Home Articles Cookie Sheet vs. Baking Sheet (What’s the Difference?)

Cookie Sheet vs. Baking Sheet (What’s the Difference?)

A cookie sheet and a baking sheet are both flat, rectangular pans used for baking, but they differ in design. A cookie sheet typically lacks raised edges. It’s best for baking cookies and other flat baked goods.

A baking sheet has raised edges on all sides. It can be used for various baking tasks, including roasting vegetables and making sheet cakes.

Cookies on a Cookie Sheet

Are you stumped over which one is best to use for your recipes? Let’s clear up the confusion between the two.

Cookie Sheet vs. Baking Sheet (What’s the Difference?) 

A cookie sheet is a flat, rectangular bakeware. It usually has a lip on one of the edges for gripping.

As its name suggests, a cookie sheet is perfect for baking cookies. Its flat surface allows the cookies to easily side off the sheet without falling apart.

A baking sheet, or sheet pan, is a rectangular bakeware with rims on all sides. Its raised edges make it perfect for holding wet batters, like those for cakes, brownies, and such.

Cookie and baking sheets are commonly made with aluminum, an excellent heat conductor. It’s why cookie and baking sheets heat up quickly in the oven.

It also makes the sheets cool down once they’re removed from heat. This is a perfect characteristic, especially when you need to reuse the sheet right away.

Other cookie and baking sheet materials include ceramic, cast iron, stainless steel, and metal.

Most cookie and baking sheets can handle high heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cookies baked inside the oven

What Is a Cookie Sheet? 

A cookie sheet is a flat, rectangular bakeware with a lip on one of the edges for gripping. Its flat surface allows the cookies to easily side off the sheet without falling apart.

Because they’re entirely flat, their use is limited to solid doughs or dense batters that won’t spill or drip. Cookie sheets are ideal for cookies, shortbread, cream puff pastries, and croissants.

Use an insulated cookie sheet if you’re baking more delicate treats such as macarons, meringues, and shortbread.

These cookie sheets have dual-metal layers, with an open layer in the middle for air insulation. It encourages even slow and even baking.

When picking a cookie sheet, be sure to check the size of your oven. Cookies sheets are commonly available in these sizes:

  • 16×14 inches
  • 15×10 inches
  • 14×13 inches
  • 14×12 inches.

Why Don’t Cookie Sheets Have Raised Edges? 

There are three reasons behind this. 

First, it gives the cookie sheet more space to hold more cookies. More space equals more cookies!

Second, without those edges, there’s better air circulation. This translates to more evenly baked cookies. 

And third, it’s for easy cookie transfer. Without the edges, the cookies will easily slide right off without breaking.

Freshly Baked Breads on a Baking Sheet

What Is a Baking Sheet? 

A baking sheet (aka sheet pan and a jelly roll pan) is a rectangular bakeware with elevated edges.

These edges are typically 1 inch in height, some higher. They’re designed to keep loose batter and liquids from falling off or spilling over. 

Excellent for sheet cakes, brownies, roasted dishes, and more, they’re one of the most versatile vessels for baking.

Baking sheets come in various sizes (more on this later), catering to any baking need.

Tip: Place a wire rack inside the baking sheet when roasting meats. This will significantly improve air circulation and result in perfectly cooked meats.

Types of Baking Sheets 

Baking sheets come in various sizes. The most popular ones are:

Full Sheet: Measuring 18 x 26 inches, the full baking sheet is ideal for restaurants and bakeries with large ovens. Most home ovens can only fit 16 x 15 inches, so a full sheet isn’t ideal for home cooks. 

Half Sheet: A half sheet measures 18 x 13 inches. This is considered the standard size and the most commonly used by home bakers. It’s perfect for baking large batches of sweet and savory dishes. 

Quarter Sheet: The quarter sheet has dimensions of 13 x 9 inches. It’s the perfect fit for convection and toaster ovens. Great for personal baking, it’s ideal for those with a small kitchen space.

Cookies on a Cookies Sheet

Are Cookie Sheets and Baking Sheets Interchangeable?

You can use a baking sheet instead of a cookie sheet, but not vice versa. A cookie sheet is a baking sheet without raised edges. That said, use cookie sheets only in recipes that call for solid and dense doughs. Good examples include cookies, macarons, shortbread, and meringues.

You can also use baking sheets for these recipes. But here’s a tip for better air insulation: flip the sheet over. That way, the edges won’t get in the way.

Don’t even attempt to bake cakes and brownie batters on a cookie sheet! And don’t use it when roasting meats and veggies. The liquids will spill out. Stick to a baking sheet for these recipes.

Cookie Sheet vs. Baking Sheet (Which Is Better?) 

It depends on what you’re baking. In general, a baking sheet is more flexible. It can do whatever a cookie sheet can do.

But if you bake cookies and pastries often, then having a cookie sheet is also a good idea. Its flat surface allows for more space, better air circulation, and easy transfer. 

If you don’t want to buy a cookie sheet, though, that’s fine. Just flip your baking sheet over, and voila.

Cookie Sheet vs. Baking Sheet

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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