Home Articles What Is a Jelly Roll Pan? (+ How to Use It)

What Is a Jelly Roll Pan? (+ How to Use It)

What is a jelly roll pan? It’s a common question among newbie chefs and bakers. After all, it’s not exactly the most common kitchen tool. 

A jelly roll pan is a flat, rectangular pan (usually 9 x 13 inches) with a 1-inch raised rim on all four sides. 

Jelly roll on a pan with filling dusted with powdered sugar on top.

Unless you’ve needed a jelly roll pan in the past, you may not have one. Or you may actually have one and not even realize it. 

Because of their shape, jelly roll pans are often confused with baking or cookie sheets. 

They look slightly different, however, and serve a much different purpose. So, let’s get into what a jelly roll pan is. 

What Is a Jelly Roll Pan?

Often made of silicone or aluminum, they’re usually sturdier than baking sheets. Carbon, aluminized, and non-stick stainless steel pans are also standard. 

Their specific design makes them the best choice for baking the outer layer of Swiss or jelly rolls. Their shallow depth also makes it easy to remove the cake layer. 

Jelly Roll Pan Sizes

One of the most common sizes for jelly roll pans is 9 x 13 inches. However, 12 x 17-inch pans are also standard. No matter the dimensions, they’re all one inch deep. 

Other less common jelly roll pan sizes include the following: 

  • 10 x 15 inches
  • 15 x 10 inches
  • 21 x 15 inches
  • 12 x 15 inches
  • 13 x 9 inches
  • 16.1 x 11.2 inches
Empty Jelly Roll Pan

What Are Jelly Roll Pans Used for?

The most common use for jelly roll pans is, unsurprisingly, making jelly roll cake layers. However, that’s not all you can do with them. 

Here are a few other ways to use your jelly roll pan: 

  • Roast veggies. Jelly roll pans are large and have a lot of open surface area. That gives you plenty of room to spread your vegetables out in an even layer and let them cook and caramelize. 
  • Bake cookies or brownies. Besides the rim around the edges, jelly roll pans look just like cookie sheets. You can just as easily bake cookies on a jelly roll pan. Remember to spray the pan or add parchment paper for easy cleanup. Additionally, you can use it to make sheet brownies. 
  • Bake dessert bars. Dessert bars are similar to brownies. Therefore, it’s no surprise you can also use jelly roll pans to bake them. 
  • Roast meat. There is plenty of room on a jelly roll pan for cooking roasts and other large cuts of meat. Plus, the rims around the edges keep the juice from spilling into the oven. 
  • Make sheet pan dinners. You can cook veggies and meat on a jelly roll pan. Putting both together to make a sheet pan dinner is so simple. Most pans are only large enough to make enough for two to three people, though. 
Different Types of Baking Pans

Half-sheet pans and jelly roll pans are nearly identical. They’re both large, flat, rectangular sheets with rimmed edges. They’re even made of the same materials in many cases. 

The biggest difference between them is size. Half-sheet pans are typically larger than jelly roll pans. (Not by much, though!) Standard dimensions for half-sheet pans are 13 x 18 inches.

You can use half-sheet pans instead of jelly roll pans to make jelly rolls. 

On the other hand, cookie sheets don’t have rimmed edges on all four sides. Instead, they’re flat (with no rims) or have rims only on one or two sides. 

Because of this, they’re poor replacements for jelly roll pans.

Tips for Using a Jelly Roll Pan 

Keep these tips in mind when preparing to use your jelly roll pan: 

  • Don’t let the cake cool in the pan. Remove the pan from the oven once the cake is fully cooked. Let the cake cool in the pan for just a couple of minutes. Then, remove it and transfer it to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling. Otherwise, moisture can set up in the bottom of the pan and ruin the texture. 
  • Don’t spray the pan. Instead, purchase a silicone baking mat to line it. It makes cleanup, cake removal, and even rolling easier. 
  • Don’t use dish detergent or rough scrubbers. Using rough sponges or steel wool will damage your pan. Also, clean the pan with white vinegar or baking soda instead of harsh detergents. 
Different Types of Pans Substitiutes

Substitutes for Jelly Roll Pans

A jelly roll pan is crucial if you’re making a Swiss or jelly roll. However, you aren’t entirely out of luck if you don’t have one. There are a few options you can use instead. 

Casserole Pan

Though often made of glass, casserole pans are a fantastic substitute for jelly roll pans. They’re usually about the same size and have high edges to hold in the cake batter. 

Avoid using casserole pans with rounded edges if possible. Square edges will ensure you have square corners on your cake. It makes it easier to roll (and makes it look better)! 

Half-Sheet Pan

As mentioned, half-sheet pans are almost identical to jelly roll pans, only larger. Look for ones with raised edges at least 1 inch high. 

Cookie sheets aren’t usually the best substitutes for jelly roll pans. However, if you have one with raised edges on all four sides, you can use it. 

Again, the rims must be on all four sides, and they need to be at least a half-inch high. If you have one with one-inch high edges, that’s even better. 

What is a Jelly Roll Pan

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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