The mid 2010s were dominated by Christina Tosi’s naked cakes (which Taylor Swift is seemingly still a fan of); Katherine Sabbath’s drip cakes; and Amirah Kassem’s rainbow explosion cakes.

In more recent years, there have been Alana Jones-Mann’s shag cakes; freestyle messy cakes à la Aimee France and Madeleine Bach; Amy Yip rock cakes; and the retro cakes that put Melbourne’s Mali Bakes and Zee Scott on the map.

While sheet cakes – long, rectangular numbers baked in a sheet pan – have been around for decades, in the mid-2020s it feels like they’re everywhere.

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It’s hard to pinpoint where the trend started, but bakers like Rachel Yang of Paper Cake Shop in Seattle and food-media darlings like pastry chef Hannah Ziskin of Quarter Sheets in Los Angeles and the team at Yellow Rose in New York City were early adopters (and they’re still making some of the most beautiful examples around).

When New York designer Sandy Liang – who is also one of the key figures behind the recent rise of the bow in the fashion world – had a three-foot-long cake at her wedding last June, the sheet cake all but solidified itself as the “it cake” of the moment.

Here in Melbourne, baker and artist Jessamie Holmes is making some of the city’s best. The former 3D-motion graphics designer started selling cakes under the name Thy Caketh in early 2022, and tells Broadsheet she’s partial to sheet cakes because “there’s an immediate sense of celebration to them – sprawling and inviting … but also sleek”.

Thy Caketh sheet cakes have a distinct “gothic twang” to them; Holmes draws inspiration from witches, the Victorian era and similar references in fashion and architecture. She prefers traditional Eastern European flavours, using stone fruit, nuts, chocolate and various types of cheese, which she says connect her to her Viennese heritage.

For bakers looking to try their hand at an elaborate sheet cake, Holmes says a good cake board is key, and the trend is in bakers’ favour. “They’re so simple to cut and serve, and can be decorated as individual slices too. [They’re] also way less stressful to transport [than layer cakes] … gravity is on your side.”