Jelly Roll Pan Vs Cookie Sheet Vs Baking Sheet – What Are The Differences?

There are so many different kinds of sheets and pans that you can find for your kitchen. In fact, there are so many of them that it's understandable to question what they're all used for! Do you need a baking sheet, jelly roll pan, and cookie sheet? If so, what's the difference between them? We have done our best to learn everything about these three different cookware pieces so you can know which ones you really need!

While you can use each kind of cookware similarity, they do have specific purposes. Their sizes vary slightly, with baking sheets offering the largest option. Shapes also differ from each other; cookie sheets lack sides, while jelly roll pans and baking sheets have low edges on all sides. For the most part, these pans are made of the same materials. Each pan cooks food differently to affect the cooking time and result of whatever you're cooking. 

Depending on what you plan to cook, it's important to know the specific differences in these sheet pans. While each cookware was made for its own purpose, they are similar enough that it's easy to mix them up. It's also very understandable to want just one type of pan and use it for everything. Before you run off and pick one of these sheet pans to start cooking with, make sure to keep reading below to get all the information about them!

Close-up view of delicious ginger cookies on baking tray, cookbook and ingredients on table. Jelly Roll Pan Vs Cookie Sheet Vs Baking Sheet - What Are The Differences

Differences Between Jelly Roll Pans, Cookie Sheets, And Baking Sheets

As the name of some of these pans suggests, they were made for one specific food. However, it only takes is a little experimental cooking to find out that you can use them for so much more! Even if they're designed to do one job really well, they can get away with doing other jobs too. Here is a breakdown of the differences and similarities of these pieces of cookware and what they're capable of.


It's best to start with the shape of a cookie sheet since it's the most unique out of these three. Cookie sheets are flat with a large surface for baked goods. They only have an edge on one side for easily grabbing them out of the oven. There are no other sides on this sheet so that you can easily slide cookies off without them breaking apart.

Click here to see this set of cookie sheets on Amazon.

Baking sheets and jelly roll pans have fairly identical shapes. They have large flat surfaces with edges around the entire pan. The edges are slightly slanted and rounded on top.

See this jelly roll pan on Amazon.

Baking sheets are really just larger jelly roll pans. This allows them to cook similar things just on a larger scale.

See this set of baking sheets on Amazon.


All three of these pieces of cookware are made from very similar materials. While they can be found in stainless steel, and even silicone in some cases, the most common material is aluminum. Aluminum gives these pans a lightweight and is a great conductor for heat, allowing for even cooking. It also makes them relatively inexpensive.

How They Affect Cooking

The different designs of these pans affect how they cook different things. The design of the cookie sheet makes it perfect for evenly baking cookies.

However, if you bake cookies on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan, you may have a different end result. The added thickness and different shapes mean you have to bake cookies a little bit longer. You may not also get as even of a bake with the different cookware. Due to the different shapes, these slight differences in how the cooking takes place are the same for many different foods.

What You Cook In Them

Cookie sheets have more limitations than jelly roll pans and baking sheets. The main reason for this is that traditional cookie sheets don't have sides. So you can't make anything with liquid, or that needs to be contained like a brownie batter.

Baking sheets and jelly roll pans, on the other hand, can be used for most sweets and desserts as well as many savory foods. Their designs make it so they can handle things that have liquid or need to be contained.

Glazing cookies on baking paper in a tray

More Cookware Questions

There is more to these pans than just their differences. You might also be wondering if you can choose just one of them and be able to cook everything? Here are some other questions that might pop up for all of these sheet pans.

Why Is It Called A Jelly Roll Pan?

These pans got their name because they were designed for jelly rolls and other baked dishes that need to be rolled. The raised edges allow you to cook the jelly on the sheet without it running out before cooking is completed. Since the sides are slanted with rounded edges, when the jelly roll is done baking, you can use those sides to more easily roll it up into the proper shape.

Click here to shop for jelly roll pans on Amazon!

What Can I Use If I Don't Have A Jelly Roll Pan?

Luckily jelly roll pans and baking sheets have basically the same shape. The main difference is that baking sheets are generally bigger. So if you're able to adjust the size of what you want to make, you can use a baking sheet. Depending on the kind you use, there might be slight adjustments in cooking time, but it should turn out well enough.

Can You Bake Cookies In A Jelly Roll Pan?

You can definitely bake cookies in a jelly roll pan. You will just have to make some slight adjustments. You may need to add a couple of minutes onto the cooking time and be ok with the edges of the cookies baking slightly faster than the middles. It's also important to be careful getting the cookies out of the pan when they're still hot since you can't easily slide them off.

How Do I Choose A Baking Sheet?

How you choose your baking sheet just depends on what you plan on making. As mentioned above, baking sheets are very versatile. You really can't go wrong with owning a basic one since you can do so much with it. If you plan on regularly making something with more liquids or a higher rise like a cake, you might want a deeper baking sheet.

Shop for baking pans on Amazon!

Can I Use A Baking Sheet For Cookies?

Just like with the jelly roll pan, you can bake cookies in a baking sheet. You just want to makes sure to keep an eye on your cookies. They might need to bake for a little bit longer and have slightly crispier edges. Baking sheets are also great if you want to bake larger batches of cookies since they have a bigger surface.

Does The Type Of Cookie Sheet Affect The Cookies?

The type of cookie sheet you choose can change how your cookies turn out. Standard cookie sheets without edges are meant for getting the best and perfectly even bake for cookies. The cookies turn out with perfectly browned bottoms.

Cookie sheets with edges are more similar to baking sheets or jelly roll pans. You may have to adjust the bake time by a few minutes and have a slightly more uneven bake.

Are Insulated Cookie Sheets Better?

The type of cookies sheet that's best for you just depends on what you want to bake. Insulated cookie sheets are made for more delicate cookies. This includes things like shortbread cookies. Their design allows for a slower and more even bake which is perfect for delicate cookies that you really have to watch. For standard cookies, regular cookie sheets work great.

Check out insulated cookie sheets on Amazon!

Finishing Up

Kids making shaped cookies placing them in cookie sheet for baking. Jelly Roll Pan Vs Cookie Sheet Vs Baking Sheet - What Are The Differences

While the differences in these three pans may be slight, they do have differences. Cookies sheets are great for an even bake when you want to be able to slide your food off easily. Jelly roll pans and baking sheets can be used for many different types of food, including the same things that cookie sheets are used for.

You may just have to make some slight adjustments if you use a different pan. If you need a smaller sheet, you can easily use a jelly roll pan. Baking sheets are better for larger jobs. The only thing left to decide is what you are going to make first!

For more baking knowledge, click on the links below!

5 Easy Baking Paper Sheets Alternatives

Is A Cookie Sheet Non-Stick?

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