Baking 101: How to Make a Cross Cake without a Cross Pan

This beginner-friendly guide shows you how to make a cross cake without needing a specialized cross pan. Baking a cross-shaped cake may seem daunting, but fear not! You can create a beautifully designed cross cake with simple tricks and essential tools to impress your friends and family. 

Whether for a religious celebration, a special event or to showcase your baking skills, this step-by-step tutorial will walk you through the process and have you master the art of cross-cake baking in no time.

How to Prepare the Cake Batter

How to Prepare the Cake Batter

Before you embark on creating your cross cake, it’s essential to prepare the cake batter properly. This is the foundation of your cake and will significantly impact the final result. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you get it right:

Choose the right recipe: Opt for a cake recipe that yields a batter suitable for a cross-shaped cake. A simple vanilla or chocolate cake recipe works best. Avoid too delicate or crumbly recipes, as they may not hold their shape during baking.

Mix the batter thoroughly: Follow the instructions in your chosen recipe and combine all the ingredients to form a smooth, lump-free batter. Be patient during this step to ensure proper mixing, as any lumps or unevenness can affect the overall appearance of the cake.

Add food coloring if desired: To make your cross cake more visually appealing, consider adding food coloring to the batter. Use appropriate colors that resonate with the occasion or theme you’re celebrating. Remember to use gel or paste food coloring for vibrant and consistent results.

Pour the batter into a rectangular baking pan: Since we are not using a cross-shaped pan, a rectangular baking pan will serve as the base for our cross cake. Grease the pan and line it with parchment paper for easy removal. Ensure that the batter is spread evenly throughout the pan to achieve a consistent thickness for baking.

By following these preparation steps diligently, you’ll have a well-mixed, colored, and ready-to-bake cake batter, setting the stage for the next crucial steps in creating your cross cake without a cross pan.

How to Shape the Cake

Now that your rectangular cake is ready, it’s time to transform it into a beautiful cross shape. Simple techniques can still achieve this while we still need a cross pan. Here’s how you can do it:

Creating the cross shape using a template: To ensure accuracy and precision, find or create a cross template by drawing a cross on a piece of cardboard or paper. Make sure the template fits within the dimensions of a rectangular cake. Carefully cut out the cross shape to use it as a guide.

Using a knife to cut the cake into the desired shape: Place the cross template on top of the baked rectangular cake. Gently press the template onto the cake to create an outline. Carefully cut along the template’s edges with a sharp knife to form the cross shape. Take your time during this step to maintain clean and straight lines.

Remember, shaping the cake may require patience and precision, but don’t worry if it’s imperfect—minor imperfections can be covered later with frosting or decorations. 

Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll see the cross cake starting to take form, and you’ll be ready to move on to the next exciting part: decorating your cross cake to make it even more special!

How to Decorate the Cake

How to Decorate the Cake

Now that your cross cake has taken shape, it’s time to add some delightful decorations to make it truly special. The decoration process allows you to infuse your creativity and personalize the cake according to the occasion or your preferences. Follow these steps to achieve a stunningly decorated cross cake:

Choosing the right frosting: Select a frosting that compliments the flavor of your cake and aligns with the occasion. Classic choices like buttercream, cream cheese, or chocolate ganache work well. Ensure the frosting is at a spreadable consistency for easy application.

Spread the frosting evenly: Start by applying a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This is called the “crumb coat” and helps seal any loose crumbs. After the crumb coat, generously spread a thicker layer of frosting, focusing on covering the entire cross shape. Use a palette knife or an offset spatula to achieve smooth and even frosting on all sides.

Adding decorative touches such as sprinkles or flowers: Enhance the visual appeal of your cross cake by adding decorative elements. Consider using colorful sprinkles, edible glitter, or confetti for a celebratory touch. For a more elegant event, fresh flowers can be an exquisite choice. Ensure that any non-toxic flowers are thoroughly cleaned before placing them on the cake.

