continue spreading the frosting until it looks like one big cake.

When you need to eat it, you can simply pull a cupcake out along with the frosting. This makes it very easy to serve and doesn’t rely on you having a cake pan.


These are some easy ways to make a cake without a cake pan. A little out of the box thinking can go a long way, and now you don’t have to worry about having a cake pan or not.