How to Make a 3 Layer Cake With One Pan?

Last Updated on April 15, 2023 by Lauren Beck

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful, towering 3 layer cake to make a special occasion feel truly special. However, not everyone has the space or equipment to bake 3 separate cake layers. 

Fortunately, with a little creativity and know-how, you can make a 3 layer cake with just one pan. Let’s get started!

How to Make a 3 Layer Cake With One Pan?

To make a 3 layer cake with one pan, you’ll need a cake ring that’s approximately the same size as your sheet pan. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified in your cake recipe.
  2. Grease your sheet pan with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Line the sheet pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides.
  4. Place the cake ring in the center of the sheet pan.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the ring, filling it about 2/3 of the way.
  6. Bake the cake for the time specified in your recipe.
  7. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  8. Use a serrated knife to carefully slice off the top of the cake so that it’s level.
  9. Carefully remove the cake ring and repeat the process to bake two more cake layers.
  10. Once all three layers are baked and cooled, you can begin layering and frosting your cake.

What if I Only Have Round Cake Pans?

If you only have round cake pans, you can still make a 3 layer cake using the same technique. Simply use a cake ring to create a barrier in each pan, and follow the same process outlined above.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have a cake ring, you can use a clean, empty can with the top and bottom removed instead.
  • To make sure your cake layers bake evenly, try using a cake strip or wrap a damp towel around the outside of the cake pan before baking.
  • If your cake layers are slightly uneven, you can use a serrated knife to level them out.
  • Be sure to let your cake layers cool completely before attempting to layer and frost the cake.

How to Layer a Cake Evenly?

two layer cake

To layer a cake evenly, use a cake turntable if you have one. Place the first layer on the turntable, and use an offset spatula to spread a layer of frosting on top. Repeat with the second layer, then add the final layer. 

Use more frosting to cover the entire cake, and then use a bench scraper or offset spatula to smooth the sides and top.

How Long Do You Bake a Sheet Cake?

The baking time for a sheet cake can vary depending on the recipe and pan size. Generally, a 9×13 inch sheet cake will take around 30-35 minutes to bake at 350°F. However, following the baking time specified in your recipe is important for best results.

Where Do I Buy Similar Cake Rings and Sheet Pans?

You can find cake rings and sheet pans at most kitchen supply stores and online retailers like Amazon and Williams Sonoma.

How to Make a Double Layer Rectangle Cake?

To make a double-layer rectangle cake, simply follow the same technique as above, using a cake ring or barrier to separate the cake batter into two layers. Once the layers are baked and cooled, you can layer and frost the cake as desired.

Can You Bake Cake Layers One at a Time?

Yes, you can bake cake layers one at a time if you only have one cake ring or pan. However, it will take longer to bake all three layers this way.

How Do You Put Together a 3 Layer Cake?

To put together a 3 layer cake, follow these steps:

  • Place the first cake layer on a cake board or serving plate.
  • Spread a layer of frosting on top of the first layer.
  • Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting, and repeat with another layer of frosting.
  • Add the third cake layer on top of the second layer, and spread frosting on top.
  • Use a bench scraper or offset spatula to smooth out the sides and top of the cake.
  • Decorate the cake as desired.

How Many Cake Mixes for a 3 Layer Cake?

The number of cake mixes you’ll need for a 3 layer cake will depend on the size of your pan and the recipe you’re using. 

Generally, one box of cake mix will make two 8-inch round cake layers or one 9×13-inch sheet cake. For a 3 layer cake, you must either double the recipe or use two boxes of cake mix.

Does a 3 Layer Cake Need Support?

A 3 layer cake may need support depending on the recipe and the decorations you’re using. If your cake is particularly tall or heavy, you may want to add support in the form of dowels or straws to prevent it from collapsing [1]. 

However, if you’re using a lighter frosting and the cake is relatively short, you may not need support.

How Many Cups of Batter Do I Need for a 3 Layer Cake?

The amount of batter you’ll need for a 3-layer cake will depend on the size of your pan and the recipe you’re using. 

Generally, one cake mix yields about 4 cups of batter. To make a 3-layer cake, you’ll need about 12 cups of batter. However, be sure to consult your recipe for specific measurements.


Making a 3 layer cake with one pan may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding project. Using a cake ring or barrier, you can create distinct layers perfect for stacking and frosting. Follow the recipe carefully, and take your time when layering and frosting the cake. You can create beautiful, towering cakes that will impress with a little practice.


Lauren Beck
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