Remember, you can truly let your imagination shine in the decoration process. Feel free to add other embellishments like edible pearls, fondant designs, or personalized messages to make the cake more meaningful.

Tips and Tricks for a Perfect Cross Cake

Baking a cross cake without a cross pan can be a rewarding experience, and with a few helpful tips and tricks, you can ensure your cake turns out just as you envisioned. Let’s explore some essential pointers to achieve a flawless cross cake:

Tips for avoiding common mistakes: While baking, mishaps can happen, but fear not! To avoid common pitfalls, ensure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature before baking the cake. Additionally, allow the cake to cool entirely before shaping or decorating it. Patience is vital, as rushing these steps can lead to crumbled or misshapen cakes.

Tips for making a gluten-free or vegan cross cake: If you or your guests have dietary restrictions, fear not! You can still enjoy a delicious cross cake. For gluten-free options, use gluten-free flour blends, and ensure all ingredients are gluten-free. 

To make it vegan, substitute eggs with applesauce, mashed bananas, or commercial egg replacers. Use plant-based milk and dairy-free butter for the frosting. The result will be a delightful cross cake that everyone can savor.

Creative ideas for decorating a cross cake: Let your creativity soar as you decorate your cross cake. Consider adding fondant crosses, Bible verses, or religious symbols for religious occasions. Use themed cake toppers or colorful icing to create an eye-catching display for festive events. You can also experiment with different piping techniques to add elegant details to your cake.

By following these valuable tips and tricks, you’ll be well-equipped to bake a stunning cross cake that not only looks marvelous but also delights the taste buds of your loved ones. 

Remember, the essential ingredient is the love you pour into your baking, making the cross cake a genuinely cherished and memorable creation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a cake shaped like a cross? 

Mix a rectangular cake using a regular baking pan to make a cake shaped like a cross. Then, use a sharp knife to create a cross template on cardboard or paper as a guide to cut the cake into the desired shape. Decorate the cross cake with frosting and decorative elements as per your preferences.

How do you make a cake without a cake pan? 

If you don’t have a cake pan, use alternative baking containers such as oven-safe glass dishes, pie plates, or muffin tins. Ensure you grease the container and line it with parchment paper for easy removal. Adjust the baking time accordingly, as different containers may require varying baking times.

How to make a sphere cake without a special pan? 

Baking two hemispherical cakes separately in regular mixing bowls can create a sphere cake without a special pan. Once baked and cooled, trim the domed tops of both cakes to create flat surfaces. Join the two halves together using frosting or ganache, then decorate the sphere cake as desired.

Can I bake a cake in a sheet pan? 

Yes, you can bake a cake in a sheet pan. Sheet pans are versatile and can be used for various cakes, including cross cakes. Grease and line the sheet pan with parchment paper before pouring in the cake batter. Adjust the baking time based on the thickness of the batter and monitor closely to prevent overbaking.

Can you cut the cake into shapes? 

Absolutely! Once your cake is baked and cooled, you can cut it into various shapes using a sharp knife or cookie cutters. Whether it’s a cross shape, heart, star, or any other design, take your time to ensure precise cutting. After shaping, proceed to decorate the cake according to your vision.


This comprehensive guide explored making a cross cake without a specialized cross pan. With the right recipe, proper shaping techniques, and creative decorations, you can craft a stunning cross cake that will leave a lasting impression on any occasion. 

From choosing the perfect frosting to addressing common concerns, we’ve provided valuable tips to ensure your baking journey is smooth and successful. So, roll up your sleeves, unleash your creativity, and delight in the joy of baking a beautiful cross cake that will be cherished and celebrated by all. Happy baking!

James Foster

Writer and Editor

Hello! It’s me James Foster, the founder and chief editor of Foodies Gallery. I graduated with a degree in Business and Journalism and currently live in Texas, USA with my beautiful wife and daughter. I’m a good home chef and also a content writer. I love traveling the world and exploring different cuisines. In my free time, I enjoy enjoys being outside as much as possible with hiking, boating, and camping in the summer, skating, and skiing in the winter.

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