How To Make A 3-Layer Cake With One Pan

How To Make A 3-Layer Cake With One Pan? Guide

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

Reworked version: Creating a three-layered cake is acknowledged as an extensive and chaotic process. However, what if there was a way to craft an equally scrumptious and aesthetically pleasing three-layer cake using only one baking pan? Precisely, you can actually accomplish it with just one baking tray.

We’ll walk you through how to make a 3-layer cake with one pan, step by step. With simple techniques and careful planning, you can create a stunning and impressive cake to impress your friends and family. 

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make A 3-Layer Cake With One Pan?

3 Layer Cake with Pink Frosting
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk [1]
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of hot water

How Do You Prepare The Cake Batter?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of granulated sugar, ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder [2], 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1½ teaspoons of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt until well combined.
  3. Add 1 cup of buttermilk, ½ cup of vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of hot water until the batter is well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan and tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  6. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Once the cake is made, please remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

“I baked the coffee cake recipe from ‘The Joy of Cooking’ over and over again when I was a kid.”

– Alex Guarnaschelli, Chef

Read: Can You Put A Baking Pan On The Grill?

How Do You Slice The Cake To Make 3 Layers?

3 Layer Chocolate Cake
  1. Once the cake has cooled completely, cut off the domed top with a serrated knife.
  2. Next, use the knife to cut the cake in half horizontally, creating two even layers.
  3. Carefully slice each layer in half again to create three even layers.
  4. If necessary, trim the edges of the cake layers to create even edges for stacking.
  5. Proceed with stacking and decorating the cake as desired.

How Do You Assemble & Decorate The Cake?

  1. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a layer of frosting on top.
  2. Add another layer of cake on top of the frosting and repeat the process until all three layers are stacked.
  3. Use a spatula to spread a thin layer of frosting around the sides and top of the cake, ensuring it is even and smooth.
  4. Add additional frosting to fill any gaps or holes between the cake layers.
  5. Decorate the cake with toppings or decorations like fresh fruit, sprinkles, or edible flowers.
  6. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the frosting to set.
  7. Slice the cake and serve, enjoying your delicious 3-layer cake made with just one pan.


u003cstrongu003eWhat size cake pans for a 3-layer cake?u003c/strongu003e

For a 3-layer cake, you can use three 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. The pan size will depend on your preference and the recipe you are using. Remember that the cake layers should be the same thickness to ensure even baking and easy layering. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eUsing cake pans with a non-stick coating or lining them with parchment paper can help ensure the layers come out of the pan smoothly.

u003cstrongu003eDoes a 3 layer cake need support?u003c/strongu003e

It depends on the type of cake, the size of the layers, and the amount of frosting or filling used. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eGenerally, a 3 layer cake may benefit from support to prevent the layers from sliding or toppling over, especially if the layers are tall or heavy.

u003cstrongu003eHow tall is a cake with 3 layers?u003c/strongu003e

The height of a cake with 3 layers can vary depending on the size of each layer and the amount of filling or frosting between the layers. Generally, each cake layer is usually about 1 to 2 inches tall so a 3-layer cake can be around 3 to 6 inches tall. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, it’s important to note that the height can vary based on the specific recipe and the desired final result.

Final Thoughts

Making a 3 layer cake with just one pan is a convenient and easy method for creating a stunning and delicious dessert. 

By dividing the batter into three equal parts and baking them in the same pan, you can achieve perfectly sized and evenly baked layers without needing multiple pans or extra cleanup. 

With the right ingredients, tools, and techniques, anyone can create a beautiful and impressive 3 layer cake with just one pan. 

Experiment with different flavors and decorations to create a unique and memorable cake that will impress your family and friends.


Shari Mason

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