What Is a Jelly Roll Pan?
A jelly roll pan is a type of flat sheet pan that features a 1-inch rim around the pan’s sides. It is designed to make thin sponge or sheet cakes that are sturdy enough to coat with creme, jelly, or other fillings and roll into a cylinder shape. These pans can be made from a variety of materials, but you can most commonly find aluminum or aluminized steel jelly roll pans.
What Are Jelly Roll Pans?
Keeping your kitchen stocked with the right types of cake pans can be tricky when there are dozens of varieties available.You may be tempted to substitute the required jelly roll pan for another option that is already in your stock, but this could produce an undersized and overcooked cake. Keep reading to find out what a jelly roll pan is used for, its dimensions, and substitutes.
Jelly Roll Pan Uses
Here are some of the most common ways to use a jelly roll pan:
- Baking rolled cakes: pumpkin rolls, yule logs, jelly rolls, etc.
- Roasting vegetables
- Baking cookies
What Are the Dimensions of a Jelly Roll Pan?
Most jelly roll pans are a bit smaller than half sheet pans, which tend to be 13” by 18” and around 1” deep. There are two common sizes of jelly roll pans: 1/4 size and 1/2 size.
- 1/4 size jelly roll pans measure approximately 9" by 13" and 1" deep.
- 1/2 size jelly roll pans tend to be around 12” by 17” and 1” deep.
Jelly Roll Pan Substitute
While it is best to use a jelly roll pan if your recipe calls for it, a half sheet pan is a similar option. This being said, the size of a jelly roll pan is ideal for rolled cake recipes because its length and width are narrower than a half sheet pan, but it is just as deep.
Using a Jelly Roll Pan vs. a Half Sheet Pan
Baking in a half sheet pan instead of a jelly roll pan could produce a thin cake that cracks or burns.
Most jelly roll recipes instruct you to fill your jelly roll pan almost to its brim with batter. This produces a cake that is approximately 1" tall and substantial enough to hold generous amounts of filling. A wider half sheet pan will spread your batter too thin.
Using a Jelly Roll Pan vs. a Cookie Sheet
Cookie sheets aren't suitable for baking jelly roll cakes because they don't have a rolled edge to contain the batter.
Cookie sheets are designed without edges to promote even baking of cookies all over their surface. Often, the term "cookie sheet" is mistakenly used when referring to a sheet pan. And because not all sheet pans have the narrow length and width of jelly roll pans, your finished product may turn out thinner and drier than expected if you use a sheet pan to make a jelly roll cake.
While jelly roll pans look similar to baking sheets, using a half sheet pan instead of a jelly roll pan could ruin your cake. A jelly roll pan's unique dimensions are perfect for giving your sponge or sheet cakes the structural integrity they need in order to stay together after filling and rolling. With a jelly roll pan on hand, you can make its namesake treat without worrying about cracking, crumbling, or burning.