The Humble Sheet Cake Is Making a Comeback

Photography by Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden.

For years now, cakes have trended upward—literally. Towering tiered cakes have been the coveted style for significant occasions, but their humble sibling, the sheet cake, is now starting to take center stage. Over the past year, the sheet cake has been getting a modern makeover by bakers, and Kelsey Earl’s Little Butter Bakery is at the forefront of bringing the trend to KC.

“I feel like it has more ease and approachability than big, massive tiered cakes do for feeding a crowd,” Earl says. She also credits their recent popularity to their nostalgic quality. “That’s the first cake we all had as kids for our birthdays from the Hy-Vee bakery.”

It’s also about functionality. This type of cake provides a nice wide canvas for Earl’s whimsical, almost abstract decorating style. Her signature thick “squiggle” piping and delicate garnishes of colorful candied fruit and flowers are key to giving the sheet cake an updated sophisticated look.

Earl has also been getting playful with the traditional structure of sheet cakes. For an upcoming project, she plans to make one long, thin sheet cake that spans an entire table, with the cake acting as the table’s centerpiece. Keep up with Earl’s cake ventures on Instagram @littlebutterbakery. 

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