What Is A Jelly Roll Pan?

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When it comes to cooking and baking from home, it’s important that you have all the right kinds of equipment and utensils to make all your favorite dishes.

However, when checking out some new recipes to try, you may come across some types of equipment that you are unfamiliar with.

This can be a huge problem because a lot of people use different names for the same type of pan or dish, leading to a lot of confusion! 

So, here we are going to be talking about jelly roll pans and find out what they are. This way, you can work out if you already own one (or something similar) and find out what you can do with it. 

What Is A Jelly Roll Pan? 

A jelly roll pan is a type of cake pan that is flat, rectangular, and has a one-inch deep rim around its sides. They come in a huge range of sizes but despite the range in available dimensions, they are generally smaller than half sheet pans. 

Jelly roll pans were made to create sheets of cake sponge that could be rolled up to make log-shaped cakes – hence why they are named ‘jelly roll pans.

While still in the pan, the sponge can be coated with other fillings like jelly or creme, then rolled up using a single sheet of sponge.

Because of this, most cooks and bakers use jelly roll pans to make rolled cakes like yule logs or Swiss rolls,  but they can be used to help make other foods and treats too. Due to their size and depth, you can also use jelly roll pans to make cookies, roast vegetables, or bake brownies.

It’s a pretty versatile type of cake pan that you can put to good use, which is why a lot of bakers make sure that there is one stocked in their kitchen cabinets. 

Jelly Roll Pan Dimensions

As we said earlier, there are quite a few different varieties of jelly roll pans so here are the most common dimensions of some jelly roll pans you can find in stores to purchase! 

Most jelly roll pans are either ¼ size or ½ size but all jelly pans will only be one inch deep (to keep a consistent thickness of your cake sponge).

This one-inch depth is also why a lot of bakers choose jelly roll pans to make other food like brownies, and also why they work for roasting vegetables in the oven. 

¼ jelly roll pans are around nine inches by thirteen inches, while ½ jelly roll pans are twelve inches by seventeen inches. 

The reason why there are different-sized jelly roll pans is pretty obvious; it’s so you can make lots of different-sized rolled cakes to suit your wants and needs. So, think about which size works best for you before you rush out to buy your first jelly roll pan. 

However, you may not even need to buy a jelly roll pan in the first place – let’s look at some substitutions you can use instead to see if you can save on some cash and space in your kitchen cabinets by not buying your very own jelly roll pan!

Substitutes For Jelly Roll Pans

Here are some alternative pans many people use instead of jelly roll pans. Check out the below options to see if you already have some in your kitchen to try out instead! 

Half Sheet Pans

Jelly roll pans are similar in shape and size to half sheet pans, which is another type of pan that is very popular and can commonly be found in lots of kitchens.

Both jelly roll pans and half sheet pans are an inch deep. Because of this, some people just use a half-sheet pan whenever they want to make a rolled cake, roast veggies in the oven, or bake some cookies or brownies. 

This makes half-sheet pans a great alternative to the jelly roll pan. However, it is worth noting that half sheet pans are a lot bigger than jelly roll pans so expect to bake a huge sheet of sponge cake ready for rolling if you use a half sheet pan – and that’s if you have made enough batter to fully cover the half sheet pan! 

If you don’t make enough batter for your half-sheet pan, then your rolled cake will turn out to be very thin and will likely fall apart when the time comes to roll it up.

For this reason, a lot of regular bakers may invest in a jelly roll pan so they can make better-rolled cakes and smaller cakes and batches of brownies, but for the casual baker, it may not be worth the investment. 

Cookie Sheets

A lot of bakers use a jelly roll pan as a substitute for a cookie sheet, so is it possible to do the same and vice versa? 

The answer is no – cookie sheets are flat with no edges which means that when you try pouring your cake batter onto the cookie sheet, it will just eventually drip over the sides and make a mess. 

Despite this, you can still use a jelly roll pan to bake cookies. Once you have made your cookie dough and you are ready to bake them, you can just place the dough balls out onto your jelly roll pan with a bit of grease-proof paper underneath the dough (this is to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan). 

Cookie dough is not as positive as cake batter, which is why you can bake cookies on a jelly roll pan but not use a cookie sheet to make a rolled cake. 


And there you have it! That is everything you need to know about jelly roll pans! They’re pretty versatile pans that can be used to make a lot of different food from cakes to cookies to roasted vegetables, which makes them a pretty good alternative pan to use when baking. 

However, they can also be easily swapped out with a half-sheet pan if you already have one but if you want a pan to use to make smaller batches of brownies or stronger rolled cakes, then the jelly roll pan is the one for you!

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